The Randian argument for selfishness is taken to such extremes that, if it actually were carried out, few (if any) of us would survive. First of all, most of us are weak, sick, and in need of help for long periods of our lives. We are necessarily dependent on others during our childhood; and frequently, also, in our old age. Millions of us, in addition, are at times physically disabled seriously neurotic, psychotic, or otherwise ineffective and incompetent. Some of us, of course, have relatives and friends who truly love us and who want to aid us when we are in need. But what about those who don’t? Are they to be left to live painfully or to perish?
Rand has her supposedly rational hero, John Galt, exclaim, “I swear that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” What, never? Maybe the fictional John Galt could happily abide by this unswerving philosophy; but are there many real humans who could? And what would happen to us weaker ones if all of us stronger ones rigidly held John Galt’s view?