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Philanthropy

The Passing of a Brain-Sucker

On the 12th of August the death of Andrew Carnegie was reported, and all the capitalist newspapers united to diffuse an odour of sanctity around the man whose fortune—like all other great fortunes—was built up by the sucking of other men's brains.

It was on the shoulders of others that Carnegie climbed to affluence. Unscrupulous, alike in his dealings with his fellow capitalists and his workmen, he crushed out all who stood in his path, until he came up against a more powerful combination than his own, then he stepped quietly down and out of business, leaving Morgan, Rockefeller & Co. a clear field.

Pathfinders: Heavenly Gates

It must be a great feeling for anyone with a social conscience to be so ridiculously rich that they can spend their entire time doing something to alleviate a major global problem and actually feel that they are achieving something lasting and significant. Talk about the buzz, it must be a high that those seedy Russian oligarchs can never experience no matter how many yachtfuls of champagne they swim in or campaigning journalists they have knocked off by their hit-men. Cash-with-conscience philanthropists with billion dollar bank accounts must feel like the messiahs of the hi-tech age, second only to the great saints but without the unpleasantness of a stake-burning  or a crucifixion to earn their place in the pantheon of the Blessed.

From each according to their ability

"I don't want to take £1 billion pounds to the grave with me."  (Sir Tom Hunter, Daily Telegraph, 18 July 18).

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