Egoism: The Ethics of SelfishnessUnder Construction

Ethical egoism--the belief each individual has an obligation to seek his or her own happiness and the corrolative belief that altruism is a failure of one's duty to oneself--was certainly present prior to the twentieth century, but it received its most ardent and vocal defense in the work of Ayn Rand, both in her novels such as Atlas Shrugged and in her philosophical works such as The Virtue of Selfishness.  On the political front, Rand's views emerged as a very strong version of libertarianism, one that saw government as evil, taxation as theft, and gun control as a sign of weakness and assent to the welfare state.