Sunday 15 December 2019

Promiscuous abstract altruism - why does the international mass media encourage it?

Promiscuous abstract altruism is a phrase that captures a trait relentlessly encouraged by the mass media, and enforced by peer pressure.

I mean by it the unending parade of human interest stories that are collected from around the world, and which form a large part of the daily consumption of Modern man - the natural disasters, wars and famines, consequences of accident and terrorism, the effects of disorders and diseases and death... The sufferings of children, old people, the innocent, the 'vulnerable', approved-minorities etc.

Every day, in every 'news' source we will be told of something that has happened to someone, somewhere - and our empathy will be enlisted. The aim, apparently, is that we ought to have an altruism - a 'care' of the well-being of others - that is abstract in the sense that we know nothing of the persons and situations, beyond what we are told by the media; and promiscuous in that we are expected to respond sympathetically to no-matter-how many such stories are thrown at us.

Why would the mass media be so keen on everybody, everywhere, being in a continual state of fake involvement in the miseries of others?

Whether these human interest stories are really-real is another matter; and of course most of them are not - being either made-up and 'staged'; or so selective and distorted and misinterpreted as to bear near-zero relationship to actuality.

But my point here is that it is clearly Very Important to those who control the mass media that most people most of the time, ought to be fascinated-by, and involved-in, these empathy-inducing news items. And 'ought' is the correct word; because those who express uninterest, or who are not convincing in their heart-felt 'concern ' for the alleged griefs of alleged persons thousands of miles distant will be judged (especially by women) to be monsters of stony-hearted selfishness...

What's it all about?

Clearly - since we are dealing with the mass media, and the media are tools of the very worst of The Establishment - who are themselves the hosts, servants and dupes of the demonic powers; the motives are not good; are indeed evil.

My guess is that the purpose of promiscuous abstract altruism is to displace the proper concerns of mortal Men. Which are love of God and neighbour; where neighbour implies direct  knowledge and concern - in not proximity and personal involvement, then close personal ties, such as family and friends.

And secondly, that most neglected of vital matters for this mortal life; our-real-selves. The basic reason why we are and remain alive is that we have things we need to learn-from. Aside from Love (which about our salvation) we therefore have theosis (which is about our spiritual development towards higher divinity).

Promiscuous abstract altruism is opposed to theosis, displaces theosis.

Theosis requires that we attend to our actual, personal, lived experience - through-which God is trying to 'teach' us lessons that it is vitally important we learn. Actual, personal, lived... these are the opposites of that second-hand, abstracted, depersonalised, manipulated kind of forced-empathy that is imposed by the mass media.

The intent is that we will be - every day and always - more concerned about the media stories of remote people about whom we know nothing for sure than we are about what is happening to us and around us. 

And, I would say, the media has largely succeeded in their aim; and to a greater extent with every passing year.

Inhibition of theosis? Thwarting of spiritual development?

Job Done!


Avro G said...

“My guess is that the purpose of promiscuous abstract altruism is to displace the proper concerns of mortal Men. Which are love of God and neighbour; where neighbour implies direct knowledge and concern...”

Exactly. Because the only “knowledge” we may be permitted to have must come through the filter of the media. It’s like the old gag, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

“And secondly, that most neglected of vital matters for this mortal life; our-real-selves.” How could you be so selfish?!

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Would you spend your time reading “human interest” stories from 200 years ago and sympathizing with the victims? But those stories are no less relevant to your life than what has (reportedly) happened today in some distant corner of the globe.

Bruce Charlton said...

Wm. Actually these old stories are a staple of mass media... "12 years a slave" for example, a recent successful movie "based on" a mass media human interest story from a couple hundred years ago. Obviously,there was also an antiwhite propagandistic agenda in this case.

LordSomber said...

Cheap Grace, to a hungry public that knows not what it should be hungry for.

Nothing new, except today's tech (i.e. social media) amplifies it to be even more of a ridiculous spectacle.

Bruce Charlton said...

@LS - True - but what an amplification!

William Wildblood said...

I have a suspicion that the empathy which we are so encouraged to feel nowadays is actually a cheap sentimentality which has a lot more in common with herd instinct than its protagonists might wish to acknowledge.

a_probst said...

From The Screwtape Letters, pgs 18, 19:

"Think of your man as a series of concentric circles, his will being the innermost, his intellect coming next, and finally his fantasy. You can hardly hope, at once, to exclude from all the circles everything that smells of the Enemy: but you must keep on shoving all the virtues outward till they are finally located in the circle of fantasy, and all the desirable qualities inward into the Will. It is only in so far as they reach the will and are there embodied in habits that the virtues are really fatal to us....

"All sorts of virtues painted in the fantasy or approved by the intellect or even, in some measure, loved and admired, will not keep a man from our
Father's house: indeed they may make him more amusing when he gets