Volunteerism as an emergency helper – evidence of incapacity of a perfidious system:
Honorary work in social domains, meaning the gratuitous and voluntary engagement and the unsalaried performance of the individual or a group of citizens for a “good cause” is morally highly valued in our society. Regularly, in particular during Christmas holidays and on New Year ’s Eve, our state and government leaders call upon the citizens to engage for the wellbeing of less fortunate people. But what is this really about: Primarily, it is to help people who are in a precarious or emergency situation, people who have been falling as we say through the social net of our society. These needy persons are situated at the brink of society and are mostly forced to lead an inhuman life in social marginalisation – to these people also belong more and more the so called economic and war refugees.
By indicating that it is not able to provide the necessary financial resources, the state appeals to the empathy (de facto including time, efforts and personal financial means) of the people to take care of these social defects – gratis of course. It is no question that personal solidarity with the most vulnerable and charity may most probably represent the highest moral good. From the social political viewpoint the context is however another one. It is because of our social and economic systems, the consequences of our competitive profit-oriented society, that the omnipresent materialism and individualism create such anomalies responsible for the financial hardship, social marginalization, and the mental suffering of many people. Is it therefore morally acceptable that we, i.e. the state/government we voted for is avoiding responsibility; that necessary financial means are not made available to ensure those people a decent life as accepted members of our society? In the case of calls for donations when catastrophes occur worldwide the context is not very different. Also here, it should be a self-evidence that the state/society should directly take on responsibility to act/help and not divert responsibility by pathetic appeals to voluntary donations by individual citizens.
We, the state, our tax income finance billions for schools, highways, sports infrastructure, research, space mission, acquisition of war material for interventions abroad by our military etc. every year. However, financial means to rescue suffering people from their material and social plight are apparently not available in our rich country – this is absurd and deeply immoral.
Personal dedication as a volunteer (the honorary post) alleviates some negative symptoms of our society model but thereby favours and subsidizes a system built on income disparities and unequal distribution. The objective should therefore be to modify our social structures in such a way that in the medium term the state itself makes sufficiently available related resources. In the long term it will be indispensable to make sure that in a future society material plight and precarious social hardship are impossible to develop.