The Role Of Collectivism In Ayn Rand's Anthem

933 Words 4 Pages
Equality 7-2521 is taught from his “first breath” that “ everything which comes from the many is good. Everything which comes from one is evil” (Anthem 85). He is brainwashed by the society to believe the “world council is the body of all truth”(Anthem 2). These ideas are planted into his mind at the beginning of his existence and haunt him throughout his life. Eventually, Equality pursues individuality and finds the truth about his society. Suffering in collectivist thinking transforms Equality into the epitome of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.

Collectivism is built on conditioning and altering its citizens to form a culminating society. Guilt is put on the society's victims, creating a confessional tone. In the beginning of the novella, Equality
…show more content…
Anger towards collectivism leads him to develop completely different principles to guide him and his new society. This new objectivist thinking does not include the altruist idea of “mankind [being] all” (Anthem 4), but rather each individual is a “man, not men” (Anthem 102). Surviving in the uncharted forest, Equality gains a sense of what the Unmentionable Times were like. He retrieves his own food, something he has never done before, and gains a “new pride in eating” (Anthem 79). Citizens that are forced to depend on one another and each has his or her own role do not experience this same fulfillment Equality does here. This satisfaction in being self sufficient helps him realize he can be his own “guiding star” and his “happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose” (Anthem 95). When Equality pursues his own thoughts, he finds pleasure and pride, which keeps him motivated in the pursuit of his own philosophy. This independence becomes a necessity in his …show more content…
He has defeated altruism. Unlike his past communist society where he had to be a part of a collectivist “we,” he uses this this new word to pursue a meaningful life, only benefiting himself. It gives a deeper connection to himself and Liberty. According to Equality, the word “I” is a “god” (Anthem 97). This sublime concept of a word to describe oneself sets him free from agonizing deprivation of his individuality. Similarly, Equality compares “The Transgressor”, whose individualistic morals infringe society, to a saint (Anthem 50). Equality worships individualism and mutiny. “I” is meant to be used selfishly and triumphantly. As a result of being nurtured in uniformity, he forbids himself and his future society to use the word “we” to describe oneself, yet they will use

Related Documents