Re: hunger

Gary47 (
Sat, 7 Mar 1998 17:22:57 EST

In a message dated 98-03-06 15:39:12 EST, you write:

> I think it is fine to help those in need. However, to say that I have an
> OBLIGATION to help others means I am, in effect, a slave. I do not
> accept responsibility for every other person on the planet nor do I
> accept any fault for the results of dictatorships thousands of miles
> away.
Obligations are enforced by ones own conscience. Moral imperatives must not
be enforced by the state. You are in no way compelled by any police power to
help others, nor to accept fault for the sins of others. However, our common
humanity does place the obligation on us to help. How we choose to obey or
ignore that obligation does not change that obligation. I hold that human
society is the poorer when we turn our backs on the needy when we have

You can not hide behind a claim that you would be a slave, as long as the
obligation is not forced on you. You may decide some other action is better
for your humanity than what the preachers (secular or spiritual) call for.
You may not have enough to share. You may decide that you don't care. But
you decide how to act. That is where the sin of the welfare state lies: do-
gooders in Washington or Sacramento substitute their wishes through the
legislative and police power of the state to force you to do what they think
is a good idea. The moral bankruptcy of the welfare state is self-evident,
when you consider that it would not exist without the police power of
taxation. If it were truly the solution to the problems it proposed to solve,
then the welfare state would be instituted by the voluntary charitable giving
of those with more to those with less.
> And what exactly are you proposing we should do to help these poor souls
> in third world hell holes? Should the U.S. attempt an invasion of the
> entire continent of Africa? Are you going to sign up for this? Or are we
> just supposed to send more bags of food and money over with no assurance
> that it will ever get to those in need?
Why do you think that a call to stop hellholes requires statist action?
Members of the Lincoln Brigade did what they thought best in Spain in the 30s.
If we would repeal the laws prohibiting private mercenaries and private
foreign policy, then you would be free to fight the Idi Amins of the world, or
ignore them as you see fit. If you don't think private militaries are
possible, go to the library and read up about Executive Outcomes, a private
SOuth African group that advises other African States.
> Actually, I think the best thing to do would be to ship firearms over to
> any legitimate freedom fighters so they can take out the evil leaders
> responsible for keeping their countries in poverty. All financial and
> food aid should cease unless we know for sure that it isn't lining the
> pockets of various corrupt government officials. (Tens of billions of
> Western dollars have already gone down the toilet and we don't need to
> waste more!)
I trust you mean you would spend your money to buy firearms and ship them to
freedom fighters, and not that the DOD or State Department would decide who
are legitimate freedom fighters. Trusting our government led to the quagmires
of Bosnia, Vietnam, the Arab-Israeli imbroglio, and the 100 plus other nations
where the US has imposed its military presence. It's time to close the
overseas military bases, and shut down the Empire. American defense dollars
for american defense. We are not the policeman of the world, and should give
up trying to do what is impossible.
> Actually, Africa has a long tradition of free markets and decentralized
> power. Recent events are a historical aberration.
What Africa actually has is a history of ineffectual statecraft, so the lack
of a state made the markets appear free. In fact, Africa culture is tribal
and strongly communal, so what westerners think of as a free market and
decentralized is not an accurate description.