Re: Selfishness (Was: Re: Polemics for longevity)

From: Menno Rubingh (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 05:48:14 MST

On Sat, 22 Jan 2000, Robert Owen wrote:

> I am always struck by the hypertrophied and
> triumphal announcement "I AM selfish" when no one has ever
> accused them of altruism. Conversely, the almost hysterical
> denial of dependency, subordination and the need to be loved.

I concede that I'm ''guilty'' :-) of exactly all this, and I'm sorry if these
hysterical sounds are not terribly helpul and only cause some more useless
noise on this mailing list. The hysterics probably originates from the fact
that the people emitting these hysterical sounds are those who just very
*recently* discovered themselves to be selfish -- and who maybe want to get
some feedback on that or to hear that they are not the only ones. I'm sure
these repeated 'hysterics' on exacty the same topics MUST be boring to the
older list subscribers. :-)


But I can explain more clearly why all this hysterics. (Skip the rest of this mail when you're not interested in this.)

Similarly to what Robert Bradbury wrote recently in Re: Rational nursery tales, I've been raised in an environment that taught me to be terribly self-less and to 'believe' that "happiness" is the only goal in life, i.e., to always strive for the happiness and well-being of your neighbour, even to the extent where this is detrimental to yourself -- and to believe that altruistic selflessness is the most important cause for happiness.

Big mistake. I would say that being raised like that is in a fairly direct way responsible for costing me amounts ranging from 6 to 7 figures. :-) Being altruistically helpful like that does nothing else than hinder the overall chances for survival both of yourself (you give away your money before you get a chance to do eanything useful with it) and of those other people you're helping (it makes them dependent on you). Also, *if* at all altruism is considered a goal in life, then that would require that you first build a secure solid base for yourself before starting on your altruistic actions: for only a strong person is in a position to help others.

Selfless atruism really definitely does not help anyone (neither yourself nor any other person). It incites you to want to become WEAKER rather than stonger. Therefore: selfless altruism really is definitely self-debilitating: it's a thought contagion (in the terminology of Aaron Lynch).

Best greetings, Menno (

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