Hitchens: Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.
[M]y interpretation of Rand’s core principle has always been “Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you” (Hitchens 2001: 140). I know neither if Randians agree with my interpretation of her nor if Hitchens, were he still among us, would appreciate me interpreting his words as expressing a foundational principle endorsed both in the Bible and in Rand’s philosophy.
And note that even if many adults are eager – even when taking a long-run perspective – to enter with other adults into a pact of mutual slavery (“I’ll live to sacrifice myself for you if you live to sacrifice yourself for me”), this fact does not morally require those of us who don’t wish to live to sacrifice ourselves for others to follow in the footsteps of these mutual enslavers. Hitchens’s – and the Bible’s – wise moral advice is followed by those of us who do not wish to sacrifice ourselves for others if we simply and consistently do not expect or force others to sacrifice themselves for us - and by our resisting, in every prudent way possible, attempts by the mutual enslavers to draft us into their pact of mutual sacrifice, as well as resist their efforts to portray us as immoral because we refuse to be enchanted by their collectivist creed.