Egoism is the principle of purusing one's own rational self-interest with your life as your standard of value. Properly speaking, "life as a standard of value" is a redundant elaboration of the principle of rational self-interest. Only life can provide a context for the existence of a self and for the pursuit of interests; only human life can provide the standard of rational behavior and meaning to rationality. Nevertheless, the redundancy is necessary because altruists are committed to caricaturing egoism as everything that it is not: hedonism, subjectivism, self-destruction, malice, etc.
Egoism–that is, the principle of rational self-interest–is the only principle that can be practised consistently by every individual without leaving behind a trail of mutilated, self-sacrificed corpses. Only egoism makes it possible to have a society of individuals where acts of benevolence, kindness, and charity are performed without contradiction, without conflicts of interest, and without any sacrifice.
"... altruists are committed to caricaturing egoism as everything that it is not: hedonism, subjectivism, self-destruction, malice, etc."
Well, people who espouse Ayn Rand's philosophy don't necessarily have to be hedonistic in hedonism's most obvious negative forms. We are dealing here though with avoidance of pain as a central tenet of hedonism. Ultimately, Christianity leads to painlessness for the just. Christian worthiness, however, means one has the love (faith) for other likeminded, unselfish souls to give up the ghost for their sakes. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13. Don't you believe that? Don't you believe that it depends upon the definition of love that is being used? Don't you believe that God has feelings and is moved by the exposition of such love? Don't you believe that that kind and degree of love is exactly the kind and degree of love necessary for all human beings to live forever in real peace without hypocrisy?
As for the charge of subjectivism you've said is leveled against Ayn Rand's position, you wrote above, "Only life can provide a context for the existence of a self." That's a prime example of subjectivism. Of course, you are using the term "life" in its mundane sense and not as Jesus used it. If we substitute in Jesus's meaning, then your statement becomes true and objective since it is speaking of the ultimate reality of life, truth, justice, peace, love, and all the rest of the good (God, by definition).
As for self-destruction, real Christianity warns against real self-destruction. Real self-destruction is doing iniquity that lands the soul in the hands of the satanic spirit that sifts souls as wheat and burns them up and kills them eternally.
One can argue forever about the semantics, but if one will learn the language of the revelation of Jesus Christ, these things will become clear and plain. It all starts with wanting to do what is right.
It begins with the emotional reaction, a softening enough to have concern rather than indifference or aloofness or fear of the truth one might suspect is waiting. Overcome. There is nothing to fear in the truth. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32. Don't fear the implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The requirements are high, but that isn't to be feared. It is to be loved. The implications are that we all must stop being hung up on possession. "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." Acts 4:32. It's beautiful.
You also pointed to the term "malice." The absence of malice is perfect harmlessness. It is an end-state achieved by certain means, which means Jesus demonstrated. These are consistent means. They are without hypocrisy. Jesus was without hypocrisy. Those who love him know this about him. Harm is malice even if viewed also as ignorant neglect. The reason for this is that there really isn't an excuse for carelessness since we are all instructed not to be careless. This is not to be confused with carefree on the divine level. We are speaking here about carelessness that is not taking care to avoid harming others. Here also "harm" is understood by the end result of the action: Real justice. Nothing Jesus did in the Gospel truly harmed a soul. He was as harmless as a dove while he was also hugely beneficial by leading so many out of the darkness of small, hard, cold self-centeredness.
You've stated that, "egoism makes it possible to have a society of individuals where acts of benevolence, kindness, and charity are performed without contradiction, without conflicts of interest, and without any sacrifice." We aren't looking for intermittent acts of benevolence, kindness, and charity. We are looking for fulltime and nothing but ultimate and true benevolence, kindness, and charity. If any of these is not fulltime, then there is inherent contradiction and conflicts of interest. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Matthew 6:24. Do you see that?
As for sacrifice, Jesus sacrificed but what did he gain? What did he profit? Was it a net-loss? Was it a loss at all? He did it on faith. He had full faith and confidence that God wasn't lying to him. Was he justified? God raised his very flesh from out of death's hands. Also, we have his word still shining the light of real love into the world saving souls from doing iniquity harming one another.
Ayn Rand's philosophy is the same philosophy used by the devouring capitalists with their Washington Consensus. They have worked hard to devour whole nations for the most selfish, greedy, lustful, depraved reasons. They can do that while following Rand. They can't do that while following Jesus, so they follow Rand. Look at Alan Greenspan. He's a libertarian. Look at Milton Friedman and the so-called economic miracle of Chile that was built on the backs of the poor by a totalitarian dictatorship that murdered the good-will desires of the common people. Look at what the neoliberals are doing all around the planet. It's all twisting of the true meaning of liberty.
Rand was blind leading the blind, just as were Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, Ronald Reagan, and just as are Alan Greenspan, Margaret Thatcher, and all such libertarians. Thatcher lied when she said, "There is no alternative." She was saying there is no alternative to capitalist greed and the selfish pursuit of personal, private, special privilege and advantage. The truth is that there is no real alternative to the message of Jesus Christ. His message was and is the only real message. Only his path leads correctly. All other paths are misdirecting.
The libertarian capitalists are flat wrong. Their system is built upon violent coercion. Without the threat and use of violence, there system would fade away, and it will.
The atheists are flat wrong. They don't credit the author of love who is God.
Don't fall to the liar from the beginning. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44. Don't be a child of Satan. Be a child of God. Be a son of the light. See the truth, and do it.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)