… is from pages 62-63 of a selection from Oscar Wilde’s February 1891 Forthnightly Review essay, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism” – a selection that appears in the superb just-published reader, Individualism , edited by George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore:
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it…. For the egoist is he who makes claims upon others, and the Individualist will not desire to do that.