Observe what this beneficiary-criterion of [the altruist] morality does to a
man’s life. The first thing he learns is that morality is his enemy: he has
nothing to gain from it, he can only lose; self-inflicted loss, self-inflicted
pain and the gray, debilitating pall of an incomprehensible duty is all that he
can expect. He may hope that others might occasionally sacrifice themselves
for his benefit, as he grudgingly sacrifices himself for theirs, but he knows
that the relationship will bring mutual resentment, not pleasure-and that,
morally, their pursuit of values will be like an exchange of unwanted, unchosen
Christmas presents, which neither is morally permitted to buy for himself.
Apart from such times as he manages to perform some act of self-sacrifice, he
possesses no moral significance: morality takes no cognizance of him and has
nothing to say to him for guidance in the crucial issues of his life; it is
only his own personal, private, “selfish” life and, as such, it is regarded
either as evil or, at best, amoral.