Altruism, on the contrary, requires each individual to live for the sake of the group, trusting that his or her own needs will be provided for. Altruism typically holds that individual fulfillment occurs through service to others; most religions openly state this, and it is a driving force in socialism and communism, too. Altruism places the survival of the group ahead of the survival of any individual, and this is what enables the repression and slaughter common to extremely altruistic societies. Stalin is generally regarded to have had killed more people than Hitler, and both did it in the name of the group.
The danger of altruism is less obvious in freer countries like the United States, but it is still a powerful force that is a frequent justification for restricting individual rights. It is very typical for city councils to regulate, to a very fine degree, the uses that may be made of every piece of property in the city, all in the name of protecting the citizens. Because altruism puts the group first, it is much easier to pass restrictive laws, and this results in "creeping regulation," where the government passes progressively more intrusive legislation to protect "society." Many environmental laws have altruism as their base justification: they restrict our enjoyment of the earth so that future generations will receive the same planet as we do.
Brian Gordon, Atlas Society 53 Comments
[11/22/2012 4:27:22 AM]
Fundie Index: 42