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 rights-infringer 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 sacred honor. Doing the right thing is not sacrifice – it is upholding the precious, not renouncing nor destroying it.
The people of the Enlightenment bequeathed virtue and glory to posterity. I call on individuals who value freedom to remember the founding of the nation conceived in Reason and Liberty. The legacy of the glorious thinkers and men of action has been trampled upon without compunction for decades. Just as they were faced with a mighty empire then, we are now faced with powerful kings.
Sons and daughters of Liberty: rise and mutually pledge to each other your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor that the nation conceived in Reason and Liberty shall not perish from the Earth.
-- Cut and pasted from my second novel, Royal Serf. The first half is posted here.