Digniori detur – let it be given to the more worthy. Directives for rational goodness. Goodness is different from wastefulness. Jesus was no fool. Entitlement is a disease. We must all work for our blessings. Without productivity we are worthless. Not every life matters. The unproductive are cast out (Matthew 25: 15-48). The title is from Matthew 5:7 and 7:6. The message of these three Gospel passages is, viewed through a lens of logic plus human history, that mercy to the poor may consist of serving them on some very temporary basis, but hastening them to very early productivity.
To be sure, one may find just about anything he may look for in the Bible, some passage or other to justify anything from kindness to slaughter (Third chapter of Deuteronomy and the first five chapters of Judges, for instance). Its reliability depends upon the lens through which one perceived the messages. In this piece, one subject s addressed through the lens of logic and documentary history. Through that lens and through the consideration of human experience, it would appear that the constant pampering of the poor does not help them to become productive. The Matthew 25:15-48 reference is, in fact, a directive that people who do not work and produce are to be rejected.
There are categories of unproductiveness, not all of which deserve rejection. Illustratively, people who are usually productive but have come upon hard times through no fault of their own deserve assistance from their community. Only the recidivist sloth should be excluded from assistance. America claims to be a relatively devout Christian society, but we seriously fail to insist that our poor strive to end their poverty through work. The more people believe they are entitled to sustenance without requirement of productivity, the more they teach their future generations that productivity is something to be avoided. That is a road to misfortune, to put it mildly.
History is devoid of any instance in which the poor are simply subsidized without requirement of achieving productivity and became spontaneously productive because of the kindness. Without a requirement of productivity, the poor simply never achieve anything more than procreation. And, of course, they become addicted to living on assistance, adopting the attitude of entitlement to it forever.
The experience of communities in starvation and violence, primitive without resources even to sustain life; violent internally upon themselves; living only upon the charity of wealthier nations, is such that it would more humane to allow them simply to perish. The extension of life is not beneficent. It is rather a prolongation of their sentence to exist in those conditions. Saving children so that they can grow up with no hope and no possibility to escape privation, violence and disease is not kindness. Infliction of continuing pain is the proper name for it. Enabling those who do not even provide safe drinking water for themselves to continue to procreate is a sentence of misery rather than a blessing.
I know that it is now popular to decry any Malthusian approach to population productivity amongst the unwilling. Popular sentiment is nothing but sentiment. Charlatans raise fortunes with pictures of suffering children, practically all of whom never see any benefit from the money raised. Just as sweet puppies are used to support the ASPCA, starving prop children are tools of the politically correct to fleece the mindlessly sentimental. The necessity of productivity to the maintenance of any successful society does not lessen as the principle is applied to segments within that group. America is the perfect laboratory experiment for proof of that proposition. Every successful segment of American society has been productive economically and educationally as well as in terms of effective family formation. The unproductive are associated with low wealth, lack of education and failure of family or failure to form effective family in the first instance. Ignorance, violence and sloth are not the hallmarks of any useful “culture”.
Moreover, even the staunchest advocates in favor of the disadvantaged decry the bigotry of lowered expectations. Unproductive dependence upon charity is always accompanied by policies to dummy down curricula and other measures of achievement to try to make it appear as though the unproductive are actually achieving something. Ultimately, however, having passed the tests calculated to make the ignorant appear knowledgeable, the “beneficiaries” of dummying down go forward to failure because they lack the ability to apply knowledge that they really do not have. Stupidity always produces failure. Why then, we should ask ourselves, do we degrade programs to try to include the unproductive when it doesn’t help them anyway? Those who do produce manage to achieve, and would have achieved more quickly had the curricula not been degraded.
Considering that the addicted to entitlements folks don’t learn anything in high school and emerge either as dropouts or employable only as menials, it would be far more economical and effective to have compulsory service accompanied with regimented study and learning at least trade skills than the present cost of incarcerating them for their criminal activities.
You can put some beneficent sounding name on the program, but forced regimentation in a restricted training area (closed military bases, for example) would provide a superior product than do our high schools and jails today. The money we waste on schools that do not educate their student populations could produce an actual work force of trade competent workers.
Some complain that Latin immigrants are taking away American job opportunities. That is not true and known by those who say it to be untrue. The immigrants take jobs no Americans will work. The high school drop outs and graduated ignoramuses refuse to do that work. Those in Houston who came here from hurricane ravaged New Orleans after hurricane Katrina have not returned to clean up New Orleans. Latin immigrants are doing that work while the people living on assistance in Houston continue to enjoy unearned compensation and increase the local violent crime rate. No community should ever have to see its charitable spirit turned on it in that manner. The missing link is compulsory productivity. Put those sloths in a camp with regimentation and regimented education and you might end up with people capable and willing to earn their way in life. It certainly beats what we are doing and tolerating now.
When entire communities are permitted through ignorant “charity” to languish in ignorance and poverty, only violence results. Where on earth is the logic of that kind of “charity”?
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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