"The fact that most people think that being selfish means harming one's fellow man, that pursuing one's own self-interest equates to behaving brutally or irrationally, is, as Ms. Rand noted, a "psychological confession" on their part. In fact it is against one's own long-term self-interest to behave irrationally or trample others. Such actions are the exact opposite of selfish -- they're self-destructive."
by:
Wayne Dunn
American writer
Source:
The Rational View
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Hi, I'm a Liberal Democrat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32hdl8Pb_m4
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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     -- jim k, Austin, Tx      
    I like it
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    "... (I)t is against one's own long-term self-interest to behave irrationally or trample others." True, and a rather nice thought ... but it has no basis in reality. Since when did 'long-term self-interest' take precedence over short term gratification and profit? Following directly in the footsteps of the Rapa Nui, humans, certainly Americans, demonstrably couldn't care less about their future self interests. National debt, unscalable mountains of nuclear waste and a dangerously impacted environment from endlessly expanding mineral/petroleum exploitation are three critical cases underscoring this point. It's not self-interest reasonably pursued that's the problem; all individuals have physical interests that must be served. The problem is SELF-IMPORTANCE, personal (that bastard 'dissed' me!) and, much worse, collective (Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Warfare). These and a slew of others available for citation indeed add up to "... behaving brutally or irrationally", with no regard for future self-interest. In the end, Dunn's observation is useless for anything but causing confusion. It sounds good but has no nutritive content for truthfully regarding the real here-and-now.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    It makes perfect sense to me. Since we can't accomplish everything by ourselves we need to cooperate with others in order to achieve our own independent goals. The more we work together and cooperate, the more we accomplish. Don't believe me? Read Genesis and see why God acted against the people building the Tower of Babel :) It wasn't because they weren't getting along :)

     -- Bill, Niles, MI     
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    'Long term self-interest' includes accounting for the natural interdependence that arises from community. The distinction being made here is that 'selfish' is looking after oneself and being responsible for oneself -- and that we each need to do so -- it is not at the expense of others. When a community of people have this attitude, prosperity flourishes. Not to be confused with central planning where one or a few design a life for everyone to follow. The collectivists consider individualism 'selfish' in the negative in that the 'selfish' will not surrender their will to the group -- collectivist 'plans' don't work for those that take responsibility for themselves and choose their own way. 'Pro-choice' seems to only be related to whether one can abort a baby or not, not whether I may choose to be a part of the mob or not.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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