Ayn Rand – Why Altruism is Evil

I’m not a fan of the dichotomy of Service to Self (STS) vs Service to Others (STO) found in the Law of One material by the so-called soul group “Ra”. It states that serving ones own self-interests is evil and that serving others is good, however, I would say that at the very least, it’s a false dichotomy fallacy and egocentric oversimplification of our options for aligning our soul, and at the most an outright lie intended to manipulate us into altruistic thought and behavior patterns. It is possible to be self-serving and benevolent at the same time, aka, we’re able to be self interested and respectful of the boundaries and rights of others, and this is where I am at. If I do good for another, it is only because I have a personal stake in that person’s well being, such as a family member or friend who gives me value; and sacrifice for another, even a family member, is out of the question, because I’m not going to set myself on fire to keep another person warm—I can assist without sacrificing myself in the process.

Also, I ensure that my needs are taken care of first, and from that space of meeting all of my needs, only then will I give to another if and when it also benefits me to do so. For example, when the oxygen masks drop in an airplane, we are to place the mask on ourselves first, and only after we can breathe do we put masks on our children and those around us. We love our children and want them to thrive, but we must ensure that we are taken care of first so that we can continue to love and care for them long into the future, because that is best for all involved.

As for those who would be classified as Service to Self, I wouldn’t say that they’re selfish, which is a virtue, but I’d say they’re self-absorbed, which is a complete focus on oneself to the exclusion of the rights and liberties, and in fact personhood, of those around them. To be self-absorbed is to embody an unhealthy mix of the dark triad of traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, and such individuals do not see other people as an end, but as a means, meaning they see others as mere objects to be used, rather than subjects to be connected with.

With these concepts in mind, I am Service to Others only after I am Service to Self, and I am Service to Others only when it is in my own rational self-interest to be and do so.  Regardless though, I will always respect the rights and liberties of others, as they are an end and not a means, but will also always ensure that my rights and liberties are respected, and enforce them when it becomes necessary to do so.


[Ayn] Rand examines the philosophy that holds individual men should be used as sacrificial animals for the group, the fundamental premise of collectivist politics. ~http://www.LibertyPen.com


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