though it is disputed if he really said so, the following words are attributed to Abraham Lincoln:
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
Some fooling goes obviously on when to comes to support of children, In one of the advertisement “booklets”, distributed to every household in the area where I live at the moment, it is highlighted:
buying two products = supporting holiday outings “kids farms” in Berlin.
It is this chain shop, together with a multinational and the Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk, a charity of which is said
- it supports materially deprived children and youth
- engages in support of children’s/youth’ rights
- and for which transparency is important, and equally the will off the donor
20 Cent are donated to this holiday action if one buys two items of a specified range of products – it reminded me first of those activities which I know from earlier years as support measures by the welfare associations – it had been called “liberal welfare”, charitable action which is now privatised in a very specific way: transferred to the so-called free market, thus part of the so-called neo-liberal project.
Well, in some respect there is nothing wrong with it – at least some kids will have an enjoyable time – in some respect as there is a lot wrong when it comes to the political economy of it, something I issue in the forthcoming book of which I am just doing the proofreading.
There is, however, also something that has to be asked when looking at transparency: is it transparent to accept without the complete and open calculation donations
- that are gathered by “gently convincing” customers to buy (more of) something that actually do not want to buy, at least not with such an additional incentive?
- that donate private customers’ money under the veil of a chain shops charitability and good-doing?
- that deduct the 20 cent from an amount of which we do not learn the composition, i.e. of which it is not clear how much profit is (still) made)?
- that is presumably used as means of gaining special tax relief on parts of the supermarket’s turnover?
Reason becomes a sham, Beneficence a worry
These words are taken from Goethe’s Faust; perhaps one can meaningfully allude to them, stating
The jester becomes the normal, the normal is the sham.