The apartment complex I live at was acquired by a new owner a couple years ago. Consequently they fired all the maintenance staff except one, but still required the poor guy to do all the same work with the same tools. He’s enlisted half his extended family to help him do the work for free because he really wants his kids to grow up in a nice school district, so he needs the job and especially the discount on his rent here. I’ve been watching him try to clear snow off the sidewalks with a cheap tractor plow attachment that doesn’t even work, so that every five seconds he has to get up and finish the job with the cheapest, most useless snow shovel I’ve ever seen.
It occurs to me that I may not be able to relieve all the societal pressures that created this situation with $1,000 (effectively stemming from the JQ and the WQ), but I could buy him a good snowplow rig. Every abstract question related to the subject of charity–common sense helping vs. accelerationism, whether Kmac’s “moral effort” is eugenic or dysgenic, and so on–can be made concrete in an example like this. Is it good to buy this guy a better shovel and, in so doing, prop up the dysfunctional society that created this situation of artificial scarcity?
I think the answer is yes for several reasons, but regardless of how you answer the question you would probably agree that such a concrete example clarifies the abstract questions. For example, I happen to disbelieve in the existence of functional societies, so it makes more sense, if I want to calculate eugenics vs. dysgenics, to talk about how much dysfunction I’m propping up versus how many kids the guy has and what their average IQs are. If you’re a primitivist opposed to the use of tools in general this discussion is probably not for you. You can instead use your time meditating on how language is the one tool at the root of advanced civilization. It’s like the Tower of Babel! Maybe you should disavow your own use of language :OOO.
This Bible story resonates with anyone who’s worked for a company run by magical thinkers (which is all of them these days):
6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: 7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”
10 Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’” 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”Exodus 5
Magical thinkers in power always, always become resentful because at some level they’re aware that they’re incompetent because they don’t understand their business and don’t want to. They resent the fact that learning, like breathing, is a labor that can’t be outsourced. So they lash out at their underlings in frustration with unrealistic demands, hoping for two contradictory outcomes at once: 1) that using the whip will motivate the underlings to make the business work and thus maintain the boss’s accustomed standard of living, and 2) that the whip will make the underlings and the principle of struggle just go away forever. For some reason these sorts always come out of the various accounting departments. Ford talked about this at length several times in his autobiography.
I’ve looked at good vs. bad charity analytically in the past. But as a guiding light, all of charity can be thought of as analogous to giving straw to normies struggling under dysfunctional leaders (or even more generally, the struggle of any dysfunctional human within a dysfunctional humanity). And since people who already have the virtues necessary to pull themselves up by their bootstraps while subject to unreasonable, dysfunctional societal demands wouldn’t need you to buy them straw, it will appear to the remainder (having IQs below, say, 150) that you obtained it by magic.