There is a knee-jerk response to the notion of an individual raising the price of his property during a storm that immediately evokes hostility from most people. Why?
Your life depends on it.
Why should one follow honesty systematically, as a principle?
Moral principles, such as self-interest, rationality, honesty, justice, integrity, independence, productiveness, and pride, are not based on feelings but on facts.
Why do we accept humility as a virtue?
Benevolence does not require self-sacrifice.
Capitalism, in Ayn Rand’s definition, is “a social system based on the recognition of individual rights (including property rights) in which all property is privately owned.”
People are suspicious of self-interest because for every philosopher who has taught and advocated self-interest, there have been multiples of those who have taught its opposite, altruism.
The prerequisite of acting ethically in business and other realms of life is clear thinking.
Accepting selflessness as the moral ideal is a source of unearned guilt and irreconcilable with success and happiness.
Ayn Rand convincingly demonstrated that our survival and thriving depends on identifying and consistently applying valid principles, no matter how “extreme” they may be considered by those clinging to the majority consensus.
According to conventional morality, pride is a sin. According to Aristotle, it is the crown of all virtues.
For the majority of people, virtuous egoism is an oxymoron: they don’t think it is possible to be virtuous and pursue self-interest at the same time.
Ayn Rand called envy “the hatred of the good for being the good.” Instead of hating and envying the good, let’s love and thank the good for being the good.
It’s the pragmatists—those who reject principled morality—who are naïve.