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Altruism is not selfless: Be your self

I finally find the words for something that I had wanted to express in an older article about altruism. It dawned on me when I saw a post of some kind of coach who had given blood for kids. He was proud.

Selfless post

I wonder, if this act was so selfless, who but your self posted this picture? Who but your self gave blood? If not for your self, where would you have taken the blood from?

Altruism is not selfless. Altruism is giving. How can you give anything but that which the self possesses? How can giving be of any worth if not as an expression of that self? As an expression of the desire to give and to care?

Altruism as an identity

Andrew Wayne wrote a cool article about the ruse of identification. He brings up the example of himself deciding to use floss for his teeth. He notices how he simply does it, without creating an identity out of that act. He does not suddenly see himself as a flosser in a violent epic battle against the non-flossers.

Altruism is just like that. It is an appetite. A desire. You care about somebody and want that person to be happy. You happen to have something particular in abundance that that person needs. You decide to give, because you want to. Because it is important to you. And if it is important to you, that means that it is important to yourself. To your self.

Alon did not go out of his way to do something for others. He went exactly his own way, because it was what he wanted to do.

Yet he makes himself look ugly and leaks his real motivation when he goes beyond saying that it felt good and starts to lecture others to do the same.

Doing something altruistic without caring for somebody is like eating cake without hunger or appetite. It is a fix. A drug. And if you need to use this to feel superior, you have already made it obvious what your real intention was: To get approval for your noble intention.


You do something you do not really want to do only to feel superior to those who do not do it. To make them feel guilty. To be a better person than them.

But what if everybody else was even more altruistic than yourself? Would you then not naturally feel like a miserable person? Would you then start out into a competition of altruism? See who gives the most?

Altruism is an appetite. An expression of your self. And expression of your self is the greatest freedom on earth. If it means to be altruistic in a particular moment, so be it. If it means to violently fuck a girl in another, so be it.

Shaming somebody into altruism betrays the whole purpose of it: Genuine love and care for the recipient. You can not force somebody to care, only force him to pretend to care.

To my eyes, it reads akin to: Today, I ate a fantastic cake. It felt immensely good. Another person saw it and ate one, too. As you see, eating cake is contagious. Be a good person for once and eat some cake.

Why attach your identity to that? Your goodness?

Free expression of your self means to express what your self really needs to express. If your self happens to be very altruistically inclined, express that. If not, do not. Be tolerant of those who are not so altruistically inclined as well as of those who are more so than you. Or do not be, but do not expect your inclinations to have any meaning for them.

Am I less lovable than you because I do not feel such a great need to give? Why? Why make that a measure of my worth? It is unfair. I have other needs, a different personality, my own preferences.

Do I have to live in panic of being labeled negative when I refuse something that you call positive?

Live and let live.

Why attach your identity to the act of giving? Why call yourself an altruist? Would you call yourself a cake-eater just because you like eating cake?

Selfless altruism

If altruism is selfless, whose self is left to express it? Who can express and commit altruism if not your self? Who can give if not your self? If altruism is self-less, it constitutes a force that is not requiring of human intervention. An automatic self-sustaining giving out of thin air. Which of course makes it unnecessary for anybody to be selfless, as selfless is complete in itself without anybody’s self.

Selflessness logically can not be an expression or the trait of a person – of a self. It is a contradiction, a double bind. The term selflessness is more akin to nothingness. A black and lonely void without any kind of connection – without any kind of self in it.

If altruism is selfless, there is no self behind the gift, thus there is no self to accept the gift from, thus there is no self that actually cared about you, thus the gift is empty of emotional value, devoid of respect and love. Devoid of actual caring.

Selfless altruism is mechanistic and worthless and leaves both recipient and giver feeling empty. It is a gesture without intent.

If the desire to give is a proxy to the desire to be a good person, then it already ceases to be an honest desire. It becomes mimetic desire instead: Not the desire to do something, but the desire to be something.

Selfless altruism is devoid of warmth and benevolence, as only a self has the capacity to feel and express goodwill. Only a self is able to care. But a self can never be forced to care, only forced to pretend to care.

Selfless altruism gives, films the act, posts it and then turns its back on the helped and stops to care. Or ceases to pretend to care.

Altruism is not an identity. It is an appetite.

