The True Face of Charity
[P. J.] [RU] [FR]

The True Face of Charity

The phenomenon of charity is one of the most odious subjective manifestations of the class structure of the present society entirely based on economic and social inequality. The rich like talking about how much they spend on all kinds of charity, trying to present it as an indication of their generosity, humanism and social responsibility. And the bourgeois press is always ready to chant the praises of the good people who care so much about their neighbors who, by some strange accident, happen to be poor or suffer from some physical deficiency. Indeed, charity is nothing but hypocrisy, a make-up on the ugly face of capitalism.

First of all, charity has nothing to do with philanthropy, being a kind of business. The consequences of every donation are well calculated, and the background activity of establishing the rules of the game to maximally increase the profits has long since become the hidden complement of demonstrative mercifulness.

Yet another aspect of the same: the more charity, the more exploitation. The rich never give away something that actually belongs to them; they always pay from the other's pocket. To give $1000 to the poor, they take a cent from every one of a million of other poor, and thus they get ten thousand dollars, with $9000 of pure profit. But this is only an illustration; the real proportion is probably even more biased to the interests of the rich.

The same holds for charity on the international level, including all kinds of economic assistance, grants, or humanitarian aid. The activities of A. Hammer and G. Soros can serve as very illustrative examples. Beside the direct profit, the basic idea of international charity is to re-orient the economy of the countries receiving this aid to quite certain ways of development, so that these countries would become dependent on the products and investments of their richer partners.

There is also a subjective aspect of uneasy conscience. A bourgeois often understands that their wealth is gained by wrong means, depriving many people of what they actually deserve. Sometimes the ruling classes have to defend themselves against the public accusations of that kind; that is why the rich feel more self-assured with a couple of picturesque cases of charity in the pocket. Such "counter-examples" are their only weapon in their spiritual struggle with themselves.

However, a mere comparison of the styles of life carried by the rich and the poor shows the utter inconsistency of such excuses. Thus, a "new Russian" can spend during a week's stay somewhere in Hawaii a sum that would be enough to fully support a thousand ordinary Russians for a few years. An evening dress of a millionaire may cost the price of regular clothes for a hundred people or more. A single dinner in a high-rank restaurant can overweigh the annual alimentation costs of the poor. Is there a rich man or woman who would agree to live no better than those they boast so much to aid?

Various charity actions and campaigns are the most disgusting kind of charity. When a few millionaires have fun "in the interests of the poor", when they fling their money in an auction or a charity reception, under the garnish of the tales about spending these "donations" to help the poor, there is a simple question to ask: Why? Did they really need to spend huge sums on their entertainment and organization fees? Would not it be much better to collect that money and give to the poor, dropping all the entourage? And even better, one could use that money to develop the social system that would be free of the very distinction of the rich and the poor.

Occasionally, some of the rich may sincerely want to be helpful to the others. However, the very organization of the capitalist society prevents such people from being too generous and devoid of self-interest. There are very strict social norms governing the behavior of the representatives of different classes, and the deviations from the "accepted" life style would result in a kind of caste ostracism, undermining the well-being of the disturber, so that any further philanthropy would quickly become economically impossible. Capitalists have to behave like capitalists to remain capitalists, period. It is only a complete social reorganization that can make poverty a recollection of the past, thus eliminating the very word "charity" from the vocabularies of the world.

[Assorted Notes] [Unism]