an ugly trick

Charity is an ugly trick. It is a virtue grown by the rich on the graves of the poor. Unless it is accompanied by the sincere revolt against the present social system, it is cheap moral swagger. In former times it was used as fire insurance by the rich, but now that the fear of Hell is gone…it is used either to gild mean lives with nobility or as a political instrument. – Rebecca West

I love this quote. West has nailed it.

The poor and hungry do not need charity. They need justice. They need for those of us blessed with wealth, means and resources to ask the hard questions. But that is not socially acceptable, so most of us refuse to even consider that option.

Ending hunger in our lifetime is possible. But in order to accomplish this glorious mission we have to confront the economic and materialistic gods that hold sway over our world. Charity is an ugly trick that keeps our focus diverted from the real enemies of the poor.