How To Become a Spiritual Millionaire When Money Is No Object
By Paul Lee
The story of U.S.A. (University/United Services Agency) and other nonprofit corporations in Santa Cruz, California and their contribution to the local culture as a microcosm of the national contribution of nonprofits.
Penniless, we own the world.
St. Paul 2nd Corinthians 6:10
Santa Cruz, California 2013
After a lifetime of involvement in nonprofit corporations, I am convinced that everyone should have one or get involved in one. The nonprofit corporation represents one of the great institutions between family and government, largely unsung, often unnoticed, as an institution. There are over one and a half million nonprofits, according to the Urban Institute. In a recent editorial in the New York Times, (July 27, 2013) Peter Buffett, yes, that Buffett, who runs his father’s foundation, refers to the growth of nonprofits: “According to the Urban Institute, the nonprofit sector has been steadily growing. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 per cent. Their growth rate now exceeds that of both the business and government sectors. It’s a massive business, with approximately $316 billion given away in 2012 in the United States alone and more than 9.4 million employed.”
The numbers are astonishing. Anyone with a cause can start a nonprofit, get tax-deductible status, the famous 501c3, and do business. It is one of the great features of American democracy and expresses a deep spiritual strain in American life that is both generous and sacrificial, what we call an economy of gift.
We go into the historical roots of this spirit in the religious movement in Europe of sectarian Protestantism with its beginning in the Anabaptist movement that spawned the principle of voluntary association. I call it the free spontaneous behavior of the redeemed! George Blaurock is its patron saint. He was a Roman Catholic priest who was re-baptised into the new faith on a given evening at a home in Europe (1525). It was a major moment in the new autonomy spawned by the Protestant Reformation, extolled by Kant, in his famous essay: “What Is Enlightenment?” (1784).
I make reference to the Golden Rule as another expression of spiritual substance, following Paul Ricoeur’s interpretation that takes the Golden Rule into an economy of gift and an ethic of super-abundance. In doing so, I salute all of those who have eschewed an economy of greed and an ethic of ‘what’s in it for me’, an ethic of self-interest, and instead have followed a life of self-sacrifice, where they have given of themselves for the public good and are deserving of what I call civic virtue. I have had the pleasure of working with countless people who have exhibited this spirit and I have enjoyed the surplus value of this generosity in behalf of others, this principle of plenitude; it has spilled over in my lap.
I want the reader to learn from my experience as I tell the story of my involvement in a number of nonprofit corporations during the course of my life and to see these examples as a microcosm of a larger institutional structure in American public life. I hope that what I have benefitted from in this work is an inspiration for others who are drawn to a life of public service.
My colleague and dear friend, Herb Schmidt, has contributed the section on U.S.A. We started this nonprofit in 1970 and it was a providential partnership. He was attentive to details as I was not; he worried about the bottom line, when I didn’t know where the bottom line was; he kept us in compliance with the I.R.A., always meticulous about reporting and keeping records, which kept us out of trouble. It has been an inspired friendship and one for which I am most grateful. If anyone exemplifies the message of the gift it has been the gift of his friendship that I treasure the most.
Page Smith was another great friend. We left the university in 1972 to start the William James Association, one of the great adventures of my nonprofit experience. I owe him more than I can say, someone who threw in his lot when I was turned out of my teaching career and stood by me when it counted most. He always expressed gratitude that I had sprung him from the confines of a university career, which always perplexed and astonished me. He was the very exemplar of a public intellectual and knew exactly what the new prospects of nonprofit work meant for us as we launched out into the blue with a shoeshine and a prayer. We made the most of it.
University Services Agency
The year was 1966. I had taken up teaching duties at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in a definite move to give my life a new direction. From Cambridge, Mass., to California. From Harvard and M.I.T., to a new campus of the University of California system, begun just a year before. I would own my own home. A swimming pool. The weather. The air. The vegetation. It was paradise. No snow. No freezing temperatures. Sub-tropical. The ocean. We thought we had lucked-out. And we had four more years to go before the tempestuous ‘60’s came to an end. The hip 60’s! Oh boy! Was Santa Cruz an epicenter for hip? Let me tell you.
Four years later, I had earned a sabbatical in Wisconsin, at our summer home, at Cisco Point, on North Twin Lake, where I could think about my future now that my present had come to an end. I had had a short shelf life at the university; it was pretty clear that I was going to be denied tenure, partly for starting an organic garden, the first at a university in the country, and pissing off my scientific colleagues at Crown College, because they thought ‘organic’ meant ‘artificial synthesis’, as in organic chemistry. They thought nothing of calling a factory a plant.
Our throwback, our practically medieval return, was the garden I started with Alan Chadwick, in 1967, eschewing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides; worse yet, it was seen as a hippie plot, devised to embarrass them further. That’s what the scientists thought. After all, wasn’t “flower power” one of the operative hip slogans of the time, identified with the hippie revolution. Organic schmamick. My career in teaching was on the line. The handwriting was on the wall.
While on sabbatical, I tried to think of what I would do with myself in terms of a new career. I wove muskie weeds I could gather from our lake as a kind of occupational therapy, as I considered the loss of my occupation.
I listened to late night radio and heard the Rev. Ike, a black prosperity preacher, proclaiming his gospel from New York, where he was the ostensible successor to Father Divine, another prosperity preacher, whom I had visited when I was a student at Union Theological Seminary. Ike offered his prayer cloth if you wrote to him. It was free. I thought what do I have to lose. One of his slogans was “you can’t lose with the stuff I use,“ along with “the lack of money is the root of all evil,” controverting St. Paul.
So I wrote and days later this little piece of red cloth cut with a serrated scissors arrived in the mail. I put it in my pocked and fingered it in a modestly prayer- like manner and dreamt up a nonprofit corporation. Just like that! I thought of calling it: USA. I was going to reconstitute the country in myself, in a nonprofit corporation, with the initials of my country, what would come to be known as: University Services Agency.
I was going to become a Spiritual Millionaire.
I wrote to an old student from my Harvard teaching days—Bill Russell--who had become a freshman dean at Harvard. Could he send me any material on the Harvard Student Agencies that I might use as a model for what I had in mind. He did. I noticed that their main project was training bartenders. They were in great demand at Harvard. I wasn’t interested in that effort but the structure of the agency was what I wanted.
