Pathological Altruism: White Man’s Burden?

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• Professor Kevin MacDonald expounds upon “pathological altruism”

By Pete Papaherakles

Most Americans are familiar with the phrase: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. On October 24, a respected psychology professor from California State University explained the science behind this growing phenomenon at a talk at The Occidental Quarterly (OQ) dinner in Washington, D.C.

Kevin MacDonald, who is also the editor of OQ and writes for its news website The Occidental Observer, calls it “pathological altruism” (PA), a relatively new concept first mentioned in scientific journals in 1984. It has not received much attention, however, until a book by that name, edited by Barbara Oakley, was published in December 2011 by Oxford University Press. The book is reviewed and the subject thoroughly explored in the 2013 summer and fall issues of OQ, a conservative quarterly magazine on man, culture and politics from a Western perspective.

Ms. Oakley defines PA in this way: “Pathological altruism can be conceived 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.”

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When properly understood, PA is a scientific explanation about why people do stupid things in the false belief that they are helping others when they are only hurting themselves in the process.

The beauty of this new discovery is that it documents the evolutionary, biological and psychological causes of this disorder, which adds much needed credibility to what we all know to be a severe lack of common sense.

Dr. MacDonald and OQ have correctly characterized the disorder as what has always been referred to as “bleeding heart liberalism,” the “cult of victimhood” or plain old “white guilt tripping.”

Whites have spent trillions of dollars over the last half- century “helping” blacks here and in Africa while in both cases most blacks are no better off than they were—some say they’re worse off—and many blacks hate whites more than ever. The same can be applied to every victim cause that liberals have advocated, whether it’s illegal immigration, drug addiction or any other group portrayed as entitled to some type of special treatment.

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Pete Papaherakles is a writer and political cartoonist for AFP and is also AFP’s outreach director. Pete is interested in getting AFP writers and editors on the podium at patriotic events. Call him at 202-544-5977 if you know of an event you think AFP should attend.

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