Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Collectivism Leaves Us Demoralized

“The word 'altruism' was coined in the early nineteenth century by the French philosopher Auguste Comte (who also invented the word 'sociology' ). For Comte, altruism is not simple benevolence or charity, but rather the moral and political obligation of the individual to sacrifice his own interests for the sake of a greater social good. It should be noted that Ayn Rand did not oppose helping others in need, provided such actions are voluntary. What she opposed was the use of coercion--that is, the initiation of physical force--in social relationships. The doctrine of altruism, in Rand's view, is evil partially because it serves to justify coercion, especially governmental coercion, in order to benefit some people at the expense of others.” -- George H. Smith

"Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice -- which means: self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction -- which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as the standard of the good.
"Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: "No." Altruism says: "Yes." ...
"As to Kant's version of the altruist morality, he claimed that it was derived from 'pure reason,' not from revelation -- except that it rested on a special instinct for duty, a 'categorical imperative' which one 'just knows.' His version of morality makes the Christian one sound like a healthy, cheerful, benevolent code of selfishness. Christianity merely told man to love his neighbor as himself; that's not exactly rational -- but at least it does not forbid man to love himself. What Kant propounded was full, total, abject selflessness: he held that an action is moral only if you perform it out of a sense of duty and derive no benefit from it of any kind, neither material nor spiritual; if you derive any benefit, your action is not moral any longer. This is the ultimate form of demanding that man turn himself into a "shmoo" -- the mystic little animal of the Li'l Abbner comic strip, that went around seeking to be eaten by somebody.
"It is Kant's version of altruism that is generally accepted today, not practiced -- who can practice it? -- but guiltily accepted. It is Kant's version of altruism that people, who have never heard of Kant, profess when they equate self-interest with evil. It is Kant's version of altruism that's working whenever people are afraid to admit the pursuit of any personal pleasure or gain or motive -- whenever men are afraid to confess that they are seeking their own happiness -- whenever businessmen are afraid to say that they are making profits -- whenever the victims of an advancing dictatorship are afraid to assert their "selfish" rights.
"The ultimate monument to Kant and to the whole altruist morality is Soviet Russia." – Ayn Rand

I think that demoralization happens whenever choice is devalued or denied. And demoralization leads to addictions, and even suicide, because of the demoralization that subsumes individuality. Russia has a high addiction to alcohol, for instance. Suicide happens mostly from those who have been demoralized through crisis in life. Why live, if one has been annihilated anyway?

Christians "use" the term of self-sacrificial "love" to affirm such sacrifice for the 'greater good'. But, this is does not come from a healthy self assessment, but from a needy and perverted way to gain self-affirmation from others.

Jesus has been useful for Christian "moralists" as an example. But, Jesus life was taken by the power hungry religious and the greedy and powerful State. Fortunately, for us, there is a recourse to such greedy grabs for power over the individual in today's modern world.

We must not allow such means an opportunity to gain a foothold under any "moral guise" of "greater good". Otherwise, we will become pawns to dictators, who demand obedience at the costs of our liberty. We must not submit!

No comments: