The Instigator
JosephHankinson
Pro (for)
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The Contender
candace.veasey2
Con (against)
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Charity is merely a capitalist frivoloty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 791 times Debate No: 26377
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JosephHankinson

Pro

I feel no need to waste a round with petty acceptance confirmation. Why not begin in medias res:

Today, confronted by the unbearable antagonisms of class division within the capitalistic system, society has regressed into a stagnant state of what is commonly called 'cultural capitalism'. A capitalism which, in accordance with Marx's historical materialism, ruthlessly attempts to legitimize and validate its methods.

I hope to argue that capitalism, in its obsessional advocacy of Fair Trade, and charity, is merely building with one hand what it knocks down with the other.

Take the example of a boy, marred by poverty, who is in desperate need of a sandwich. He's oppressed to the point of starvation. The vulgar and massive bulk of the middle and upper classes, who have raped his family for all the labor they could muster in exchange for the dregs of a minimum wage, have left this poor boy without a penny to his name, living in a run down estate.

A rich man sees this child. Immediately the Lacanian 'Real' threatens to break through and emerge into the symbolic and turgid order of things as he is confronted by the class contradictions and pure suffering which he advocates every time he pursues even more extraneous money. He desperately needs a way of legitimizing his behavior in order to, not only shield himself from the horrors of his own making, but also to allow him to continue to gain from the system whilst assuring that nobody perceives any malevolence or antagonism. What does he do? He gives the boy some money to buy food, and his fantasy of sustenance and maintenance is fulfilled.

But this act of 'kindness' merely acts to sustain poverty. As Oscar Wilde so wonderfully enunciated:

"They try to solve the problem of poverty...by keeping the Poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor."

Although, to some, this may seem like a callous thing to say, Wilde has really seen the farce behind acts of charity. Take Fair-Trade: a poor farmer, ploughing along in unbearable heat, would, if he could, give up his work; it's tough and unrewarding work. However, the systems which are in place make his job an ineluctable necessity for him, as oppressive consumerism won't allow for him to be anything other than a tool of the trade. So, to legitimize the castration of this farmer's free-will and liberty, the oppressors attempt to reconcile him by guaranteeing a 'fair' price for his work. But this 'fair' price merely sustains his burden of work and suffering, and allows everyone to maintain their delusion that he is actually being treated 'fairly'. This castration of liberty is by no means validated by acts of charity. These acts of apparent 'good will' and 'philanthropy', are misanthropic in their nature, as they delude those who are both oppressed, and oppressors into believing that the stagnant state of things isn't as futile and derogatory as they may seem.

Our society is so warped that, when you engage in a consumerist act, you are often instantaneously purged of any guilt and deluded into believing that your consumerism is validated by notions of 'fair-trade' and charity, when in reality, that very act of consumerism, and the system which advocates it, is the Moloch which caused the class division and suffering which we are supposedly helping.
candace.veasey2

Con

OK, firstly, there's nothing stopping your farmer from taking a different role in society. He (or she) can look around objectively at the needs of the society and their own abilities and find something else to do to sustain themselves.

Secondly, your rich man offered something to the public that it obviously wanted or needed in great number or else he wouldn't have become rich. The customers of his business are who created him by their choices, and are the ones who can stop subsidizing him at any time.

It is the responsibility of the consumer to question the practices of any company it chooses to give its money to in return for goods or services. For example, a lot of the violence in Africa in recent years has been started in an effort to gain control of land containing precious metals used in the manufacture of electronics. We as consumers should do our best to buy from companies who don't use conflict minerals from the Congo.

And my last argument, Anyone being raped for all the labor they can muster in return for minimum wage has many resources in this country. Higher education on government grants, exposing the inhumane practices of your employer through the media and whistle blowing, find a different easier job for minimum wage if you choose not to pursue higher education and lastly, sit at home and collect tanf, wic, unemployment, food stamps, etc. One more observation, not many people actually have a physically intensive job that pays minimum wage anymore because those jobs have largely been automated by machines. They still exist, but not nearly in the numbers that they did at the turn of the nineteenth century. Which by the way is a shame because high school kids used to do those jobs in return for valuable early work experience.
Debate Round No. 1
JosephHankinson

Pro

JosephHankinson forfeited this round.
candace.veasey2

Con

candace.veasey2 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
JosephHankinson

Pro

JosephHankinson forfeited this round.
candace.veasey2

Con

candace.veasey2 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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