“Every human being is an end in himself, not the means to the ends or the welfare of others and therefore, man must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.” – Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness
It is taken as a self-evident axiom that selfishness is evil. But is it? And what exactly is selfishness? Why do some say it is a vice, and why does Ayn Rand say it is a virtue? And why does a human being need a moral code anyway?
In the Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand introduces her new morality—the ethics of rational self-interest—that attacks the altruist-collectivist thought of the past two thousand years. Known as Objectivism, her philosophy holds human life—the life proper to a rational being—as the standard of moral value and regards altruism as incompatible with human nature. In this series of essays, Rand asks why man needs morality in the first place, and arrives at an answer that redefines a new code of ethics based on the virtue of selfishness.”