from Don Boudreux at Cafe Hayek Saviors Need Victims Who Need Saving
Saviors need victims who need saving. And if such victims are not real and readily available, the saviors conjure them up by convincing themselves that this or that group of people are helpless victims eager to be raised from the muck of their misfortunes by the saviors. Sometimes the saviors convince even the groups they seek to save that they – the members of these groups – are indeed mired in a muck from which they can be extracted only by the saviors.
As society grows wealthier, the need to be saved by others from earthly misfortunes grows steadily less frequent and less dire while the itch to save others from earthly misfortunes grows steadily more frequent and more intense. A great irony is that, insofar as this itch to save grows faster than the need to be saved declines, the genuine need to be saved might actually rise because the actions of those who itch to save more often than not worsen, rather than improve, the well-being of those who are the targets of the saviors’ efforts.