The title of Degutis' essay is a mouthful, to be sure, but it is an excellent piece -- quite the best in the entire issue Fall 2006 issue of JARS. Degultis' is a Lithuanian classical liberal who understands all too well the threat posed by leftist sentiments to Western Civilization. He argues that "the agenda [of leftism] is counterproductive, it's 'progressive' goals are retrogressive, and its implementation would result in the destruction of the West." Degultis proceeds with a subtle, nuanced analysis of the main ideas of leftist thought -- an analysis that is devastating precisely because it avoids the sort of self-serving, facile distortions and crude hyperbole that are the stock and trade of the denizens of ARI. The only question one might have about Degutis' essay is, What does it have to do with Rand? It never mentions Rand, nor does it avail itself of any of Rand's singular conceptual devices. So how should we account for its inclusion in JARS? Perhaps it is there because it expresses opposition to the radical left, which Rand also vehemently -- though, unfortunately, not as intelligently -- opposed as well.
Whatever may be the reason, I doubt that Rand herself would have approved of it, because it makes distinctions which would have horrified her objectivist proprieties. Hence, we find Degutis distinguishing between Christian altruism, which confines itself to the sphere of voluntary relations, with secular altruism, which "is open and limitless, subsuming under its cover all the wretched of the earth." I cannot imagine Rand would have been pleased by the suggestion that some forms of altruism may not after all be evil.