Two-thirds or more Americans today believe we are no longer on the right track. What has happened? How have we gotten here? We have lost our way; people understand this and are reacting to it. This is evidenced by Donald Trump’s nomination and Britain’s vote to exit the E.U.
Do You Want To Be Free outlined both track’s foundations. Specifically, two sets of principles that have existed for over two thousand years - individualism and collectivism. These are not only contradictory, but incompatible. The first relates to our purpose, the second does not. The first leads to our independence, the second to becoming dependent. Collectivism and Charity extends the initial analysis to the behavior we should see within a society on the right track, and how it differs from one on the wrong track. The key is charity. Self-sacrifice versus self-service. The first is rooted in virtue, the second in vice.
No people give more to charity than Americans, but are we truly charitable today? I believe we once were, but the things that set us apart as a people are no longer passed on—they are no longer taught—the structures remain but are largely empty vessels. We are always one generation away from losing both our freedom and faith. It is the same with charity, if its underpinnings are not taught then it is easy to buy into collectivism’s deception. There is a direct relationship between a society’s governing principles and charity that requires understanding the languages of reason and faith.
The book opens creating a “model of charity” and linking its supporting components to the principles in the previous work, but Collectivism and Charity stands on its own. It puts forth a hypothesis that charity is rooted in individualism. The book outlines charity’s biblical principles and their development from the state religion societies through the Enlightenment, using Jonathan Edwards’ writings to embody individualism, and those of John Locke collectivism. The relevant principles from their writings are contrasted and compared.
The discussion recognizes education’s importance, the book’s next topic. It specifically looks at the last fifty years, a period corresponding to governance changes impacting education - of slipping from the right track onto the wrong track. No judgement is made. The facts are simply laid out and compared to the ideas put forth by Edwards and Locke, before laying out a possible solution to address the issues raised during the analysis.
The work closes with supposing that maybe charity is really rooted in collectivism, and briefly looks at three periods from history where collectivism prevailed: (1) Henry VIII’s becoming head of the Church of England, (2) the War for Independence and French Revolution, and (3) America’s war on poverty. It closes with a brief look at the roles of individuals and charitable organizations, and some final thoughts on our responsibility for charity and what it entails. The choice is ours.
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About the Author
Dan Wolf’s life can be divided into his career and vocation. By way of career, he is a successful professional with over twenty years’ experience helping organizations solve problems. He possesses a rich mix of research experience, analytical abilities, and the capability of turning complex abstract ideas into something tangible. These same skills of research, analysis, and communication carry over to his writing. He deeply believes that things do not happen in isolation; that understanding different facets leads to a better understanding of issues. He is a CPA with a Master’s degree in Finance and two years of doctoral coursework in human judgment and decision-making. He taught himself programming, and has extensive experience in utilizing technology to design and develop business processes that support cost modeling, performance metric development, financial and operational analysis, and the distribution of information from those processes. He has used analytical methodologies to identify cost improvement, cycle time reduction, data quality improvement, and human performance management opportunities. His vocation began at a young age with a penchant for history, but started in earnest with the events of 9/11. In trying to understand those events he has been led on a journey which has included learning the tenets of Islam, the contents and history of the Bible, and exploring Christian philosophical/theological thought related to our purpose. This purpose directly translates into how we should govern ourselves and is born out in the history of freedom’s development. Future works will focus on these and related topics. More articles by Dan Wolf can be found at the Virginia Christian Alliance website where he contributes on contemporary issues. http://www.vachristian.org/
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements
Chapter 1: A Model of Charity
Chapter 2: Charity's Development
Chapter 3: Purpose and Collectivism
Chapter 4: Power
Chapter 5: The Need for Education
Chapter 6: The Utopian Dream
Appendix A: Timeline of Events