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    Future in a Backwards Totalitarian Society in Anthem by Ayn Rand

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    In the novel Anthem, Ayn Rand writes about a future that takes place in a backwards totalitarian society. She believes that economic progress depends upon freedom and advocates individualism, meaning that every man is an individual and has the same rights as everyone else. On the other hand, the novel portrays collectivism where the individual is owned by a group and has no right to a private existence. The novel begins with Equality 7-2521 stating that what he is doing is a sin. In his society, it is a sin to do things that do not involve others, including writing a book for only his eyes. Everyone is wired to think the same, but Equality 7-2521 has a mind of his own. When it was dark at night, Equality 7-2521 would sneak into a secret tunnel in which he would spend hours doing.research and experiments. This went on for two years, until he finally succeeded in re-inventing the electric light. His plan was to present his glass box, or light bulb, to the World Council of Scholars as a gift to them. When he showed them his invention, they became frightened and told him that his invention must be destroyed because it was only for his sake and not for others.

    The collectivist society in which Equality 7-2521 lives is similar to the concept of communism. The council of this society does not allow for any individual to think freely. Instead of each “robot” having individual names, they are labeled by groups. These include Equality, International, Solidarity, and so on. This society has also forbidden friendships, as well as romance. The word “” is unmentionable; all first-person references are with the plural “we,” even when the reference is to a single person. Overall, Ayn Rand clearly expresses her views through Anthem. The society is submissive to collectivism, but Equality represents Rand, who believes in the concept of capitalism. As humans, we should be allowed freedom and the right to express ourselves without a government controlling us.

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    Future in a Backwards Totalitarian Society in Anthem by Ayn Rand. (2023, Mar 03). Retrieved from

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