Not really on point
Reader comment on: Robert Reich on Charity
Submitted by John Gillis (United States), Jun 8, 2012 14:45
While I appreciate the editor introducing us to this morally abysmal claim by Mr. Reich, and one can even get a chuckle from the fact the editor reveals about Mr. Reich's pathetic personal charitable effort, this is, after the chuckle, beside the point and is actually a mild form of ad hominem, since it does not counter Reich's argument, but only attacks Reich's charity.
The real issue is that Mr. Reich assumes in his position that all the wealth and property of citizens belongs to the government, and the only moral discussion is about what portion are "we" the people going to allow the rest of the people retain. His view is right out of Kant, who argued that if a person receives spiritual benefit from a moral action (such as pychological satisfaction, social status, etc.) it is not morally valid and thus is venal. Reich remains a good little Kantian (and may not even know it.)
This is the great fight of our time: the Kantian/Hegelian/Marxist morality of everything belongs to the state, vs. the individual has the absolute right to his own life and its products.
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The Future of Capitalism replies:
You could also look at it as not attacking Reich but pointing out that at least his personal approach here is consistent with his policy argument that charity is just another way of consumption. If so, that makes him thrifty!
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