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Letters to the Editor

April 28, 2014

In Your Opinion: Altruism is misguided concept

Something I saw at last month’s Rotary Club pancake breakfast in Sidney really opened my eyes to just how oblivious we are to statism. Even when it’s essentially staring us in the face.

The way it was staring in my face was the slogan on the student volunteer’s shirts, “Service over self.” I don’t know just how the Rotarians came up with it, but they could as well been borrowing straight from the old Soviet Russian, National Socialist German, or Red Chinese doctrinal handbook.

Ayn Rand summed it up best, “Altruism is a moral system which holds that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the sole justification of his existence, and that self sacrifice is his highest moral duty, value, and virtue. This is the moral base of collectivism, of all dictatorships.”

Even a modest objective study of such governments, and political science, should be enough to show one that this context of service over self is exclusively collectivist in character. That the youth going through the school system seem to blindly accept such a distortion of volunteerism tells me they haven’t had much objective teaching. And it puzzles me that it doesn’t occur to people to ask themselves why high school students are now legally required to volunteer, or face not graduating. By the basic meaning of the concept, how can this be considered voluntary? Either let them volunteer by choice, or let’s stop calling it what it isn’t.

But our seeing nothing wrong with another means for Washington to involve itself in our daily lives. It is just another example of how we perhaps have come to view our government: an entity in which we live, move and have our very being.

Robert Olejarz

Sidney

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