How This Viral Promotional Video Proves that Gift-Giving is All About Corporate Self-Interest

This viral video reminds me of a Filipino blogger who told me that a number of ‘enlightened’ firms actually engage in “altruistic” activities, thus proving that “altruism” is good.

The truth is, altruism does not mean kindness, good will or respect for the welfare/rights of others. In fact, altruism makes kindness or charity (which should be voluntary) impossible.

From my previous blog:

The meaning of altruism is not simply kindness or generosity toward other people. Altruism means that man must serve others and that it is his duty to satisfy and fulfill the welfare of others. This kind of morality is not simply immoral; it is evil at best. It means that man must put the interests of others above his own. Altruism demands that man must do the impossible.

The standard dictionary definition of “altruism”  (French, altruisme, from autrui: “other people”, derived from Latin alter: “other”) is as follows: “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others.” The key word there is “unselfish”, which means “renunciation of self” or “self-abnegation.”

French philosopher Auguste Compte, who coined the term, argued that altruism calls for living for the sake of others. The key phrase is “living for others”.

Compte wrote:

The individual must subordinate himself to an Existence outside himself in order to find in it the source of his stability. And this condition cannot be effectually realized except under the impulse of propensities prompting him to live for others. The being, whether man or animal, who loves nothing outside himself, and really lives for himself alone, is by that very fact condemned to spend his life in a miserable alternation of ignoble torpor and uncontrolled excitement. Evidently the principal feature of Progress in all living things is that the general consensus which we have seen to be the essential attribute of vitality should become more perfect.  It follows that happiness and worth, as well in individuals as in societies, depend on adequate ascendancy of the sympathetic instincts. Thus the expression, Live for Others, is the simplest summary of the whole moral code of Positivism.”

Compte also proved that “altruism” is collectivistic or opposed to “individualism” in his Catéchisme Positiviste:

[The] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service…. This [“to live for others”], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, whose we are entirely.”

Altruism thus means self-sacrifice or putting the welfare of others above your own. The altruists (like missionaries, nuns, environmentalists, etc.) are free and have the right to serve others so long as they don’t advocate political measures that call for a national or social sacrifice (e.g., political advocacy like the passage of the Reproductive Health bill, socialized health care, etc.)

It is wrong to claim that businesses’ charitable activities and “gift-giving” is altruistic.

From my previous blog:

Ever heard the concept of CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY or CSR? Most global corporations like Starbucks, McDonalds, etc. engage in  CSR activities or charitable causes in order to improve their corporate image, brand and reputation. The sole motivation is internal, not external. They engage in these ‘generous’ activities and endeavors NOT to lose money, but to be more successful. The ultimate purpose of CSR campaigns is to improve a firm’s or company’s image, profits and sales. In business, profit symbolizes corporate self-interest. Thus, in the eyes of competent corporate executives, CSR, charitable and generous activities are now a new form marketing strategies aimed at improving a company’s overall image and reputation. The end goal is to achieve corporate and financial viability and success.

So this should DEBUNK that so idiotic a claim that corporations’ charitable activities are a form of altruistic endeavor. They are NOT! These activities are motivated by CORPORATE SELF-INTEREST, not altruism!

In return, WestJet company got free media coverage, “ads” and promotions from blogs, websites, millions of FB users, forums, and social media. Which means that it received “free” publicity that would have cost them millions.

From WestJet.com:

Hour 1 – a few thousand views. OK, not bad, keep in mind it’s hour one, but I start to wonder how many days it will take to reach 200,000 so we could give the gift of flight to one of our Ronald McDonald House Charities families.

Hour 3 – it is starting to pick up. More than 20,000 views; almost at last year’s day one total. The little airline that could is making some waves. News outlets are calling and we are happy to say hello!

Hour 8 – Whoa! Mashable? We aren’t ‘Hot’ yet but we will be in a few more hours, especially after that “Velocity Alert”! Insert another video, this one is of me dancing a small jig at the office (shout out to our new friends in Dublin).

Hour 12 – devour.comShareshareshare, just like momma taught me way back in preschool, only now it’s way more fun.

Hour 16 – 100,000 views? Is it possible? Can we hit 200,000 views in under 24 hours? Can we make a family’s wish come true?

Day 2 – CTVCNNABCThe Daily Mail, The View – they are all knocking at once. As I rub the sleep from my eyes I see a few unexpected zeroes behind the number of views. I rub my eyes again, and again, and once more then we start on the call-backs to major news networks across North America. We hit one million views. Ronald McDonald House Charities will be getting a very merry phone call!

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