It depends on what time frame one is considering, for one. In a sense, much as this phrase is normally anathema to me, it's a matter of "the ends justify the means" - or put another way, "delayed gratification." Still within the realm of "selfishness," what I might regard as being in my best interest NOW might not be in my best interest in the longer run. It takes some amount of wisdom to be able to judge things considering the longer term and also the bigger picture. In fact, at issue is even how one defines "self." Obviously, at the very least, "I" am my self. But for various reasons and in various contexts, one's sense of self can be far broader than that; perhaps anywhere one might think to use the possessive pronoun "my." I did read The Virtue of Selfishness, though I am not an objectivist. It's unclear what you are criticizing here - the use of the TERM "sacrifice?" Or are you saying that we have to give up the actual IDEA of sacrifice on behalf of anyone/anything outside of our own skin? It's confusing because the issue at hand is not unlike your own example of fighting the British, which you yourself do not regard as self sacrifice.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir
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