16.9.14 11:48 - Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand (1959)[..]
Mike Wallace: And cannot man have self-esteem if he loves his fellow man? What's wrong with loving your fellow man? Christ, every important moral leader in man's history, has taught us that we should love one another. Why then is this kind of love in your mind immoral?
Ayn Rand: It is immoral if it is a love placed above oneself. It is more than immoral, it's impossible. Because when you are asked to love everybody indiscriminately. That is to love people without any standard. To love them regardless of whether they have any value or any virtue, you are asked to love nobody.
Mike Wallace: But in a sense, in your book you talk about love as if it were a business deal of some kind. Isn't the essence of love, that it is above self-interest?
Ayn Rand: Well, let me make it concrete for you. What would it mean to have a love above self-interest? It would mean, for instance, that a husband would tell his wife, if he were moral according to the conventional morality, that I am marring you just for your own sake, I have no personal interest in it, but I'm so unselfish, that I am marrying you only for your own good. Would any woman like that?
Mike Wallace: Should husbands and wives, Ayn, tally up at the end of the day and say, "Well now wait a minute, I love her if she's done enough for me today, or she loves me if I have properly performed my functions?”
Ayn Rand: No, you misunderstood me. That is not how love should be treated. I agree with you that it should be treated like a business deal. But every business deal has to have its own terms and its own kind of currency. And in love the currency is virtue. You love people, not for what you do for them, or what they do for you. You love them for their values, their virtues, which they have achieved in their own character. You don't love causelessly. You don't love everybody indiscriminately. You love only those who deserve it.
Mike Wallace: And then if a man is weak, or a woman is weak, then she is beyond, he is beyond love?
Ayn Rand: He certainly does not deserve it, he certainly is beyond. He can always correct it. Man has free will. If a man wants love he should correct his weaknesses, or his flaws, and he may deserve it. But he cannot expect the unearned, neither in love, nor in money, neither in method, nor spirit.
Mike Wallace: You have lived in our world, and you realize...recognize...the fallibility of human beings. There are very few us then in this world, by your standards, who are worthy of love.
Ayn Rand: Unfortunately.... yes... very few. But it is open to everybody, to make themselves worthy of it and that is all that my morality offers them. A way to make themselves worthy of love, although that's not the primary motive.