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 The Objectivist ethics proudly advocates and upholds {rational selfishness} which means: the values required for mans survival qua man- which means: the value required for human survival- not the values produced by the desires, the emotions, the "aspirations," the feelings, the whims or the needs of irrational brutes, who have never out grown the primordial practice of human sacrifices, have never discovered an industrial society and can conceive of no self-interest but that of grabbing the loot of the moment.

 The Objectivist ethics holds that human good does not require human sacrifices and can not be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. It holds that the rational interest of men do not clash- that there is no conflict of interest among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value.

[Ayn Rand,"The Objectivist Ethics," from {THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS}(C)COPYRIGHT 1961 BY Ayn Rand.

Until recently my life was all mixed up, I went from one extreme to another, I could not figure out how to live my life. Everything seemed to be going down hill, my marriage was on the rocks, I hated my job, and I despised my children for taking up all my time and money. Everything I did always seemed to be for someone else, never any thing for me. After much suffering, I left my wife, and was happy for a while, but soon started missing my children. I would get them every weekend, but could do very little with them for lack of money(their mother still got most of my money).

After going into a state of depression, a good friend lent me some of her books written by Ayn Rand. After reading some of the essays Ayn wrote, things started getting clear. I always felt the way she did about the things she wrote about, but could not figure out how to put them into the proper relationship with my life. I started thinking about what she said about selfishness, and self-interest. I had always seen selfishness as evil and giving everything I had to the ones I loved as being a virtue. That left nothing for me and therefore I felt bad about my self, if I had nothing left I must be worthless, a failure.

Seeing selfishness as a virtue changed the way I looked at life. Instead of sacrificing everything I had to my children, I would give to them so that I could enjoy their company, even cooking a big dinner for them, just so I could sit and watch them eat it, was a great pleasure, therefore I was giving to them, for myself. When I had to work extra hours to put one of my children in a private school,(not neglecting the other two, but the school only had one opening, as soon as there are more my other two children will go also), although she to is benefiting from this, it is mostly for me because I don't like public schools(outlined in a previous essay), and I want my children to get the best education my money can buy. When I go to work, I don't go for the good of my employer, I go for myself so that I may have, and do more. To day everything I do, I do for myself, if I help a stranger in need its because it makes me feel good about myself. I will no longer sacrifice my self to anyone for anything, I will no longer sacrifice my children to anyone(i.e.public schools)for anything. If it can't be done out of selfishness I will not do it.

"I swear-by my life and my love for it-that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."
John Galt, from Atlas Shrugged.(c) Ayn Rand 1957

I have learned that doing things for myself is not evil, as a matter of fact it is necessary for my survival. This does not mean that I can sacrifice others for my interest, I am responsible for my actions. With that in mind I choose to do things that will not have a negative impact on my life. I will not sacrifice others for my own good, and I don't expect others to sacrifice me and that which belongs to me for their own good.

Copyright(c) 1998 by James Langley
All rights reserved

Virtue of Selfishness