Friday, April 23, 2010

The End of Virtue

The number one failure of our society is the reduction of virtue. At the core, I see our socialist and fascist government programs as the cause of this trend. How can a government program destroy virtue?

Let me show you.

When people behave charitably, there is one inherent element that is so basic to that social transaction that to ignore it is obscene. That element is choice. Without voluntary action charity cannot exist. Giving to a charitable organization or directly providing charity is a sign of personal virtue.

To a socialist, charity is the transfer of wealth from a rich person to a poor person, regardless of how or why that transaction occurs. To a socialist, robbing the wealthier person with threat of financial penalties or jail time and offering that money to the disadvantaged is still charity. The perversity of that position continues when the receiver thanks the socialist for the gift by re-electing them into office.

There is absolutely no virtue in that transaction. One man is robbed, another takes the money while ignoring the crime and the remaining participant gains power over both.

As if the forced donations were not bad enough, the real damage occurs later. When citizens are forced to provide to others through taxation the virtue of charity is discarded. People do not feel any satisfaction at tax time. The satisfaction is not really the reward as much as a natural response to aiding another human being. We are social creatures and the vast majority of us respond favorably to the needs of our brothers and sisters.

Gratitude disappears, too. Another virtuous behavior is thanking somebody when they help you. The person getting the check from the government doesn't thank those who are productive enough to pay a tax, but instead are grateful to the government.

At this point, it should become clear that the social interactions of helping others and showing gratitude are completely destroyed. This is the toxic result of a 3rd party, aka government, butting into an area where it doesn't belong. True charity is not a social evil resulting from income disparity, but a social good which brings the community together.

The most severe repercussions of this social decay develop over time. When such a system of taxation and handouts lasts several generations, you get the entitlement syndrome. It is when those who receive the gifts from government no longer see it as a gift nor a privilege, but a right. They no longer recognize the theft from their neighbors.

Even the productive members of society get warped. Soon, they see problems in need of a response and they wonder why their tax money hasn't been used to fix it. From potholes to broken people, it becomes harder to respond. When they see government, with all that money at its disposal unable to solve these problems, it is little wonder they feel powerless.

The downward spiral is complete.

We must reject this ideology. We must trust ourselves to help others without force. Benjamin Franklin suggested that only a virtuous people could be free. I offer that the corollary is equally true, only a free people can be virtuous.


George Meyers said...

People should take time to read and comprehend this one. Those who do will understand our desperate need for less regulations. As Joe indicates, virtue is a voluntary pursuit of doing what is best.

Anonymous said...

So instead of donating to a 3rd party like the Fed or a church or the Red Cross, I should give directly to the persons in need. That way they won't thank the wrong persons?

So am I a moron because I think that government could be a good way to pool money to help the less unfortunate just as it is a good way to pool money to create roads and highways.

You make some good points but inadequately argue others points by making everything black and white. Everything is much closer to gray. Besides that, the USSR was Party centered capitalism masquerading as socialism. Profits merely went to the central party and its bureaucrats.

Joseph Kexel said...

Giving to 3rd parties would be fine, for they are still considered charities in the mind of those who receive help. Nobody considers it their right to receive the help of a charity.

With government programs, the idea is clear that when you are born in this country you get to take all you can from government, yet you are free to ignore that the money the government gets is actually your neighbors.

The USSR is socialism with an elite class. Every statist society, be it socialism or fascist has a ruling (elite) class.

True communism is better described as tribalism where literally everybody owns everything. Marxism needs a government to destroy property rights, tax heavily and enforce equality upon the masses. However, the elite as Orwell well put, "Some are more equal than others."