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The Virtue of Selfishness | [Ayn Rand]

The Virtue of Selfishness

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 human nature, with the creative requirement of survival, and with a free society.
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Publisher's Summary

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 human nature, with the creative requirement of survival, and with a free society.

Ms. Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are set forth in this insightful piece of nonfiction.

©1961, 1964 Ayn Rand; ©1962, 1963, 1964 by the Objectivist Newsletter Incorporated; (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

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  •  
    Nick Morris, CT, United States 10-23-05
    Nick Morris, CT, United States 10-23-05
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    "Defines our times"

    Apologia for sociopathy. Brilliant and pitifully misguided.

    Want to know why the modern world is such a mess? Read this for a description of how to get there. "The Fountainhead" is another. For the comic book version, save some time and hair-pulling and read "Anthem."

    The term "ethics" when referring to Ayn Rand is Orwellian.

    33 of 98 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison NEW YORK, NY, United States 06-11-14
    Allison NEW YORK, NY, United States 06-11-14
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    "Excellent Reader, Troubling Text"

    I picked up this audiobook in hopes of broadening my world view as I'd never read Rand before. I found her theoretical writing to be thoughtful and enlightening when applied to how individuals should conduct their own lives according to their personal values. I was troubled, however, with the sections dealing with public policy (or lack thereof) and public life. Rand seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature, of the value of culture, and of the sustainability of widespread systems.

    I will say that the reader, C. M. Hernert, is excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Cheswick, PA, United States 04-26-14
    William Cheswick, PA, United States 04-26-14
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    "Don't Blank-Out"
    What did you love best about The Virtue of Selfishness?

    This is a well put together chain of reason and logic. I believe that Socrates would have been won over by Ayn Rand with this one work. Ayn is very patient and very systematic in this presentation. I have spent time studying several popular philosophies, and traditional beliefs. There is so much built-in contradiction in so many philosophies that are explained with impenetrable mysteries that end in unreasonable statements. The clarity of Ayn Rand presents a startling contrast to all those philosophies. She asks only for clear reasoning, not for a leap of faith.

    It is a frustrating experience to speak with someone who chooses not to think beyond a point. Art Markman points out in "Smart Thinking" that thinking uses a lot of energy and that the human brain is designed to conserve energy. This may explain the abdication of thinking and reasoning that so many choose when faced with the challenge of thinking all the way through a philosophical presentation.

    Please listen to this several times before you decide Ayn Rand, Objectivist philosophy is just wrong. If you are a libertarian, but you have no philosophical underpinning for your beliefs, listen closely to Ayn Rand's challenging essays on Objectivism. If you get tired of thinking, take a break and come back to it, don't give up. Don't decide that your brain is not qualified to reason it out. To allow others to think for you to stop thinking things through and understand clearly what you believe is to throw yourself on the pyre of another's unreasoning sacrifice. It is blanking out. Make yourself valuable to yourself. Work for yourself. You get what you want by providing what others seek or need.

    Whether you call it enlightened self interest or selfishness, you are attaining what you seek in a society of peers who reward others who produce what they want. Ayn Rand uses the term selfish to get your attention. To act selfishly, she indicates, it to make your own decisions based on your own resources, perspectives, goals. Helping others is an act of goodwill, not of duty. A charity is only a charity if contribution is voluntary. To give with another's money is taking, not giving.

    Is it abusing others to give them a task or job and pay them what at the level they request? As soon as one is rewarded based on need versus based on what they earn, that entire society will parish. Reward for accomplishment is reasonable. One way to look at it is to say that the only thing worth more than gold is trust. I offer my pay (gold) to someone I trust to deliver something I want (plumbing or food, etc.). This is exactly what I offer to those who pay me, trust that I will deliver what I promise. My reputation and demonstrated skills result in the value of what I offer. The value is different to others based on their need or desire.

    Ayn Rand lays these simple, reasonable principles end to end in a very logical presentation.

    You may ask who will protect me or others from people or organizations who do not deliver what they promise. The role of a government is simple. It is to review the promise as presented (contract) and help enforce this promise for the weaker participant in the contract. Simpler contracts and straight forward trades make it easier for contract participants to understand what to deliver and when. Complex agreements will require help to define the agreement. As it stands now, all the rules, laws, subtleties to commitments makes it impossible for anyone to know where a commitment begins and ends without professional assistance. By complicating the contract with interfering laws and inferences, all parties enter into unknown risks, The one with more influence and professional assistance gains advantages in this system. Reducing government interference benefits the ones with limited means and influence.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 09-14-12
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 09-14-12

    A book commits suicide every time you watch Jersey Shore!

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    "Well Read and Presneted"

    This recording was excellently read and presented. I have been reading Rand of late and to her these views presented against the times Rand lived in were insightful and enlightening. Short but well worth a monthly point to listen to.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hall USA 06-12-05
    J. Hall USA 06-12-05
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    "Altruism?"

    Selflessness is not a behavior by which morality is quantified. It's just a truth about existance which must be considered for the sake of tranquility. This book is just junk piled onto junk. A total waste.

    16 of 81 people found this review helpful
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    Arianna Louisiana 06-10-12
    Arianna Louisiana 06-10-12
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    "Something EVERY person should stop and consider.."
    If you could give The Virtue of Selfishness a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Don't let the loafers paint you into a corner...


    Any additional comments?

    This is SO timely and pertinent to our present society's propensity to blame someone else ~ particularly someone successful ~ for personal failures and disappointments. Rand makes it crystal clear that the framing of the dialogue creates a biased game ... and if one doesn't recognize the rules of the game then one is doomed to lose.Owning our own "mom & pop" businesses, we have experienced the challenges to making them successful. I wish I had read Rand BEFORE we got started, so I could better understand that we were entitled to whatever success we created ... and that those who chose NOT to work at success the way we did were entitled to whatever they created ... but NOT to OURS. And that we shouldn't be ashamed for our success, nor feel responsible for others' lack.Rand describes why it is individual drive that creates buildings out of dreams, industry out of raw materials, and even shapes the improvement of living standards ~ and that the drive of individuals should be honored, not disemboweled.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Ann Arbor, MI, United States 02-11-13
    Philip Ann Arbor, MI, United States 02-11-13
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    "One of the best from Ayn Rand."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you've ever questioned dogmas, then you would appreciate Ayn Rand's fresh metaphysical outlook.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    If you've ever questioned dogmas, then you would appreciate Ayn Rand's fresh metaphysical outlook.


    What does C.M. Hernert bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    If you've ever questioned dogmas, then you would appreciate Ayn Rand's fresh metaphysical outlook.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    If you've ever questioned dogmas, then you would appreciate Ayn Rand's fresh metaphysical outlook.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've ever questioned dogmas, then you would appreciate Ayn Rand's fresh metaphysical outlook.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
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