"One byproduct of individualism is benevolence --
a general attitude of good will
towards one's neighbors and fellow human beings.
Benevolence is impossible in a society
where people violate each others' rights."
Glenn Woiceshyn
Canadian writer
Capitalism Magazine, 1998.03.07
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Reader comments about this quote:
Though benevolence commences from an individual, it is not a byproduct of individualism. Benevolence is characterized by charitable expressions of principled goodwill or, gracious feelings, generally intended for benefit(s) rather than profit. Benevolence is in and of itself a morally motivating factor and its own reward; while, individualism under this context could mean a social theory advocating the liberty, rights, or independent action that may include the pursuit of a selfish individual. The selfish individual would be antithetical to common, collective or benevolent interests; egoism vs. selflessness. Individualism could here also infer a strictly for profit venture with no morality, such as benevolence being involved, it there being an off-topic subject. Because benevolence is a principle to individual character and any / all societies are not completely monomorphemic, benevolence is possible in a society where people violate each others rights. By way of example; Amerika, being tyrannized by an occupying statist theocracy, demonically in harmony with a large percentage of societal helots, serfs, slaves and otherwise patrons, recognizes no inalienable rights while regularly violating each and every at its / their whim. Benevolent individuals still care for the less fortunate (from individual to family, friends and societies - Katrina relief for one).
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    "One byproduct of individualism is benevolence: -- It is the only moral source of benevolence. The individual who has worked hard and made something of himself can usually afford to be benevolent to greater and lesser degrees, and human nature is generally inclined to be so. As opposed to socialist doctrine which claims to be the ultimate system of benevolence but ends up being a system of scarcity. In the long run, no one will be benevolent in a socialist society as each individual is barely able to meet their own needs. Not to mention that living under that sort of societal control is immoral and detestable to all who wish for any sort of adventure, travel or personal challenge. Socialist's need not concern themselves with altruism or benevolence...Big Brother takes care of all that...and everything else for that matter. Socilaism is a Disgusting System desired only by the slovenly and unimaginative.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 1
    There is no such thing as 'collective' benevolence -- it comes solely from an individual. And if it is forced, it cannot be benevolence but subservience. I agree that not all individual aims are benevolent, but if it does not reside with individuals, it does not reside with groups, it simply is lost. Thankfully, in my experience, benevolence is a natural expression of those whose rights are respected and valued.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
     -- jim k, Austin      

    Charity,  "Agape" affection or benevolence, The attitude of God toward his Son, the human race, and to believers on the Lord Jesus Christ particularly. It is His will to His children concerning their attitude, one toward another and toward all men. He desires for them to express His essential nature. Love can be known only from the actions it prompts as God's love is seen in the gift of His Son. This is not the love drawn out by any excellency in its objects. It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice.made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself. Self-will, that is self pleasing, is the negation of love to God. Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. It seeks opportunity to do good  'to all men, especially toward them who are of the household of faith. Agape expresses a more reasoning attachment, of choice and selection, from a seeing in the object upon whom it is bestowed that which is worthy of regard; or else from a sense that such is due toward the person so regarded, as being a benefactor or the like.Phileo on the other hand, without being necessarily an unreasoning attachment, does yet give less account of itself to itself; is more instinctive, is more of the feelings or natural affections. Implies more passion. Agapao is purged of all coldness, and is deeper than phileo, phileo implies an instinctive affectionate attachment, but Agapao of a sentiment based on judgement and adulation, which selects its object for a reason. 

     -- Ronw13, OR     
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