Eventually I would come to understand that my studies at Harvard had prepared me for what I was about to do in terms of the historical background and the institution itself.
I had been a student of two professors at Harvard Divinity School who had some bearing on what I proposed: James Luther Adams, who taught social ethics and was a proponent of nonprofit corporations as the legal form of voluntary associations; and George Hunston Williams, my church history professor, who taught the origins of the radical or left-wing of the Protestant Reformation, represented by the sectarian churches, in opposition to the orthodox churches, the evangelical protest within Protestantism.
The historical origins fit together with the institutional outcome like hand to glove. This is one of the best applications of what I had learned at Harvard and I marvel that what they had taught me was at hand for me to understand the historical forces that made it possible for us to do what we did. When I reflected on what we had started in our new enterprise, I was reminded of their influence and that we were acting out what they had taught as though they prepared us for our enterprise.
Williams made it clear to me that the principle of voluntary association began on a certain evening in 1525 when a Roman Catholic priest by the name of George Blaurock was rebaptised. It was a matter of starting over. The Anabaptist wing of the Reformation Churches was the outcome. You could gather together at someone’s home and exercise the freedom of worship in the context of a voluntary association and it wasn’t anybody’s business what you did. The most radical expression of autonomy, acting off your own bat, was thus enacted and became an historical event. It is known as taking matters into your own hands free from the domination of others.
Years later, Immanuel Kant would write his essay: What Is Enlightenment, celebrating the ability of anyone to throw off foreign authorities in favor of the right to exercise their own personal authority. Autonomy over heteronomy. Self rule over the rule of the other. It was a celebration of venturesome daring and an exercise in courage. “Dare to know” was Kant’s assertion. It was revolutionary. When I applied this to the sectarian movement that was the historical background for what we were about to do I called it “the free spontaneous behavior of the redeemed.” We were associated with a spiritual movement that was working in the depth of the American psyche, like the old songs says: “It ain’t anybody’s business what I do,” implying that it’s my business.
This spirit is what I was going to express when I got back to Santa Cruz in January of 1970, when my sabbatical was over. I was going to start a nonprofit corporation in the spirit of the principle of voluntary association established by the Anabaptists in the 16th century and it was going to give me something to do with myself when I was denied advancement and had to find some other means of employment.
I returned to Santa Cruz and got ready for the new quarter with some relief that we were entering a new decade. I was tired of the ‘60’s, as exciting as it had been, and the tyranny of being hip, as I called the pressure to take drugs and act out under the influence of the slogan of Timothy Leary: “turn on, tune in and drop out,” his version of Kant’s autonomy.
I wanted a fresh start.
A few days into the new year, it was around January 3rd, 1970, I ran into my friend, the Lutheran Chaplain to the university, the Rev. Herb Schmidt, on the border between Merrill and Crown Colleges and he told me he was going to Charles Gilbert’s office to sign a lease for the only public restaurant on the campus. I told him we had wanted it for the Chadwick Garden to supply, and that we should collaborate and start a nonprofit corporation I had dreamed up on sabbatical. We would call it U.S.A. He said o.k.; he had been thinking something similar on his own. He got the franchise and we had our first affiliate; we called it The Whole Earth Restaurant.
U.S.A., University Services Agency, would be the nonprofit umbrella for whatever other enterprises came along to add to our affiliates. A child day-care center on the campus was the next addition.
It was that kind of time, a time of hip entrepreneurship. People wanted to start something so they could work together and accomplish something good for the community. Money was not the object. Greed played no part at all—it was the time of an economy of gift wedded to civic virtue. It was called ‘right livelihood’. There was a surfeit of good will in the air, a new surge of generosity, an interest in joining with others to celebrate the new consciousness that the ‘60’s had brought about and had given an innovative direction. My metaphor for the students-- “oceans of desire”—was meant to characterize the surplus desire of the time, the excess, the longing, the willingness to splurge, to gamble, take risks, and go overboard.
This is one of the themes in the gift literature—superabundance that leads to excess, as developed by Stephen Webb in The Gifting God: A Trinitarian Ethics of Excess. …“my governing insight is the following: divine excess begets reciprocity. Without excess, reciprocity becomes calculation, bartering, exchange; without reciprocity, excess becomes irrelevant, anarchic, and wasteful… In the end, what God gives is the power of giving itself, the possibility that we can all participate in the movement of giving with the hope that such generosity will be enhanced, organized and consummated in God’s very own becoming.” p.90ff.
Calvin Schrage comments:
“ God as the Divine Gift, in its Trinitarian expression as at once the Giver the Given and the Giving, imparts the power of giving itself, calling one to the challenge of perpetuating the event of giving, acknowledging the excess of the gift as one reciprocates by creating more and more giving in responding to the challenges of our civic responsibilities.”
We introduce one of the many themes of the gift at this point and plan to elaborate these themes throughout the text. Schrag makes an important point in reference to the work we did. He asks the question:
“Is there a vocabulary adequate to the task of aligning the acknowledgment and response concerning matters of the gift with the establishment of directives for shaping the institutions and culture spheres of our sociohistorical existence?” p. 128.
It is only now in retrospect that the vocabulary adequate to describing what we did and what we experienced has come to light as I reflect on our past history and delve into the literature on the gift.
To celebrate the opening of the Whole Earth Restaurant and to get a perspective on what we were doing, I invited Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalogue to come and give a talk about the future of enterprises like ours. I had met him at the time and we had become friends. I had even officiated at his wedding ceremony on the beach at Rio Del Mar, after which we walked the beach and picked up sand dollars as though they were a symbol of good luck. I enjoyed the fact he had his finger on the pulse. After all, we borrowed the name of the restaurant from his publication and we thought of ourselves as part of the new mentality and spirituality that characterized the New Age.
He spoke about the hip sub-economy coming from the 60’s to inform the 70’s and the new dynamic represented by those who had been initiated accordingly. He spoke of the Briar Patch Trust, run by Dick Raymond, in the Bay Area, and how we would be another example of the new entrepreneurship, with a strong emphasis on social service and civic virtue, sketching out a pattern of development that turned out to be predictive in an uncanny way. We were to watch things develop just as he said they would when word got out that we would take on any affiliate with a good reason for doing business. Soon various members of the community came to us looking for nonprofit supervision and before long we had a string of affiliates representing the various aspects of community development that emerged from the new spirit of the time. It wasn’t long before we hit a million dollars in cash flow.
