Everybody is always naturally taking themselves into account without even thinking about it at the deepest level. We unconsciously assess what will allow us to survive.
However, some people help others to help themselves (though they are not consciously thinking about it that way, which is normal.) Others are programmed on the deepest level to hurt others to help themselves or to pretend to be altruistic when they are not. This latter form of selfishness which seeks to hurt others to get ahead is the one we pretend is actually a good thing that will benefit humanity when, by definition, it cannot.
The type of selfishness that hurts others to get ahead is (inherently) never a good thing and will always be considered evil. Even in competition, there must be rules of fair play. Immoral selfishness seeks to break the rules of fair play and then brainwashes humans into thinking that it’s a good thing to break such rules.
Capitalism requires fair competition to work properly. It’s best if customers know which retailer is selling a product for the cheapest price right away. Would the government ever invest in a website that lists the lowest prices so customers can get the best product for the lowest cost, forcing less efficient businesses to change?
Of course not • because that would encourage fair competition and fair play and very sinister pathologies do not like that. They want an unfair environment that only benefits those who argue for the necessity of unfairness under the guise that it will benefit humanity in the long run when (by definition) it will not.
Altruism: E.g. I help a feeble, elderly man walk to a destination.
In the long, long run, I do benefit from this kind deed but not always on an easily or immediately detectable level. (I don’t need to consciously think about it this way either, but it doesn’t hurt. The true mechanism granting benefit is so advanced, Buddhists refer to it as receiving benefit for good karma.)
Fair competition: E.g. A race to the finish line.
This is the type of competition that would ideally drive a properly functioning capitalist society.
Sinister selfishness: E.g. Taking a crowbar to somebody’s knee before a competition or giving myself a head start while pretending people who didn’t beat me just didn’t work hard enough.
This is the type of selfishness that people argue will still be beneficial. It won’t. It messes everything up and only results in elitism and a nobility willing to maintain such sinister backward logic.
The only capitalism I favour is High-Efficiency Capitalism where nobody is poor, inequality is always capped, and people compete for RELATIVE rather than absolute wealth.
And, NO, feeling good about doing good for others does NOT negate an altruistic act. That positive feeling is what maintains altruism in many cases. There are deeper levels of sacrifice that are more painful, but on a deeper level, even these acts are rewarded (though on that level, very few consciously think about it that way because reward may only be granted in an unforeseeably distant future.)