Consider the perspective of the recipient: You gave me because you wanted to be proud and society to be proud of you. You do not care about me at all. And even expect gratitude for your pretense. What an insult.

The selfless altruist, the narcissistic altruist, is a child. A child who does not think mommy or daddy will love him if he does not fulfill the ideal of the good, giving person. A child who does not think itself lovable unless it ignores its own soul and character and forces itself to be what its parents want it to be.

The selfless altruist is a betrayed person. He looks wistfully towards those who betrayed him and cries out: Look, mommy, here I am. Look how good I am. I am doing a good thing. Please, oh please, finally love me. Will you? Pretty please.

And mommy – or society – in her unending kindness grants you the pretense of love if you are what she wants you to be.


A large value of receiving a gift is the knowledge that somebody actually cared about you, not about you being a poor bastard. Not about a label or a trait of you, but about you. Would you still care for that kid if it was not poor? If it did not need your help, if it was happy? Would you still want to do some good for it?

Do not be an altruist. Do not be a selfish person either. Do not attach identity to your appetites. Be yourself. You are lovable even if you do not feel a need to give.

Giving should not be an obligation.

When two friends say to a third one: Let us go give blood to the children!

And the third one says: Nah, not interested.

His friends’ reaction should not be any different or more shocked than if they had said this: Let us go watch the new movie by Quentin Tarantino.

His disinterest is simply an expression of his own values and preferences. His personality, his individuality. It should not be used to judge or shame him, just like you would not shame a friend for not liking strawberry cake. The notion itself is ridiculous. Just as it is cruel and unfair.

Everyone has their own values and preferences. Everyone benefits others in his own way. Some people by giving. Some people by being angry bastards. Some by being smart. Sometimes you profit from the experience of being rejected or not receiving help, too.

Do not try to uniform and equalize people. If you want to give, do it. Do it without identifying with it. Do not do things because you want to be the person who does them, but because you feel a real need to do them.

Alon, do you really care about those children? If not, do you think that that makes you evil? It does not. It is just who you are.

Do not do shit for approval. Get rid of what other people want you to do. Others want you to be altruistic? Fuck them. Others want you to be manly? Fuck them. Others want you to be successful? Fuck them.

Who defines who is a better person, anyway? Everybody has their own conception of that. For one, it is altruism. For the other, it is a lot of muscle. In the end, it is all about the idiotic need for approval. It is not about being the person you want to be, but about being the person others want you to be. That can take any shape. For example the shape of a brutal stud. But do you want to be a marionette for your parents and others or do you want to be yourself?

On the other hand, I may be misinterpreting your words. Still, there are a lot of people out there to whom this applies, so this article is not purposeless.

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  • Micah Geni

    Here is one I’d say pretty close to “altruism”. What happened, is that his affective empathy took over, and made him risk his own life, without even consider the risk. Then he didn’t want to be interviewed.


    Most cognitive empathy, leading to “altruism”, can somehow be explained as “help to self-help”. But that affective empathetic intuitive and spontaneous action, is hard to disregard

    So maybe aff.emp is “the holy grail” ?

    If one thinks about it, it is all about “love”. Everything but yourself. It is what makes human something of a special race, in a way. Motherly instincts towards unknown, in some cases. And maybe, just maybe, the less self-centered one is, the younger one stay ? The happier one become ? Worth a thought

    • It is hard to infer a person’s intent from a single action. In the end, there was a report about him. I bet that in more than one split-second, he imagined himself as a shining hero.

      But my point is not judging whether people are really altruistic or to reveal hypocrisy. It is more a call out: Just be real. It does not really matter what anybody thinks.

      • Micah Geni

        It has happened to me. Just did something spontaneous, even though I put myself in a dangerous spot. I just didn’t think. If I had, I wouldn’t have intervened

        Just be real. It does not really matter what anybody thinks.
        yeah. Most are phoneys, when it comes to “acting morally”.

        • I understand. That is cool.

          Reminds me of this: http://therationalmale.com/2012/02/29/what-lies-beneath/

          • Micah Geni

            Funny thought struck me.

            Maybe only the “real psychopath” can be truly altruistic.
            Why ? Because one cannot be influenced by fear. Problem is, that person isn’t suppose to posess aff. emp. either, so I dunno.

