We are often told that love (like the pursuit of truth) is selfless. A “selfless love” would be one unrelated to the lover’s own life, judgment, or happiness; such a thing defies the very nature of love. “A ‘selfless,’ ‘disinterested’ love,” writes Ayn Rand, “is a contradiction in terms: it means that one is indifferent to that which one values.” Here again the truth is the opposite of the conventional idea. The egoist is not a man incapable of love; he is the only man capable of it. “To say ‘I love you,’ “as Howard Roark observes, “one must know first how to say the ‘I.’ “

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