We had become spiritual millionaires precisely because money was no object.
A word on the concept of spirit and an apology for the theological dimension of this book. As I mentioned, I was a student of Paul Tillich, as well as Paul Ricoeur, Eric Voegelin, Hans Jonas, and Rosenstock-Huessy, all of them theologians as well as philosophers and culture critics, representing a field sometimes known as the sociology of knowledge, of which Rosenstock-Huessy was one of the founders. They constitute a pantheon of famous thinkers who were my teachers and I was fortunate enough to know each of them personally except for Hans Jonas. Their influence collectively has shaped my thought and they together have held the line against the reduction of the spiritual to technical and calculating reason. The term spirit and spiritual has lost much of its meaning as has the conceptual meaning of soul. In fact, I have developed a list of words that have been diminished in their conceptual character, a veritable loss of meaning.
Being, existence, spirit, soul, consciousness, God, life, organic, faith. I could write a page or two on the loss of meaning of each of these terms. It is a struggle to go up against this loss but for the fact that they can be defined and the conceptual meaning can be recovered, in spite of the loss of coinage in contemporary thought. The reader is urged to consult the literature as cited and to engage in the discussion which is considerable. Just the move from God as a transcendent being, than which nothing greater can be conceived (theism), against which atheism inveighs, to the concept of gift, where God is the principle of gift, is a great gain in this effort of recovery and this search for a new vocabulary.
I have to admit that when I began in earnest to write this book, in the summer of 2013, even though I had had it in mind for years, I did not know that the literature was there waiting for me to discover it: the literature on the theology and philosophy and practical civic consequences of the gift! My economy of gift had become the subject of countless books from which I would learn at every turn.
I admit my retreat from conventional or even orthodox theology. It started when I went to a Lutheran seminary after college and found it so arid and suffocating I transferred to Harvard Divinity School in order to study with Paul Tillich. I came under the influence of Deitrich Bonhoeffer and what his biographer called “justified godlessness.” This struck me as the new way to understand the worn-out theme of justification, so dear to the tradition of Lutherans, in the line back to St. Paul. I knew that the content of faith had emptied out. The Protestant Era had come to an end, just as Tillich announced in an essay in his first book in English: The Protestant Era, which he wanted to call The End of the Protestant Era. I dated the end of the Protestant Era with the execution of Bonhoeffer (April 5, l945); his letters from prison were it’s epitaph.
Then I encountered Dionysius the Areopagite and his negative theology, known as Apophatic Theology, which was just the emptying out of the content of faith I wanted. Set reason aside, as Kierkegaard put it, and here was St. Denis, the French extension of the Greek convert of St. Paul (Denis is French for Dionysius, not to be confused with the god), who is always depicted holding his head in his hands as a result of his beheading: what an image of setting reason aside! St. Denis/Dionysius sailed to France from Greece late in life and brought Christianity to France; hence, their patron saint.
I adopted the slogan: instead of wearing my heart on my sleeve, I carry my head in my hands.
I came to understand that faith is not the content of theological propositions, faith is not the recitation of the creeds, faith has nothing to do with “I believe”…. Faith is the consequence of the gift of grace which creates the faith that receives it. I finally figured out how to put it. Faith is the consequence of the creative power of grace. Grace creates its own reception--that's the gift.
An Economy of Gift
Alan Chadwick was the great inspiration for me, although it was something I didn’t reflect on at the time, even though I registered it. He was generous beyond measure. Everything in the garden was given away on the basis of an economy of gift, as I would come to call it. He had no interest in money. It took some months for us to get the university to pay him a salary and it was around $400 a month. He simply accepted it and put most of it back into the garden. He worked seven days a week, on an average of eighteen hours a day, so what does that come to as an hourly wage? You do the math.
I have written about my experience with Chadwick: There Is A Garden In the Mind. I tell the story of the development of the garden at UCSC and the subsequent gardens he developed after he left the university, promoting organic procedures in food and flower production, with his special method and system, the French Intensive and the biodynamic, wherever he went. He is credited with inaugurating the organic movement in California and his influence was remarkable, reaching all the way to the new California cuisine as represented by Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Deborah Madison and The Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, developed by the Zen Center. Chadwick did a garden for The Zen Center, at Muir Beach, at their Green Gulch Farm and rural retreat, where he died and is buried, and Alice eventually would orchestrate her student garden at the Martin Luther King, Jr., school in Berkeley, with Chadwick inspired gardeners.
As much as anyone I knew, Chadwick embodied the spirit of the New Age. He gave himself tirelessly to the development of his gardens and to imparting the new understanding of one’s relation to nature, although it was a very old tradition, prior to the break from it represented by industrial society as a world above the given world of nature. Students wanted a reverential relation to nature, they wanted to view nature as a sacrament, something given with an abundance that overwhelmed, a veritable principle of plenitude. You got back more than you gave and there was enough for everyone, more than enough. Too much zucchini! What does anyone do with the bounty that nature affords when you know how to work with it? This spirit was what Chadwick transmitted to the countless student apprentices who caught the magic and received the transmission. It was a spiritual substance that was transmitted and the operative term was an economy of gift.
Gift is a very complicated concept. One starts with anthropology and the work of Marcel Mauss, and his classic essay on the gift and then the essay by Levi Strauss on Mauss and then the literature on the gift that follows. I have tried to make my way through some of it and have tried to understand the issue of reciprocity and obligation and domination and so on. It sounds like a large dose of French skepticism and cynicism as far as the self-interest theme in the act of giving gifts where the recipient is obligated to return the favor. Some gift!
The effort to apply these themes to our work in nonprofits and my appropriation of an economy of gift is not easy. I don’t quite know how to do it --namely the stretch from potlatch to USA, our nonprofit in Santa Cruz. So I will read off from our experience what the concept has meant to us and I will use Paul Ricoeur’s essay on the Golden Rule as my main text and source of inspiration. He nails it, as far as I’m concerned, because the main issue is superabundance, the principle of plenitude and how it all comes back tenfold.
We carried out the economy of gift motif in our nonprofit corporation, partly because we saw it as a spiritual calling. I had been the Protestant Chaplain at Brandeis University and I had studied under the famous theologian, Paul Tillich, at Harvard. I had a divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. Although my position at UCSC was in philosophy, I was asked by the chancellor to organize a religious studies program, which became one of the most popular electives on the campus. I was ready to apply these influences to a nonprofit corporation.
