Pathological Altruism

The Wikipedia tells us that Altruism is a concern for others, compassion, the opposite of selfishness but distinguishes it from loyalty. In fact being concerned for the family, clan tribe or nation is Enlightened Self-Interest or just Self-Interest; ultimately caring about the greater good of one's own is loyalty, indeed it is Patriotism. Recall what The Bible tells us at John 15:13 -

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

It does not say that about his enemies or rivals.

Pathological Altruism takes matters to extremes. It was defined by Professor Oakley as "altruism in which attempts to promote the welfare of others instead result in unanticipated harm." She gives examples of disastrous public policy decisions. Encouraging home ownership sounds good. It led to the Financial Crisis 2008.

The higher-education bubble was perverted by well meant discrimination in favour of certain 'minorities'. Formal qualifications were debased. So yes, The Road to Hell Really Is Often Paved With Good Intentions. They have been perverted into suicide for nations, &, in the current political situation, collaboration in the Genocide of Western Civilization.

The Wiki's position is that Altruism is about some ultimate good, one which does not benefit the giver. What is that ultimate good? The Wiki does not say There are divergent views produced by Disinformation. One is about conservation, the well being of the planet e.g. Global Warming. Then there are Human Rights being used for the benefit of undesirables, outsiders. We are told that Homosexuals are victims. Feminists tell us that woman are down trodden, oppressed. These ideas are heavily marketed; being used to damage Western Civilization. This is how decent people are misled. Their minds are also attacked by the Propaganda of the Main Stream Media & the Education industry. Americans call it Identity Politics.

The same Propagandists also use White Guilt to shame us into tolerating mass Immigration, to allow ourselves to be overrun, to become the victims of Genocide. Be aware that the media, politics et cetera have been infiltrated by Jews, by Zionists who have very different approach to immigration in Israel; one involving Concentration Camps & deportation.

Evolutionary psychologists such as Kevin MacDonald, lately a professor of the California State University Long Beach regard the mass importation of  Third World aliens as Pathological Altruism, as a contra-survival movement marketed by the Enemy Within. He puts views at Pathological Altruism Among White People & Pathological Altruism On Steroids In Sweden.

It is easy to feel that any Altruism is pathological; that is to say not Enlightened Self-Interest. When a country is homogenous, when all or a large most are of the same nation, the same heritage helping random others feels worthy, like Altruism. It is ultimately a dangerous mistake; one of Three Psychological Mechanisms Of White Dispossession. These are displays of White Guilt and abasement, social learning [ i.e. education & main stream media ] and being a member of a moral in-group.

An example of Pathological Altruism in action is the Welfare State in England, brought to us by William Beveridge. It costs billions every year. It has created an underclass below the Working Class. The honest poor and the determinedly idle are in it together, overseen by an ever-growing bureaucracy. It is one of the causes of moral degeneracy.

In all too many cases sympathy for the less fortunate becomes a cause of hate. For example Karl Marx, in The Communist Manifesto wrote:-
The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

It is not a message of love or much altruism either. Peter Frost tells us that the White Man's Burden has become a millstone round our neck. He is right.
PS Fred explains Pathological Altruism in plain English as is his wont. He views it as  genetically determined, rather like Left & Right in politics. He gives us an easy read.

Altruism ex Wiki
Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of "others" toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism or selflessness is the opposite of selfishness.

Altruism in biological organisms can be defined as an individual performing an action which is at a cost to themselves (e.g., pleasure and quality of life, time, probability of survival or reproduction), but benefits, either directly or indirectly, another third-party individual, without the expectation of reciprocity or compensation for that action.

Altruism can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty, in that whilst the latter is predicated upon social relationships, altruism does not consider relationships. Much debate exists as to whether "true" altruism is possible in human psychology. The theory of psychological egoism suggests that no act of sharing, helping or sacrificing can be described as truly altruistic, as the actor may receive an intrinsic reward in the form of personal gratification. The validity of this argument depends on whether intrinsic rewards qualify as "benefits."

