Saturday, January 01, 2005

Brief Note on Competition

I want to weigh in very quickly on something Ezra of Pandagon picked up on the other day. Right-wing bloggers have been charging that the left has been slow to react to, if not altogether silent on, the Boxing Day tsunami. The implication, of course, is that those darned bleeding heart liberals don't really care when it's not to their partisan advantage.

I've seen this myself. Apparently, Chuck Currie has also noticed that the Religious Right isn't exactly breaking any records in their on-line appeals.

The charge that progressives don't care about this tragedy is transparent and stupid and a cheap shot.

But that's not what concerns me, at least not directly. I'm all for competition--even if it's not very friendly--that results in greater good being done. For example: Japan upping the ante on the US to the tune of $150 million more in aid. That's the kind of bidding war we need to see happening, and perhaps that's exactly what United Nations emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland had in mind when he called out the developed nations on their "stingy" aid. There's even some biblical precedent to the idea: see Romans, for example, on the rivalry between Jews and Gentiles.

But this kind of oneupsmanship? Pfah. It accomplishes nothing. Better that everyone should put out a sign declaring how much they've raised for disaster relief, and let that be the measuring stick, instead of "words written on the subject" or "number of posts". Then at least they'd have something meaningful to boast about.

I think I'll let Paul have the last word on the subject. This is from Galatians 6:3-5:
...If those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor's work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads.

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