I am reminded of Wallace Klinck’s response to a fellow Canadian who was defending Christians’ involved in ‘many good works’ within their communities.
Wallace’s words speak for themselves:
“Thanks for your rejoinder to my accusatory comments. I perfectly well understand your reaction and that many people are in actual fact engaged in charitable activities of an extensive nature. Unfortunately, they are almost always entirely blind to the overall situation—seemingly to be of the opinion that the state of the world is just because of “the way things are” or because of the frailties (even innate evil) of fallen and/or irredeemable human nature. Our problems, they often naïvely assume, just grew like Topsy who opined that she just “growed” and that “nobody ever made me”.
When applied to human interaction in the real world, this is a very erroneous attitude having the most tragic and disastrous consequences.
Our economic relationships involving production, distribution and consumption do not “just happen”. They are moderated and controlled by defined and specified modes of numerical accountancy and financial convention which determine our physical activities. These prescribed norms of economic behaviour are not “neutral”. That is to say, they have their own specific policy.
History is not in general a mere accident. It is crystallized policy. That policy is the maintenance of servility by financial scarcity which imparts a false and contrived impression of real scarcity, with the objective of centralizing both wealth and power. Policy does not just emanate from the environment like the scent from a rose. It derives from human consciousness. It behoves us to recognize policy, to understand its nature, to locate its ideological source and to identify its advocates and practitioners.
For our purposes we must recognize that the economic affairs of society are dictated by a system of debt that misrepresents reality, thereby suppressing creative initiative and the ability of citizens at large to benefit from its exercise. The accepted financial policy under which the world labours is essentially that of the British John Maynard Keynes, a Fabian Socialist, a childless bi-sexual who scandalized even some of his avante garde associates by expressing appreciation of the modest cost of “bed and boy” in the Middle East.
Keynes enjoyed a secure career in the British Treasury, serving the financial powers which have visited misery upon humanity. Is it any surprise that his financial policy has been sterile and destructive? This is the policy under which most of our Christian activists live and act in apparent oblivious bliss, while running from pillar to post attempting to patch up the depredations caused by prevailing financial policy. It is comparable to darting here and there to put out derivative small fires without putting out their primary source—like lopping off the diseased limbs of a tree while ignoring the source of infection at the root.
While it is difficult to criticize people of good will who perform charitable acts one must also point out that they themselves are supporting the source of the evils they oppose by diverting attention away from their primary source, thereby relieving the financial powers of their responsibility by inducing us to share the insufficiency and mal-distribution of abundance of material wealth and leisure which has been brought about by misguided and/or evil policy. Mentioning such matters to them seems at best to elicit a blank stare, or at worst an accusation that one is opposing the Will of God or even, horror of horrors, some defamatory epithet such as “Anti-Semitism”.
If those who do charitable acts out of love of good simply because it is good to do good, then, in the limited manner in which they function, they are to be admired at least for their pure motivations.
If they believe that existence of the poor and disadvantaged is necessary to provide them an opportunity to “work their way to Salvation” through “good works”, then I think that they are already damned—unless they are to be forgiven because they know not what they do. In such instances, “works are as filthy rags” and do not in an effective manner resolve our problems.”