The End of Charity

In New English Review Dalrymple tells several touching stories demonstrating the benefits of true (that is, voluntary) charity, and says:
What is given as of right is harmful alike to the donor and the recipient. It shrivels the donor’s heart and turns kindness into an unwanted obligation; it renders the recipient incapable of gratitude, to such an extent that he might not even realise that he has received anything (the rioters in London, for example, said they had nothing, when those of them who had never worked or been net taxpayers had never gone hungry, never lacked for clothes or shelter, were provided with electronic gadgets, were guaranteed free healthcare and had received a free education – for them, this was nothing because it all came as of right).
That judgments in the past were harsh or unfeeling is, alas, the case. But that is a reason for refining our judgment, not for refraining from exercising it at all. If we do that, we shall end up with a society of cold comfort, where the faculty of kindness will wither, and where the expression of human solidarity will be confined to paying taxes, an indefinitely large proportion of which will never even reach their supposed beneficiaries.

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