The response of guilt and pity to social problems is by no means new. It is, in fact, as old as man’s capacity to rationalize or his reluctance to make real sacrifices for his fellow man. Two hundred years ago, Samuel Johnson, in an exchange with Boswell, analyzed the phenomenon of sentimentality:

Boswell: “I have often blamed myself, Sir, for not feeling for others, as sensibly as many say they do.”

Johnson: “Sir, don’t be duped by them any more. You will find that these very feeling people are not ready to do you good. They pay you by feeling”.

— Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin

Trained as an artist.

Some current interests: pensions and financialisation, just transition

Contact: vienne [at]