The concept has a long history in philosophical and ethical thought. The term was originally coined in the 19th century by the founding sociologist and philosopher of science, Auguste Comte, and has become a major topic for psychologists (especially evolutionary psychology researchers), evolutionary biologists, and ethologists.


Pathological Altruism
A simple concept that could revolutionize scientific and social thought.
By James Taranto
June 14, 2013
Earlier this week Oakland's Oakley published a fascinating paper, "Concepts and Implications of Altruism Bias and Pathological Altruism," in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science............

Oakley defines pathological altruism as "altruism in which attempts to promote the welfare of others instead result in unanticipated harm." A crucial qualification is that while the altruistic actor fails to anticipate the harm, "an external observer would conclude [that it] was reasonably foreseeable." Thus, she explains, if you offer to help a friend move, then accidentally break an expensive item, your altruism probably isn't pathological; whereas if your brother is addicted to painkillers and you help him obtain them, it is.

As the latter example suggests, the idea of "codependency" is a subset of pathological altruism. "Feelings of empathic caring . . . appear to lie at the core of . . . codependent behavior," Oakley notes. People in codependent relationships genuinely care for each other, but that empathy leads them to do destructive things.

Yet according to Oakley, "the vital topic of codependency has received almost no hard-science research focus, leaving 'research' to those with limited or no scientific research qualifications." That is to say, it is largely the domain of pop psychology. "It is reasonable to wonder if the lack of scientific research involving codependency may relate to the fact that there is a strong academic bias against studying possible negative outcomes of empathy."

That is a provocative charge, and one that Oakley levels more generally at the scientific establishment:........

"Empathy," Oakley notes, "is not a uniformly positive attribute. It is associated with emotional contagion; hindsight bias; motivated reasoning; caring only for those we like or who comprise our in-group (parochial altruism); jumping to conclusions; and inappropriate feelings of guilt in noncooperators who refuse to follow orders to hurt others." It also can produce bad public policy:

Ostensibly well-meaning governmental policy promoted home ownership, a beneficial goal that stabilizes families and communities. The government-sponsored enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae allowed less-than-qualified individuals to receive housing loans and encouraged more-qualified borrowers to overextend themselves. Typical risk–reward considerations were marginalized because of implicit government support. The government used these agencies to promote social goals without acknowledging the risk or cost. When economic conditions faltered, many lost their homes or found themselves with properties worth far less than they originally had paid. Government policy then shifted . . . the cost of this "altruism" to the public, to pay off the too-big-to-fail banks then holding securitized subprime loans. . . . Altruistic intentions played a critical role in the development and unfolding of the housing bubble in the United States.

The same is true of the higher-education bubble. As we've argued, college degrees became increasingly necessary for entry-level professional jobs as the result of a well-intentioned Supreme Court decision that restricted employers from using IQ tests because of their "disparate impact" on minorities.

Universities altruistically established admissions standards that discriminated in favor of minorities, a policy that proved pathological because under qualified minority students struggled to succeed and even qualified ones face the stigma of being assumed to be "affirmative action" beneficiaries. The institutions tried to help by setting up separate orientations, which of course only reinforced their separation from the broader student body.

Best of the Web Today columnist James Taranto on readers' responses to his June 14 column "Pathological Altruism."

And when, in 2003, the discriminatory admissions standards faced a constitutional challenge, the Supreme Court upheld them. In Grutter v. Bollinger, a five-justice majority declared that administrators' declaration of altruistic intent--"obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body"--was sufficient to meet the court's purportedly exacting standard of "strict scrutiny." It was left to Justice Anthony Kennedy, in dissent, to note the absence of "empirical evidence." The court is currently revisiting the question-- Fisher v. Texas is expected to be decided in the next few weeks--and one hopes that, if it stands by the "diversity" rationale, Kennedy will finally succeed in imposing some scientific rigor.

