Hello. I was recently in a conversation with a National Socialist internet acquaintance of mine who was kicked out of his house by his psychotic mother, but even after going to every home of anyone he ever knew for any appreciable length of time, none of them wanted to house him. None of his extended family members across the world wanted to help him, either.
So my question is: has there been any empirical studies supporting the idea that people are "generous"? When dealing with human action, Austrians always assert that you can figure things out by pure theory. But that's nonsense. Theory cannot tell you whether or not people will be generous. You have to look in the real world to get a sense of how humans act.
So, have there been any such studies on the subject?
One quick question...Is the threshold in the scenario you just described for being considered "generous" a 4 night stay with his family member, or is it 5 nights?
1. If any Austrian has ever made the claim that individuals are apriori generous then they are contradicted by the very school they supposedly adhere to
2. I'm sure that there have been some studies surrounding this subject, although I'm afraid I don't know of any
3. Any modern study is inherently and necessarily altered by the presence and involvement of the government and welfare state
4. Generosity will not be constant over time, although the degree of variation will alter from period to period
5. There tend to be more advanced non-government community safety nets in areas where there is a more primitive welfare state. One could argue this is because of the effects of industrialization, and while I think that there's some validity there, I also think you're a madman if you don't think that the government crowding out charity doesn't have something to do with that. Mah source
Buzz Killington:...after going to every home of anyone he ever knew for any appreciable length of time, none of them wanted to house him. None of his extended family members across the world wanted to help him, either.
Sounds like his reputation precedes him.
Buzz Killington:...has there been any empirical studies supporting the idea that people are "generous"?
To what end? 1) Generosity is subjective, 2) societal nihilism does not incentivize acts of kindness towards your neighbor or anyone else.
What is this?
"Sounds like his reputation precedes him."
This is the whole problem with government charity... assholes, loafers and the like who have no internal inclination to be decent are given no material incentive to clean up their act and become ordinary human beings; they just loaf off the productive class and have their assholey-ness subsidized by the taxpayers. They are never forced to either go out and become productive or at least learn to treat the people around them well enough that those people will feel disposed to give them charity.
What is this?
I consider societal nihilism to be the rejection or repudiation of all current (or what were current) moral/religious values that provide the foundations of a society. Our laws and politicial philosophies (as typified by the beliefs of the National Socialist being discussed, for example) have done a great deal to undermine these foundations, with little regard for the consequences. Ironically, the National Socialist could be considered a victim of his philosophy's success.
I was picking up on that undertone that the friend felt that charity was owed rather than deserved as well, Clayton.
Somewhat related, but there was a study that showed that so-called "progressive" or "blue" states residents donated far less of their expendable income to charities and spent far less time volunteering that those of so-called "conservative" or "red" states. Conservative states being more religious usually. The same article mentioned a book by Arthur Brooks called Who Really Cares, purporting to show that liberals are infact stingy.
I wouldn't let a nazi stay at my house either... if they want to murder 'inferior races' what compulsion would they have against stealing my stuff?
... just as the State
has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock
Anyway I think it is pretty obvious that people ARE generous, on account of all the generosity one witnesses in this world.
@Meistro: I think you're assuming that the central problem of charity is stimulating the charitable impulse itself. I don't think that is the biggest problem, either way... the real problem is information-transfer... getting the information about people who have problems to the people who care about those problems and are willing to help. And the modern concept of stranger-charity deeply undermines this process by anonymizing the whole process... both recipients and donors are anonymous in the vast majority of charitable wealth transfer. In reality, every specific case of charity is an act of helping a specific individual. The worthiness of that individual for charitable assistance is best assessed by every individual who chooses to help, however he or she chooses to help. This can be everything from watching someone's children (free childcare) to donating a sum of cash to spending time chatting with them. In the mad rush to blindly apply industrial methods to charity, we have lost sight of the original essence of the thing which is intimate. When you think about it, modern charity has hanging about it the air of forced intimacy.
Again Clayton, one of your posts has shed more clarity on a matter than all my previous life experience.
Let me ask: do people know he is a nazi?
Is he dangerous?
If one or the other is negative then I suppose the people are being difficult. I mean, kicked out by your own family members and extended family members -ouch! In that case he has my empathy.
another issue here is the state's monopolization of charity. Nock writes that every expanse of state power comes with a corresponding decrease of social power. There would be considerably more charity if people weren't already forced to participate in the state's programs of charity.