Since we are all interdependent, the status of one is connected to the status of all, doesn't it follow that we should work together, and that it is irrational for us not to? Therefore, collectivism? And not a collectivism of arbitrary rules without reason or cause, but one that manifests directly out of need and security both now and in the future.
One cannot deny causality. One cannot say my actions have no bearing on the actions of others and that those actions do not ripple through the whole organisation of human-beings and produce a social order that is either better or worse of by those actions. One cannot ignore the results of social network theory either; how there are at least six random points of contact between any two people.
Neither can Rand ignore, even in her capitalism, human need and security; only I would surmise, she explains it under a guise, the values of 'individual' and 'freedom'. But that a collectivist can also formulate it under another set of values that produce the same effect. So, Rand knows or else cannot avoid it, and so must work her values around it. But it is an immovable fact. Which, I would surmise, is the reason why she has to justify it on live TV in a way that is at least fulfilling of that basic.
If Objectivism could not approximate the effect that provides for need and security, then no individual who is sane could follow it. But if a formulation of collectivism could produce it better, then no sane individual could refuse that collectivism. The main difference between a collectivist and an individualist, is one uses a certain method and the other an uncertain method, one is a scientist and the other a gambler. An individual can be happy in both a collective and a capitalism; but one involves planning, strategy and social engineering, the other risk, betting and Game Theory and a hope things will turn out for the best.
That was just a thought that bubbled up into consciousness. You are free to counter, critique and correct, I welcome it. Do not confuse this question and challenge as some kind of religious devotion to Collectivism, it is faithful to the thought and accuracy of the conveyance of that thought, but it is not a dogma that cannot be reformed by reason. And I will listen to reason and learn when it is clearly understood by me.
Objectivism recognizes the trader principle. "A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved." "The principle of trade is the only rational ethical principle for all human relationships, personal and social, private and public, spiritual and material. It is the principle of justice." These principles, among others, serve as pillars of capitalism. They pave the way to becoming interdependent, the status of one that serves as his/her basis for connecting with the status of all others serving as their basis, allowing us to work together.
Each individual producing, to the level of their ability or desire, their products and services have provided the needs for humankind better than any feudal serfdom, slave plantation, or hunter/gatherer society as clearly demonstrated by the industrial revolution where men are left free to discover the best ways to transform the material resources of the world, to discover other who share the same values; together working to meet the needs and, ever increasingly, wants of their fellow man. If it is prosperity and security you seek, ideas that foster and promote capitalism are the ones you should embrace to the fullest.
On the surface, this is explicitly a question about collectivism versus capitalism, altruism versus individualism, and mysticism (of the social variety) versus reason (an individual process). Past discussions on this website, not to mention virtually the whole of Ayn Rand's fiction and nonfiction writings, have explained in great detail why collectivism is not a "viable alternative" system compared to capitalism, and is, in fact, deeply anti-life, life destroying. Collectivism is not a system that can promote human life, though not necessarily as effectively as reason, productiveness, and freedom to think and work. Collectivism is a system that actively destroys freedom, productiveness, and reason -- and destroys itself in the process unless it can persuade at least a few thinkers and producers to continue supporting it morally while acting against it in their own practical living.
But what stands out even more forcefully in this question is its underlying methodology. The question states: "That was just a thought that bubbled up into consciousness." By "bubbled up," the questioner apparently means a thought that was fed by his subconscious mind, his automatizing mechanism. I've noticed a pattern from this particular questioner of thoughts that inevitably seem to drift into collectivism whenever the questioner allows his mind to simply "bubble." The questioner should ask himself how and why his subconscious has been so thoroughly inbued with collectivist premises. Who has he been talking to throughout his ife? What, if anything, has he been reading? Did he live his life in a collectivist state and is unfamiliar with American history and founding principles? He has said in the past that he strongly prefers (or even "needs") to learn new ideas by asking others instead of reading for himself. Why? What stops him from reading and studying on his own?
The key premise driving the entire question is the following: "we are all interdependent, the status of one is connected to the status of all...." Where did the questioner get this premise? He says it just "bubbled up" into his consciousness (from his subconscious). How, then, did it get into his subconscious? And what does this premise really mean? The questioner should try to cite concrete examples of it in reality, and then look at each example more closely to find out what is really going on in each one, i.e., whether it is collective dependence at work, or reason and productiveness as individual processes proceeding from individual initiative. In short, the questioner should check his premises -- and not merely by asking others without making any independent effort on his own, but by striving to be more independent himself and thinking for himself.
More broadly, the basic principle of logical thinking was very well stated by Francisco to Dagny in Atlas Shrugged, in the scene where Dagny invites Francisco to her office and offers to have him invest in her new railroad (Part I Chapter VII). He says to her:
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Francisco, in turn, learned this from his philosophy professor, Hugh Akston, who learned it from Aristotle. It is a corollary of the law of identity, which Aristotle was the first to discover explicitly and apply systematically.
The latest Addendum to the question talks a lot about unity, i.e., integration, but seems silent about reality. Is the questioner in favor of integration that conforms to reality, or integration that conforms to some allegedly "higher" reality? Without reality, integration is just a form of mysticism. To live, man needs to apprehend reality.
Now, if we want to argue over whether Objectivism or the mysticism-altruism-collectivism-statism axis is more in harmony with reality, that could be a very worthwhile and illuminating topic of serious study. (If I am misrepresenting the final, published version of DIM, it's only because I haven't had time to read very far into it so far. I just received my copy a few days ago, but I've heard many recorded lectures on it over the years.)