Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ayn Rand and What Kills Collective Thought

In Ayn Rand's widely known novel, Anthem, she gives an example of what life might be like if there was no individualism, no freedom, and no "I". In a recent essay contest I choose a prompt that centered around her novel. My prompt focused on the short lifespans of the citizens in Equality 7-2521's "Utopian" society.
I wrote my essay around three main concepts. 1). No Freedom 2). "WE" concept 3). Hygiene.
The first point of my essay, No Freedom, stated how strict and ridged the rules of the society were. Everything was schedule down to the last minute, and the decisions were dictated by the Council. Nothing is of an individual choice, not your job, where you will live, or even what clothing you wear. No person has the right to make their own choices. All choices must be made together and be identical.
The second point of my essay, the "WE" concept, describes the great law that all live under and many struggle inwardly with. The law states that We are one in all and all in one. There is no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever. This law does not allow for any individualism whatsoever. There is no individual thought or action, all citizens must be in agreement. No laughter is permitted unless all laugh together.
My last point, Hygiene, speaks of how all technology has been lost because the ideals were not of a collective thought. Slowly all knowledge of medical treatments for life-threatening diseases were lost until Equality 7-2521's society reduced to the medival method of blood-letting to cure illnesses. Also, taking care of ones personal hygiene is not a top priority and each citizen sleeps and works in the same garment with few washes between wearing. The loss of so much knowledge has reduced the world's societies to barbaric, germ-filled cities.
With Ayn Rand's Anthem, she has introduced us to a world with no freedom and where idividualism is forbidden.

1 comment:

Mrs. Gillmore said...

Interesting...so do all utopias become dystopias?