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The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism Paperback – 1989
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Ayn Rand here sets forth the moral principles of Objectivism, the philosophy that holds human life--the life proper to a rational being--as the standard of moral values and regards altruism as incompatible with man's nature, with the creative requirements of his survival, and with a free society.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book--The Virtue of Selfishness-A New Concept of Egoism--blows my mind when I read it. Ayn Rand, the author of this book, is so good at expressing her beliefs in moral and ethical issues. The idea expressed in this book is relatively alien to me because of Catholic school's social teaching. However, Ayn Rand's ideas are not alien to American society: Ayn Rand's ideas were mostly opposite to Jesus' teaching, yet her book was popular among Republicans, especially those proclaim to be Christian conservatives (Ayn Rand was an atheist and she was pro-choice.)
However, her writing in this book does speak the truth. Ayn Rand writes, "An organism's life is its standard by value: that which furthers its life is the good, that which threatens it is the evil." It is true because throughout this book she supports and advocates a rational, objective "selfishness" rather than a selfishness based on one's whim. For example: the November 2015 Paris attacks, which resulted in the death of 129 innocent people, was a human tragedy. Therefore, according to this book, the "selfish" thing to do is to stand up against the terrorists because they threaten the human life rather than indifference which is based on whim. I believe that is the true interpretation of Ayn Rand's philosophy that was addressed in the Virtue of Selfishness.
Overall, the book is extremely appealing and worth reading. I strongly recommend this book. In addition, I had to look up some words in this book because it involves philosophical jargons.
The scary part is the realization that you are probably wandering through life, putting a little money aside and hoping that social security will be there to make retirement possible. Ayn Rand's questions become "Why am I depending on other people for my comfort and life? Shouldn't I make sure things will go as I want them? Shouldn't I be more selfish?"
Those questions ultimately self examination are why Ayn Rand's book is important and why I recommend it.