Valdemar Malin | Secrets of Comte’s Doctrine
A sympathetic and neatly dressed man with the Bible in his hand appears uninvited at the door steps of your home and rings the bell. But when you open the door, robbers break into your house unrestrained.
That’s how altruism operates. Sympathetic and attractively dressed in the attire of the Biblical kindness, selflessness and benevolence, it appears uninvited at the door steps of a society and knocks at the door. But when the door is opened, socialism takes over the society without any resistance. In other words, altruism opens the door to socialism.
But it was just an introduction to altruism, an invisible phenomena that ruins our lives today. This essay provides the information you will not find anywhere—this confusing and controversial topic has long been a taboo, suppressed or distorted by liberal academia and media. Му goal is to fill the gap and reveal the dark secrets of the enigmatic and dangerous Comte’s altruistic doctrine. Everyone should know this!
(Warning: the following material includes a graphic content, which may not be suitable for people who are allergic to philosophy or have contraindications to other brain-strained mental exercises).
The biological father of the genuine, original altruism, French philosopher Auguste Comte, has left an enormous body of literary works, including his influential theory of Positivism. The theory was introduced in the first volume of his “System of Positive Polity” (1851-1854), and the doctrine of altruism is the most important part of it.
So, what is altruism? It is a revolutionary, for it’s time, ideology-oriented philosophical doctrine. A fairly complex and confusing for interpretation in its original form, Comte’s doctrine looks drastically different today.
Here is a typical modern definition of the original Comte’s altruism given by Wikipedia. But don’t expect to find it there. It hides under a different (quite noble) name—Ethical or Moralistic altruism.
Not only the name, but the definition is ambiguous too. Here is the definition: “…ethical altruism was interpreted by philosophers in various ways, although its definitions generally revolve around a moral obligation to benefit others or serving others rather than oneself.”
Look how this definition was distorted! It turns out that Comte’s altruism is nothing else than just an innocent, voluntary moral obligation to do good deeds for others. But it omitted, intentionally, the demand, not so innocent and voluntary, that you “must live for others,” which is the essence of Comte’s doctrine.
Wikipedia is not alone. Such “interpreters” of Comte’s altruism have been changing and embellishing it over the years after his death until they corrupted it beyond recognition.
Let me show you the real face of Comte’s altruism without makeup—its original, uncorrupted interpretation. And the only man who can help us to do that honestly and objectively is Auguste Comte himself. Let’s listen how Comte formulates his doctrine.
“While it is important to acknowledge the innateness of the sympathetic (altruistic) instincts, one is forced to admit their native weakness: the supremacy of the egoistic tendencies is so clear that it is itself one of the most striking traits in our nature. The great human problem is to reverse the natural order and to teach ourselves to live for others.”
This short citation is the key to understanding the genuine essence of Comte’s altruistic doctrine. In a coded form, it contains two main concepts of the doctrine. The first concept shows how to change human society, the second—how to change human nature.
These titanic tasks cannot be completely covered in one essay, of course. Therefore, I will try to briefly describe the essence of both concepts, which, as a nucleus of an atom, contain the immense explosive energy of Comte’s doctrine. So, brace yourself for a brain-shaking ride on a bumpy road—it’s another fascinating, educational story about altruism.
The 1st Concept of Comte’s Altruistic Doctrine
It is the most important (and destructive) part of the entire theory of Positivism. It offers an appealing plan for restructuring human society (and the world) based on new moral principles. It declares that the only moral way for humanity to live is an altruistic society in which its members must “live for others,” not for themselves.
Comte himself confessed that “the expression, live for others, is the simplest summary of the whole moral code of Positivism.” Therefore, this expression has always been the authentic meaning of the term altruism, its original essence, symbol and trade mark.
This was too harsh for Comte’s contemporaries to stomach. The requirements for joining the altruistic society were too strict, and the price of the membership was too high.
Just think about it. In real world, a mother returns from work to feed her hungry children. But in the Comte’s altruistic world, what this mother is morally obligated to do first is to feed her neighbor’s kids!
How many individuals will be able to meet such extremely strict and uncompromising standards? How many would agree to accept voluntarily such extreme duties and harsh obligations even if they appeal to your morals? And how many will give their consent to live in such austere, almost Spartan society voluntarily?
Not many! Comte realized that his 1st altruistic concept looked like a wishful thinking rather than a practical social theory: that it would never work on a voluntary basis. Something was missing. And he found a solution to overcome this problem—SUBORDINATION!
