Individualism

More Individualism Means More Altruism

"There may be no inherent conflict between doing well and doing good".

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The countries with more individualistic values are also the countries with higher levels of altruism, according to an upcoming study in the journal Psychological Science. A team of psychologists from Georgetown and Harvard reached this conclusion after parsing data from around the world on subjective well-being, individualist versus collectivist cultural values, and various measures of altruism, ranging from charitable giving to helping strangers to living organ donations to the humane treatment of animals.

The researchers include the latest data (from 2019) in the Charities Aid Foundation's annual World Giving Index, which surveys people across the globe asking them if in the past month they had helped a stranger, donated money to a charity, or volunteered time to an organization. "The United States of America is the world's most generous country over the last 10 years," the 2019 report notes. Others in the top 10 include are Myanmar, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

China ranks as the world's least generous country. Others in the bottom 10 include Greece, Yemen, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Russia.

The researchers then correlate altruistic tendencies with six measures of national cultural differences devised by the Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede and his associates. One of these measures is individualism, which expresses the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. "In Individualist societies people are only supposed to look after themselves and their direct family. In Collectivist societies people belong to 'in groups' that take care of them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty," observes Hofstede's consultancy firm Hofstede Insights. The United States scores highest on individualism, followed by Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. China's rank is toward the bottom.

The researchers find that "the variable most consistently associated with altruism at both the individual and geographical level is subjective well-being (SWB)." They also note that "individualist cultural values reliably predict increased national-level SWB." In other words, individualist values tend to enhance subjective well-being, which in turn promotes altruistic behavior.

Subjective thriving is measured by asking respondents to rate their current and anticipated (next five years) life satisfaction on a ladder scale, with zero representing the worst possible life and 10 being the best possible life.

The researchers find that higher individualism enhances subjective well-being by promoting engagement in intrinsically meaningful behaviors, including those that improve the well-being of others. In addition, they suggest that individualism prompts people to look beyond their tribes and tribal values and promotes a more cosmopolitan outlook that encourages people to take into account the needs of and offer help to out-group strangers.

"To the extent a robust positive geographic relationship between individualism and altruism appears counterintuitive, it may reflect the common conflation of individualism with selfishness," note the authors. "However, present results together with previous work may resolve this apparent paradox, in that individualist cultural values are reliably associated with SWB, which promotes altruism." Thus the researchers report that their "findings offer reassurance that there may be no inherent conflict between doing well and doing good."

Georgetown researcher Abigail Marsh, summarizing her and her colleagues' research in a New York Times op-ed, observes that political liberals "often express concern that individualism begets selfishness, but they may not realize that individualism actually promotes the values they most prize, as opposed to more traditional 'binding' values like obedience to authority and in-group loyalty."

One unfortunate upshot is that the tribalist collectivism inherent in contemporary progressives' obsession with identity politics will result in less rather than more altruism in the United States.

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  1. Hard to give away if you aren’t allowed to have any.

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    2. The author of this story is very confused – substituting the word altruism in place of benevolence. That’s a fatal mistake when dealing with statists.
      Watch the movie “Ayn Rand & The Prophesy of Atlas Shrugged” for a much better explanation than I can give you.

  2. But “diversity” is only good when we all submit to the same ideological doctrine.

    1. The survey was from 2019, before the latest coup.

      1. It was still Myanmar in 2019 – not exactly a country known for freedom and individualism.

        1. It is a Buddhist country though, belief in Karma might play a role

  3. I’ve had this discussion with some left-leaning friends who think collectivism is the ideal situation. I’ve started reframing “individualism” as “personalism” to highlight respect for others as individual persons in contrast to selfishness.

    They seem more receptive to it, but none of them are reading Berdyaev just yet, haha.

    1. Choice(!) is only for special people and contexts.

      1. In Old Soviet Union, Choice is for Party and Party chooses you!

    2. People don’t understand that individualism doesn’t mean you can’t group up.

      It just means you can’t force people into your group, under your terms, and keep them there by force if they want to leave, so you can use them as resources for your own goals.

      1. And that tends to be where my friends get stuck. They get locked in to the idea that government is for everyone’s best interests at all times, and if you disagree then you are against everyone’s best interests.

      2. ” keep them there by force if they want to leave, so you can use them as resources for your own goals.”

        You’ve evidently never heard of prison aka pokey, the big house, slammer, hoosegow, stir, cooler etc.

