The sort of mindset that leads someone to take a wild cherry and say
"I could breed this to be delicious" is pretty much the exact opposite
of Ayn Rand's thinking.
Rand calls for a radical selfishness as
the ultimate expression of personal freedom, without realizing that some
good things take as much time as a human life to achieve, and some of
them take much longer . The results of considering the future are
widespread among humanity: corn, apples, watermelon, bananas, bell peppers, cherries, and all manner of crops whose wild counterpart looks almost nothing like its cultivated version.
Likewise Cathedrals, and while you could argue that the building of a
cathedral itself will attract business and prosperity, the fact that
they routinely took more than 100 years to build indicates that their
initial designers were not expecting immediate payoffs. The fellow who designed Sagrada Familia knew he wasn't going to see the results within his lifetime.
So it is with cities, likewise states.
If everyone just jollied off and did their own thing without feeling
any sense of obligation to each other and to the future, humanity would
never have HAD a future.
At the very least, you wouldn't have
cherries. Lemons, maybe, maybe. Citrus fruits hybridize like crazy so
you might get a lemon next year out of crossing a Citron and a Pomelo
this year. But someone had to grow those trees in the first place and
even if it was you, how long ago was that? Ten years? Twenty?
The mindset that it takes to cultivate a tree, knowing it will be tall
and strong only by the time you are old and frail, is the same mindset
that it takes to cultivate a society.
Thank your ancestors for cherries.