            “The good psychopath”, as Kevin Dutton talks about

          • Nah. Altruism, for me, is simply to see someone and want to see them happy. It has to do with love.

            There was this guy at my gym. He was a confident, strong dude. Then he had an accident and something with his spinal disc; truly fucked up stuff. I once saw him at the gym, wistfully looking at the other guys fighting. It was destroying his soul.

            I do not even particularly like this guy or want to be his friend, but I thought: If I could pay a thousand euros just to see this guy happily and confidently fighting and challenging the world, I would give it. He would not even have to know it was me.

  • Micah Geni

    Are they reading your blog ? :) :

    Trade self-consciousness for interest in the other person. Be in a
    conversation rather than putting on a performance. This is a version of
    emotional altruism—and altruism is a “healthy defense.”


    Quite related to your “rampage part 3” thread, and this one

  • Micah Geni

    Someone is describing me as I described myself, before I had read about all the “stuff out there”:
    Indigos began entering Earth around 45 years ago. They are born into every race and social structure in existence. They
    hold an innate energy vibrational frequency of Love. Indigos come into
    our world through the Third Eye Chakra which is the center of intuition,
    spiritual will, connecting ideas and developing a ‘picture’ of the
    world. They tend to be very strong willed, ultra sensitive, and quite
    “rebellious.” They don’t like authority or to be boxed in. “Thinking out
    of the box” is a trendy phrase we use today with its foundation in the
    Indigo energy.

    Spot on. Weird world
    Then again. Who likes authority, being boxed in.. etc.

    Familiar ?


    • How about this?

      The Rubin-Children. In the cosmic system of magic gems, these people are born under the sign of the Rubin. The color red indicates passion and fierceness, while the slight pink tone stands for their ability to empathize and have compassion. Rubin-Children easily see through other people and are quick to intuitively understand situations and make logical conclusions about society. This makes them great philosophers and in other cases thinkers that often go unnoticed. Society would do well to listen to them at times, because they see past the surface of the hectic everyday life.

      Just made it up.

      • Micah Geni

        I love rubins :)

        As you said. Well spoken Rubin child. They are worth listening to :)

        • No, Smaragd-Children are gaylords.

          Apple? No idea who they are or how they are going after Apple, but yeah, Jobs is a good copycat. They are making a movie about him. Damn narcissism. Who cares?

          • Micah Geni

            Who cares ?

            Its a sign of new times. Hopefully one of fewer “Madonnas” and more open quality ;)

            Agree Gaylord ? :p
            (3d psyche test. INTPs are green)

          • But the magic gem system has nothing to do with the 3d psyche test.

          • Micah Geni

            Why so certain ?

            Maybe MTBI, big 5 and such, are it’s manifestation :)
            “The alien categorisation program”, another secret of the CIA :)

          • Because I invented the magic gem system.

  • thordaddy

    Some “see” this type of “altruistic” display and recognize it for the self-annihilating meme that it actually is. Within the zeitgeist, “black males” are the go-to facilitator of “white” self-annihilation. So the real aim of this “altruistic” display was to provoke what the alt-rite dubs a “pathological altruism” in liberal “whites” that inevitably leads to their self-annihilation. In this instance, “white” liberals are provoked to literally give their blood on the demand of a “black male” stranger within a phony “altruistic” frame.

    • I do not really care about race, but I will say that the only people who ever appealed to my conscience were niggers. What, just because I am black? Annoying to no end. Next time, I say yes, because you are black. Now fuck off!

      • thordaddy

        What do mean that you don’t care about “race?” Don’t you really mean that you give “race” none of your mind? Should you tell people that publicly?

        • What is the difference? Why not?

          • thordaddy

            YOUR race is your father and your father’s father and your father’s father’s father all the way back to the God-father…

            Do you want to tell people publicly that you care for none of your fathers?

            This is evidence of self-annihilation as most valued desire.

          • My father left me. He abandoned me when I needed him, left me for a life of suffering. As he disrespected me, so I disrespect him. Sometimes I wish to fight him until death for that act. What a fucking asshole.

            I care for god. But not for any other man, not because of any kind of kinship. My kin left me to die, if only emotionally. I owe them nothing.

          • thordaddy

            So the recognition of the last bad link in the chain is the impetus to be the very last link in your chain?

