Though the altruistic approach seems good on the surface, even to theists, especially Christians, upon further reflection on how this value actually plays out in the real world, one can see the cracks in the secular altruist's argument. Mainly, how do we define what is good for all of society? We as individuals, cannot determine what is best for society, for we can never have a complete enough picture of what society most needs, at least not to a moral certainty. Moreover, is the simple fact that no individual can act on behalf of society.
Altruism seems good, even Biblical, but cannot serve as a code of ethics. The problem with altruism isn't that self-sacrifice is bad, it's that it allows society, not the individual, to make the call on who is required to sacrifice their own best interests and why. Society is the majority, and altruism makes one's actions subject to the need of the collective.
So are the leftist Democrats in power really just inept or is all the destruction being caused to our society and economy just a price to be paid to achieve the collective Utopia they seek?
The alarming rise in authoritarianism in Western democracies is just that, alarming. It can come from a benevolent place, a patronizing attitude toward common people. It can come from a sinister place, a sadistic need to control others and delight in their misery. It is condescension made into governmental policy.
Ayn Rand saw collectivism in all its forms as an impediment to human rights. "The good of society" cannot be the basis of rights, since society is merely a collection of individuals, and so the only proper rights are individual rights. When we base rights on what is good for society, that begs the question: Who speaks for society? Throughout history, such people who claim to speak for society inevitably turn out to be tyrants. You have a few, even a single person, deciding what is good for the people. Rand thought that people ought to decide for themselves, based upon rational self-interest.
To Reagan, and many of his generation, communism, and socialism equaled slavery-- not to a particular person, but to the state. What would the people of that era not so long ago make of the acceptance of Marxism and of collectivism we see among so many today?
Will they, should the leftist have their way, and establish some sort of socialist or neo-fascist state be reduced to fighting for their homeland, with not much cause to spill a drop of blood for whatever collectivist ideology takes the place of individual freedom? What would be the rallying cry used to motivate persons to pick up arms in such a place? “FOR EQUITY!”? “FOR THE COLLECTIVE GOOD!”? or “DEATH TO THE INDIVIDUALISTS!”?
St. Thomas Moore had his Utopia, Marx and Engels had their Communist Manifesto. Though the latter is better known for the destructive nature of its implementation in this and the last century, it has a commonality with the other books mentioned: the necessity of authoritarianism. It is this need for an authoritarian form of government and a ruling class, either explicit as in the Republic or implicit as with Marx and Engels that binds most, if not all Utopian systems with each other.
The longer wait to stand up for our rights and the more rights we cede, the harder it will be to get them back.
Biden voters looking for a collectivist utopia are probably ignorant of certain facts, particularly socialism's failures in the 20th century and the reasons for them.