|Joe, Bill, Sam, Ed,|
Joe, I would have enjoyed seeing the reaction of you coworker.
I agree "This is the kind of world I envision," too. I envision it as an ideal, however, not an actuality.
It would be nice if we lived in a world where everybody did the kinds of things you described, but even though we do not live in that ideal world, there is not one thing on your list that you or I cannot do in the actual world we live in. It is unlikely that everyone will ever do these things, but those with the ideals we have can each, in their own lives, be those who live the ideal life, each--
"dedicated to his own personal happiness."
"focusing on their own lives and happiness,"
"[not expecting] others to take care of them or make decisions for them."
"[practicing] the virtue of independence, learning to count on themselves and trust in their own abilities."
"[never trying] to live other people's lives for them."
"[living] by the trader principle"
"[thinking] for themselves, and [making] their own judgments."
"[realizing] his life was precious, and he shouldn't waste a minute of it."
"[feeling] strongly that their life belonged to them, and no other."
I also agree with this: "If others claimed even a minute of their lives, they would fight. If others tried to make them live for some other purpose, they would fight. If others attacked them, they would fight."
This is my question. What do you mean by "fight?"
Certainly our liberty is being threatened on every side, and there is no reason to suppose we are becoming more free in this country. Should we be "fighting?" If we should be, how?
The one thing that is certain you are not going to change the minds of 280 million people in the next few years, and right now most of those 280 million think the government is the solution to all problems. If by, "fighting," you mean attempting to change the way things are and the way they are going, I would like to know how you intend to do it. How much of my time and effort, which I would otherwise dedicate to living my own life for my own "selfish" purposes should I "sacrifice" for the sake of some cause which has almost no possibility of success.
Why should someone who is doing all of the things on our list of things people in an ideal world would do, sacrifice some of those things to some other cause. Why should Bill stop living for his own happiness, focusing on his own life, expecting nothing from others or allowing others to make decisions for him; why should he give up his self-reliance and independence, and refusal to change (live for them) other's lives; why should he stop living only as a trader, thinking for himself, not allowing any to waste a minute of his precious life pursuing someone else's idea of a way to save the world? Doesn't his life belong to him? Who the hell is anyone else to tell him he's not living it right?
There are no purposes higher than individual purposes. There is no cause or value that supersedes the causes and values of individuals. Now this may come as a shock to many Objectivists, but the purpose or your life, or anyone else's life, is not to make the world an ideal one. The purpose of your life, and every individual's life is to enjoy it. Every moment any individual wastes pursuing some scheme to make the world, or their country, or their state, or their neighborhood and ideal one, is a moment wasted in the pursuit of the purpose of their own life.
Now here is a secret. If everyone in the world lived their life as Bill lives his, you would have your ideal world.