The Chronology of the Corruption of Compassion

by | Dec 27, 2022 | ,

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The corruption of compassion. It begins with appeals to compassion, proceeds to demands for justice, and ends with the injustice of coerced compassion in the form of special rights, entitlements, and reparations for self-proclaimed “victims” – to be used against those not guilty of anything.

Compassion. Noun: Deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it. Synonym: pity. From The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

Compassion is a Judeo-Christian virtue. Christians and Jews are asked to show compassion to those in need. We are asked to show compassion to those who are persecuted or discriminated against due to factors they have no control over, such as the color of their skin. We are asked to set a good example by not persecuting and not discriminating.

Coerced Compassion

However, to be a virtue, it must be voluntary. Government-enforced compassion is no virtue. When I voluntarily give money, time, and effort to a good cause, it is a virtue. Why? Because I didn’t have to do it. I exercised my free will to give of my time, talents, and treasure. I show compassion with gifts I freely give.

When the government takes my money against my will – by taxation – and awards it to some allegedly victimized group, it is not the exercise of my virtue. Why? Because I did not do it of my own free will. I did not freely give; I was forced to give. Why? So some politicians can brag: “I helped these oppressed people.”

Similarly, when corporations give money to some charitable cause, it is not an exercise of my virtue. Why? Because I did not do it of my own free will. If I bought the corporate product or if I invested in the shares of the corporation, I had no choice in giving the money. The corporate officers made that choice with my money. When the corporate officers announce the donation, they are dishonestly virtue signaling because they did not donate their own money. To do this honestly, they should either reduce the cost of the product and ask the buyer to voluntarily give to the charity or allocate the money to the shareholder as a dividend and ask the shareholder to voluntarily give to the charity. The key word is voluntarily. Voluntary giving is what makes it a virtuous act of compassion.

How Compassion Became Over-Used

Why this appeal to compassion? Because it works! Whether we admit it any longer or not, American culture is imbued with Judeo-Christian values of compassion and justice. Twentieth-century American history shows us how the American people were moved by their Judeo-Christian value of compassion to right some wrongs. A brief chronology:

Civil Rights 1960s. African-Americans were discriminated against in southern states with the force of law. They could be arrested for drinking at a “whites only” drinking fountain, or not sitting in the back of public buses. When the American public saw news footage of civil rights marchers beaten by police and bitten by police dogs, they were moved by compassion to say, “This is not right.” The result was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning discrimination on the basis of skin color.

Note: skin color is not an individual choice and can’t be controlled by the individual. The Christian minister Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Women’s Rights 1970s. Feminists saw the success of the Civil Rights movement and adopted similar tactics: marches and appeals to compassion and justice. If a similarly skilled woman doing the same job as a man was only paid a fraction of what the man was paid, the argument was that women as a class were victims deserving of compassion. The result was Title IX, amendments to existing law to promote equal participation by sex in all educational programs and activities receiving federal financial aid, passed in 1972.

Gay Rights 1980s. Gay and Lesbian groups saw the success of the compassion appeal for African-Americans and women, so they adopted similar tactics. The result was the December 13, 2022, Respect for Marriage Act, signed into law by President Biden.

LGBTQ+ Rights 1990s. Beginning in the 1990s, the coalition of groups known as LGBTQ adopted similar appeals for compassion based on discrimination and victimhood.

Trans Rights 2000s+. A subset of the LGBTQ+ coalition, Transgender, followed in the successful footsteps of the groups above, appealing for compassion because of self-proclaimed victimhood and discrimination. Result? Now boys claiming to “identify” as girls compete in NCAA women’s sports and win the top awards.

Victimocracy (vs. Meritocracy) Reigns in 2022. The chronology above outlines the path that corrupted compassion into entitlements and ruling class status. If you are a victim, you are a ruling class elite. And it’s easy! As I outlined in my previous column, Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the biggest victim of them all?”all you have to do is claim or self-identify as a victim. Then you can exercise special privileges, get special jobs, and ask for reparations for alleged wrongs against you.

The Common Element: Government-Enforced Coercion

What is common to all these movements is the legalized use of Government force to right wrongs. By definition, government is the legalized use of force. This was justified in the case of civil rights discrimination and discrimination against women in the workplace. Skin color and gender do not determine a person’s abilities or equal standing under the law.

These two cases of justifiable compassion were twisted into our current culture of victimology. If you claim your feelings are hurt for any reason you name, then you are a victim deserving of compassion, reparations, and special privileges. Among your special privileges is the moral superiority status which gives you the right to denounce other people you don’t like. You are entitled to call them names without any evidence: homophobe, racist, misogynist, transphobic, etc.

Compassion Twisted into Privilege

Compassion has been twisted from “have pity on me” to “do what I say because I am a victim and I deserve power over others.” Compassion has been twisted from removing barriers based on skin color and gender to enforcing privileges and exacting reparations from those who never persecuted or discriminated against anybody.

The fundamental principle in the cases of civil rights and women’s rights is equality before the law. When that principle is corrupted into special rights and privileges for some groups, then there is no longer any equality before the law.

Lord Acton warned us, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” By granting anybody claiming victimhood moral or actual power, the corruption begins.

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a life-long student of liberty, limited government, and free-market economics. As a young man, he taught and crewed at the Flint School aboard the 156’ two-masted schooner Te Vega sailing in Europe. Atlas Shrugged was required reading.

In 2010 he saw the acceleration of big government control in politics, business, and culture. Hoping to reach the next generation through fiction entertainment, he wrote the prophetic novel The Noah Option. Powerful politicians target brilliant black scientist Dr. Grace Washington. Her story continues in the sequel, The Rainbow Option, when powerful elites unleash a deadly virus on unsuspecting Americans, and Grace must develop a cure. In The Timshel Option, ISIS invades and creates The New England Caliphate, making women second-class citizens. One teenage girl fights back.

"The things I predicted in my novels came true in the nightly news. Our country is in trouble. Like Abraham Lincoln, I hope for a new birth of freedom,” says McCarthy.

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3 months ago

Excellent article. Thank you for sharing it. You bring up a lot of good points. Now, how do we fix it?

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