This is going to be probably my shortest and least elaborate but perhaps most personable essay. Lately I’ve been thinking on the proper balance and situations for kindness and when “stinginess” or not lending out one’s hand in charity is appropriate if not demanded. The short answer is both for one’s financial and far-more importantly psychological well-being one should not help others who are not willing to help you. There of course is a difference that all-the-same must be noted between those who are unable and those who are unwilling to help you when you need them and yet they find themselves unmoved by the general spirit of compassion that lives in all good people, and is devoid in all those who wear the notorious badge of “asshole.”
Though it is stated in the Gospels, there is absolutely no need for religious fervor to realize that the essential aspect of the Golden Rule in ethical dealings. Those who lack it should be ostracized and condemned as not entirely human; for the capacity to empathize with others is perhaps the most human element of our species aside from the ability to reason to reach our goals and create models of reality to base our lives upon. The Cynics and Stoics were absolutely correct in acknowledging that ethical discourse without ethical action is like creating a blueprint for a perfect tower running on fusion (or fission) technology and then continue to build ones buildings out of mud and sticks.
Humans are creatures who base more stakes in their own egos than on the health and well-beings of others or even themselves – and this with our general apathy and ability to be molded so poorly by poverty and back social conditions is our main folly. If we are ever to move towards the Kingdom of Ends, we must first begin by treating the people in our own lives with decency and compassion. All revolutionary activity and Civil Disobedience is for naught if we don’t take the rational principles of justice, compassion and solidarity and apply them to our daily lives. A “revolutionary” who is crass and unempathetic to others in his day-to-day dealings is like a man-of-science who is attempting to discover the validity of String Theory but then in his day-time huffs glue and watches Jersey Shore. Though “great hypocrites” throughout human history exist, it is still so that we cannot expect to bring others to a cause that we ourselves are not committed to in any realistic sense. We cannot claim to desire a better world unless we act in a manner that is representative of this improved condition in social dealings and material.
Though our happiness, intelligence and moral integrity is based on chemicals and biology, it must be said that our true wealth, and the true increases in human welfare, are not primarily made through advancements in the material realm (which largely go to the rich and powerful as we see in the West) but increases in the welfare of the human spirit. As Anarchists, we must contradict all other “revolutionaries” particularly Marxists by acknowledging that real change happens through a change of thinking and action (morals), which then creates a change in policy (material dispersal or system of organization). The other way around is the implementation of force which only creates more bitterness and division in society, rather than having people act out of voluntary kindness and self-interest and debate these issues rather than have the verdict be claimed for them. We must maintain the claim that ethical truths permeate within humanity far deeper than material truths. Human beings use their limited cognitive and sensory faculties to create a model of reality that they work on; and although scientific truth is an element of this, psychological and ethical truths cut to the core of their framework in a way that no revelation of science ever could.