Altruism and Objectivism in Ayn Rand’s Ethics Essay

July 15, 2022 by Essay Writer


This paper deals with Ayn Rand’s ideas on altruism and objectivism. Altruism is a utopian concept as it is against human nature. Clearly, the author provides an effective option for the contemporary world as objectivism helps people help each other without trying to violate the laws of nature and society.


Ayn Rand provides helpful insights into issues associated with altruism, objectivism, and egoism. The author emphasizes that altruism is a utopian concept as it is impossible in the real world (Rand, 2013). The author notes that altruism is seen as the ability to sacrifice everything for the sake of a total stranger, as helping close ones is regarded as something different from altruism. Rand advocates objectivism as she believes that helping close ones and prioritizing values may help people create an effective system that will lead to a better society. Ghate (2009) argues that Rand’s objectivism is the only option in the modern environment, especially when it comes to the economy. Clearly, there can be certain weaknesses in the approach, but it is the most efficient in the contemporary world.

The Core of Altruism

It is necessary to note that the author refers to extreme cases of altruism and to the roots of the concept. Thus, the case with the husband who has to help other women instead of his beloved wife to be a true altruist is very conspicuous. Opponents of Rand’s ideas may argue that people do not often face the choice, and altruists may do good things without making such difficult choices. However, Rand (2013) unveils the essence of altruism and selflessness since there is a distinct dichotomy. A true altruist has to help others irrespective of his/her own needs and longings. Of course, there can be no place for close ones among those whom the altruist helps.

People Are Created to Be Social

Considering this, it becomes clear that altruism is impossible in human society. People’s instinct of self-preservation is what may be called selfishness in society. People are created selfish as this has been the basis of their existence and survival. People often have to take care of their offspring to make sure their kind will survive. Some may argue that these are laws of the world of animals, and human society is grounded on other principles, for instance, empathy, assistance to other people.

However, objectivism is also based on these principles as people tend to support, empathize, and help people they care about. Admittedly, this is selfish, but this is effective. If each person tries to help his/her close ones, there will be minimum people who are not taken care of. Besides, having priorities does not exclude the ability or willingness to help others. The economy can also benefit from adherence to the laws of objectivism as allocating funds to save the world has proved to be less effective than trying to cope with particular issues of a specific group of people.


On balance, it is possible to note that altruism is impossible in human society as the concepts of altruism contradict human nature. People are created to be selfish, to certain extent. They are also bound to put priorities and take care of their close ones. More so, trying to help everyone without hierarchy or a good plan is likely to be impossible in the modern world. It is much more efficient for each person to try to take care of his/her closes ones and then help others. This will bring order and a certain degree of happiness to the world since people will assist each other.

Reference List

Ghate, O. (2009). Pro: Self-interest equals prosperity. Web.

Rand, A. (2013). The ethics of emergencies. In N. Rosenstand (Ed.), The moral of the story: An introduction to ethics (pp. 215-218). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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