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Monday, February 6, 2017

What is wrong in the slogan — "Love thy neighbor as thyself"

Here's an excerpt from the letter that Ayn Rand wrote to Rose Wilder Lane on November 3, 1946:
About “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” You are right that one of the troubles here lies in the world “love.” It’s certainly the wrong word, with no exact meaning in this particular slogan. That is the first reason why the slogan should be dropped. Any inexact statement of what purports to be a principle, creates nothing but harm. 
But whatever meaning we attempt to attach to this slogan—it still remains a tenet of collectivism. If “love” here means self-preservation, as you say, or the protection of one’s interests—well, it still means that you must preserve and protect others as much as yourself. Since your chief activity of self-preservation on earth is work to obtain food, the slogan means that you must work for others as much as for yourself. If so—collectivism is the proper social system for men. (A slogan or precept should be applied and observed literally, concretely, consistently, in every instance which it covers—or not at all.)
Source: Letters of Ayn Rand

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