iTheodorian reply to the media demand that 'You have to help.'
Blackmail. - Those who won't take advice can't be helped, the bourgeois used to say, hoping, with advice that costs nothing, to buy themselves out of the obligation to help, and at the same time to gain power over the helpless person who had turned to them. But there was in this at least an appeal to reason, conceived in the same way by the suppliant and by the turner of the deaf ear, and remotely reminiscent of justice: by following shrewd advice one might even occasionally chance on a way out. That is past. Those who cannot help ought also not advice: in an order where every mousehole has been plugged, mere advice exactly equals condemnation. It invariably means telling the suppliant to do precisely what the last remaining vestige of his self most violently refuses. Taught wisdom by a thousand situations, he already knows all the advice he can be given, and only comes when wisdom has failed and action is needed. He is not improved in the process. He who once south advice and finds no help, that is the weaker party, appears from the outset as a blackmailer, a figure multiplying irresistibly with the growth of trusts. This tendency is seen most clearly in a certain kind of helper, who defends the interests of the needy and impotent friends yet assumes in his zeal a somber, threatening air. Even his ultimate virtue, selfessness, is ambiguous. While he rightly intercedes for those who must not perish, there is, behind the insistent 'You must to help', a tacit allusion to the superior power of collectives and groups, which no-one can afford to offend. By not excluding the hard-hearted from their ranks the compassionate become harbingers of hard-heartedness.
Minima Moralia:/ reflection on a damaged life, p. 136.