The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto recently linked to an academic psychologist’s report on the phenomenon of “pathological altruism”—a tentative recognition that the morality of altruism might not be as benevolent as it claims.
For an Objectivist, this is a fat, slow pitch over the middle, so I took a swing at it. This is exactly the sort of piece I would normally publish in The Tracinski Letter, but Taranto had given it prominent enough attention that I thought I should publish my response in my RCP newsletter. For the benefit of those who don’t get both newsletters, here is the link.
The part that is probably most interesting to my subscribers is how this explained to me, for the first time, why the works and ideas of Ayn Rand are indispensable to conservatives and will always have a place in the ideological canon of the right—whether they like it or not.
Then there is the fact that an academic psychologist is suggesting that the “pathological” consequences of altruism are real and are worthy of more study. I hope this idea catches on. Who knows, maybe when they finish the translation they will realize it’s a cookbook.