"The secret dread of modern intellectuals, liberals and conservatives alike, the unadmitted terror at the root of their anxiety, which all of their current irrationalities are intended to stave off and to disguise, is the unstated knowledge that Soviet Russia is the full, actual, literal, consistent embodiment of the morality of altruism, that Stalin did not corrupt a noble ideal, that this is the only way altruism has to be or can ever be practiced. If service and self-sacrifice are a moral ideal, and if the "selfishness" of human nature prevents men from leaping into sacrificial furnaces, there is no reason -- no reason that a mystic moralist could name -- why a dictator should not push them in at the point of bayonets -- for their own good, or the good of humanity, or the good of posterity, or the good of the latest bureaucrat's five-year plan. There is no reason that they can name to oppose any atrocity. The value of a man's life? His right to exist? His right to pursue his own happiness? These are concepts that belong to individualism and capitalism -- to the antithesis of the altruist morality."
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World, A lecture delivered at Yale University on February 17, 1960, at Brooklyn College on April 4, 1960, and at Columbia University on May 5, 1960. Published as a pamphlet by the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1967, and now included as a chapter in the book, Philosophy: Who Needs It
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