Pathological altruism is at the root of the liberal left's crisis of authority, which we discussed in our May 20 column. The left derives its sense of moral authority from the supposition that its intentions are altruistic and its opponents' are selfish. That sense of moral superiority makes it easy to justify immoral behavior, like slandering critics of President Obama as racist--or using the power of the Internal Revenue Service to suppress them. It seems entirely plausible that the Internal Revenue Service officials who targeted and harassed conservative groups thought they were doing their patriotic duty. If so, what a perfect example of pathological altruism.

Oakley concludes by noting that "during the twentieth century, tens of millions [of] individuals were killed under despotic regimes that rose to power through appeals to altruism." An understanding that altruism can produce great evil as well as good is crucial to the defense of human freedom and dignity.
One example of allegedly well meant philosophy is Karl Marx whose writing was used to kill 85 to 100 million - see The Black Book of Communism on the point.


Self-Interest ex Wiki
Self-interest generally refers to a focus on the needs or desires (interests) of the self. A number of philosophical, psychological, and economic theories examine the role of self-interest in motivating human action.


Enlightened Self-Interest ex Wiki
Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest. It has often been simply expressed by the belief that an individual, group, or even a commercial entity will "do well by doing good".


Pathological Altruism Among White People
Links to articles on the subject.


Pathological Altruism On Steroids In Sweden
We have been discussing pathological altruism among Whites quite a bit lately on TOO [ The Occidental Observer ]. So I thought we had pretty much covered that insanity. But this film by Red Ice Radio shows we have barely scratched the surface. In my previous article I noted that there was already a huge housing crisis that severely impacted ordinary Swedes. Now we learn that no sacrifice by the Swedes is too much. A  new Stockholm will have to be built within 11 years. Everything that can be turned into housing for immigrants should be, including churches (while mosques are being built). The government buys virtually any standing structure to be turned into immigrant housing, and there are proposals to confiscate vacation homes “for the greater good.” Meanwhile, Swedes have a lower priority for housing than immigrants, and thousands can’t find an apartment.........

It is vitally important that we come to grips with this suicidal phenomenon which is more common in Northern Europeans. It has nothing to do with Christianity. Sweden is the most secular country in the world, and its elites are hostile to Christianity and more than happy to donate Christian churches to the non-Christian newcomers, or destroying them to make housing for them. Rather, it is a new secular religion of moral consensus. They are behaving like the Puritans and Quakers, as discussed in my talk, but without the religious veneer.

Of course, while the costs to taxpayers are enormous, the “immigrant industry” is massively incentivized for entrepreneurs who are able to rent housing to the government.


Three Psychological Mechanisms Of White Dispossession
Professor MacDonald explains three techniques used to exploit our better feelings to our disadvantage. The corresponding method used again Russian peasants was a weakness for vodka.

Pathological Altruism - The Road to Hell Really Is Often Paved With Good Intentions
In a remarkably interesting new paper, “Concepts and implications of altruism bias and pathological altruism,” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oakland University systems engineer Barbara Oakley argues that intentions to help people all too often hurt them. Unintended harm is the outcome of she what calls pathological altruism.  She defines pathological altruism “as behavior in which attempts to promote the welfare of another, or others, results instead in harm that an external observer would conclude was reasonably foreseeable.” In her study Oakley explores the psychological and evolutionary underpinnings of empathy and altruism and how they can go wrong. It turns out that pathological altruism is a pervasive problem affecting public policy.

As Oakley explains:

Good government is a foundation of large-scale societies; government programs are designed to minimize a variety of social problems. Although virtually every program has its critics, well designed programs can be effective in bettering people’s lives with few negative tradeoffs. From a scientifically-based perspective, however, some programs are deeply problematic, often as a result of superficial notions on the part of program designers or implementers about what is genuinely beneficial for others, coupled with a lack of accountability for ensuing programmatic failures. In these pathologically altruistic enterprises, confirmation bias, discounting, motivated reasoning, and egocentric certitude that our approach is the best—in short, the usual biases that underlie pathologies of altruism—appear to play important roles.

