That charity which longs to publish itself ceases to be charity.
When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.
Charity is the power of defending that which we know to be indefensible. Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate. It is true that there is a state of hope which belongs to bright prospects and the morning; but that is not the virtue of hope. The virtue of hope exists only in earthquake and eclipse. It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor; but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them. For practical purposes it is at the hopeless moment that we require the hopeful man, and the virtue either does not exist at all, or begins to exist at that moment. Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.
Charity erodes the cultural prerequisites for a vigorous democracy.
The idea that private money can solve our problems is very dangerous. Ultimately that's charity. Charity is a lovely thing. I'll never turn it down. But charity is not a substitute for systematic justice and equality.
In contemporary society as the evidence suggests charity under the capitalist ideology is a social paradox where in one hand it helps the poor to be part of the system and it also alleviates the consequences of poverty. On the other hand, it maintains the ruling class in power safe guarded by the ideology of capitalism which absorbed charity as part of the ideology itself. In addition, with this class that charity brings it validates and minimizes class struggle of capitalism.
The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism – are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim. Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life – educated men who live in the East End – coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right. Charity creates a multitude of sins.
Charity has an embedded message of alleviating the consequences of poverty and not of eradicating it. As the evidence suggested, charity seems to be pervert form of social mechanism that validates contemporary social inequality maintained by neoliberalism policies under the capitalist ideology. It seems problematic that the world’s current ideology i.e. capitalism alienation is the main contributor of contemporary issues with poverty world-wide and the solution presented to this social problem is charity. In addition, charity seems to be the humanitarian side of a system that advocates and promotes exploitation.
And now abideth faith hope charity these three but the greatest of these is charity.
Charity, if you have the means, is a personal choice, but charity which is expected or compelled is simply a polite word for slavery.