    3. I’ve never read any of his works, either. If you could only read one, which would it be?

      1. “Slavery and Freedom” is the general overview of his personalism, while “The Meaning of the Creative Act” highlights personalism and human creativity.

        I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both. His work intersects Christian theology and secular philosophy (as he came from Russian Orthodoxy), but he acknowledges the contradictions of his views and seeks to reconcile past philosophers in a meaningful fashion.

        1. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. I hate these kind of articles. The implication here is that individualism is good, and property rights are good, because if granted people will naturally do what liberals want them to anyway.

    Fuck that! Either I have a right to my property and it’s disposal or I don’t. If my rights are conditional on other’s approval on how I choose to exercise them, then they aren’t really rights, are they?

    1. The implication here is that individualism is good, and property rights are good, because if granted respected people will naturally do what liberals want them to anyway not act like total and complete dickheads most of the time.

      There, fixed it for ya

      1. Sadly, at least some of the people will act like total and complete dickheads most of the time.

        It’s proven here every day. Thank Reason IT for the Mute User button.

        1. Seems to be about a constant 30% of our society is made up of hard core assholes.

        2. There are definitely a bunch of dickheads out there. And the way to solve that is to demonstrate to them that being an out-and-proud dickhead in public is counterproductive and ultimately leads to less liberty. Because being a boorish asshole in public is a surefire way to give ammunition to the Karens out there to go to the manager, or the government, to demand “something must be done” about the boorish behavior. So, being a respectful person in public, even if it is just for show, is an act of self-interest to forestall authoritarian measures imposed on everyone *requiring* “respectful” behavior.

          1. Yet you never learn

          2. And there you go again, reaffirming your belief that Rights are conditional; ultimately privileges doled out by the state. You keep completely missing the point and then get confused when you’re treated like the douche bag you are.

            1. You have a *right* to be a dickhead in public. No one disagrees with that.

              I argue that it is not in your own interest to exercise your rights in this manner, too excessively, because it will invite a backlash that you will regret.

              If you continually piss off everyone around you, do you think your neighbors won’t eventually get tired of your antics?

              1. I’ll go further. Liberty is not advanced/sold by creating perfect arguments by assholes who themselves are convinced that a perfect argument will ensure that everyone changes their mind. Even if it was, it would remain purely liberty among the like-minded. IMO it advances by compromises and trust among the non-like minded – I’ll give you your liberty and you give me mine and we don’t have to agree on anything outside of how we treat each other.

              2. Liberty is not how you and the power you and other vest in the state react to things you like. Liberty is how you tolerate the things you don’t like.

          3. I have been a libertarian since my teenage years, and I have to admit I was a pretty self-centered libertarian when I was younger. But I grew up, and part of that was realizing libertarianism only really works in conjunction with civility and a healthy civil society.

            1. …part of that was realizing libertarianism only really works in conjunction with civility and a healthy civil society.

              I agree in general civility gets you further than being an asshole, libertarianism has no such requirement and wouldn’t need such a requirement to work.

        3. And most of those dickheads will seek positions in government – and too many of them succeed. If you don’t want dickheads ruling your life, don’t give government the power to rule your life.

    2. That’s all true, but it doesn’t help to convince many people who aren’t already pretty libertarian.

      1. Some libertarians haven’t figured out negotiating skills yet. A small political minority is not in a position to act like assholes.

    3. Not really.

      What I am inferring here is that you individualism is good and so property rights are good because most people, most of the time, aren’t out to screw over their neighbors – so there’s no need to fear this and look for ‘solutions’ (controlling government) to solve a problem that mostly won’t exist.

    4. “If my rights are conditional on other’s approval ”

      Your rights are conditional on your fulfilling their attendant responsibilities, aren’t they? That’s not as easy as it might sound because we have a bill of rights but no corresponding bill of responsibilities. So, other’s approval is what it often comes down to. (Especially others who wear black robes and goat hair wigs and carry a hammer.)

  5. “China ranks as the world’s least generous country.”

    Hmmmmmm. Maybe this is a bad time to publicize these findings. After all, we’re in the middle of an epidemic of violence against Asian Americans (always involving white attackers, of course) due to Sinophobic propaganda like the debunked “lab leak” hypothesis. IMO “People in China tend to be selfish” is a problematic message right now.

    #StopAsianHate

    1. They gave everyone COVID, how can anyone question their generosity?

    2. Every time you criticize China, Lebron James sheds a tear.

      1. and misses a fadeaway.

