Cause of 'altruism'.-- Men have on the whole spoken of love with such emphasis and so idolized it because they have had little of it and have never been allowed to eat their fill of this food: thus it became for them 'food of the gods'. Let a poet depict a utopia in which there obtains universal love; he will certainly have to describe a painful and ludicrous state of affairs the like of which the earth has never yet seen - everyone worshiped, encumbered and desired, not by one lover, as happens now, but by thousands, indeed by everyone else, as the result of an uncontrollable drive which would then be as greatly execrated and cursed as selfishness had been in former times; and the poets in that state of things - provided that they were left alone long enough to write - would dream of nothing but the happy, loveless past, of divine selfishness, of how it was once possible to be alone, undisturbed, unloved, hated, despised on earth, and whatever else may characterize the utter baseness of the dear animal world in which we live.
- there is an actual conceptual difference between selfish & individual. 1 has negative qualities associated with it, while the other doesn't. One allows the development of the individual, the other doesn't. One allows for easy acknowledgement of the balance inherent in life (between individual & social).
An emotional reaction to a term may inspire a physiological response
from an individual, but it still does not change in the slightest the underlying root cause therein. When I speak of an absence of altruism, I speak nothing of it's perception, only of it's casual reality. Any act of altruism, no matter it's term or perception, is done from an intrinsically selfish response in man-- one in which even the greatest of self-denials is done strategically. Done for the organism; done for the tribe which supports the organism; done for the ideology which makes it; done for the betterment of none other than the stabilization of one's own perceived existence-- how one sees oneself perhaps.
All in all, the notion of such a thing, while "morally" correct, is philosophically absurd.