A liberal, reformist, and egalitarian philanthropy

July 23, 2012

George Peabody - the founder of modern philanthropy.

Moved by such false compassion, many wealthy people believe that their own happiness will not be complete as long as others suffer from having less.

This attitude leads them to philanthropic sentimentalism. They feel a certain personal well-being in materially helping not only the truly needy, but all those less fortunate than themselves. To assure their own happiness, they become philanthropists.

In turn, this philanthropic sentimentalism prompts them to desire the elimination of the supposed root of “unhappiness,” that is, social and economic inequalities. In this way, a reformist tendency, fundamentally liberal and egalitarian, to transform society in a revolutionary way is born.

This inclination manifests itself, for example, in American foreign policy, which is frequently oriented by liberal principles. This policy strives to impose liberal democracy which, according to its mentors, is the magic answer to the woes of poorer countries.

In the Unites States, liberal and egalitarian reforms of a socialist nature often come from the revolutionary elements of the higher classes, and not from the working classes.

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq party, casts his ballot in Iraq's first free election in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 30, 2005.


Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), American Appendix, p. 198.

Nobility.org Editorial comment: —

Is it not this egalitarianism and sentimentalism that leads billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros and many other rich Americans to defend and lobby on behalf of the crippling, grave-robbing 55% federal “death tax” on every estate over $1 million? (Cf. David Kay Johnston, “Dozens of Rich Americans Join In Fight to Retain the Estate Tax” in The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2001.) 



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  • Christina

    What a brilliant observation! Quite often, although on the surface such sentiments might appear altruistic, they are in fact quite ego-centric and arrogant: 'I know what is best for you!' = 'I am superior to you." I am reminded, too, of working with a group of students who wanted to march on behalf of the homeless and one particularly adamant student was so fired up about this cause but then, in a separate conversation, went on to describe a 'disgusting tramp' whom she had met. A wonderful line also comes to mind: 'You can never make yourself sick enough to make a sick person well. You can never make yourself poor enough to make a person in poverty, rich!" Regarding the interference overseas and in other governments, the Gospel line of removing the plank from your own eye first seems very relevant. Thank you for a fascinating and thought-provoking post!

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