        1. And calls for a foul.

      2. Is it time to lament the fall of Hong Kong yet?

        1. Hong who?

    3. “China ranks as the world’s least generous country.”

      I’ve found Chinese to be surprisingly generous in many ways. I believe Confucius taught the virtue of being generous to strangers and visitors from distant lands, and those teachings seem to have taken root. They treat their neighbors abominably though. In the US it seems the opposite is true. Jesus taught us to love our neighbors. Someone from distant lands is assumed to be a raper, a robber or a kiddy diddler.

    4. Honestly the lab leak theory might reflect better on perception of Chinese people. The wet market theory drew attention to a cultural practice most Westerners see as barbaric. If it turns out to have had nothing to do with that then there is less focus on Chinese cultural weirdness in general.

  6. So what you’re saying is, people who want government to force other people take the financial burden of solving problems aren’t very altruistic? How shocking.

  7. If someone points a gun at you and says “be generous”, your internal desire to be generous will go down, not up.

    1. But your “generosity” compliance will increase.

  8. Thank goodness for our Fortified Democracy, otherwise we might have actually had more individualism. Fortunately, we had well-funded cabals, along with their media friends like the ones at Reason, helping the people make the Correct choice.

  9. the tribalist collectivism inherent in contemporary progressives’ obsession with identity politics will result in less rather than more altruism in the United States.

    “Because the *Government* will be taking care of us, DUH!”

    1. And the politicians produces what human resource exactly?

    1. in America we don’t need British chicks.

    2. “Leicester” sounds like “Lice-ster.” Hard pass.

  10. USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada…if only there was a pattern to this.

  11. There are very few individualists. Most people do not see others as individual whole autonomous beings, each with their own goals, feelings, wishes and actions. Instead they see them as detached objects with collective qualities. Martin Buber described this difference as “I – Thou” and “I – It”.

    To be an individualist one must value and perceive others as individuals. This naturally leads to respectful relationships and altruistic behaviors.

    If I say “China did X” I have to keep in mind that it is an abstraction.
    China is not a being capable of wishes, thoughts and actions. It is billions of Chinese people each with individual goals and activities.

    Politics is inherently collectivist and more so as history unfolds. The rise of progressive politics and populist nativism, both with tribalism as the dominant value is evidence of this. The fact that the world becomes divided into Red vs Blue illustrates the collective tendencies of this way of thinking.

    1. There are very few individualists. Most people do not see others as individual whole autonomous beings,

      Is that statement self-referencing?

    2. Wise words.

    3. When people say “China did X,” they generally mean the individual power-brokers in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who run China did X. So it still comes down ultimately to individuals.

      And the fact that masses of individuals do not acknowledge each other as individuals does not mean that individuals do not exist and do not have primacy.

  12. It ought to be the most obvious thing in economics, that free markets require cooperation between buyers and sellers, and coercion only arises when governments step in. Of course, some will say you need government to prevent monopolies, but they are fools that can’t comprehend that the only real monopoly is government, or the crony protectionism it encourages. And some fools will say that governments are necessary to protect markets from crooks; I will grant them the theory, but that theory only requires government enforce private actions against crooks, it no more requires government have a monopoly on police protection than government-funded schools require government-run schools.

  13. This is a completely useless understanding of individualist cultures (north europe and ‘settler’ cultures) v tribal cultures (most of world) v collective cultures (east Asia).

    ‘Donating to strangers’ is not a measure of empathy to others. it is merely a strong working definition of ‘what is an individualist culture’.

    In an individualist culture, donating to strangers is the only real measure of anything outside ‘self’ and it is a mostly monetary measure so easy to gather data on.

    In a tribal culture, doing stuff for broader kin group is the measure of stuff outside ‘self’. But ‘donating’ is nowhere near as signficant as what we might call ‘nepotism’.

    In a collective culture, the issue is not so much about ‘doing’ stuff outside ‘self’ as it is about defining identity beyond mere self/kin.

    If you’ve lived overseas – and more significantly had to manage people from different cultures – then you either know this or it is an aha! If you haven’t, then don’t pretend you know jack shit about actual cultural differences because the US is entirely an individualist culture (or almost – its possible native Americans are tribal still) no matter what political bullshit people spew.

    1. Regardless of whether you live and work overseas or not, “I claim knowledge over that which can’t be measured as evidence/proof.” is not, in fact, evidence/proof.

