The Virtue of Selfishness: Why Achieving Your Happiness Is Your Highest Moral Purpose
By Peter Schwartz Recorded February 4, 2005
This event, attended by a standing-room-only audience of nearly 400, was also filmed by C-SPAN for broadcast.
Ayn Rand originated a revolutionary code of ethics based on the principle of rational self-interest. Her code views the pursuit of your values—material or spiritual—as noble, and views the act of self-sacrifice as a vice. This talk examines the meaning of this radical morality. Mr. Schwartz explains what genuine selfishness consists of and how it rests, not on indulging in mindless whims, but on embracing the strict guidance of reason. He demonstrates why, under a proper ethics, the moral and the practical are always in harmony. He shows the destructiveness of self-sacrifice and the impossibility of peaceful cooperation among men under the code of altruism. Finally, he discusses why political freedom can ultimately be upheld only if selfishness is recognized as a virtue.