The case against Batman giving all his wealth to charity

Originally published at: The case against Batman giving all his wealth to charity | Boing Boing


Well, he does have a ton of cash to pour into super pacs and “charities”.


The Batman’s super power is that he’s rich, so charities are his kryptonite.


Then how can we trust that Bruce Wayne is telling the truth. How do we know that he isn’t personally funding the prison/asylum breakouts that need Batman to save the day?


I have a counter argument to this one: power being concentrated leads to bad outcomes. The fact that the power is vested in the hands of so few people whether it’s a former DA like Harvey Dent (aka Two Face) or a former psychiatrist (Harleen Quinzel and Hugo Strange) or other moneyed interests (Thomas Elliot and Oswald Cobblepot) these folks were given too much power in the first place. Giving it all over to what seems like a fluke or accidentally moral person like Bruce Wayne is illogical. Rather, society should distribute power as to minimize the chances of such fatally flawed individuals being able to raise hell at a massive scale. Even in our real world we’ve seen how corporations who have too much power often do bad things in the name of maximizing profits (no silly antics like of that of the Joker trying to patent Jokerized fish). All the while, we seem fine with this arrangement despite the materially worse outcomes across all nations (some get it worse such as those in the so-called developing world).


Every single person in Gotham City is one bad day away from turning into a criminal.

Batman is a criminal.


bruce Wayne passed on the mantle long ago. Elon Musk is the current batman and jeff Bezos is actually Robin.
Soon they too will have to pass on their spandex and cowls. I hear Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are up for consideration as the next dynamic duo, but not before Elon Batman completes construction of a tesla batmobile that mines dogecoin.


There are two worldviews in conflict on both sides of the argument.

  1. People are inherently selfish and cannot be trusted. No amount of money will change this, it will just make them more greedy.
  2. People are inherently good, and what turns good people bad is poverty, where they have to make many moral compromises in order to survive.

It is in fact the worldviews of our major political parties. In fact, I consider the matter to be unresolved, but there is more evidence for the second point imo.


Well that’s the problem, isn’t it. The writers created a world that doesn’t follow our world’s rules specifically to justify the actions of criminal vigilantes like Batman.

It’s like saying “FBI Agent Dana Scully is an idiot for employing critical thinking to arrive at reasonable explanations for the crimes she investigates, because in the fictional world of The X-Files it’s always some alien/supernatural phenomena just like Mulder said.”


This is good stuff. Acknowledges that the entire batman milieu is a reactionary fantasy, not just the character. The world is corrupt to the core and designed to be saved by him in inscrutable ways, QED


I’m no Batman scholar, but I thought the origin stories of most of the outlined villains involved them being “turned” evil by some event involving the corruption rampant in Gotham. So much so, that several of them have daisy-chained origins. One villain begets the next.

So this analysis fails at the root cause. Address the root cause and you stop creating villains.


I the world of the DCU (and Marvel for that matter) is that the death penalty should be used much more aggressively because in these worlds the prison system has shown that they simply can’t keep villains locked up and that the villains will get out and kill more people.

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Look, he just likes punching people with mental health issues, where’s the harm in that!?

Fuck Batman.


I disagree. The worldview of most political parties is 1, it’s just a matter of how strongly they believe it.


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BATMAN: Listen. I’ve been crunching the numbers, and if we eliminate the Gotham Symphony Orchestra, we can hire four extra guards and build a watchtower.
MAYOR: Batman, the orchestra is one of the jewels of our city.
BATMAN: I know, I know … but don’t you think we’ve reached a crisis situation? MAYOR: It’s just … less costly to keep things the way they are. And besides, you can handle these guys! You’re Batman . You don’t need some fancy, expensive new prison.
BATMAN: Is that new? That flat screen TV?
Simon Rich
(More at the link)


I thought the idea, at least in some interpretations of the Batman universe, is that he attacks it through both sides: punching out murder clowns as Batman and doing altruistic work and being a pillar of the community as Bruce Wayne. Apparently his actual superpower is never having to sleep.


Even the smallest amount of spending might lead to a massacre. Have you seen how cheap it is to buy a kite on eBay, or a calendar?

Bruce Wayne should convert Wayne Enterprises into the Amazon of the DC Universe (if he hasn’t already). Then when some citizen who got made fun of for his gaudy shoes suddenly buys twenty grand worth of shoe-related tchotchkes, Batman will know to be on the look out for someone using stiletto heels as weapons and calling himself Solemaster.


Power and money being concentrated lead to bad outcomes. The higher a country’s Gini coefficient, the more corruption and crime and guard labour you’re likely to see.


The goal of authoritarians is to keep the population able to survive on working wages but not to get so far ahead financially that their survival is not dependent on their employers. The working poor are the easiest group to control.