The above list of pathologies afflicting public policy sounds all too familiar. Although Oakley doesn’t bluntly say so, the modern welfare state can be conceived of as being largely a collection of enterprises conjured into existence by pathological altruism. Social security – discourages citizens from saving and is going bankrupt. Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, ObamaCare, employer based health insurance - a dysfunctional system of third party payments that boosts overall health care costs without fostering improved care or services. AFDC (now defunct but replaced by lots of other programs) – encouraged single motherhood and near-permanent unemployment. Subsidized student loans - enable university bureaucracies to enlarge without improving educational outcomes. Obviously some people have benefited from these programs, but it is at least arguable that the unanticipated consequences, e.g., bankruptcy, dysfunctional families, higher unemployment, worse medical care, and so forth, are likely to overwhelm the good intentions behind them.

In the context of scientific research, Oakley notes…

…that those possessing altruism bias would be most strongly biased to object to the very concept of altruism bias. Research has shown the near impossibility of reaching biased individuals using rational approaches, no matter their level of education or intelligence; such attempts can be likened to squaring the circle.

In another vein, researchers from outside a given discipline, and who are thus less vested in the theories of that domain themselves, could initiate studies to determine whether insufficient statistics, exaggerated claims, drawing the wrong conclusions from other papers, or using data selectively to confirm hypotheses might differ among studies that relate to disciplinary biases or moral issues (many hard-science topics ultimately impact issues of deep moral concern) versus those that do not. Within scientific disciplines, the appearance of group-norm–enforcing signed petitions could be used as indicators of the potential for pathologies of altruism; such petitions might communicate important, albeit unintended, information about the health of a discipline.

Are entire disciplines shaped by papers that are not submitted because of legitimate fears of rejection?

With regard to that last question, I recently had a disheartening, but not surprising, discussion with a niece who has just begun graduate work in archaeology at a leading university. Her program is located in the anthropology department. We were talking about some recent studies that are trying to apply insights from evolutionary psychology to various issues in anthropology. She informed me that her professors so loathed evolutionary psychology that mentioning it could destroy her career. In the wake of that conversation, my wife gave her a copy of anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon’s new book, Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes – The Yanomamö and the Anthropologists, covered in a brown paper wrapper.

Oakley further argues:

Is it possible that some social advocacy and social justice efforts result in the same types of pernicious effects on a societal scale so that efforts to build cooperation instead inhibit it? We often do not know, because well-meaning advocates have made raising those questions a taboo. Framing issues in the form of pathologies of altruism and altruism bias forms a mechanism for breaking through the taboo and making dispassionate studies of when helping is truly helping and when it is contributing inadvertent harm.

Oakley concludes by reminding us…

… it is important to note that during the twentieth century, tens of millions individuals were killed under despotic regimes that rose to power through appeals to altruism. The study of pathological altruism, in other words, is not a minor, inconsequential offshoot of the study of altruism but instead is a topic of overwhelming scientific and public importance.

Earnest good intentions are not enough: bring data instead.

For more background on how experimental social science can improve public policy, see my review of Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society, by Jim Manzi.
Socialism starts with concern for the down trodden then becomes hate of the oppressors. It is often, even usually misguided by cunning rogues.


Enlightened Self-Interest Explained
By James B. Steenbergen
Graduate Student, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

Enlightened self-interest was a concept that Alexis de Tocqueville discussed in his work Democracy in America. The notion he held was that Americans voluntarily join together in associations to further the interests of the group and, thereby, to serve their own interests. Using "self-Interest rightly understood" (Tocqueville 1835) to describe this concept, he combined the right of association with the virtue to do what was right. The following passage from Democracy in America sums up the concept of enlightened self-interest:

The Americans, on the contrary, are fond of explaining almost all the actions of their lives by the principle of interest rightly understood; they show with complacency how an enlightened regard for themselves constantly prompts them to assist each other, and inclines them willingly to sacrifice a portion of their time and property to the welfare of the state. (Ibid., 647)

Enlightened self-Interest poses the question of whether or not it is to the advantage of a person to work for the good of all. Murphy asserts that it is not a natural inclination to do so, but learned through practice (2002). Yet, the answer may lie in the evidence that the virtue of working together is useful to those involved.

