"Many academicians and self-styled intellectuals, with a habitually arrogant and condescending attitude, treat the rest of the world with contempt.  These so-called 'intelligentsia' congratulate themselves for, not only having high IQs and lots of education in their particular fields, but for having achieved the allegedly momentus insight that free-market capitalism and altruism are ultimately incompatible (duh).  Yet they're still too damned stupid to realize and too damned ignorant to acknowledge that altruism is NOT the only moral code available to mankind.  (It is, in fact, the bloodiest and most regressive one of all).  This stunted thinking has resulted in their committing the intellectual atrocity of rejecting the capitalism and freedom instead of the altruism and coercion."
Rick Gaber
Libertarian writer
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To call forced charity - charity, coerced altruism - altruism or necessitated selflessness - selflessness is the intellectual atrocity of perjurers.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- notsolargemarge, Indianapolis      
    Altruism..... "is, in fact, the bloodiest and most regressive one of all", makes no sense. What is the logic or actual proof that leads to that conclusion?
     -- Alfie H, Mavie, MN     
    5 stars for that first sentence.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    Redefining words or using words where they do not belong (a half truth) only makes a liar out of the author. Just because I stand in a garage, put grease in my hair and yell HONK !, does not make me a Chevy, no matter what I claim. Using the term altruism to describe a situation that is in fact not an unselfish concern for the welfare of others and/or selflessness makes the author a liar and reminds me of the biblical scripture: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [clothed the naked, fed the hungry, monetized the poor, etc. - my add in] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7: 15, 21-23) Socialism or any ism / etc. that forces, compels or otherwise mandates an action is NOT altruism.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, I think you have read too much into it. Altruism and charity are not one and the same. From my perspective, charity is not a 'duty' or 'sacrifice' -- it is a gift, a voluntary service to another, a 'my cup runneth over' kind of thing, not a 'give 'til it hurts' televangelist shtick. Altruism is the sacrifice of the individual for the 'common good.' The altruist sees individualism as 'selfish' and collectivism as a duty.

    How is altruism bloody and regressive? Communism and nationalist socialism (Nazism) are altruistic in nature -- that the common man cannot be trusted with living his own life as he sees fit, demanding no conformity of others, respecting the rights and property of others and expecting no more from his fellow man, whereas the altruist (like the orthodox religionist) has a plan for everyone else 'for their own good' often resulting in the massacre of millions of dissenters (i.e. Russia, China, Nazi Germany, Cuba, etc.) Social engineers, and 'progressive' intellectuals conveniently ignore that the same rhetoric they spout today was used when forming previous 'revolutions' that later became totalitarian dictatorships -- and that is the ONLY way an altruistic plan can be implemented, because naturally people will live according to their own dictates.

    That is why in a republican form of government that recognizes the inalienable rights of people, NEVER will all the people follow a single religion, a single social order, a single learning formula, a single uniform, etc. enforced by 'authorities' at the point of a gun. Altruism is a conning by those in power of those they wish to rule -- Obama, Hillary and their ilk come immediately to mind...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Archer, giving the term altruism the definition or using it as you have, you are absolutely right. I personally have never used the word in that manner. I have heard from a young age, communists, fascists (now progressives, neo-cons, etc) and otherwise orthodox religionists use the word and concept (altruism) as you and Garber have exposed, to hide and justify such religionists atrocities. The earlier Gaber quote illuminating the uses of: The public good before the private good, Serve the people, and from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs as mantras to justify ongoing atrocities (torture and genocide of millions) under the umbrella of altruism is qualified by: If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. I understand the non-applicable sacrifice aspects of altruism as they do not fit here. The picturesque feelings meant to endure by altruistic activities (legal and dictionary meanings) is one thing. Attributing altruism to a set of actions other than that becomes most deceptive when mandating any action by edict (the word and concept loses all legitimacy - legally and otherwise - when used in conjunction with force). When the lie has been used enough that it becomes part of altruisms accepted meaning, all previous and otherwise meanings are lost. The here described religionists altruism of death, doom and destruction is extremely antagonistic to my more traditional use of the word, term, and concept.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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