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Friday, January 14, 2005

THE LUXURY OF ALTRUISM AND WORLD-BENEFACTION 

THE WORDS OF GEORGE F. KENNAN

"We have about 50 percent of the world's wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population ... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction."

- George F. Kennan, former head of the US State Department Policy Planning Staff and leading architect of US foreign policy after World War II

February 24, 1948


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