Sunday, July 27, 2014

Humanitarianism--Max Scheler

...Modern humanitarianism does not command and value the personal act of love from man to man, but primarily the impersonal "institution" of welfare. This is not the exuberance of a life that bestows blissfully and lovingly, overflowing out of its abundance and inner security. It is an involvement through psychical contagion, in the feeling of depression that is manifested in outward expressions of pain and poverty. The purpose of the helping deed is to remove this specifically modern phenomenon of "sham pity," of "feeling sorry."  Christian "mercy" (note the force and spirit of this old fashioned word) is replaced by the feeling expressed in the statement "it arouses my pity"!  As early as 1878, Goethe could question the kind of "humanism"..Herder preached under Rousseau's influence: "Moreover....I think it is true that humanism will triumph at last; only I fear the world will at the same time be a vast hospital, where each will be his fellow man's humane sick-nurse."

       from Ressentiment

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