Ayn Rand was an American intellectual, born in Russia, who has been very influential in the U.S. conservative, Republican and libertarian circles. Her philosophy, which is reproduced here by Gary Hull, is a glorification of capitalism, and an attack on altruism.
I believe that egalitarianism was the major factor in creating a difference between humans and the apes. What differentiates us from the chimpanzees and other great apes is our ability to intentionally impose fair and equal treatment, to consider everyone's point of view, and to use social rules and mores to both control and eliminate the alpha male.
What do I mean by alpha male? A human equivalent is John Galt, the hero in Ayn Rand's, Atlas Shrugged, . He is the most dominant male. In ape societies the alpha male is a very significant and unavoidable figure. He terrorizes and intimidates all the other apes in his group. There are is only one rule in ape society -"Might makes Right".
Egalitarian hunting and gathering groups are made up of loose associations of nuclear families with pair bonded couples. By divorcing sexual competition from hunting and sharing food, groups without alpha males were able to out-compete groups that didn’t eliminate their alpha.
It was conscious egalitarianism that led to the enormous human capacity to excel at so many different activities, and to the human ability to exchange with and tolerate other groups because these things are not possible with an alpha male present.