THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS by Ayn Rand

THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a collection of 19 short essays which have appeared in The Objectivist Newsletter. 15 of the essays are by Ayn Rand, 4 by Nathaniel Brandon and they are devoted to explaining the "Objectivist" attitude towards such subjects as the nature of man, self-sacrifice, racism, mental health, the role of government, socialism and other questions of an ethical nature. According to Ayn Rand, the "Objectivist Ethics" "holds man's life as the standard of value and his own life as the ethical purpose of every individual man." It is thus advocates what she calls "rational selfishness" and opposes hedonist or altruist doctrines which maintain, she says, "that the happiness of one man necessitates the injury of another." In applying the hierarchical standards of "Objectivism" to politics and economics she eventually insists upon a laissez faire type of economy as being "the only system that can uphold individual rights." She would have the very financing of government (which she admits is a certain necessity) itself on a "voluntary" basis. Her theories lead her to incorporate a number of slogans embraced by the right-wing, such as, "without property rights no other rights are possible" and this no doubt endears her to conservatives. But she gives them the back of her hand too, particularly for their racist tendencies. Her style is a decidedly peremptory one anyway but perhaps this is the only stance she can take in view of the intractability of her material.
Pub Date: Nov. 29th, 1965
ISBN: 0451163931
Page count: 138pp
Publisher: New American Library
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1965




MORE BY AYN RAND

FictionIDEAL by Ayn Rand
by Ayn Rand
FictionANTHEM by Ayn Rand
by Ayn Rand
NonfictionLETTERS OF AYN RAND by Ayn Rand
by Ayn Rand

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionIN DEFENSE OF SELFISHNESS by Peter Schwartz
by Peter Schwartz