Two of my fellow incorporators for USA were campus chaplains: Herb Schmidt, my Lutheran pal, and Jerry Lasko, a Roman Catholic priest. We saw it as a type of secular ministry, although it was more assumed than articulated. I would find a quote somewhat later in an essay by Tillich that defined our situation in his ruminations on the future of Protestantism, which he thought had come to an end as an historical force. He speaks of this new departure from the standard Protestant church as a third way:
The third way requires that Protestantism appear as the prophetic spirit which lists where it will, without ecclesiastical conditions, organization, and traditions. But this imperative would remain a very idealistic demand if there were no living group which could be bearer of this spirit. Such a group could not be described adequately as a sect. It would approximate more closely an order or fellowship and would constitute an active group, aiming to realize, first, in itself that transformation of Protestantism which cannot be realized either by the present churches or by the movements of retreat and defense.
Had he known of the historical origins of voluntary association and its legal form, he would have referred to the nonprofit corporation as the vehicle of choice for the fellowship he envisaged.
The time was right for this sort of thing, a veritable kairos, as Tillich would have called it, the pregnant time, the time fraught with spiritual meaning. There was a fullness of time operating in our midst in search of expression and we were going to be the occasion for it.
How else to explain the success we enjoyed as we watched our nonprofit become a multi-million dollar enterprise in a relatively short period of time.
There is an interesting account of the third way that includes the notion of the public intellectual who is free from academic confines. This is exactly the experience I shared with Page Smith who spoke openly about our exodus from institutional bondage and how he had been freed up to do the work he wanted to do without the constraints of the academy. His model was his beloved professor—Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, with whom he had studied at Dartmouth and whose influence on him was total, comparable to Tillich’s influence on me.
Eugen had written a wonderful essay about his liberation from the dead works represented by German institutions after the 1st world war: “Metanoia, To think anew.” It was the most existential and heart felt account of dropping out and distancing oneself from the dead defeat of a career that was tied to the decay of the major institutions. Instead of resuming his professorship, Eugen took a job at an automobile factory. It took my reading of William Dean’s The Religious Critic in American Culture, to realize he was describing the role that I and my colleagues, particularly, Herb Schmidt and Page Smith, played as public intellectuals freed from the confines of academia.
“I believe voluntary associations of the third sector offer the public intellectual, particularly the religious critic, a better “psychological home” than does the university. I use the metaphor of “home” in recognition of the fact that anyone’s, even an intellectual’s, most important awareness is more physical and emotional than cognitive and is largely the effect of the social location of the individual. … Accordingly, if a move between psychological homes is made, it is from one thick and value-laden history of social relations, with physical and emotional dimensions, to another; it usually involves a kind of conversion. My point is, intellectuals interested in becoming public intellectuals, particularly those interested in becoming religious critics, would be well advised to adopt some thirds sector organization as their psychological home.” p. 160.
After Page Smith and I established the office of the William James Association in downtown Santa Cruz I remember wanting to laugh out loud when I saw professors from the university walking down Pacific Avenue. They stuck out like sore thumbs.
We came to know the meaning of “free space” as developed by Evans and Boyte in their book of that title where they speak of third sector organizations as fostering religious and public action.
“When do ordinary people steeped in lifelong experiences of humiliation, barred from acquisition of basic skills of citizenship….gain the courage, the self-confidence, and above all the hope to take action in their own behalf? What are the structures of support, the resources, and the experiences that generate the capacity and the inspiration to challenge ‘the way things are’ and imagine a different world?”
“And they answer that voluntary associations of the third sector have provided the historic wellspring of American social initiative.” p.168
The Golden Rule
After I heard an anecdote told by James Luther Adams, Professor of Social Ethics, when I was at Harvard, about the Golden Rule, I thought it was ethics for grade school kids. He ruined the concept for me. He told of riding on an airplane seated next to an astronomer. They chatted. The astronomer found out Adams taught at Harvard Divinity School. He made the following remark: “don’t you think, professor, that religion can be summed up in the Golden Rule?” Adams answered: “Sure, as long as you think that astronomy can be summed up with ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”
That did it for me. I went on to learn the Categorical Imperative of Immanuel Kant, an improvement on the Golden Rule, something you could sink your teeth into. I didn’t think the Golden Rule would come back to haunt me until I read the essay by Paul Ricoeur who gave me the concept of an economy of gift and links it to the Golden Rule. I revised my opinion and attitude.
As I mentioned, there is a large anthropological literature on the concept of the gift, prompted by the famous essay by Marcel Mauss and the subsequent introduction to his writings by Levi-Strauss. It is not my purpose to go into this material here so I give it a passing glance in order to get to Ricoeur.
Mauss sets forth the thesis that gift-giving is the basis for economic relations. The potlatch ceremony is one of the classic examples. The key theme is reciprocity. You give in order to get.
Reciprocity is what makes the Golden Rule interesting to Ricoeur. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Do ut des. Quid- pro- quo. You give as you would get or like to get. It is a fundamental ethical rule.
I taught a course at UC Santa Cruz called Organizational Climate and one of the students was the granddaughter of J.C. Penney, Cynthia Guyer. I took an interest in her grandfather and had the opportunity to meet her mother and her grandmother, both women of great vitality and charm. I found out that grandfather Penney originally called his stores The Golden Rule stores. He was a Christian businessman and made the Rule the center of his business dealings. I read a book, in which he is featured, about a whole class of such businessmen in the last century as part of the social gospel movement where Christian principles were applied to business. I was impressed. The name—Rauschenbusch --comes to mind. And who were the German brothers associated with the movement that I remember Adams talking about? The Blumhardt brothers!
The Social Gospel flirted with Marxism and socialism. The predominant theme was social justice, something Christianity would like to keep in the center but often shifts to the periphery. There are a number of names dear to me that are associated with the tradition—Dorothy Day and Bishop Romero are two of them. I took a concentrated interest in Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker, her newspaper, when I was a student at Luther Theological Seminary. I distributed the paper at the seminary as its rep. I went to New York to meet Dorothy but I missed her. I met Ammon Hennacy instead, her associate, and he gave me an autographed copy of his book: Autobiography of a Christian Anarchist. He was terrific.
Then came Ricoeur and his essay on the Golden Rule in relation to an economy of gift. He doesn’t exactly turn it on its head, the Rule, but he does show how it is transcended by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. They are radical words. You have heard it said of old….but I say unto you…
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.”