      1. ‘I assert ignorance – loudly’ isn’t either

        1. So then we agree that your motivation for raping goats is jealousy.

          1. Your obsessions about goats are indeed odd.

    2. I don’t understand from your comment where you disagree with the article.

  14. The more charitable countries also have about 5 times the per capita GDP as the less charitable countries.

    And they all have universal healthcare programs other than the US.

    1. More individualism means more charity.
      The most charitable countries have 5 times the per capita GDP as the others.

      Hmmmm. I see a trend here…
      The countries with the most individualism have 5 times the per capita GDP as the others.

      Good point!

      1. And strong social welfare states.

        Since we’re picking and choosing which correlation is equivalent to a cause.

        1. China also has a “strong social welfare state,” and yet . . .

          1. It really doesn’t, It’s been goin down the Capitalist road for decades now. Try to keep up.

            1. Yes it does.

              1. Try to keep up too. China has been weakening socialism and strengthening capitalism since the 1980s.

        2. I had no idea you considered the USA a strong social welfare state.

          1. Not as strong as it could be, but it still has the second-highest spending per GDP on net social welfare (public and private incentives).

            1. Freedom breeds prosperity, which creates wealth, which accommodates largess including charity and welfare. Your implication is that largess creates prosperity but you have it backwards. The issue is that it comes with large government, which is inherently corrupt and self serving. How do you and others not get that?

              1. I don’t understand what you mean by freedom. Be more specific.

                1. Individual Liberty. Quit pretending to be obtuse.

                  1. Liberty to do what?

                    Am I at liberty to occupy the house you currently live in?

                    1. “Am I at liberty to occupy the house you currently live in?”
                      Me think you think so….. Yep; that describes you Tony to a T!

                      As well as pretending that you have the “liberty” to forcefully *take* whatever healthcare you want from healthcare workers, producers and creators by pointing Gov-Guns at them as well as *stealing* whatever labor you want from the general public to fund your *takings*.

                      Brian said this so well; Color me shocked that people who are constantly pointing gov-guns at others to burden them with one’s own debt isn’t altruistic.

        3. The reasons to argue for universal health care can be given based on lower cost and better outcomes, not altruism. However that may not work here because of unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, and we use more expensive resources. Also this is our government we are talking about here which is barely functional.

          1. If we had more access to healthcare, maybe fewer people would have health problems like obesity.

            1. So they stop shoving the Big Mac in their face after society volunteers to pay for their bypass?

              1. So your assumption is that obesity is caused by the moral failure of people to make the right food choices. Thus, rich people who eat healthy foods are morally superior to poor people who eat cheap, convenient, calorie-dense foods.

                It’s a hypothesis. I wonder what made America such a morally corrupt country.

                1. Interesting straw man, but I don’t see how my lack of moral claims causes people to take fewer risks when they have insurance.

                2. Fast food is not cheaper than real food. It’s just easier.

                  1. Its cheaper than real food that tastes good even before account for the value of time. Also, if youre one person youd probably end up with more unnecessary waste.

                3. Not a moral failure, just a failed intelligence test.

                  And for those not dedicated to coddling all forms of stupid, a regrettable but not compelling situation.

                  1. I didn’t sign any contract that says you have to have a certain IQ before you’re permitted access to basic human needs.

            2. The American medical system does not incentivize preventing obesity. It incentivizes making money off it. No medical system based on specialists can ever be preventive.

            3. Tony

              A visit to the doctor can’t do anything about obesity or what you choose to eat. Medical care cannot give out motivation. I know about these things because I am married to a nutrition coach.

              Access is not a real problem. Anyone can get Medicaid if they have little or no income. You can still get your blood pressure pills or insulin if you need them.

              Brian asks about Big Macs and society spending. It already does. When you show up with the heart attack the bypass or stent has to happen and will. The question is how it is paid for.

              Well what do you want? There is no free pony here.

            4. Countries with socialized medicine have lower rates of obesity because they have more fat shaming. Everyone knows fat people are an extra burden on public health and so don’t tolerate people who don’t take care of themselves. You only get fat acceptance in this country because we still have this notion that we are responsible for our own health, which includes paying for the lifestyles we choose.

    2. “have about 5 times the per capita GDP ” Can’t imagine why…

    3. Actually the richest and most altruistic countries also have the most economic freedom; New Zealand is even freer than the US according to the Cato Institutes human freedom index.

