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❚ altruism ❚ benevolence ❚ artist ✱ Oscar Wilde

exaggerated altruistic virtues

Altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like are admirable, though misdirected intentions — degrade and demoralise … It is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism, they very seriously, sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see.

But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it, they are part of the disease. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty … The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim.

linked mentions for "exaggerated altruistic virtues":
  1. selfishness and altruism

    from The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1891), Oscar Wilde: exaggerated altruistic virtues original virtue through disobedience selfishness is to

  2. pain provisional mode of realisation

    The terrible truth that pain is a mode through which man may realise himself exercises a wonderful fascination over the world, it is rarely in the