Donate to the Haiti Crisis? No thanks.

Whenever I’m approached for donations in the public by tin-totting twits, I always tell them, ‘I already gave, it’s called TAX, go get what you want from the government’.

Of course, many people in singapore are under the impression that there isn’t much tax here. Just because they replace the word T-A-X with E-R-P, C-O-E, G-S-T, F-I-N-E, H-D-B, and Peak-Hour-Charges, Minumum-Sum for EZ-link cards, etc, etc, etc, doesn’t make it any less taxing. To subsidise the PTBs (Powers-That-your-stupidity-allows-to-Be), is to not only maintain their status, but to enable them to retain more so that they can widen and deepen their subjugation of the global populace. I only give to charities under one condition. That is, that there is at the same time a popular mass socialist-style movement agitating for greater equality and humanity and greater give-backs from the government and corporations. In the absence of this, to be charitable is to excuse the masses from taking on their respective governments and actually perpetuates the conditions that require charity. So, i’ll leave charitable acts, save under the aforementioned conditions, to the ignorant and short-sighted.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by self in 2005 in the wake of the Katrina hurricanes, and which is reproduced here for its pertinence.



“from article entitled, 'Charity Kills'

Effective Empathy

…on the other hand, is one that is witnessed where there is no obvious, and immediate, psychological gain such as those enjoyed by the ‘charitable’. These people engage themselves in tasks which, to the Self-Gratifying Empathists, has little appeal as it has the inverse effect of increasing tension within themselves. This increase of tension is a result of seeking and not completely finding – the causes - and striving and not acquiring – the requisite redresses. Immediate gratification can never be in resolution of the problem unless one was to locate it in the act of making an effort itself. In this case, they would truly be deserving of the term, ‘Effective Empathists’, since seeing the effort as a partial end in itself is exactly that which holds hope for a future resolution of the crises in focus. Here, no effort is used to buy themselves out of more effort like the Selfish Empathists.

Effective Empathists are those who seek out the underlying causes of events so that history is not replicated in its yet to be written chapters. This necessarily involves much ‘work-without-pay’ as the Effective Empathists lives on little more than hope that they might be able to make a difference in their lifetimes, or at least, in the efforts of those who come after them. ‘Enough’, for them, is never enough. That is what transitions a Selfish Empathist to seek to be Effectively Empathetic. Yes, we all start of as Selfish Empathists.(how we make this transition is beyond the immediate scope of the issue at hand.) Selfish Empathists, however, tend to insist on dressing the wounds rather than seeking out the causes that inflicted them since this costs very little in terms of cash, cognition or consistency in care. Once the wound is dressed, they can turn their eyes and efforts to more directly profitable matters. For the Effective Empathists, the tragedy is seen as a culmination; an aftermath of a preceding disaster that passes unnoticed in a world largely populated by Selfish Empathists.

The rallying cry of the Selfish Empathist is, “Where were you after the Disaster?!”

In return,

This Effective Empathist replies, “Where were you before the Aftermath?!”


In the true spirit of Selfish Empathism, the Selfish Empathist, never looks ‘beyond’ or ‘before’ but only ‘immediately’ after. They are a ‘here-and-now’ breed of people since here-and-now is when pleasure can logically be experienced. They have to deny history lest they come face to face with the cause and recognise it to be that which one might appreciate ‘through the looking glass’. Thus causes that require more than a moment’s thought to comprehend are left to ‘leftists’, ‘commies’, ‘reds’, with these terms used as derogatory ones that in turn is supposed to serve as a thought-inhibitors. It is also their entrenchment in a self-gratifying ‘here-and-now’ that leads to, amongst a multitude of others, terms such as ‘terrorist’, ‘extremists’, ‘jihadists’, ‘natural disasters’ and so on. These are vocabularic efforts and aftermaths of a system of thought that emerges from within a system that opposes thought institutionally, culturally, economically and politically. All evils, when construed to be ‘natural’ or ‘instinctual’, can then be followed by action rather than cognition. Thus, 'Wars on Terror' and 'Charity' results. These enable one to effect immediate removal of those phenomena that causes stress to the self in the present (War on Terror) whilst one may compensate for what one has done, or failed to do, prior to a disaster, that has led it to occur, by being charitable and joining in the hypocritical cry of the masses to 'care'. In this, the self is gratified immensely in a variety of psychological ways. But most importantly, the causes are left unaddressed. Hence, the system is left intact. For without it, their own personal ambitions of profiting, despite its being a cornerstone of the cause of tomorrows disasters, would be laid waste.