Ricoeur calls the above the first argument.
“The second argument relies on the conceptual kinship which connects the Golden Rule with the rule of retaliation which once governed the penal sphere: “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” The common component between retaliation and the Golden Rule is the principle of equivalence. The jus talionis [rule of retaliation] already constitutes a moral improvement by comparison with sheer vengeance. Vengeance is limitless; retaliation has an element of measure provided by the very principle of equivalence. This equivalence, however, still concerns the contents themselves: eye and tooth. With the Golden Rule a new improvement obtains: the reciprocity is anticipated instead of being merely reactive. Furthermore, the rule is addressed to intentions, dispositions, feelings: what you would hate being done to you. However, in spite of this improvement, the Golden Rule remains within the same logic of equivalence, this very logic that the commandment to love one’s enemies shatters: nothing is expected in return, no equivalence. The enemy becomes the touchstone of the new ethics; love is boundless, in the same way as vengeance, at the opposite end of the trajectory, was limitless.”
Jesus trumps the Golden Rule with his summons to love your enemy and lend expecting nothing in return. What is the meaning of this radical injunction that goes against the grain of the Golden Rule and radicalizes it? How does the logic of equivalence turn into or get juxtaposed to a logic of superabundance, as Ricoeur contrasts it? He makes the point that the Golden Rule is not denied but reinterpreted, a new motive of generosity is substituted for the ancient motive of self-interest.
Now comes the point about an economy of gift based on a principle of superabundance, a point I learned from Chadwick and where I applied the notion of the principle of plenitude before I read Ricoeur. He gave me the full line on what I had experienced and made clear to me what the source was for my understanding based on his conceptual interpretation.
“It is at this point that the economy of gift and its logic of superabundance makes the difference between the two readings of the same Golden Rule. I see the logic of superabundance rescuing true reciprocity from its caricature as denounced in Lk. 6:32-5. This logic works in the following way. The economy of gift is construed around a because: because it has been given to you, go and do alike. Then the rule of reciprocity and even the principle of equivalence may be redeemed from their initial disgrace thanks to the substitution of the new motive of generosity for the ancient motive of self-interest.”
I always got a kick out of Jesus saying lend without expecting repayment, which he tacks on to love your enemies, as if that wasn’t hard enough. I’ve learned the loan business the hard way. When friends or acquaintances, hard up, ask for a loan and then don’t repay it, I realized they should have asked for a gift, not a loan. They may never have had any intention of paying it back because they were never in a position to do so. So the loan becomes a gift. I wanted that to be clear at the outset even though I knew you could write a loan off on your income tax, so that may be a preferred transaction, if you want to recover a portion of your loss. What we have here is the juxtaposition of self-interest, which the Golden Rule implies, and generosity.
The Golden Rule is reciprocal: do as you would be done by. There is no special generosity involved as it is a measured exchange.
Give freely is another matter altogether, dependent on an ethic of super-abundance that transcends the Golden Rule. Give and it will be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.
These are beautiful words, these words of an ethic of superabundance, spilling over into your lap, the good measure. My cup runneth over. It implies a largesse of spirit, beyond measure. This is exactly the mentality of the free spontaneous behavior of the redeemed, the Spirit is at work in our midst beyond anything we can think or say because the Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are endowed with the generosity of spirit—it is vouchsafed unto us.
If this is too heavy for you to follow or accept you should know that nothing is demanded of you for you to receive this Spirit. It is freely given and is the source and inspiration for your freedom of generous giving. In fact, it is given before you ask for it—this is the fact of the great ‘already’. I have formulated two aphorisms in thinking about this: grace creates the faith that receives it (and the Spirit is the bearer of grace).
As a result, you have to get it in order to get it and it is always already given. (What is already given is the gift before anything we can think or say).
If you would understand these two aphorisms or theological principles you would understand the true meaning of faith as having nothing to do with belief so as not to be confused with a mental act on your part. Think of faith without content in order for the Spirit to work. Where it comes from is to be trusted.
This is the lesson I learned from Chadwick. He knew that everything he grew was a gift based on a principle of plenitude as well as an affirmation of creation and the abundance creation affords. That’s why he could freely give it all away. He was my first example of a spiritual millionaire where money was no object.
It was appropriate that our first affiliate in our nonprofit was the public restaurant on the campus for the garden to supply with the best organic produce. We had tried to penetrate the food system in the colleges but it was run by a national syndicate and they were resistant. I got myself appointed as a faculty member of the food committee and forced their hand. They reluctantly took the produce until they found a snail in one of the heads of lettuce and that was the end of that.
It wasn’t very long before someone came to us and wanted to use our nonprofit as a cover for their enterprise and so we took them on as an affiliate. The first was the child day-care center at the university. Then we spilled down the hill of the campus into town. I remember looking at Herb when we were approached by the first inquiry from Santa Cruz realizing that the talk Stewart Brand had given was now coming to fruition. It wasn’t long before we had multiple affiliates and had passed the million dollar cash flow mark. We had become spiritual millionaires almost without lifting a finger. No one had told us, least of all the IRS, that we should have organized under a different heading as an umbrella nonprofit rather than a single nonprofit without affiliates. We learned that many years later when a former IRS Nonprofit bookkeeper was hired to our great regret. She had been given a mental disability retirement settlement because she had been on the Scientology case and the harassment was so acute a number of agents were retired from service when Scientology was given its nonprofit status as a church. She was nuts, and an embezzler to boot.
I started to think about money. I wanted to print our own dollar once we had passed the million dollar mark and had diversified to the extent that our own currency could circulate among the various affiliates. I wanted a USA Dollar! I knew that the lumber baron in our summer vacation town—Phelps, Wisconsin, had printed his own scrip, which he paid his employees, only redeemable at his store. I deplored that practice but I thought an alternative dollar would be an interesting economic experiment. There were examples: the Vermont Dollar, etc. I even went so far as to imagine our own Fort Knox where every USA Dollar would be backed up by a gold brick, that is, a brick painted gold.
I found out about the Time Dollar where you are credited with a hypothetical dollar for every hour of service you performed. If you volunteered for this or that you could keep track of your time and be rewarded in an exchange of services based on the number of hours you performed and the Time Dollars you received accordingly. I went to Washington D.C. and met the founder.
