In Defense of Charity

Jeff Bone (
Wed, 04 Aug 1999 00:37:48 -0500

By the way, lest y'all think me an absolutely sociopathic monster
without a charitable bone in my body, let me lay a little personal fact
on you. I spent a large amount of time a few years ago --- until
Activerse got truly hyperbusy --- building houses for Habitat for
Humanity. I did it because I wanted to do it --- it felt good to help
out. And it was a good way to help out --- the recipients of the homes
had to accept certain responsibilities and participate in the process.
It was a hand up.

That's the kind of neighborly, beneficient social system I would like to
see --- one where people voluntarily help others out simply out of the
goodness of their hearts, not one where some distant bureacracy steals
money from its people to build tracts of soulless Section 8 multifamily
housing at a cost of many multiples over what housing could be built for
otherwise. And I think people would be a lot more inclined to do this
if they weren't, in essence, working a large part of the year for The
Man, contributing to a government they feel alienated by and powerless
to change.

Instead of building elaborate structures that attempt to protect against
the worst in man and attempt to force socially responsible behavior, why
not build minimal structures that encourage the best in man and incent

Damn The Man!