One who declares for a cause higher than the individual cannot claim to be a defender of individual liberty.
Individualism regards every man as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses inalienable rights. An individualist respects individual liberty — his own and that of others. Independent equals must choose: self-reliance or dependence. Self-reliance requires selfishness. Dependence breeds moochers, looters, and rulers.
Men who glorify servility need serfs to provide their sustenance. They are not satisfied with benevolence; they demand sacrifice – the renunciation or destruction of the precious. They damn selfishness as evil, and preach masochism and sadism in the name of service and sacrifice.
Selfless means no self: no self-esteem, no self-respect, no self-love. One who is not self-reliant, a moocher or a looter, is selfless. He does not use his own mind. Having no self-respect, he needs others – for approval, guidance, and/or sustenance. One who babysits adults dishonors independence, and derives self-esteem from others. A criminal is selfless - he recklessly risks his life and freedom for his need of victims. A power-luster tramples on individual liberty and derives satisfaction from enslaving others – he is not an individualist; he is not selfish.
Those who fear self-reliance, i.e. selfishness, demonize individualism - they advocate service and sacrifice. Since President Abraham Lincoln and his heroes had eradicated serfdom, citizens are conned into thinking that voluntary self-immolation is noble. Men conned into regarding selfishness as evil evade that it is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. They unwittingly facilitate power-lusters who recognize that man’s love of self must be destroyed so rulers could thrive.
To value is a function of the self – it is selfish to care for loved ones; their well-being or happiness is not divorced from the valuer’s. That good people live and prosper is in one’s own self-interest – one benefits from the advantages of social existence: exchange of knowledge, trade, division of labor, and defense from force – one wants to live in freedom and in peace – therefore, to cherish a society that respects individual rights is selfish.
The virtue involved in caring for loved ones and doing the right thing is integrity: you love, so you care; you think it is right, so you do it.
Individualists do not need sacrificial lambs. Men with self-esteem, i.e. selfish men, take pride in independence. One cannot achieve happiness without self-esteem. Without self-respect, life is not worth living. This explains why men of integrity do the right thing no matter the cost. No matter how difficult, they cannot do otherwise - they cannot sacrifice their self-respect. Doing the right thing is not sacrifice – it is upholding the precious, not renouncing or destroying it – this explains why President Lincoln did not utter service or sacrifice in his Gettysburg Address.
Patrick Henry immortalized selfishness when he said, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
President George Washington protected and preserved individual liberty when he rejected a movement to make him King of the United States, calling it "abhorrent", and when he refused to run for a third term. He evinced an enormous respect for himself and his fellowmen. He personified integrity.
President Thomas Jefferson said, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government."
Those who damn selfishness denounce the desire to live happily. Those who need slaves damn selfishness because people who value themselves cannot be ruled. Men who love themselves but facilitate these damners are cowards.
You who defend selfishness honor its advocates: President George Washington, the Founding Fathers, President Abraham Lincoln, and brave individuals who struggled or are struggling that the nation conceived in Liberty might live.
Those who declare for self-renunciation or self-destruction are unfit protectors of individual liberty. They should be voted out from the government of the people, by the people, for the people –
That the Land of the Free shall not perish from the earth!