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This article from the New York Post on the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral is fascinating. It seems that 90% of the donations to rebuild the burned Church are coming from America and small French donor, with the French government making up the rest of the giving. French billionaires pledged a lot of money, but none of it has been given yet.
This does not surprise me; one of the problems with a large State and a State religion is that people lose their sense of personal responsibility for their fellow man and when the mentality is, “the State does that” and the individual is free to ignore his obligations.
As Arthur Brooks has discussed regarding who really gives, once people go on government assistance their giving and generosity nearly stop and the demands for more, and their greed, increases. This is always the problem with the role of the State in society, the State distorts everything that it touches and people when they receive benefits from the State tend to see those benefits as their right instead of privilege and they see no need to modify their behavior. This State giving is opposed to someone receiving help from a church; they are receiving personal care and teaching from real people; they feel blessed and they feel as if they owe the givers something and they modify their behavior. This is all of course said in the aggregate sense personal exceptions will, as always, abound.
France is often lauded as being protective of her cultural heritage and traditions, but it will be a sad state of affairs if Notre Dame is rebuild largely with American charitable giving instead of the French themselves taking care of it. When government is too big and does too much people shrink and that is not a good thing for any nation and a fundamental flaw in all Socialist schemes.
We must recall that Socialism is supposed to free a person to do a variety of things that fulfill them as a person and adds to the human experience of us all, but in reality Socialism shrinks a person and makes them dependent.
Socialism should be an advancement over Feudalism, should it not? It is a sad testament if Feudal France could manage to build Notre Dame when the far more Socialist France of today cannot.