I’m weary of the “heartless libertarian” meme. I’m weary of it because it displays such shocking cognitive dissonance on the part of our detractors, as if the only way to help the less fortunate is to coerce money out of other people via threat of force and give it to the poor after filtering it through a 50% bureaucratic loss. I’m weary of it because it assumes that individual action is less meaningful and less charitable than government action. I’m weary of it because standing up to say that the government (read: other people) should give more to the poor is very, very easy, while actually giving to the needy and less fortunate is much more difficult.
I consider myself more libertarian than anything else. Were you to hold a gun to my head and force me to choose a political alignment, I’d say libertarian.
Many would then assume that I would allow the less fortunate starve. They would all be wrong.
This year I participated in two charitable actions. I gave two thousand dollars of my own money to the parents of a young girl who died of cancer, after helping them as much as I could while she was struggling to survive. I cried when she died. I still cry when I think about it. I’m crying now.
I also helped organize and participated in an event that raised almost $20,000 for another little boy that was dying of cancer. He is still alive, thank God.
I did not enjoy these things. I did not do them for the good feeling it gave me. I did not do them for selfish reasons, because if selfishness were my goal, I would never have participated in these things to begin with. It ruins me to see a child suffering. It destroys me to see them die. My happiness this year was reduced as a result of what I did for charity. If I were a more selfish man, I’d have never done either, and I’d be happier for it. I’m not wealthy, so the investment of money and time was expensive to me, and I’m not made of iron, so seeing that little boy in his superman costume, with all of his hair gone and his eyes hollow and tired; too tired to play with the other kids at the event, drained me.
I do not know if I will participate in anything like that in the near future. I’d like not to. But if I’m called to, I will. Not because it makes me feel good, but because that’s what men do – they show up when others are in need, and do what they can to help.
To compare what I do to agitating for higher tax rates on the rich so that entitlement spending can be ratcheted up is fucking insulting, and fuck every single person who would think that those are the same thing. Every single progressive or liberal (or whomever) that has ever felt a feeling of moral superiority because their political belief system advocates taking from some people against their will, to give to others, can go fuck themselves with a 2x4. You aren’t being charitable. You aren’t being humane. You don’t have a heart. You are just reveling in your ability to pull the levers; the good feeling you get from giving a gift to someone that you neither earned nor paid for yourself.
Until you go volunteer at a soup kitchen, or give your own hard-earned money to a dying boy, or any other myriad of things that you could do if you weren’t so busy advocating my being looted for what I’m worth, I don’t want to hear it; in the mean time you can all die in a fire.