“The individual must subordinate himself to an Existence outside himself,” Comte declares in his System of Positive Polity. In other words, you must live for others by subordinating your existence to the demands of a society…or else (“must” is a veiled threat of coercion or punishment). Such addition made the 1st Comte’s concept complete and gave it a practical chance to survive.
But is it realistic to expect the voluntary subordination from everyone in everything? Such unanimity cannot come out of free will—it goes against human nature. This can be achieved only by coercion. And Comte, with some hesitation, endorsed coercion—“confiscation of property, removal from society, excommunication and even capital punishment as the last resort,” although. That’s why Comte was against individual rights— they are the enemies of coercion.
Did Comte realize what a socialist monster was born in his mind? No doubt. His mentor was French philosopher Henry de Saint-Simon himself—“the father of socialism.”
That’s why the 1st concept of Comte’s altruistic doctrine became a blueprint for building an unprecedented collectivist and totalitarian society in which everything individual and personal had to be totally dissolved in and sacrificed for a collective, and а total control had to be established over each member by a government.
That’s why the main ideas of the 1st concept became an effective weapon used by all collectivist and totalitarian ideologies, such as Marxism, Italian fascism, German National socialism, Russian international socialism or Chinese agrarian socialism.
Oh, you don’t believe that Marx, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin or Mao were the followers of Comte, do you? They were! And not only the followers, they put into practice the main ideas of the 1st concept of Comte’s doctrine, such as “to live and sacrifice for others,” “the duty to subordinate your selfishness to society” and “to put interests of others above your own.”
Mussolini urged Italians “to embrace a life in which the individual denies himself through the sacrifice of his own private interest.”
Hitler explained his altruistic philosophy as “the principle that the good of the community takes priority over that of the individual…every owner should feel himself as an agent of the state, it is his duty…the state will always retain the right to control property owners.”
Stalin followed the principles of Comte’s doctrine so blindly, but the destruction he brought upon people were considered to be the results of corrupting noble ideals of altruism. This prompted a great American writer and philosopher Ayn Rand to retort, “Stalin did not corrupt a noble ideal. This is the only way altruism has to be or can ever be practiced.”
Mao Zedong was promoter of Comte’s altruism too. According to Jacob Neusner (Georgetown University), “the attempt (of Mao Zedong) to induce people to act in the interest of others owed much to the European traditions of Marx and Engels.” (I beg your pardon, those “traditions” were introduced by Auguste Comte before Marx or Engels).
These quotes exemplify a mindset of any ideologue of collectivism, from Karl Marx to Fidel Castro. Their love affair with Comte’s altruistic doctrine is based on its key ideas—a complete self-sacrifice; total subordination to state-controlled society; and its potential for changing human nature and the world. Remember Marx’s famous slogan: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways: the point, however, is to change it.”
That’s what the main mission of Comte’s altruistic doctrine is all about—to change the world! Keep this in mind! When Comte altruists call on you to be kind, selfless or benevolent in order to make the world a better place to live, it’s not about kindness, selflessness or benevolence—it’s about forcing you to live for others!
…When I see the footages of the old newsreels, in which organized masses are marching on the Red Square or the Tiananmen Square carrying portraits of Marx, Lenin or Mao, I wonder why there are no portraits of Auguste Comte whose ideas made triumph of socialism and communism possible.
The 2nd Concept of Comte’s Altruistic Doctrine
If the goal of the 1st concept is to transform human society, which is a huge undertaking by itself, the 2nd concept proposes something impossible—to change human nature. So, what is the essence of this puzzling and mysterious concept and why Comte needed it?
According to Comte, human nature contains two “innate“ (inborn) traits—Altruism and Egoism. Altruism is a desirable, but weak trait, while egoism is much stronger but an undesirable trait that suppresses altruism. Therefore, the “natural order” (human nature) must be “reversed” to eradicate egoism.
Thus, Comte declared a merciless war on egoism because the undesirable egoism poses a serious threat to noble altruism and to an altruistic society. This part of the 2nd concept is not hard to understand. But why did Comte introduce the idea of innateness of altruism here?
From the ancient time, philosophy and religion have been teaching us that egoism is an inborn trait of human nature. We don’t have to learn egoism—wise Nature armed each of us with egoism from birth (obviously, to help humans to survive). Therefore, no matter how fiercely we fight it, we cannot eradicate egoism—millennia come and go, but egoism is still with us.
