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European Tribune - Left and Right Altruism
Europeans, who are snobbish about American culture, are also shamed by American altruism. Once they have made their fortune, Americans devote themselves to giving it away. They lavish gifts on their school, their church, their college, or their hospital, taking an obvious pleasure in doing so. They also take pleasure in others' success -- an emotion that seems to have vanished entirely from European society.

Clearly he's really saying that Europeans are shamed by American success.

And of course he's right. We certainly are shamed of successes created by screwing the weaker and less fortunate, presented in vulgar displays of competitive conspicuous consumption.

We're ashamed that Bill Gates became one of the richest men in the world by selling fourth rate software enforced by predatory practices.

We're ashamed that IBM worked with the Nazis to make the holocaust run more smoothly.

We're ashamed of car companies that fight tooth and nail to prevent limits on emissions standards, even when this makes them less profitable and doesn't match real market needs, because they prefer to preach a gospel of high-octane machismo than deal with the real world.

We're ashamed of success created by running sweatshops and impoverishing local workers by outsourcing work to even poorer workers overseas.

We're not ashamed of real success, created honestly. But when there's so little honest success, created with a social conscience, we don't think that throwing money at a church or school makes up for the damage that has been done in accumulating it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2007 at 08:24:21 AM EST
and a lot more, although morals and ethics are becoming winged on a globalized two-party system.  Obviously the author has some issues... gender and atlantic.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Nov 11th, 2007 at 12:44:57 PM EST
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