Some people, including some fans of Ayn Rand, have criticized the idea of celebrating Randsday (i.e., Rand’s birthday) by treating yourself to something special that you want but would not ordinarily buy or do for yourself. “If the idea is to do something special for yourself on Rand’s birthday,” people have asked, “doesn’t that negate the idea of selfishness as a fundamental virtue? If selfishness is truly a virtue, shouldn’t you be selfish every day?”
This misses the point and spirit of the holiday.
Indeed, you should be selfish every day; your life and happiness require it. The reason to do something special for yourself on Randsday is not to be selfish on this day as against some selfless norm of every other day. Nor is the point to demonstrate your selfishness to others through some form of egoistic “virtue signaling” (that would be bizarrely second-handed). Rather, the reason is to celebrate the birthday of the philosopher who showed that selfishness is a virtue—and to do so in a way symbolic of and uniquely warranted by her vital ideas. . . .