Indian Tradition Reminds Western Man of German Philosophy

February 15, 2011 at 7:39 PM Leave a comment

We’ve highlighted WSJ partner Mint’s series on philanthropy in India before.

Checking in with them for the latest posts, we find a column by NYC-based think tank Demos‘s Michael Edwards, asking whether India can transform philanthropy. In part, he urges India to find its own way, rather than emulate other models:

In the US, philanthropic donations have increased year by year for a generation or more, but so have inequality, violence and social division, and in recent years, extreme poverty has also grown despite an explosion in the size and number of new donors. So, if philanthropy is supposed to tackle problems like these, then there is clearly something very wrong.

While income inequality has undoubtedly increased, we are skeptical that statistics would bear out his claim that violence or social division are on the rise, either in the United States or world-wide for that matter. (Consider what went on in the world in the previous century before scoffing at our skepticism.)

In the end the column is disappointing; rather than offering new insights on how India’s traditions might inform its philanthropy, Edwards ends up turning out to be another boring Marxist grind:

Instead of giving back from an unjust economic system, why not give forward to create a new one with fewer costs and inequalities?

Yeah, that capitalism and global trade, what has that ever done for anybody?


Entry filed under: International.

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News about philanthropy and the charitable instinct


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