Still, Comte considered altruism to be an inborn trait, anyway. Why? This was a very risky, bold and revolutionary statement at his time. Moreover, Comte went even further. He declared that altruism exists in nature and that not only humans, but all living beings were born as altruists, as well. He was seeking evidence to prove this idea based on a new science of phrenology and on the similarities between humans and animals.
Thus, Comte gave birth to a new controversial and far-reaching theory claiming that altruism is not born in a human mind, it has a biological origin. Called biological altruism, it is the essence of the 2nd Comte’s altruistic concept.
Biological altruism attributes noble human traits and behaviors (kindness, empathy or selflessness) to animals, insects, plants and even microorganisms!
Can you imagine a hungry animal giving away its meagre booty to others (except its cubs) out of kindness? Or a monkey that scratches the back of another monkey out of empathy? Will you question the sanity of those who consider single-cell amoebas (slime mold) to be selfless altruists? But in the realm of biological altruism, it’s considered normal.
Don’t laugh! There are serious but hidden reasons for such anthropomorphism.
The first reason is to prove that altruism exists in nature; that it’s sponsored by mother-Nature herself. Nature’s endorsement renders credibility and objectivity to any argument because Nature cannot err and never fails!
Promoters of the 2nd Comte’s concept in academia have been spending millions on research to prove that altruism exists. As a result, numerous theories were developed, such as kin, reciprocal, group and other versions of altruism to explain how it was born in nature.
If they find and produce a valid birth certificate of altruism certified by Nature, they can declare that altruism is more advantageous strategy for the existence and survival of all living things than self-interest or egoism is.
And here is the point. Since humans are a part of nature, the following logical conclusion can be drawn—the structure of a human society based on altruism (such as socialism) is more advantageous than that based on self-interest or egoism (such as capitalism).
Bingo! That’s why the 2nd concept of Comte’s altruistic doctrine is needed for.
But there is another important reason, also. After the collapse of the communist/socialist world, Comte’s altruism has fallen from grace and disappeared from public discourse.
Now, its supporters hide it under a different name—Ethical or Moral altruism. Now, they promote a different idea—Real, Genuine or Apparent altruism.
This is the modern altruism, folks! Although they, by some reasons, preserved the family name—altruism, they’ve changed its original meaning. Now, it means selflessness, kindness, benevolence, generosity, empathy and other good stuff taken from the Biblical vocabulary.
Now, they say, modern altruism has nothing to do with Comte’s altruism. But why does this new idea still bare proudly the original family name “altruism” thought up by Auguste Comte? It’s strange! We already have a bunch of good stuff to describe our good intentions— selflessness, kindness, etc. Why do we need another one like modern altruism for?
It’s because modern altruism is a fake. It is a scam to shelter and unnoticeably revive Comte altruism. And the biological altruism is a clever secret tool used in this scam.
Now, try to solve a simple math problem for elementary school. Given: biological altruism is modern altruism, and, at the same time, it is a part of the Comte’s doctrine. Can modern altruism have nothing to do with Comte altruism?
Yes, your answer is correct! They are closely related. Moreover, they are secret blood relatives and have the same last name “altruism! So, to pass Comte altruism for modern altruism is just a piece of cake.
This is another important role played by the 2nd concept. By promoting biological altruism, proponents of modern altruism, in fact, discretely promote Comte’s doctrine too, biological altruism being a missing link between them—invisible, deceptive and damaging.
This covert fraud has been going on for a long time. If left-leaning authors of scientific papers, progressive reporters or policy makers call on people to behave as altruists by showing selflessness, kindness, empathy, etc., you can bet that the people will end up living for others!
Comte was wise and foresighted. Even though the 1st concept of his altruistic doctrine was discredited and pronounced dead, it is still pretty much alive secretly destroying our lives, thanks to its insurance policy—the 2nd concept.
In conclusion, what on Earth is altruism? The 1st and the 2nd concepts of Comte’s altruistic doctrine represent the scope and the definition of the term altruism, while the altruistic society is the ultimate goal for all progressive, left and socialists. Their intention is to coral all of us in there, by deceit or violence, and to force everyone to live for others—for a state or a party, their ideology or ideologues (similar to bees or ants that live for their nests and queens). They believe in that goal and strive to achieve it, only discretely. In the interim, while waiting for the signal to actions, they (along with animals, plants and amoebas) are marching under the banners of modern altruism and hiding behind the Biblical slogans of selflessness, kindness and benevolence. Now you know!
More information about altruism and the references you can find in the book “Altruism, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” by Valdemar Malin (Amazon.com).