Charity Capitalism

What does it mean? (I read it somewhere)

Include in the price of a product a commitment to transfer a portion of the price to some form of charity. The idea is simple, evocative, and promising: the once selfish consumer becomes a minor philanthropist, the capitalist becomes a large profitable charity, and fellow humans receive acts of kindness.

In simple words, You buy a pair of jeans, and the company gives another pair to a child in another country. You buy a cup of coffee, and a farmer somewhere gets to keep his land.

You get the idea!

Over the years, this practice has become increasingly common and highly respected.

Is this a good thing?

Better questions:

  • Why are businesses and consumers happily engaging in Charity Capitalism?
  • If we were to psychoanalyze what’s going on what would we discover?
  • Why are both businesses and consumers attracted to this way of doing good?
  • It sounds noble. So who would object?

Charity Capitalism appeals to companies and consumers because it creates the feeling that everybody wins.

But there’s a truly fundamental problem with Charity Capitalism as I think of it.

A citizen is neither capitalist nor consumer but the well-educated and critical-thinking individual with a violent curiosity about the world. Good citizens make good consumers and capitalists. But it doesn’t work the other way around.

It erodes the function of the citizen or me, while creating the illusion that goodness-at-a-distance solves real problems & thus making me less involved & engaged.

We need citizens who can deep-dive into the problems surrounding their world — and those deep dives don’t come from adding a few pennies to the price of a cup of coffee.