Slavoj Zizek on Charity (and many other things)

From this interview.

“I don’t believe in this model of society where the solution will be for the very rich people to spend half of their earnings. The problem is that first, they get all the money in the system, in the sense that they profit tremendously, and then they repay the debt. I simply don’t think charity and welfare is the solution.

The problem with charity is that it’s part of general ideology today. Instead of asking systematic questions like “What’s wrong with our system?” you go into personal responsibility. For me, the unsurpassable model of what is false in charity is still the first big one: Carnegie, of Carnegie Hall. On the one hand, yes, he did everything, building cultural home, concerts, etc., but on the other hand, he employed hundreds of Pinkerton detectives in Texas to beat workers to break trade unions. That’s the model for me, you know. First, you extremely brutally beat the workers, and then you offer them a concert.”

If people who give to charity were truly charitable towards their fellow human beings they would question their very business model that have enabled them to enrich themselves to such an extend, not dispense handouts on a whim.


2 thoughts on “Slavoj Zizek on Charity (and many other things)

  1. David says:

    Although I believe Carnegie was genuinely remorseful in his later years, this type of charity by these peopl is nearly always in service of the ego, and does not originate in their hearts.

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