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John Cowan wrote:
> Well and good -- *if* we had those things. The Blessings-Of-Civilization
> Trust, as Mark Twain called it, is more in the habit of spreading
> massive inequality, authoritarian rule, and "protectionism at home, free
> trade abroad" -- the qualities of large corporations.
Well that's the Great Debate, isn't it? I would only like to point out that
there are plenty of individuals like me (some of whom are rich and
powerful), who believe passionately in helping their fellow man, but believe
that the mechanisms by which we can achieve this are often subtle and
counterintuitive. In other words, where altruism springs from self-interest
is where we really have a chance to make a difference to all of humanity
over the long term. Looks at much of East Asia, for example, including
China. There's still a lot of progress to make, but millions of people who
were dirt poor 50 years ago no longer are.
Anyway, this is a tough line to take sometimes, since it's so easy to be
characterized as as selfish and uncaring. And that makes me deeply regret
having ever participated in this discussion.