Chris Hedges, Acts of Love:
Love, the deepest human commitment, the force that defies empirical examination and yet is the defining and most glorious element in human life, the love between two people, between children and parents, between friends, between partners, reminds us of why we have been created for our brief sojourns on the planet. Those who cannot love—and I have seen these deformed human beings in the wars and conflicts I covered—are spiritually and emotionally dead. They affirm themselves through destruction, first of others and then, finally, of themselves.
I could see he was writing about barbarism, death camps, the heart grown cold through cupidity. I could see how it fit with Occupy, and with the Catacombs under Roman rule. I kept thinking, or hoping, he would tie his essay to philanthropy. But in the end I guess there is little or no connection. If there was you would read about it in the Stanford Social Enterprise Review, or Lucy Bernholz would add it to her buzzwords, or they would write about it at FSG, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, or Bridgespan. I did talk to a follower of philanthropic trends recently who helped me see that phlianthropy used to be about love, or solidarity, or social change, but now has gone beyond that. As Romans ruled Judea, or the British ruled India, so Wealth Bondage spreads its filaments into every social fabric. Not love, but measure, manage, and hold accountable to Rome, that the tribute might flow up to the managers and be dispensed down as rewards or largesse. We may be as dead as Gogols Dead Souls, but we are efficient, and yes, effective. Amen.