Slavoj Zizek on Compassionate Crimes


A few of his main points:

  1. It’s not moral to prolong the lives of the poor who are suffering when you could be alleviating their suffering instead.
  2. Amusing the poor doesn’t help the poor, and in fact it’s mean, as it binds them to their subordinate place.
  3. The worst slave owners were the ones that were nice to their slaves, because it kept slavery from being seen as evil.
  4. Charity is ultimately inhumane, as it usually gives only the appearance of help without actually helping. You should not use private property to alleviate the crimes of private property.

Watch the video to get the full ideas.

I’ve written about this for many years. One of my recent arguments has been that, for many conservatives, charity provides the moral permission to separate emotionally from the poor. Another argument I’ve had is that it’s immoral for privileged liberals (conservatives tend not to care) to sit by and watch the poor propagate superstition and a lack of education on to their children–knowing almost for certain that it will create suffering in them and those around them.

There, instead of charity as a shield, liberals use political correctness. “Oh, I don’t presume to know what’s best for everyone…that’d be arrogant of me.” Sure, and because you don’t want to feel uncomfortable you’re going to have millions of people smash themselves against the rocks. It’s sickening.

Example: having kids without holding good jobs. Having kids without having a good education or a good trade. We know these are recipes for failure and for suffering, yet we’re unable to say anything because it’d sound bad to do so.

Basically, we have millions of middle-class 20-somethings with college degrees, and THEY can’t get jobs, yet we’re not going to lean over and tell the family of four where the parents have no education, living off of a McDonald’s wage, that having more kids is nearly guaranteed to bring suffering to that child in the future. It’s borderline criminal. Our unwillingness to address this issue is reprehensible.

So, like the video points out, the answer isn’t food stamps or “more assistance for the poor”. No, that’s extending death from torture by giving a litte pain medication. The answer is to fix poverty, which is the goal of the progressives.

In short, the only way to help the poor is to have there not be any. They must be brought into the middle class through comprehensive education programs, etc. And yes, those who are doing well should pay for that. It’s not just the right thing to do–it’s the practical thing to do.

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