Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

What's wrong with the Red Cross?

Rate this topic


rob.sfo
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've noticed a few threads that have hinted at a strong disapproval for the Red Cross, but I have not found any specific reasons why. Why is it looked at so poorly? It’s a private charity organization, which there is nothing wrong with. They aren't taking our money by force (are they?). While there have been occurrences of bad decisions made by those within the organization, that’s bound to happen with any organization of its size and scope.

So why the disapproval?

Note that I am not defending the Red Cross in any way…I’m just curious as to the reasons you are specifically AGAINST it. What do you say to a non-Objectivist if they learn you won’t donate to the Red Cross? I’m looking for Red-Cross specific reasons, not general Objectivist anti-altruism reasons not to donate.

Thanks,

Rob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s a private charity organization, which there is nothing wrong with.
It is actually a quasi-state organization (a "parastatal", in Third World jargon). It has a special federal charter to operate, and its charter is determined by and occasionally amended by Congress, see 36 USC 3001. It is not a true private organisation, since it is granted powers not generally available to others.
They aren't taking our money by force (are they?).
I believe the International RC does get a couple hundred million dollars of US taxpayer money annually.
So why the disapproval?
Read their propaganda. They are on the forefront of altruistic fascism. In their own words, "It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain" -- implying that monetary gain is evil. Their position on blood for money (they refuse to pay blood money) is evil -- they hold that giving blood is a civic duty. They hold self-sacrifice to be a virtue rather than the disgusting act of self-degradation that it is. All charitable organizations tend to get a bit whiney and preachy, but the Red Cross is downright European in their assertion of "duty".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All charitable organizations tend to get a bit whiney and preachy, but the Red Cross is downright European in their assertion of "duty".

Ouch! I'm a European, too. I never heard European as an insult. Hey, we produce some of the greatest cars on earth so don't be so arrogant. :D

I didn't know that about the red cross. I always believed they gave money to the people who give blood. (I obviously never gave some myself)

And if they accept government money, shame on them.

The end doesn't justify the means.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simply, it is not merely public organizations that can be your enemy. Private ones (such as the Red Cross) have explicit goals that run counter to any rational person.

This is the reason, I think, that people here tend to disapprove of the Red Cross.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Add unethical conduct to the list and you've got the perfect reasons why no one should put up with this organization.

During the post 9/11 blood donation furor several PRIVATE blood banks closed their doors because they could no longer store the blood and it would be wasted. There were some grumbles, but people accepted this as a simple fact that could not be changed. The Red Cross never did this: they accepted blood donations only to throw them away while fraudulently informing their donors that said blood would be used to help the supply for 9/11 victims.

People recieving charitable aid from the Red Cross can expect to be ruthlessly hit up for donations once they get back on their feet . . . I know one person that got a letter explicitly listing the amount of her aid as though it were a BILL that she had to pay back. Some charity.

I have heard some unsubstantiated rumors that their appropriations are routinely mishandled, as well . . . and the fact that the Ohio Red Cross is under near-constant threat of being closed down by the FDA for quality infractions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are on the forefront of altruistic fascism. In their own words, "It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain" -- implying that monetary gain is evil.

************************

Just because they say that their motive is not monetary gain, they are not saying monetary gain is evil. If I buy some land and start an apple orchard, am I implying that the growth of oranges is evil?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just because they say that their motive is not monetary gain, they are not saying monetary gain is evil. If I buy some land and start an apple orchard, am I implying that the growth of oranges is evil?
The point that you are missing is that they denounce certain actions for profit as wrong -- anything that saves a human life, for example. Selling blood or body parts is, according to them, wrong. They hold that certain things -- anything valuable to another person -- should be given freely, with no consideration for what you might personally get from such a sacrifice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something that I haven't seen mentioned is it used to be if you were in the military, you were given a chance to donate blood to the Red Cross. It was entirely voluntary. Of course, those that donated got weekend passes to get the heck off base. So effectively the military was forcing you to donate blood to the Red Cross in order to get your pass. The Red Cross also participates in the United Way. Anyone who works in corporate America has at one time felt the less than subtle pressure that the United Way uses to extract donations. Threats and retribution isn't the right way to get donations for a charity.

Also, the Red Cross when compared to other organization is a top heavy burecracy. While they do get the job done it's like dealing with the government and then some in order to get something done. A coworker volunteers in one of those meal wagons and he goes out to provide food and housing vouchers at apartment fires mostly. Of course with being in Houston he's dealing with all the people in shelters. Sitting next to him I get to hear the conversations he has with his supervisors and the bs process he has to go through to volunteer. But, in their defense, bad management of a nonprofit is not unique to them.

The Red Cross provides a ton of relief and training of people to do cpr etc but so does the Salvation Army. Yes, the Salvation Army has a religious component that the red cross doesn't but they do tend to get their first and distribute their aid quicker as well as being the last ones to leave. It's the fact that the Red Cross is a quasigovernmental organization that they have the power and size that they do. In effect, the reason I can't stand the Red Cross is that they are pull peddlers that use force.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...