BY Nicholas Alahverdian
Andrew Carnegie was the epitome of a philanthropist. The Wealth essay (also known as “The Gospel of Wealth”) is reminiscent of the belief that it is ethically advantageous to be poor in a rich nation than it is to be rich in a poor nation. Every age has faced the quarrel of wealth distribution, and the associated decisiveness is no small task to handle. From an ethical perspective, it is imperative that those who are more fortunate assist those in need.
However, as time passes and technological breakthroughs occur, it becomes increasingly important to redistribute these advantages to those who are less fortunate. Andrew Carnegie seeks to implore the reader that this so-called “revolutionized” condition of human living is so revolutionary that it prompts the method of wealth redistribution to take on the same characteristic so that further revolutions may occur.
Andrew Carnegie himself serves as pure proof of his argument, the Maecenas of his time. Without his unprecedented investments in American artistic and cultural endeavors the nation would not be what it is today. Carnegie-Mellon University and Carnegie Hall would not serve those phenomenal Americans that edify us today without his benevolent generosity.
Thus, those who are not as aristocratic as he, figures as revolutionary as Andy Warhol (attended Carnegie-Mellon) and Bob Dylan (performed at Carnegie Hall) would otherwise not be known as the giants of American culture that they are today. These cultural institutions unarguably provided a springboard for some of the world’s greatest talent.
The revolutionary benevolence of Andrew Carnegie provided for the aforementioned cultural leaps. America is greater because of him, and the world is enriched and enhanced because of those performances and exhibits he supported.
Carnegie’s understanding of the economic advantageousness of wealth redistribution would certainly assist in the alignment of social responsibility and ethical obligation through a modern American lens. It is only with his everlasting disregard for indifference that the economic fortune of philanthropy can be fully realized.
Nicholas Alahverdian is a Harvard scholar with a primary research focus on the intersection of philology, rhetoric, and politics.