That’s the force of ideology for you and the effects of doublespeak, and the motivation is obvious: since mutual aid and cooperaton fly in the face of competition and self-concern, by far the predominant mode of social interactions, the idea is to discredit alternative approaches by relegating them to the area of the idiosyncratic, if not bizarre. Indeed, even charity, in its modern rendition, suffers by association: it connotes by and large a passive rather than a pro-active stance. The object is to restore altruism and similar such terms to their original intention and meaning.
What might that meaning be? Concern for the other is as good a start as any, but I’m getting ahead of myself, I’m afraid. We’re still at the level of functional relationships, relationships whereby mutual aid & cooperation are more or less necessary practical responses to situations in which the pulling together of resources is precisely the right thing to do. Notice that self-interest merges here with communal interest, the interest of all. Also notice that the notion of what’s right in this case doesn’t come down to any moral kind of right but is defined instead in terms of strictly practical considerations, the common good in this instance (which happens to coincide with individual self-interests).
Nothing wrong with that, I say. Practice is as good a ground for concept formation as any, especially if it’s sound practice. Besides, there’s no stronger endorsement, or reinforcement for that matter, of a desired course of action, or practice, other than by appeal to self-interest, Saul Alinsky’s standard M.O. And when self-interest, as I stated, happens to coincide with communal interest, you have the best of all possible words. We’re stil a long ways, of course, from other-centeredness, our ultimate destination, since the outlined practice, or the habit of action, stem from practical, not ideational concerns. How we get there and acquire the requisite kind of concern, apart now from whether the circumstances at hand warrant a cooperative type of response (especially if they’re no longer dire!), is a story in its own right, and it deserves to be told.