 Historic Roots
To understand the significance of enlightened self-interest, one must look at the political and social atmosphere that existed in France during Tocqueville's time period. Tocqueville grew up and was educated in a period of French history marked by revolutions, political turmoil, and centralized rule. His maternal grandfather and an aunt had been guillotined and his parents imprisoned by the time of the French Revolution (Hutchins and Adler 1964).

In writing about the concept of enlightened self-interest, Tocqueville aimed at a better explanation of the uniqueness of America and its institutions. He also aimed at critiquing the popular philosophical and political notions of his French contemporaries. As a concept, enlightened self-interest was a response to egoism, individualism, and the prohibition of political associations. French aristocracy and the political elite viewed political associations as dangerous to the state. In America, local liberties prevailed; they often took the shape of political associations. Local liberty encouraged individuals to participate together in defining and addressing their needs and aspirations (Kincaid 1999). French aristocracy prohibited their existence under the auspices that creating these associations would encourage insurrection against leadership.

Yet, this same leadership encouraged civil associations. The aristocracy believed that encouraging individuals to participate in civil associations would take their mind off the political ills of the time. Aristocracy believed that encouraging these types of associations would make citizenry more apt to concern themselves with worldly pursuits. Tocqueville considered this to be a reflection of the popular philosophical sentiment of the time: egoism. He described this concept as individualism that had no bounds (Elazar 1999). However, Tocqueville's contention was that, without freedom to participate in both types of associations, people would be hesitant to join in association with each other. As a result, the civil society would not flourish.

The importance of Tocqueville defining this concept cannot be weighed lightly. Simultaneously, he accurately described the current philanthropic attitude of Americans and he criticized the current political reality of France. He attacked some of the key claims of the French aristocracy by asserting that freedom to form political dissent groups would actually encourage national stability by re-enforcing notions of democracy. Furthermore, Tocqueville's concept of enlightened self-interest helped to provide an accurate description of the foundational history of the nonprofit sector in America.

Ties to the Philanthropic Sector
The nonprofit sector flourishes today because of the concept that people working together can not only serve their own interest, but can also serve the community as a whole. In addition, much of today's corporate philanthropy rests upon a base of enlightened self-interest. For example, corporations give contributions to scholarship programs. They do this to educate their future workers. These same corporations may also support cultural programs in the cities where their corporate headquarters are located; one motivation for their doing so may be to make those cities more attractive to the people they are recruiting to work for them.

Key Related Ideas

  • Civil society
  • Classic liberalism: a philosophy that espouses the belief that in a good society there is freedom for all; this individual freedom leads to prosperity. Classic liberal American document is the Bill of Rights.

  • Egalitarianism: A belief that all people are equal by nature.

  • Local liberty

  • Self-interest rightly understood

Important People Related to the Topic
Tocqueville's travel to America was commissioned by Louis Philippe, called the "citizen king" because he was enthroned as a result of the Revolution. He was to be accompanied by Gustave de Beaumont, a close friend, to study the prison system in America.

Upon returning from America, he wrote Democracy in America. A leading British philosopher, John Stuart Mill, considered Tocqueville one of the premier thinkers of the time.

Tocqueville ascribed to the philosophy of classic liberalism. Other thinkers, notable classic liberal philosophers of the time included: John Locke, Adam Smith, and Friedrich von Hayek.

Related Nonprofit Organizations

The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
(visit at serves as a modern platform for many of the concepts to which Tocqueville prescribed. It has "studied the spread and perfection of democracy around the world." The institution believes in the "basic goodness, perfectibility, and nobility of mankind and of the human community" (Alexis de Tocqueville Institution 2002).

