There are few ways in which the moral sentiments of intelligent people have changed more than as regards what is called 'charity'. It is difficult to refuse money to a beggar if his need seems genuine, but the act of giving is uncomfortable and inclined to cause a blush: there is inevitably the reflection that society ought to be so organized as to make it unnecessary for anyone to beg. So far from feeling self-satisfied because of giving, we feel our social conscience pricked because we profit by a system which reduces others to such want and humiliation.
Source: Mortals and Others, v.1, 1975
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