It failed to get off the ground.
Eventually, I found out about the Boggs bill, the artist who drew hundred dollar bills and sold them and ran afoul of the US Treasury (they had no sense of humor; he only drew one side). It all started when he was doodling in a restaurant and drew a sort of facsimile of a dollar bill without even thinking about it and the waitress admired it and wanted to buy it. After rejecting the offer he thought it over and sold it to her for a dollar.
I thought he was very clever. I met him in Pittsburgh and asked him to draw a million dollars worth of bills to match my spiritual millionaire success. I would float the issue in Santa Cruz. I offered to give him my experimental electric car in exchange. He jumped at it and agreed. It turned out to be too expensive to print the bills so that never went anywhere, either. Oh well. So much for the alternative currency movement.
There have been a number of times I wished I had gone to Harvard Business School instead of Harvard Divinity School.
We ran USA until l976 when the affiliates staged a coup and took over the management and turned it into a worker collective called Riptide. They ran into trouble with the IRS over profit making affiliates such as ,,commercial stores and had to break off the strictly nonprofit entities from the profit ones. Riptide morphed into Democratic Services Agency, which carried the ball for a few years and then disbanded. It is no more.
When Herb Schmidt returned to Santa Cruz, after serving at the University of Arizona and Stanford, we decided to resurrect USA and call it United Services Agency, as we were no longer affiliated with the university. We have had some successful projects, especially used computers, shipped to Cuba, for the medical services there.
I continue to pursue my design vision for Santa Cruz I call Ecotopia and there are currently efforts to pursue the Circle Trail and to include the Chadwick Archive which is almost ready to go public.
The William James Association
This nonprofit was born the moment Page Smith walked into our home and sat down at our kitchen table and said: “Let’s start the William James Association and re-establish the C.C.C.”, by which he meant, of course, the Civilian Conservation Corps. I said, “o.k.”, meaning that whatever Page said we had a shot at it because we had a magic wand. We were free to do whatever we wanted and this is what he had in mind. It was a greater adventure than U.S.A., as great as that was, because we intended a specific project that was way beyond our means, as far as I was concerned. What was he thinking? We were just two academics who were out of the game, one by default, denied tenure and one by choice, because he threw in his lot with me. Where were we going to find the means or the wherewithal to start or re-start a national service corps? We weren’t Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by any means. But Page was this grand figure in my view and he wouldn’t propose something that was impossible.
We incorporated and we went to work. We developed local projects in Santa Cruz, a number of them remarkably successful, like the William James Work Company, which found short term part time employment for the migrant youth that wandered through Santa Cruz in the ‘70’s. The City Fathers called them “the undesirable transient element”, also known as UTE’s, for short. We found thirty thousand jobs during the tenure of the program before we ran out of gas.
We started Community Gardens, which eventually prepared the way for the Homeless Garden Project.
We did a wonderful bicentennial project of broadsides, commemorating the bicentennial of the American Revolution (1976) of which Page was the major historian with the first two volumes of his eight volume Peoples’ History of the United States, one of the greatest accomplishments of narrative history of which he was a master. We recruited a group of the finest printers and typographers to contribute to a handsome blue cloth portfolio a broadside of their design and execution. And so on. I can’t even remember the number of projects we became involved with.
We went to Washington D. C., to lobby for the Corps. We didn’t get anywhere. We met with Frank Davidson and Jack Preiss and had lunch at the Cosmos Club. I liked that. We met with Don Eberle who was also lobbying in behalf of voluntary work service and made it clear that under a Republican administration we didn’t have a chance.
Voluntary work-service, the CCC, the Peace Corps, etc., was considered a Democrat issue. Therefore, the Republicans would not lend their support or even their interest.
Page had been in the C.C.C. in 1940 thanks to his relation to his teacher at Dartmouth College—Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, who was a proponent of work service in the tradition of William James. Eugen had done organizing work in Germany with German youth and work service camps before Hitler came to power and took them over as Hitler Youth Camps and Eugen had to flee to the U.S.
Eugen and Page and Frank Davidson and Jack Preiss and others banded together to open Camp William James in Tunbridge, Vermont, as a leadership training camp for the C.C.C. Then the war drafted them off and the Camp was short-lived. It had made such an impression on Page he wanted to see it reborn because the theme William James spoke about at Stanford, in l906, entitled: “A Moral Equivalent of War” was such an inspiration it deserved to be pursued. In fact, I came to see it as the theme of the century.The C.C.C., for sure, was the direct outcome .and expression of exactly what William James called for: voluntary work service.
Page had written a long letter to Hubert Humphrey proposing a Peace Corps and although I have tried to find it in the Humphrey Library in Minneapolis I have not succeeded. Humphrey took the idea to John Kennedy who proposed it at a famous speech at the University of Michigan where he lit a spark that the students there fanned into a flame in their enthusiastic response.
William James is axiomatic for the historical tradition behind the nonprofit sector. He is the father of Pragmatism, the central philosophical movement of this country which is a direct expression of voluntarism. He gives expression to this theme in his The Will To Believe. He is a major representative of the theme of the free spontaneous behavior of the redeemed and the role this theme has played in American life and religious experience. In the case of William James it was born from his struggle with despair, depression, and suicide. He was one of those who was hit by a demonic attack, anfecthung, as Luther called it, a malaise that hit a number of prominent intellectuals of the time, Max Weber comes to mind who sat at a window and picked at his fingers for a very long time having fallen into an abyss of despair. Kierkegaard comes to mind although he wrote about it more than fell into it: The Sickness Unto Death and The Concept of Dread, etc.
The Northern California Land Trust
I thought land reform was going to be the next big deal after civil rights. Why? Because Vinoba Bhave had followed Gandhi and had introduced land reform after Gandhi’s civil rights revolution. And just as Cesar Chavez had followed Martin Luther King in his organizing migrant workers at least it looked like a possible progression to me. So I thought the Land Trust movement, going back to Henry George, was ripe for an historical impact and I wanted such a cause to celebrate the Bicentennial, because Page Smith was publishing the first two volumes of his Peoples’ History of the United States. I looked around and found a perfect document, a monograph, on how to start a Land Trust and what it was all about, at the very moment I wanted to start one; it simply fell into my hands. It was a perfect articulation of the plan and the vision. The author was Eric Hansch. The next thing I found out, to my utter astonishment, was that Eric Hansch had just moved to Santa Cruz.
