"The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word 'selfishness' is not merely wrong: it represents a devastating intellectual 'package-deal,' which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind."
Ayn Rand
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
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Reader comments about this quote:
The idioms in which we express ourselves, which are, necessarily, reflections of the quality and character of our values informed ideation, delimit the circumstances of our existences.

For Man, Freedom, at its most sublime, is a function of his liberation from the dogma and ideology imposed constraints of the interpretation of language, generally, and of individual words, particularly.
 -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    Resisting other people's plans and designs for me is not selfish -- it is self-determination.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
    A primary meaning (v., adj., usage, etc.) ascribed to the word / concept selfishness (concerned expressly with ones own advantage, welfare, or explicit/specific self, having little to no regard for others) is incomplete, inadequate or possibly even wrong because it does not include an understanding at natural law. By way of example: Representing a devastating intellectual package-deal, socialism is selfishness as it ascribes an arrested morality, contrary to natural law and justice. Socialism claims to be selfishly fair - exhibiting a facade of interest by means of might makes right, theft by the powerful is selfishly/morally preferred and control by the theocratic pure, which is diametrically averse to the selflessness of private/individual sovereignty, ownership, liberty, and rights. Selflessness at natural law/common law - inclusive of helping others without compulsion would also help lend and understanding to "selfishness". What Ive written here was also meant to compliment Henry and Archer which both said well.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Ronw13, Oregon      
    I could think of much better examples of the arrested moral devolvement of mankind....
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the US     
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