Related Web Sites
The mission of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is "to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles" (Acton Institute 2003). The Institute Web site, at, presents information on its programs, research, publications, and public policy positions.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Tour Exploring Democracy in America Web site, at gives extensive coverage of Tocqueville's life, world, and his travels in America; his most famous passages from Democracy in America are found on the site.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Society Web site gives information on membership, awards, events, and benefits reserved for contributors who donate $10,000 or more, annually, to the United Way (

Bibliography and Internet Sources

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. About the Acton Institute. [cited 9 January 2003]. Available from

Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. Mission Statement. [updated September 2002; cited 29 September 2002]. Available from

Elazar, Daniel (1999, June) "Tocqueville and the cultural basis of American Democracy." Political Science and Politics. [updated June, 1999; cited 22 September 2002]. Available from

Hutchins, Robert M. and Mortimer J. Adler. The Great Ideas of Today. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica Press, 1964.

Kincaid, John (1999, June) "Federal Democracy and Liberty." Political Science & Politics. [updated June 1999; cited 22 September 2002]. Available from

Murphy, Tom. "An Anger and A Brute: Self Interest and Individualism in Tocqueville's America." [updated 22 September 2002; cited 29 September 2002]. Available from

Salamon, Lester [cited 13 January 2003]. Available from

Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America. (Originally published 1835). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. ISBN: 0226805328.

This paper was developed by a student taking a Philanthropic Studies course taught at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. It is offered by Learning To Give and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
This page may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only, all other rights reserved.

Pathological Altruism Rears Its Ugly Head In Oxfordshire  [ 8 September 2015 ]
Oxford is at the heart of civilization. Lots of decent people live there. Do they read the news? Yes. Do they take that Third World savages are bad for us, for them? No. They have not made the connection. In Rotherham they know better but the Main Stream Media suppress the truth, just like the police & the politicians.


Norwegian Politician Raped By Asylum Seeker Feels GUILTY About Criminal Being Deported To Somalia   [ 8 April 2016 ]
Male Norwegian politician raped by asylum seeker says he feels GUILTY that his attacker will now be deported because the man might suffer back in Somalia......

Karsten Nordal Hauken, from Ås, Akershus, was raped in his home and the perpetrator was subsequently caught and jailed for 4.5 years. However, when Nordal Hauken found out that the man was to be deported back to Somalia after serving his time, he reveals he felt guilt that the man would possibly face hardship in his old country.
This soft hearted Norwegian fool can't even protect himself let alone his people. He shouldn't have the vote or even be in politics, deciding how Norway is run. This is a severe case of  Pathological Altruism.


Afghan 'Refugee' Raped German Fool [ 3 June 2016 ]
Yet another German “refugees welcome” liberal activist has been raped by the “asylum seeker” to whom she offered accommodation in Cologne. A 26-year-old Afghan “asylum seeker” was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for the rape last week.

According to the Kölner Rundschau newspaper, the victim, a 20-year-old woman, had offered to let the nonwhite invader stay with her in her apartment in the city. Then, later that night while she was sleeping, he entered her bedroom, pinned her down, and raped her. The nonwhite fled the premises, and the victim fled to her brother’s bedroom.
Experience is a dear school and fools will learn in no other.


Ten Lessons for Creating Safety Without Police A Reflection on 10 Years of the SOS Collective [ 15 July 2016 ]
How can we create safety collectively? How can we challenge hate and police violence by using community-based strategies rather than relying on the police?
Socialists tell us how to run our lives; that policemen are not really needed, that people are fundamentally decent. It sounds well meant. It probably is but it comes from a different mindset to most people's. It means not understanding greed, lechery, malice & general purpose evil. It is Altruism become Pathological.


Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.

Email me at Mike Emery. All financial contributions are cheerfully accepted. If you want to keep it private, use my PGP KeyHome Page

Updated  on Wednesday, 14 September 2016 07:59:27