  15. There’s a hypothesis out there that the reason Europe and its diaspora have an individualistic ethos, while China has a communal one, is because of the different requirements in farming wheat versus rice. You have to strongly cooperate as a community to farm rice.

    Add in the different social structures formed by Christianity vs. Confucianism, and some serious scholars fret about an impassable disconnect between the cultures that goes deep into history.

    It’s intriguing to think about, but I’m skeptical of any deterministic melancholy about humans. Brains are flawed tools but very plastic.

    The important thing to keep in mind is that neither an individualistic nor a communal one is inherently superior to the other. You have to explain what your measure is against. More important still is understanding that there is no such thing as a correct philosophy of life. Humans evolved before the internet was invented. Our environment is radically different from the one our genes and brains thought we’d live in.

    If you’re selling a philosophy of life, and going further and insisting that government impose that philosophy on everyone, you’re likely wrong and stupid.

    Tell me what I’m getting out of the laws you propose, specifically. Don’t tell me a) I’m required to subscribe to your religion and b) you promise it will pay off, someday, somehow. I’m a guy who likes terms put to paper.

    1. I think you have to vote for it or you’re racist.

      1. I think you’re far more obsessed with racism than I am.

        1. I think you’re far more obsessed with racism than I am.

          I don’t think that’s possible.

          1. I merely balance the scale you have your thumb on so persistently. Race is, unfortunately, at the heart of the most serious political controversies in American history.

            I wish we could fight about something else. The slavers, segregationists, racists, and Trumpists won’t let us. People are tribal, and conservatives are exceptionally so. And race is the most prominent tribal signifier in our society.

            And the sick thing is, there would be no libertarian ethos without it. You owe your political alignment to those hysterical yokels. As we’ve probably been over, there is no anti-welfare-state movement without two ingredients: a) Very wealthy Ayn Rand fanatics and b) bigoted voters who have been convinced that welfare is about giving shit to brown people.

    2. We’re not requiring you to do anything. But you don’t get that.

    3. is because of the different requirements in farming wheat versus rice

      Yeah, sorry but that’s dumb. China is not the only country that grows rice. Rice doesn’t even grow particularly well in most of China, only in the south. The most salient point about China’s historical relationship with agriculture is similar to that about the Greeks and Romans – i.e. if you live in a place where food doesn’t grow very well, you either live in poverty or learn to dominate other regions.

      The important thing to keep in mind is that neither an individualistic nor a communal one is inherently superior to the other.

      But what this article points out is that individuals in “communal” societies are measurably more selfish and less charitable than individuals in “individualistic” societies. Draw what moral conclusions you will.

      If you’re selling a philosophy of life, and going further and insisting that government impose that philosophy on everyone, you’re likely wrong and stupid.

      Exactly. That’s why libertarians resist the power of government to impose philosophies on people.

      You want to be a Communist? Fine – I have no objection at all. You want to force me to be a Communist? Now we have a problem.

      1. Interestingly, in the north in China, the culture is noticeably less communal.

        But this brings to mind… I don’t know if you’ve been to Europe, but the idea that people living in a community owe some effort to other people living in that community is not a controversial attitude, even if they did grow wheat. Radical individualism is… radical. You can support the concept, but you still have to get around the problem that a majority of your fellow planet-mates might not want that imposed on them.

        And I’ve yet to get a straight answer from you people, worryingly. How do you achieve your preferred form of society if most people around you don’t want it?

        Being charitable is not the virtue it may sound like. Religious people donate more to charity than secular people. That’s fine, but they’re also indoctrinating their children into a divisive pointless fantasy ideology, promoting bigotry, and studiously avoiding many worthy causes because they don’t align with the parables they think have something to do with reality.

        A strong social safety net does more good for more people than charity. So while the latter is nice, the former is where grownups invest their time.

        1. “And I’ve yet to get a straight answer from you people, worryingly. How do you achieve your preferred form of society if most people around you don’t want it?”

          Really? It’s been answered a hundred times: about as well as they’re achieving it right now under those exact same conditions with the exact same preferences.

          Terrified?

        2. Imposed Individualism is a contradiction in terms.

          I don’t want to “impose” Individualism on Europe or anywhere else, I just want their Collectivist/Corprativist/Welfare Statist/Fascist/Socialist/Nazi/Communist crap kept out of my Lawn, City, County, State, and Nation. (The capialization of Lawn is deliberate, as it is the political unit of curmudgeons everywhere of all ages.)

