The Philanthropist

My dear chap, what I think about sociali


The Philanthropist

See more monologues from Christopher Hampton


Age Range
Scene 3
Time & Place
England, 1970s
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Braham is holding court at the dinner party he has been invited to. He is

Monologue Text

My dear chap, what I think about socialism is neither here nor there. Listen, when I was younger, I was a passionate Lefty writing all kinds of turgid, earth-shaking stuff which was designed to set the world to rights and which no publisher would have touched with a pitchfork. But eventually I realized, and what a moment of five-star disillusionment that was, that it wasn’t going to work. Governments would not tumble at the scratch of my quill. I was just one little person to this enormous bloody world. God, in his infinite wisdom, had given me the ability to create essentially frivolous entertainments, which were enjoyed by enough essentially frivolous people for me to able to amble comfortably through life. Naturally, it distresses me that people are wasting their energies killing each other all over the world, and of course I’m sorry thousands of Indians starve to death every year, but I mean that’s their problem, isn’t it, if they will go in for all this injudicious f@$%ing. I actually used to think that in some obscure way it was my fault.

Christopher Hampton.”The Philanthropist” in Plays 1. Faber and Faber, p.122.