“You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness”
Well, Senator, the simple answer is 1964. Since I know you’re a little fuzzy on the math, you were 3 years old then.
In the introduction to her collection of essays on ethical philosophy, The Virtue of Selfishness (VOS), Rand writes that the “exact meaning” of selfishness is “concern with one’s own interests” (VOS, vii). In that work, Rand argues that a virtue is an action by which one secures and protects one’s rational values—ultimately, one’s life and happiness. Since a concern with one’s own interests is a character trait that, when translated into action, enables one to achieve and guard one’s own well-being, it follows that selfishness is a virtue. One must manifest a serious concern for one’s own interests if one is to lead a healthy, purposeful, fulfilling life.