In this sense, Charity Kills the victims of yesterday, Heals its perpetrators today, and Seals the fate of the victims of tomorrow.


  1. Ed, I think you're missing something here.
    If your neighbor's house is hit by lightning and
    catches fire, you would tell him to build a less conductive house next time instead of letting him crash on your couch for the night once the fire department has left?

    If your neighbor isn't living a life up to your standards (uneducated, ignorant, spends more than he earns etc) for whatever reason (drug addiction, abusive parents, target of a crime syndicate) you would consider yourself a fool for helping him however nominally because letting him catch a few winks on your couch doesn't address the fact that he needs to stop wasting his money on porno videos and get his butt to school?
    Ideally when your neighbor gets up the next day he'll address the issue with his house (possibly his life,) maybe not. There was no oppressive system in place that caused the weather to destroy things. A night in an environment more comfortable than a charred bedroom that reeks of flame suppressant probably won't make much of a difference one way or another but those who do offer the couch, do so with the hope for a better outcome when the accidental houseguest gets up the next day.

  2. Hope springs eternal amongst the ignorant. I go by data, not hope. Or more accurately, i allow data to inductively determine my hope;) I'm all for offering the couch in tandem with changing the conditions which leads to such a need. That is my point.

    One cannot underestimate the potential of humanity to compensate in the face of the consequences of their ignorance and apathy to the point that it is perceived as effort enough - and thereafter takes on the more resilient form of 'culture'.

  3. The Chinese government is often condemned for using that "data" to conclude that people are evil and the government must be there to keep them in line. If you are willing to abandon someone for being evil, it is not much different than crushing them under your boot-heel.

    I have never underestimated several socialist societies' abilities to do just what you are saying. The populace is fed, clothed, and sheltered, ergo "we win!"

    It is the shortsighted who look at initial efforts of people and call them bandages and stop gap solutions, but since most people have no memory of what happened even 10 years ago, it is easy for such smallminded opinions to be drawn. While I am cynical enough to assume that since the reporters and musicians have lost interest that no one cares anymore, it is not always the case.

    In an age where everyone has the attention span of a fly, people who seek 'solutions' need to be constantly reminded that "we are not done." I know that people want a unilateral response to a complex issue, but no one is going to get on board with that for longer than 5 minutes, so patient people are forced to break real solutions into bite sized chunks for those who need instant gratification to be bothered to pitch in.
    Someone may look at making some bus stops accessible to empower the disabled with disdain because the people in their neighborhood still can't get to work and it is a lot of money for a "small group of people." They shake their heads ruefully when they are told that we're eventually going to get them all and, oh yeah, we're going to make sure all further bus stops are accessible, too. Nevermind the fact that making things truly accessible employs universal design ideals that benfit everyone, not just the disabled.
    Regardless, there we are, year after year. We bug the living hell out of the munipalities about getting things done. We are at the budget meetings. We are there to kick people in the butt when they leave blind people standing at STOP signs because the bus stops aren't tactily marked so that they can be found.

    People cringe because they know that when the budget cuts come, we'll be there expecting an explanation of what the next actions are for making some progress. I can do math. I know about budget shortfalls, but I also expect explanations, solutions, and plans. I know it will probably never be "good enough." Things don't happen always happen quickly but I will help for as long as I can, not for as long as I want to.

    Not all long and arduous tasks are fool's errands. Admittedly, there are many "popular causes" that people take up and march around and cry about "a crisis." I am still waiting for all of us to die of AIDS, by the way. This probably won't happen since we'll be eaten by displaced polar bears, now.

  4. Hey Nik,

    I don't know about these 'socialist societies' you speak about. The masses have been hoodwinked when it comes to the definition of 'socialism' or 'communism'. The USSR and China, for example, can be more aptly described as 'state capitalist' societies.

    As for the rest of your 'post', i'm in agreement. Good one.

    In a sense, much of the world is becoming 'confucian' in that people are making the best of a bad situation whilst gradually confusing the solutions as a validation of the overarching situation as natural - hence, amongst others, the 'bandages and stop-gap solutions' you speak about.

    Everyone cares. Hitler cared, Gandhi cared, Jesus cared, the Buddha cared. But people are detracted from considering the perspectival position from which they care and just fixate on the self-validating assumption that we have at least 'cared'.


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