(A new post at Dispatches From Libertopia)
It's hard to imagine, but I've read that back during the barbaric era of government, people in need actually relied on government to steal money to pay for the things they needed, or to force people to provide those things at their own expense against their will! Food, housing, and medical care were considered to be legitimate reasons to steal and enslave!
I can't even wrap my head around something so awful!
I suppose when the people have so much of their money stolen in order to support governments, it makes sense that they'd be too broke to be able to afford such basic things, or to be able to support charities to help others. And, if the people already put up with the theft and aggression inherent in government, it's not much of a stretch to push it to the limit.
I can barely imagine the dependency that "system" created in its victims.
The price in self respect and dignity must have been enormous, not to mention the feeling of being at the mercy of bureaucrats and their whims. Who would have wanted to subject needy people to that?
Fortunately, now everything is so much more affordable without governments meddling and stealing, and people have plenty of money to contribute to charities. It's better all around.
It's natural that I want my neighbors to be healthy. Who wants to be surrounded by sickness and injured people who can't get the care they need? Or people so hungry they can't function, and who think about stealing to feed their kids? I guess this means charity is selfish, in a way. It's still better than the alternative.
Whatever the reason, I'm willing to help support the charity fund at my favorite healer's practice. In the same way, I help support food banks and I give away produce from my garden to people I suspect might need help. And such is the case with the vast majority of the population. It's the right thing to do, it is civilized, and it is also self defensive in some ways.
And if someone doesn't feel they can afford to help, or just doesn't want to for some reason, that's their business, not mine. At least if they keep their own money they are less likely to seek charity for their basic needs. It's a win-win, as are all expressions of the economic means.