The concept of “service” has been turned into a collectivist “package-deal” by means of a crude equivocation and a cruder evasion. In the language of economics, the word “service” means work offered for trade on a free market, to be paid for by those who choose to buy it. In a free society, men deal with one another by voluntary, uncoerced exchange, by mutual consent to mutual profit, each man pursuing his own rational self-interest, none sacrificing himself or others; and all values — whether goods or services — are traded, not given away.

This is the opposite of what the word “service” means in the language of altruist ethics: to an altruist, “service” means unrewarded, self-sacrificial, unilateral giving, while receiving nothing in return. It is this sort of selfless “service” to “society” that collectivists demand of all men.

“How Not to Fight Against Socialized Medicine”
The Objectivist Newsletter, March 1963, 12
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