[lit-ideas] Re: Ye Olde Dialectic

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 10:20:01 -0400

> [Original Message]
> From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 9/8/2005 3:48:31 AM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ye Olde Dialectic
> Robert: P. Government will do what charities now do if charities 
> stop doing it.
> ____
> When I called this "don't give to charities/show the government's 
> failings" thread a Marxist notion, it was to imply that it is 
> miserabilist. In other words, for things to get better for people, 
> things must first get very bad indeed, so that people will take 
> action of some kind to force a change in government.

This idea scares me.  Unless you're talking about voting them out, forcing
change is historically an iffy thing.  A lot of disaffected people can
bring unpredictable results.  The poverty in the N.O. area could have been
addressed for decades to encourage work training and the like.  Only
government realistically can do that.  It didn't and look at the results. 
I don't particularly like Welfare except that it's necessary to get people
through short periods of difficult times. Long term Welfare is self
defeating.  Without relatively short term government help we have the
situation that is described in Angela's Ashes (the book) where the mother
goes to charities in Ireland to get the food and clothing she needs for her
children; she becomes a glorified beggar.  That is notably absent in the
family's NY experience.  Charles Dickens' England is government free,
charity based services.  I don't think too many people, even the rich,
would like to live in a NY that looked like 19th century London.  I see
government as an umbrella.  Like an umbrella, it's necessary and used only
for specific reasons.  Life without an umbrella is possible, certainly, but
would you really like to live without one?

Andy Amago

> Suppose charitable contributions drop to zero. Everyone has to rely 
> on government funds and action to solve problems they cannot solve 
> (or solve well) by themselves. Everything falls apart because 
> government never had to provide for the well being of its citizens 
> without charitable backup.
> Would things just stay bad? Or would people demand, out of this 
> chaos and misery, that government be "of the people, by the people, 
> for the people"?
> It might propel us into a dark age. Or it might unify the people as 
> we have never, ever, even in world wars, been unified before.
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