          • Jesus, how I love to hear from you. You are kinda nuts, but you are better than that fucking projecting idiot trying to convince me I am gay.

            It truly is a psychological war. Quite brutal.

            I do not want to be the last link in the chain! But I want to first learn all I want to be able to teach my children. Fighting. Fucking. Being connected to god. Having peace of mind, being able to love.

            If I had a kid now, there would be so many things that he would miss out on, because I could not show him.

          • thordaddy

            You read genuinely honest so that’s always a good first step.

            And you can’t see “homo” in terms of two males sodomizing each other, butt rather, see homo-sexual* as a sexual aversion to bonding to a SINGLE white female.

            *homo=same=exact same=self…

          • Okay. You are not that much better.

          • thordaddy

            You aren’t yet able to equate miscegenation and deracination with radical sexual autonomy, ie., homo-sexuality.

            A simple first question to determine whether you value radical sexual autonomy over traditional sexual morality would be:

            Does Thomas Arrow believe in the “right” to “love, f&$k, screw” whomever one pleases including one’s self?

          • I do not believe in any rights. I know that god loves me no matter what I do. Which makes your words seem irrelevant.

          • thordaddy

            Perhaps you aren’t seeing the zeitgeist in all its diabolical fervor?

            You are to be father-less in all ways. Simple game theory says you claim every single one of them back for yourself.

          • Huh?

          • thordaddy

            I’m not pushing you to be a father right now. Just hoping that you don’t negate it has the potentially edifying experience it can be…

          • I am not negating that. That is just your interpretation.

          • thordaddy

            It’s probably harder to be a son without a father, but it is certainly greater to be a father with his son.

          • If you love and respect your son, yes. I am not sure if my father does. Or if he could admit it.

          • thordaddy

            Is being a father evidence of hating the world or embracing reality?

          • Not sure what you mean. Why should it be evidence of hating the world?

          • thordaddy

            You want to be equal to your father… He disrespects you and so disrespect him… You carry on a redundancy that has no self-evident out.

            Are you hating the world or embracing reality?

          • What the fuck? I should respect my father for … what exactly? I kinda respect him as a man, for what he achieved. But not in respect to being a father. Even when we had contact, the best thing I got from him was a bunch of funny political emails. His way of showing love, I guess.

            Anyway, do not fucking tell me to respect my father after what he did to me.

            You really are delusional yourself if you think that that makes me equal to him.

          • thordaddy


            At a certain frequency, YOU are EQUATING yourself to your father in terms of mutual disrespect. YOU are immersing yourself in a symbiotic regression. Never and no way can any kind of “respect” come from this CHOSEN EQUIVOCATION. There is no future “respect” in redundancy. So in fact, you are choosing to hate the world (proxy: your father) AS THOUGH you were merely embracing a reality. YOU are now the MASTER of mutual disrespect. YOU are in command of the symbiotic regression. YOU CHOOSE the now redundant nature of your relationship to your father.

          • My disrespect to my father does not imply distespect to my children. Stopping my disrespect towards him would feel like amputating my leg, as it is currently a central part of my truth.

          • By the way, I have a theory about the abstract concept of how you can achieve or kickstart a process of self-denial in a boy.

            Works like this:

            Take a boy. Boy knows his truth. He tells his truth to his mother. Mother says: You are lying. Boy knows he is not, yet mother insists. He goes to ask others for support. They tell him that his mother is probably right. In his mind, he equates truth with lie.

            Take it a step further. Boy expresses himself as a man. He is proud, arrogant, strong, honest. Woman comes and says: That is not really you. Why do you pretend? Same cycle over. Boy equates his real self with pretense. Thus his life can only anymore be a pretense not to be the pretense.

            In a nutshell, that is what happened to me. And I am furious.

          • thordaddy

            I believe it exactly how you tell it. But that part of the fury that was purposely manufactured outside your influence is exactly why most are left destroying that fury manifested from within.

  • I have always tricked myself into saying I do what I do because I choose too, but I do not care. I did not want to get sucked into this ridiculous notion of selflessness. Now I realize that it is okay to want to do stuff, and care about the people I do it for. Why does my personal desire have to get in the way of my emotional connections to others? Turns out it does not. This was very insightful. Great post Tom. I know it is not the point you were trying to get across, but I enjoyed the message all the same.