Posted by The Happy Tutor
Odd, how these people tie themselves up in knots, with no help from me. The free rider problem in an untaxed, selfish, Randian world, is not a nightmare to them, but Utopia - a free ride for the rich, their patrons, friends, think tank thinkers, and fellow sycophants. When they talk about "voluntary giving" as a virtue, the emphasis is on voluntary. Better that money be invested than given, more good will be done, and God will bless those who sweat the laborer, and screw the poor - to teach them self-reliance, as does Candidia striding up and down the hall, snapping her whip and barking orders. The moral sensibility among these libertarians is astoundingly low. While Christian in pretension, their theories are those, not of Christ, but predators. While they talk of human excellence and flourishing, their views could not be farther from Aristotle's Ethics from whom they have pilfered the elitist vocabulary. Where Aristotle talked of the polis, and civic virtue, and disdained the market place, their relentless theme is self-seeking and how, through money ("the miracle of the pricing mechanism"), good comes out of evil. How can the market-idolators speak of human flourishing? Their image of excellence is Moll Flanders.
What fun that Lenore has now gone public with her friends and their philanthropic primitivism. A satirist's dream. An endless shooting gallery of courtiers, bizarre money-lauding "poets," and semi-legit intellectuals foraging for press. May they betray themselves in their now public table talk, and be brought finally to the pillory of public opinion. Comments there are moderated; let us see how free speech plays into TPE's "message discipline"
Actually, Lenore is a friend and I wish her new project well. She will do more to open the conversation of philanthropy than all the high toned established organizations put together. She welcomes dissent from her opinions, and is more than happy to give as good as she gets. Were I as rude to the traditional philanthropy types, at say, Council on Foundations, I would simply be passed over in silence, ostracized, and treated as - well - a dumpster dwelling pariah. Lenore's contributors constantly force me to think, as best I can. We really are learning together, as difficult as that is, given our different political and moral sensibilities. What Lenore and I share, and stand back to back defending, is the public square, or Areopagus, where we can meet as citizens of a free society and talk things through.