Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Charity Kidnapped by States

Carlos Alberto Montaner on
an inflexible law of social physiology: Governments have no heart; they have only rules and laws. The politicians and bureaucrats who manage them have only interests, clients and voters. The huge drama provoked by the tsunami was a matter of the heart, of deeply affected people who wanted to help fellow humans who had been battered by nature. It was the moment for compassion, and emotions do not fit within the cold institutional structure of states.

…Unfortunately, charity and compassion have been kidnapped by governments. The relation between those who need aid and those who want to give it is handled best within the fabric of civilian society. The supremely kind giants, such as Albert Schweitzer or Mother Teresa of Calcutta, never emerge from public bureaucratic structures. The missionary spirit always is an intense personal zeal that must be aided without placing limits or obstacles to stifle it.

No comments: