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Politics and Altruism

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Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of “others” toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism or selflessness is the opposite of selfishness. (Source: Wikipedia)

Altruism in politics is like a breath of fresh. But it is not something that you will often hear or see in the news. And in times when opposing beliefs and views seem to be disturbingly polarizing, altruistic acts are always welcome news. But is the kind of selflessness associated with altruism really the best way to deal with societal issues? The answer may not be as straightforward as it may seem.

The world of politics is complex. In an ideal world, elected leaders will always have the best interests of their people in mind. But there is a huge gap between expectation and reality given the numerous factors at play that may influence a leader’s decisions.

Are politics and altruism a good mix? The answer may not be as simple as it may seem. While there are potential benefits, it also begs the question of effectiveness. Not to mention the motives behind political decisions that may shape the kind of altruistic actions called for. In the end, altruism per se may be good. But how it is used and how it impacts people’s lives may not automatically serve the greater good.