By elevating the issue of helping others into the central and primary issue of ethics, altruism has destroyed the concept of any authentic benevolence or good will among men. It has indoctrinated men with the idea that to value another human being is act of selflessness, thus implying that a man can have no personal interest in others - that to value another is to sacrifice oneself - that any love, respect, or admiration a man may feel for others is not and cannot be a source of his own enjoyment, but is a threat to his existence, a sacrificial blank check signed over to his loved ones.Comment: In this para we begin to realise that far from solving the problem of ethics, Rand has, just as she did with her proposed solution the "is/ought" problem, entirely missed the point. For obviously our personal interests, and those personal interests of others do not always clash; in fact there is no reason to think that they are not mostly compatible. Thus, where there is no clash of personal interests there are no ethical difficulties. Of the millions of letters about ethical dilemmas written to all the "Dear Abby" type advice columns ever printed, precisely zero will be about where personal interests don't conflict. While Rand may claim that her definition of ethics starts with the way the individual treats himself, that ethics are necessary even to Robinson Crusoe on a desert island, we might rightfully reply "so what?" The way Robinson Crusoe behaves only affects Robinson Crusoe; and unless we take it upon ourselves to care about him there is nothing much more to say. Thus Rand's diversion of ethics away from conflicts of personal interests produces a solution without a problem.
The men who accept the dichotomy but choose its other side, the ultimate products of altruism's dehumanising influence, are those psychopaths who do not challenge altruism's basic premise but proclaim their rebellion against self-sacrifice by announcing that they are totally indifferent to anything living and would not lift a finger to help a man or a dog left mangled by a hit-and-run driver (who is usually one of their own kind).Comment: This para is a good example of Rand's quite blatantly bamboozling the reader - and quite possibly herself too. Somehow extreme egoism - someone who wouldn't even make the sacrifice of lifting a finger to help a man in a hit-and-run accident - is a product of altruistic ethics?? A completely self-interested psychopath doesn't "challenge altruism's basic premise"?! Pull the other one, as the Cockneys used to say, it's got bells on.