government redistribution of wealth != altruism
it is at best, guilt relief.
but for the most part, simply power consolidation, like most things the government does.
doing something that you are forced to, carries no moral value at all.
we are not a nicer or better society because we are forced to give wealth to the government, of which the needy get some small fraction.
and in fact, we are more cynical for the pretense.
"I gave at the Congress" should never be something someone can get away with saying.
AND NO, PEOPLE WON'T STARVE BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T GIVING THEM STUFF.
in fact, quite the opposite. anything the government is going to give out, it has taken much more first.
and other than direct money transfer, any other thing the government gives is going to be a shoddy, near-worthless substitute for the real thing.
if people really want to help the poor, as so many seem to want to, (enough to vote for all these welfare-spending politicians) and they have all that stolen money back in their pocket,
they will find a way to do so that is far more efficient and effective than any statist welfare scheme. (in fact the history of the original workers' movement, before it was crushed and co-opted by the state, is full of examples of such.)
which may well be why the powers that be don't want it that way.
the trick to it all is the belief that somehow, everyone else
won't pay their "fair share" without being forced to. but if everyone that wants welfare just contributed the equivalent amount that they pay out in taxes to a private version of welfare, the poor would be far, far better off.
as for the rich, well, the government takes for its own "costs" far more of the money that comes out of people, than it gives out. even if the rich folks contributed nothing at all to private charity, the amount of real value that eventually gets back to the poor would most likely still be way more than it is under the current system.
I mean, private non-profit orgs are way way way less corrupt and more efficient than any government bureau. The only possible argument I can see is perhaps, that we should roll back the state gradually, to give private society a chance to rebuild itself, now that it has been disrupted so much already. But that's about the best you can say about government. That it is iatrogenic.
Much like the modern corporation, who hold their employees hostage. Another beast that can be replaced by private alternatives. (no, corporations aren't really private, despite Republican rhetoric.) The idea, for instance, that GM will get bailed out by the government, because they are holding their own workers hostage, makes me really really bitter.
Doesn't anyone else want to live in a world with no large institutions
? Doesn't this appeal to anyone? Or has everyone bought into the myth that bureaucracy is somehow mystically "necessary" or "inevitable" now and cannot be dispensed with?
Personally, I think we'll do just fine without it. Whatever benefits accrue (to a certain cross-section of society) from it, will be far out-weighed by having efficient, flexible, responsive(and therefore, responsible) networks of production, rather than giant, immobile, static, pyramidal behemoths.
I want to wake up one day in a world with no GM, no AT&T, no European Union, no AMA, no FDA, no DEA, no US Army, but just us
, and our various communities trading and sharing with each other. And if I live long enough, I will.
The real question is how we are going to end up there, and who will have to suffer in the process of getting there. If we don't build that world peacefully, then we will end up there through sheer exhaustion and collapse. Violent control is non-sustainable.
Then again, the history of the world is one of just such collapses, and then sooner or later the predators reorganize (once society has built up enough surplus to make it worthwhile/possible for them) and start all over again. But knowledge accelerates. We have begun to directly record history, more and more efficiently. So maybe we can hold out better this time.