Collectivism And Selfishness In Ayn Rand's Anthem

594 Words3 Pages
Collectivism and Selfishness in Anthem Imagine living in a world where everybody's lives are completely mapped out by the government. Where every decision is made without the input of the citizens it affects. In the novella Anthem, Ayn Rand depicts a completely collectivist society, where every idea, action, and invention is purely for the benefit of society as a whole. Everything is done with the entire population in mind, and individuality is extremely frowned upon. However, when the story's protagonist, Equality, makes a huge scientific discovery, his intentions are more selfish than that. Rand's universe presents extreme collectivism. Through job assignments, clothing, names, and the like, individuality is completely stripped from citizens.…show more content…
There's certain benefits to thinking this way though. It's very important to keep one's own happiness and well being at the forefront of their mind. People should not be expected to constantly cater to others. Selflessness is completely overrated. Equality is not wrong to want something for himself, especially after servicing others his whole life. But while Equality's outlooks aren't necessarily bad, there still needs to be balance. If everyone thought only about themselves, society would crumble. People have to rely on each other to an extent, and total selfishness would prevent this. That being said, someone can have selfish moments while still being a good person and caring for others. There doesn't have to be polar opposites when it comes to selfishness versus selflessness. There's so much emphasis on putting others before oneself that people often forget to look out for their own needs, as shown in this book. Ayn Rand successfully captures the negatives of an overrated ideology and presents an unorthodox perspective on the matter. In conclusion, Equality's true motives behind his work are much more selfish than they first appear to be. Equality strives to fulfil his own personal desire rather than contribute everything to society, and this isn't necessarily a negative thing. Selfishness and selflessness can be balanced, and this balance is crucial to a functioning

More about Collectivism And Selfishness In Ayn Rand's Anthem

Open Document