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Altruism can be defined as: an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have a moral obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary at the sacrifice of self interest.
The altruist therefore will places their own self interests, indeed their own happiness subordinate to that of others.
Ayn Rand in the following video montage explains altruism and how in its purist form it is an immoral doctrine and in her words evil.
For a contemporary outlook on the irrationality of self sacrificing altruism Shane Atwell's Blog takes an in depth look at why Rand (and others) viewed altruism as evil.
From Shane's article Altruism Empowers Evil:
I've always loved epic stories of good versus evil. I love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Dune--long, multi-generational conflicts. But it wasn't until I read, and re-read, Atlas Shrugged that I learned a crucial fact about evil, a fact not grasped in those other works. Evil is impotent. As Rand explains in Atlas and her non-fiction works, evil is anti-life. Evil is an overbearing state that demands your sacrifices, it is the irrational brute, it is the idea that there are no standards and no reality. Vice is giving up your life, acting from unexamined emotions, refusing to think. The good is life on this earth, it is the rational and the life promoting. Virtue is examining the world around you, thinking, doing things that improve your work, your health, your life. Good versus evil is reality-reason-self-interest versus unreality-irrationality-sacrifice.Read the rest.
Evil is the abandonment of reason, the ability to understand and create. So how can it be powerful? How can evil create wealth, build civilizations, arm itself with high-tech weapons? It can't. Evildoers acquire wealth and weapons from those that are rational. Evil gains the material of its power from the good. Without the support of the good, evil would be powerless.
So why do depictions of the inherent power of evil resonate with so many people? Why is Darth Vadar such an imposing figure in Star Wars and Sauron in the Lord of the Rings? I believe the answer is the morality of altruism.
When I say 'altruism', I'm not talking about giving your neighbor a cup of sugar or letting someone merge in traffic. Altruism is not practicing 'random acts of kindness'. Altruism is the idea that your moral worth derives solely from sacrificing to others. Altruism is the morality that views your normal life, your job, your family vacations, your hobbies, as morally neutral or even contemptible. Altruism only recognizes your acts of giving up values, depriving yourself of joy, of devoting your life to service as virtuous.
Among altruism's contradictions, two are important for this discussion. The first is that it requires you to sacrifice but treats the recipients as virtuous. If you're sacrificing for someone else's benefit, why do they get a moral pass? Why are you morally required to give, but they are allowed to receive? Because they have less than you? Perhaps, but you can bet there's always someone else in the world worse off than they are. The disgusting implications of this chain of reasoning lead most people to just stop thinking about the recipients too much. And so sacrifice itself becomes the sole virtue regardless of whether it helps anyone.
The rational demands one never sacrifice a higher value for a lesser one. The doctrine of altruism demands you do.
And in a nutshell that is precisely what the Libyan intervention was. Rank altruism.
Following is further contemporary argument with regard to the anti-morals that altruism breeds. h/t Shane Atwell.
Obama’s “Humanitarian” War-Fighting PhilosophyMore irrefutable arguments as to the evils of altruism and this Presidents adherence to the doctrine.
Humanitarians are famously but deceptively indiscriminate in their generosity and with the dispensing of largesse, whether the latter comes from their own wealth or from extorted taxpayer revenue. As long as the object of their charity is “in need” or “needy,” it matters not to the humanitarian. His measure of “need” is both the “virtue” of poverty, and a poverty of virtue.
President Barack Obama on Monday evening, March 28, 2011, demonstrated, in his speech on why he ordered military operations against Libya, that he is a humanitarian of the lowest order. He is willing to be completely selfless at the expense of this country’s blood and treasure to “save the Libyan people” and prevent the images of “mass graves” appearing before him on his teleprompter. That is, he is a vessel of humanitarian instincts brimming to overflow with a selflessness eager and willing to sacrifice things that are not his to sacrifice. Humanitarians are, at root, nihilists, destroyers of values in pursuit of “saving” non-values. Obama competes with swine in that he will eat anything as long as it is “in need” requires “sacrifice,” that altruist touchstone of moral purity. Here are pertinent excerpts from his address:
Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.
What interests, what values are at stake? No answer. What responsibility? No answer.
For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -– Muammar Qaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world –- including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.
Yes, Qaddafi is a tyrant, but then so are the rulers of China, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf sheikdoms, Tunisia, the Sudan, et al., and too likely Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood consolidates its power. And it is interesting that Obama omitted mention of Lockerbie and Pan Am Flight 103, for which Gaddafi was the button-pusher.
Read the rest.