          And whether the secular give less than the religious depends on what we’re talking about. Andrew Carnegie was an Atheist and Bill Gates is an Atheist and both were and are great benefactors of charity with no belief strings attached that I recall. Also, other Atheists like myself give our bachelor’s mite, invest our funds in beneficial ventures, and keep off the charity rolls, so that’s good too.

          And last I checked, able-bodied, competant, productive adults stay the Hell out of “safety nets” and if they’re caught, get Hell out ASAP.

  16. Typical Reason-style “libertarianism”: “we want more individualism because it’s good for the collective”.

    To which progressives respond: “our research shows that more individualism is bad for the collective, so you agree then that we should have less individualism”.

    Bailey already accepts the premises and moral framework of progressives, he only differs on some policy details.

  17. “the tribalist collectivism inherent in contemporary progressives’ obsession with identity politics will result in less rather than more altruism in the United States.”

    So were Ayn Rand alive and well today, she’d align with the progressives?

    1. Irregardless of your perverted fantasy between you & Ayn Rand, I doubt she’d be a progressive like you are.

  18. To be an individualist one must value and perceive others as individuals. This naturally leads to respectful relationships and altruistic behaviors.

    If I say “China did X” I have to keep in mind that it is an abstraction.
    China is not a being capable of wishes, thoughts and actions. It is billions of Chinese people each with individual goals and activities.

    Politics is inherently collectivist and more so as history unfolds. The rise of progressive politics and populist nativism, both with
    ( https://wapexclusive.com ) tribalism as the dominant value is evidence of this. The fact that the world becomes divided into Red vs Blue illustrates the collective tendencies of this way of thinking.

  19. The author of this story is very confused – substituting the word altruism in place of benevolence. That’s a fatal mistake when dealing with statists.
    Watch the movie “Ayn Rand & The Prophesy of Atlas Shrugged” for a much better explanation than I can give you.

  20. I know one thing as a retail worker:

    I find it every hard to muster up any sympathy for people with teacher’s jobs, government school jobs, Federal, State, and Local government jobs, utility jobs, unionized jobs, all jobs that are so secure that the only way to lose them is to be caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy…who all nevertheless get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT!) Not to mention on top of that WIC, Section 8 housing, utility subsidies, Earned Income Tax Credit, SSI/Disability/”Crazy Checks,” etc.

    Yes, the Welfare State does something awful to one’s sense of benevolence.

    Once, while parked somewhere in the mall on my lunch break, there was actually a man who came up to me, not on foot, but in a car much better looking than my own…and asked if he could “hold a couple of Dollars!” A relaxed demeanor from my lunch was all that kept me from telling him to fuck off.

    Despite all this, I do donate to charities such as hospice, cancer services, a fireman’s charity aluminium can drive for burned children, and others when I am able. I also shop at Value Village, a thrift store benefitting kidney patients.

    If someone wants to benfit charity, the first thing to do is work to keep yourself off of the charity rolls, then acquire a surplus so you can give to charity, then make sure what you are giving to actually helps.

    Investment in necessary private-sector services such as water treatment, food, construction, medicine, health care, and new, upcoming technologies probably does the most good for fellow human beings of anything you can do. After all, charities wouldn’t have the resources to help others without all these investments, and investments in private sector companies create jobs that keep people off of charity rolls in the first place.

    1. Last time I was in Nepal I met and shared a meal an ex-Royal Marine and his girlfriend who were then working for an NGO clearing landmines and unexploded ordinance from places like Laos, Sierra Leone and Lebanon. What splendid people! They weren’t interested in getting rich, creating jobs, or selling crap, just making the world a better place, and doing what they can to repair a sick and dangerous planet.

      1. If they have the independent means to spend time and resources undoing the damages that governments do in war, then I salute them too.

        (Really, the governments lay that unexploded ordinance are the ones who should do that, under the parental doctrine of “Make a mess, clean a mess.”)

  21. In societies where goods and services are distributed “fairly” from the top, there should be no need for altruism and private giving. Isn’t that what the socialists and communists keep telling us, that it will be “fairer”? And since the people have apparently bought into the scam, they don’t give of themselves, but rather, wait for someone else to do it.

    1. Except it’s not “wait for someone else to do it”.. It’s being threatened with Gov-Guns to do it. It’s the opposite of Freedom. It is gun enforced dictation/slavery.

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