I went to meet him. We became instant friends. To add to the mystification and serendipity, he happened to be a devout follower of Rudolf Steiner. Oh my! What else? One thing led to another and we started the Northern California Land Trust.
I don’t remember much about it now over four decades later. I remember we located a farm in Northern California and did something with it. Warren Webber was a founding member who became a famous organic truck farmer north of San Francisco. And so on. It was the first such Land Trust in the area as far as I remember. Then Santa Cruz established a Land Trust, although I did not play a part in it. The proliferation of land trusts and open space alliances proved my point regarding land reform and although it was not a redistribution of land to the poor—that was way too radical for anyone to espouse—it was a land reform conservation movement of some note. Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land, with Huey Johnson as the great leader, is another example; he was appointed by Jerry Brown to be Interior Secretary in the late ‘70’s, during Brown’s first term as governor.
The Citizens’ Committee for the Homeless
The year was 1985 and we were worried about a woman named Jane Imler who had announced a fast to the death lest someone open a shelter for the homeless in Santa Cruz. We were forced to recognize that our support for the hippies and our William James Work Company was to be superseded by the homeless. No more UTE’s looking for part-time short-term employment, but the need for emergency shelter for those who had no where to sleep had suddenly become the urgent cause as though overnight. In order to save Imler’s life we realized it was up to us. No one else was rushing to help. I, for one, could not tolerate the prospect of living in a town where a woman starved to death in behalf of the homeless because no one responded to her challenge.
So we opened the first public shelter and eventually formed a new nonprofit—The Citizens Committee for the Homeless. It was a big success and one of the great adventures of our lives.
The Herb Trade Association
My tenure at the Herb Trade Association was somewhat different from a conventional nonprofit corporation; it was a trade association. We were not engaged in charitable causes in terms of public service, but in organizing and advancing the concerns of those involved in the trade of medicinal herbs, undergoing what I called a renaissance, a rebirth of interest in a lost basis of health care, the botanical basis. The environmental movement, the organic movement, concern for the fate of the earth, the health of the earth and the health of its inhabitants all conspired to promote the interest in herbs. The health consumer wanted to learn what was lost even though the health professional, by and large, could have cared less. They were embarrassed by the interest and their ignorance in the subject matter and practice.
Herbalism was identified with astrology and alchemy and homeopathy and all the so-called fringe arts that had been superseded by modern scientific medicine and its reliance on synthetic drugs. Herbalism was equivalent to refuted and rejected vitalism, an old-fashioned and discredited notion that ‘organic’ products or natural products were superior or equal to synthetic products, the result of experimental laboratory procedures and the success of ‘organic’ chemistry. Synthetic drugs had supplanted medicinal herbs.
The herb renaissance was going to correct this unfortunate outcome of the scientific revolution.
The Platonic Academy
The Platonic Academy was an offshoot of the Herb Trade Association and the William James Association, more or less my own private enterprise, with tenuous relations to the nonprofits I was involved in. I remodeled my garage into an office as headquarters for the Herb Trade Association and decided to call it: The Platonic Academy. I had wanted to start one when I taught philosophy at the university, an in-residence house that would be devoted to the study of Plato. It seemed like a good name for my new office. I only hoped there was some connection between Plato and herbs. I didn’t know of any. He called philosophy therapy, so I thought that was a start. But to what end? I had no idea as far as it came to herbal medicine.
Then one day a student appeared who had taken an interest in my work and told me about a French philosopher named Jacques Derrida who had written an essay entitled: “Plato’s Pharmacy”. Bingo. I thought I had hit paydirt. The student was from Paris; in fact his name was Paris Poulos. He tried to translate the essay for me and failed. We couldn’t make sense of it. After all, the first sentence was “This, therefore, would not have been a book.” How do you make sense of that?
It was finally translated and I had my connection to herbs, tenuous, but good enough for me, in the concept of the pharmakon, the subject of Derrida’s essay. It is a doozey. One of the best I have ever read. It took me three times before I began to penetrate the meaning but then it came through loud and strong. Derrida translates the ancient Greek term pharmakon as recipe, remedy, charm, drug, and scapegoat. The last term is a surprise, but it picks up the theme of the wounded healer or poison in proper doses are medicines. The heart of the essay is the account of the scapegoat festival celebrated in Athens on the 6th Day of Thargelion in the Greek calendar, when a convict, saved for the occasion, was taken out to the furthest boundaries of the city to be beaten and burned—to rid the city of pollution. It has great resonance with the mocking and humiliation and crucifixion of Jesus; hence, the wounded healer association, an important theme that Rene Girard has made so much of.
The punch line, for me, in Derrida’s account, is the reference to Socrates’ birthday on the same day as the Festival—the 6th Day of Thargelion. Socrates, whom Plato called “the truest tragedy” and the one man who could have saved Athens but was executed by Athens—a true scapegoat.
The Homeless Garden Project
“The widespread appearance and urgency of the contemporary discourses of the humanities and social sciences on gifts and gift giving may, therefore, itself be viewed as a response to the current political climate. That is to say, the appeal of the gift as a topic for consideration and research may reflect a renewed concern for the establishment of more politically acceptable relations between citizens in response to the recent neoconservative championing of a return to a fundamentally contractarian notion of human relations. This attack has allowed a narrowly self-interested notion of reciprocal return to emerge and dominate the current political discourse on giving. Focusing only on those “gifts” that can, should, and must be returned leads, among other things, to viewing foreign-aid decisions exclusively in terms of national self-interest; viewing welfare as a “free ride” that must be replaced by a more contractarian relation in which repayment can be assured (“workfare”); viewing taxes as the unjust distortion of “gifts” that “givers” are forced against their will to give to those who need and benefit from the social programs supported by those taxes; viewing charity not as a generous donation to society’s less fortunate members but as a prudent tax-avoidance strategy; etc. One must wonder at what sorts of assumptions regarding gift giving and generosity are operating in a society that views public assistance to its least advantaged members as an illegitimate gift that results in an unjustifiable social burden that can no longer be tolerated while at the same time viewing corporate bailouts and tax breaks for its wealthiest citizens as legitimate investments in a nation’s future. To combat such views requires challenging some of the assumptions basic to the modern liberal democratic state, including perhaps the very notion of a property possessing individual empowered to demand full and unimpeded authority to control all that he or she owns.” p. 19 Shrift.
