The job of a Do-Gooder is to do good. In their desire to ‘do good’, they are constantly on the look-out for another project to apply their superior sense of what is best for others. Ever casting about for another opportunity to bless the world with their unctuous sense of justice, they discover flaws in the nature of things that they can apply their grandiose schemes to in order to fix what God couldn’t quite get right. Not trusting in time-tested ideas of justice, fairness and righteousness, they think they possess an over-estimated power that can change the world. Yet, when stock is taken of most do-goodisms, the results are almost universally disappointing at best.
For example, the War on Poverty, not believing Jesus when he said that the poor would always be with us, set out to eliminate “poverty in America”. Now, 50 years later, after spending trillions of dollars, we have more poverty than when the “war” began and a socially dysfunctional under-class where none of any consequential size existed before. (For a short summary of how the “war” has failed see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/19/rector-the-war-on-poverty-50-years-of-failure/) It is fascinating how a nation of several hundred million people, “advanced” in every sense of the word, could be hood-winked by the seducing rhetoric of do-gooders into making such a colossal strategic and stupid mistake.
When Do-Gooders attempt to exercise their genius in the solving of a perceived problem, there are un-intended consequences that usually aren’t very pretty. The war-on-poverty illustrates this by how it has ended up subsidizing poverty and refusing to condemn inappropriate behavior, hence exacerbating the very problem the Do-Gooders set out to destroy. By being so totally focused on their intended goal, the Do-Gooders failed to take all the consequences of their actions into account – they couldn’t foresee, let alone connect all the dots for each & every person they were trying to help.
So, do you think it might be interesting to delve into the psychology of Do-Goodism a bit? If so, read on…
Continuing with the War on Poverty as illustrative of the Do-Gooder’s mind-set we see first of all, that a Do-Gooder must believe people are perfectible. One cannot believe in original sin and then truly think that poverty can be done away with. Instead, you must believe that with the right environment (social support, money, education, etc.) humans can be improved then eventually perfected. Well, if we could only learn from history, it should now be obvious that this idea is patently untrue. Every time man tries to perfect humanity the project ends in disaster, as the last century amply demonstrated with the Nazi and Communist atrocities ending in the death of hundreds of millions who just wouldn’t co-operate with the grand vision. Unfortunately, the Do-Gooders’ enormous ego assures them that their ideas of how their fellow man should live is superior to any ideas others may have about how they should live their own lives. Their lack of humility and pride in their own intellectual constructions almost makes it impossible for them to conceive that they could ever be wrong. Consequently, even in the face of reality checks that disclose failure in their tactics, they stubbornly continue on, believing if they only did a little more, spent a little (or, a lot) more money, then they still could perfect mankind. These consistent attributes of Do-Gooders; lack of humility, pride in their own ideas, capacious ego and belief that they are anointed to impose their will on others, prove that they are seriously lacking in the moral equipment necessary to make wise decisions and are hence unfit for higher office.
Second, a Do-Gooder is monotropic – capable of intense focus on a particular subject but, incapable of seeing the big picture. This is why they inevitably establish well-intentioned programs that don’t work. Their mental capabilities apparently don’t allow them to visualize the full effect of their actions. As they focus on giving money to the poor (in this case, THE one main thing they are intensely interested in) they fail to see the injustice of stealing from their neighbors in order to get the dollars to give to the ‘needy’, they fail to see the corrosive effect of making dependents out of the recipients, they fail to visualize other potential avenues of achieving the same ends that might be more effective and that would leave less harm in their wake. The monotropic Do-Gooder might mean well but is lacking in the executive decision-making apparatus that one should possess when making large policy decisions. These are people that are well-suited for vocations where their intense focus is properly channeled to productive uses but, they are not suited for executive-type positions and we all suffer when they are so placed (as in high government positions such as the legislature).
Lastly, the Do-Gooder is necessarily an arrogant personality. He is so thoroughly narcissistic that he actually believes he can re-make reality. Lacking in humility, not acknowledging his own limitations, he egotistically believes that he has god-like abilities to re-shape the universe. (What better example of this than the current fiasco of re-defining marriage!) With immense grandiosity he places his talents condescendingly into the service of those who are his inferiors, those who necessarily need his help. He is the expert who knows better than his charges. He is the Doctor who knows the cure for what ails the patient (who he has recruited!). He is the professor instructing his students because he knows better than they. With this superior attitude, the Do-Gooder unleashes resentment, discontent and division. His patronizing work on behalf of those needing his better knowledge is more truly a work done to validate his own self-esteem under the cloak of “helping others”. He is really selfishly advancing his own self-worth, proving his superiority in his own mind. Because he is short on spiritual equipment he is acting as an independent free-agent, lacking the humility necessary to accomplish positive good and instead leaves evil consequences in his wake. Only with a spiritual maturation where the Do-Gooder realized his own dependency and his own incapability of redeeming others (let alone himself!) would he then be fit to be used as a leader.
If we want better civil government we must choose better civil governors. By electing mental, moral and spiritual pygmies to office, we will continue to see the profligate waste of our treasure, our property and our God-given rights as these Do-Gooders perpetually engineer and expand their social experiments. And, every time they do, they assure us that their do-goodism of the hour will ultimately lead to a more perfect future…if we’ll only spend a little more money (not theirs but, ours) and give them a little more power - to do good, of course.