altruism

The Shackles of Paternalism

Today, the “nanny-state” is omnipresent. Its latest pernicious intrusion pertains to pain-relief medication. Doctors are being told to restrict their prescriptions of opioids, the drugs (such as Percocet and Vicodin) used to reduce extreme pain. Why? Because the government is concerned about patients who overuse the drugs, leading to addiction and sometimes death. The idea …

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Unsoaking the Rich

The most distressing aspect of soak-the-rich schemes is not that the left keeps pushing them—but that the right regularly fails to offers a convincing refutation. When Democrats declare that the rich are not paying their “fair share” of taxes, the Republicans’ typical response is: “Oh yes, they are; look at how much more they pay, …

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Reconceiving the Idea of Selfishness

In the realm of ethics, no characteristic is more widely condemned than selfishness. Practically no one challenges the premise, which we’re all taught from childhood, that acting for one’s own benefit is morally tainted, while sacrificing for the benefit of others is the essence of moral virtue. It is considered self-evident that selfishness is evil. …

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Dealing with Iran: Self-Interest vs. Self-Sacrifice

Forget about the intricate details of our nuclear agreement with Iran–the number of centrifuges permitted, the degree of uranium enrichment allowed, the amount of advance notification required before inspectors can visit a nuclear facility. There is really only one question that matters: If Iran poses a physical threat to America—if we have reason to fear …

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Altruism and the Cave-in to Iran

[This article was expanded into “Dealing with Iran: Self-Interest vs. Self-Sacrifice.”] Forget about the intricate details of our nuclear agreement with Iran—the number of centrifuges permitted, the degree of uranium enrichment allowed, the amount of advance notification required before inspectors can visit a nuclear facility. There is really only one question that matters: If an …

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The Focus of
In Defense of Selfishness

Here is an interesting email I received from a prospective reader of IN DEFENSE OF SELFISHNESS: “I am considering buying the book, but I am on the fence. Looking at the table of contents, it appears it may be more focused on defeating a negative than upholding a positive. For example, the section headings seem …

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In Defense of Selfishness
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Free Webinar

If you pre-order my new book, In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive, before May 8, 2015, you will be able to attend an exclusive webinar at which you can ask me questions about the material in the book. The webinar, arranged by the Ayn Rand Institute, will be held sometime in …

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Altruism and Patriotism

You can love something even as you try to change it. You cannot, however, love something that you are trying to change into its opposite. The same applies to the question of whether President Obama genuinely loves America. Patriotism is a rational attitude toward one’s country—when it deserves to be loved. But to someone living …

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Christmas, Objectivism and Selfishness—
Objecting to a “Season of Giving”

The “season of giving” comes with its own set of commandments. Give back, we’re told. Remember the needy. Don’t give because it makes you feel good; give because it’s the right thing to do. But these platitudes don’t represent my perspective on the Christmas season. As an Objectivist, I’ve adopted an ethics not of altruism but of …

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Objecting to a “Season of Giving”
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Altruism, the Gaza War and the Law of Causality

  When someone is killed because, say, a hurricane made his roof cave in, journalists understand the need to explain that occurrence. They don’t simply report that Mr. Jones died when a heavy beam fell on his skull. Rather, they report that a hurricane blew in the roof, thereby making the beam fall. Perhaps they …

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My Book Has a Publisher!

I am extraordinarily happy to announce that I’ve gotten a publisher, Palgrave Macmillan, for my book. This is a major publisher—the same one, by the way, that published Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins. After considerable wrangling, we agreed on the following title: IN DEFENSE OF …

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My Interview on the Doctrine of Altruism

Well before In Defense of Selfishness was published—when  its working title was The Tyranny of Need—I was  interviewed by Don Watkins of the Ayn Rand Institute. Here is an edited excerpt (and you can click below it for the audio version of the full interview): Q. If you asked most people what morality is, I think they …

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In Defense of Selfishness—a Summary

(This is a brief summary of my new book, followed by the Table of Contents.) What if the central idea we’re all taught about morality is wrong? Virtually everyone regards self-sacrifice as a moral virtue. From childhood on, we are told that serving the needs of others, rather than our own, is the essence of …

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The Opponents of ObamaCare Are Completely Missing The Point

The opponents of ObamaCare are missing the boat. They are arguing that the new law is a redistribution program. They are accusing the Democrats of “generational theft.” They contend that ObamaCare penalizes the young, who are generally healthier, by making them pay more for health insurance so that older people pay less. All these claims …

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