This quote strikes at the heart of what we experienced, Page Smith and I, when we entered the homeless issue in Santa Cruz. We were forced to do so by virtue of a woman who was on a fast to the death lest someone open a local shelter. Inspired by Mitch Snyder, who fasted on Ronald Reagan to get a shelter project in Washington, D.C., it occurred to Page and myself that it was up to us. No one else was going to do it and I for one refused to live in a town where a woman was going to starve to death because there were no public accommodations for the homeless. We had moved from the period of the U.T.E., the undesirable transient element, also known as hippies, to the homeless. It was 1985 and although the term was known it was not common parlance in Santa Cruz. The above quote hits some of the main themes of what we faced and what we found out.
I remember well the impact George Herbert Mead’s piece on Malthusianism, in his wonderful lecture series, published as: Movements of Thought in the l9th c.
He makes it clear that Malthusianism is a background for the rise of capitalism where the notorious starvation wage was promoted based on Malthus’ population studies. The point: the growth of the population proceeds geometrically; the growth of jobs arithmetically. Therefore, there will always be more people than jobs. Therefore, the starvation wage. And then the payoff: enormous profits. The leading capitalists made so much money, think Rockefeller, they could never spend, nor their offsprings spend, all of it. Therefore, start a charitable foundation and give it to charitable causes represented by nonprofit corporations and their 501c3 status which made grants tax-deductible. Hence, the fix. Did it give ‘charitable’ a bad name. Partly. This is the point of the op-ed piece by Peter Buffett. “I inherited a foundation and found the dark side of philanthropy.”
He calls it philanthropic colonialism, trying to solve a problem and making it worse. On top of that he refers to conscience laundering: “As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to “give back.” It’s what I would call “conscience laundering” –feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity.
But this just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place. The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over. Nearly every time someone feels better by doing good, on the other side of the world (or street) someone else is further locked into a system that will not allow the true flourishing of his or her nature or the opportunity to live a joyful and fulfilled life.”
If you want to play the game, the largesse of charitable foundations in this country is irresistible.
Max Weber on profit-seeking:
“We will define a capitalist economic action as one which rests upon the expectation of profit by the utilization of opportunities for exchange, that is, on (formally) peaceful chances of profit… Where capitalistic acquisition is rationally pursued, the corresponding action is adjusted to calculations in terms of capital… Everything is done in terms of balances: at the beginning of the enterprise an initial balance, before every individual decision a calculation to ascertain its probable profitableness, and at the end a final balance to ascertain how much profit has been made… For the purpose of this conception all that matters is that an actual adaptation of economic action to a comparison of money income with money expenses takes place, no matter how primitive the form. (Protestant Ethic, p. 17ff.)
The literature on the gift is very large and remarkably diverse. I did my best to review it and the main works are mentioned here. I owe a great debt to the local public library of Phelps, Wisconsin, where I did most of my reading over the summer of 2013. For years I have taken in lists of books to the librarians there. Within weeks I have them all procured through interlibrary loan thanks to their unfailing support. It is a wonderful service. I was delighted to find Calvin Schrag, a fellow student at Harvard, when we were studying with Tillich, as a most helpful source with his: God as otherwise than being: toward a semantics of the gift.
Prof. Schrag goes into the theological and philosophical discussion dear to my heart drawing on Dionysius the Areopagite and the tradition of negative theology as I have in my Paul’s Letter to the Athenians. He engages Luc Marion and Paul Tillich in a discussion of the sacramental and prophetic and refers to Marion’s understanding of the eucharist as a gift leading to a new relation between the sacramental and the earth just as I had referred to the recovery of the sacramental in the work of Chadwick.
It was one of the surprises of my thinking about Chadwick that the eucharist, of all things, conveyed a sacramental understanding of nature.
Here is Schrag’s remark:
“This interpretation of the sacramental principle opens the door to a new view of nature. Nature is no longer viewed as having value only through its subjugation to the needs of the human species. It has an integrity of its own, not simply subject to human contrivance and control. It is a gift, donated to the sojourner along life’s way; entrusted to the human species for stewardship. But this truth of the sacramental principle, attesting to the presence of the sacred in the majesty of nature, undermining the metaphysical bifurcation of the sacred and the secular, is all too quickly violated by the recurring insidious intrusions of idolatry within ecclesiastical manifestos.”” p. 93.
But the intricacies of the themes of this tradition and the subtle arguments in their behalf are beyond the scope of this study. I mention Prof. Schrag’s book because he carries through the discussion in a masterful way and touches on the themes I would have loved to have pursued here. I urge the reader with these interests, philosophical and theological, to read his book.
Marcel Mauss: The Gift
Alan Schrift: The Logic of the Gift. Toward an Ethic of Generosity
Schrift provides a good sampling of the diverse reflections on the gift and includes the classic contributors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mauss, Levi-Strauss, Sahlins, Gasche, Derrida, Irigaray, etc.
Stephen Webb: The Gifting God
Paul Tournier: The Meaning of Gifts
Jane Mansbridge: Beyond Self-interest
Alphonso Lingis: Excesses: Eros and Culture
Michael Ignatieff: The Needs of Strangers
Robert Bremner: Giving, Charity and Philanthropy
Robert Payton: Philanthropy: Voluntary Action for the Common Good.
James Douglas: Why Charity? The Case for a Third Sector. Quoting from Dean and his note on this book: “Douglas refers to the “absence of any adequate theoretical framework” for the third sector and acknowledges that a structure and rationale for the third sector has “never been worked out and that there was no comprehensive body of theory about the place of charity in a free society.” p. 220.
Teresa Odendahl: Charity Begins At Home: Generosity and Self-Interest Among the Philanthropic Elite
Waldemar Nielsen: The Golden Donors: A New Anatomy of the Great Foundations.
William D. Dean: The Religious Critic in American Culture
Sara Evans and Harry Boyte: Free Spaces. The Sources of Democratic Change in America.
James Douglas: Why Charity? The Case for a Third Sector.
Peter Dobkin Hall: Inventing the Nonprofit Sector and other Essays on Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and nonprofit Organizations.
Patricia Dean, ed.: Taking Giving Seriously.
ARNOVA The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Associations
For a critique of nonprofits, cf. the seven-part series in the Philadelphia Inquirer, April, 1993. Exposes the greed of certain nonprofit officials with exorbitant salaries, etc.