X-Message-Number: 21914
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 18:19:30 +0900 (JST)
From: "Matthew S. Malek" <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #21901 - #21913

Dear Rafal,

> A question: how much of your own wealth have you recently redistributed to
> the thousands who would otherwise die of hunger?
> If your answer were anything but "All that I have, save what I need to
> stave off hunger for myself", I would be inclined to conclude that you
> don't really care about those poor people. If you did, you would have
> given them your money. If you are not doing it, and instead demanding
> from others to give their money, then the dispassionate observer would
> furthermore conclude that you are using the wretched poverty of many
> humans as a rhetorical trick, to hide other motives you might have for
> laying a claim to the billionaire's yacht. Envy, covered by pious
> hypocrisy.

I applaud your efforts to paint the world in general -- and me in
particular -- in terms of two diametrically opposed possibilities and only
those possibilities:

Either I have given away everything I own or else I am an evious

I reject the naive picture that you have painted because, obviously, the
truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes that you have cited.

I could give a more specific answer to how much of my own wealth I have
redistributed, and the answer is not trivial.  However, since the answer
is not the "all of it" that you seek, I see no point in offering you any
other answer.

This idea that any item I possess, beyond that needed to stave off hunger
is makes me out to be "laying claim to the billionaire's yacht."  The
notion that possessing, for example, a book is akin to wishing for a yacht
is preposterous and relies on invalid logical arguments and

Your comment also taps directly into the simplistic notion of charity,
without critiquing what charity actually accomplishes.  Poverty will never
be eliminated if charity is used as its primary means.  Real change is
necessary to accomplish that.

I will note that in your efforts to be clever without expending any real
though or energy, you speak only of my wealth and do not consider other
factors, such as time, that I have devoted to helping others.

All in all, this is truly a ridiculous message that you have sent and I
hope that you do recognize it as such.

   Matthew S. Malek        |    "Judging by his outlandish attire, he's
       |     some sort of free-thinking anarchist!"

	"Many young Czechs say that their direct experience with
         communism and capitalism has taught them that the two
         systems have something in common:  they both centralize
         power in the hands of a few, and they both treat people
         as if they are less than fully human."

                                --Naomi Klein (September 2000)

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