Hello there! New here, and though I don't have much time, I'd love to pop in from time to time. I find the discussions - what I've read of them thus far - very good, knowledgeable and in-depth. Forgive me if this first effort of mine is a bit "been there, discussed that" but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, even if y'all have written them down before.
I'd like to discuss altruism, within the framework of debate with those who would subscribe to a non-objectivist form of it, and its offshoot, the solidarity demanded as a consequence of the ideology of altruism. My specific questions come toward the end of this wall of text.
Background is the Coronavirus, with a death rate in the low single digits, in excess of 90% of severe cases being the very old and already very sick. In the name of solidarity with said groups (commonly known as "high risk") we have, through authoritarian intervention, already created; Joblessness and destitution in millions of people (young, able bodied, in their prime, and yes, I know this doesn't matter in an objectivist philosophy sense, it matters to me, though) around the world, and it is estimated that, by the end of this, over 1/3 of children will end up with symptoms of PTSD. (Austrian projections, valid only for Austria here.) Hundreds of thousands of able bodied people who would likely not have noticed even catching the virus are now destitute, all in the name of imposed solidarity foisted upon them by a government, without so much as a referendum or a single say in the subject.Yet nobody questions the fairness of it. The moral destitution that comes with the demand to run millions of capable people into the ground in a forced show of solidarity with those who, statistically, have but a few more years of life.
It made Objectivism ring all the truer to me, for I cannot possibly conceive of anything more evil, more profoundly unfair than sending millions of young and able marching into the knife for strangers, losing their jobs and sacrificing their own children's mental health, all the while being expected to "eat sh*t and smile." Without a single say of their own. Hate the government for taking away from people their rights to assess the risks for themselves, and act in accordance to what they feel is right. (Be that voluntary self-isolation and organisation of provision if you are a high risk group who will not take the risk, or simply carrying on as ever, if you wish to take the risk.)
There is, in my mind, no recent example of how wicked, authoritarian, and absolutely mental the ideology of Altruism truly is, in recent history / to my memory. I seriously cannot get over this. I'm constantly amazed at people's blind eyes and deaf ears to this, too. It seems like everyone's discussing the color of the furniture in their jail cell, as opposed to wanting out of it. Also, how do you guys cope with the unfairness of all of this in your day-to-day lives? And how have your argued this with people who are not objectivists? What has their reaction been? Looking forward to your input! Also, why do you think the governments of the world have chosen this insane path over the more rational, at least vaguely objectivist, one? (Thusfar, no statements have been given on this matter, save for a golden nugget from our President (Austria), which went as follows "Those who would suffer feel better knowing everyone's in the same boat." No, I shit you not, it was a live speech he gave, which was on our evening news.)
I seriously don't even.