Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Dr. Alfred R. Wallace on Altruism:
Mr. Platt's Repudiation. (S543: 1898)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor, and its response, printed on page 36 of the 15 June 1898 issue of The Eagle and the Serpent. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S543.htm


    Dr. Wallace writes us:--"The Land of the Altruists" is good, but it wants modifying to apply to Europe, as the fourth par implies that all the aristocrats first got their wealth by working and producing. This applies largely to America, but very little to Europe, where the aristocratic wealth is almost wholly derived from conquest and plunder. It will bear amplifying and illustrating more fully." --Alfred R. Wallace.

    We are pleased to before lay our readers Mr. William Platt's repudiation of Altruism: Sir,--Your fable distinctly states the Altruist is a working man who "prefers" to be underpaid and who has himself "ordained" to be underpaid, being "unwilling to enjoy the fruits of his labour" and you ask "Does Mr. Platt endorse or does he repudiate this sort of Altruism?" I solemnly assure the Editor that I repudiate it; that whenever I hear of a working man, who, of his own accord asks his employer to lower his wages because he prefers to be underpaid, then I will try to argue with that benighted working man; and whenever I hear of a Trades Union commencing a strike to enforce a demand for lower wages and longer hours (because the workmen are "unwilling to enjoy the fruits of their labour" then I will do my best to reason with that benighted Trades Union! But what in the name of Paradox had the Editor had for supper when he dreamt of the existence of such working men, [this sarcastic fling at the working-men seems to us very rude indeed. --Ed.] such altruists and such a William Platt.


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