compassion

Moreover, there is another principle that Hobbes failed to notice, and which, having been given to man in order to mitigate, in certain circumstances, the ferocity of his egocentrism or the desire for self-preservation before this egocentrism came into being, tempers the ardor he has for his own well-being by an innate repugnance to seeing his fellow man suffer.  I do not believe I have any contradiction to fear in granting the only natural virtue that the most excessive detractor of human virtues was forced to recognize.  I am referring to compassion, a disposition fitting for beings as weak and as subject to ills as we are; a virtue all the more universal and all the more useful to man in that it precedes the use of any  kind of reflection, and so natural that even animals sometimes show noticeable signs of it.

–J.J. Rousseau, “Discourse on Inequality” (1755)

Clearly Rousseau never watched a Tea Party debate!

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