Collectivism In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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Ayn Rand, in her critically acclaimed novel Anthem, creates the image of a society driven by a perverse need for the common good. She uses this society, and her character, Equality 7-2521, to illustrate her point that selfishness is not always an inferior value to altruism, and can even be used for good. Pope Francis, on the other hand, shares a different point of view in his speech to a joint session of Congress; he believes that all people have a common responsibility to their country or continent of origin, a responsibility to the ideals of community and working for the common good. I personally fall in the gray area between the two most extreme versions of their beliefs, because I believe that, above all others, one has a responsibility to themselves; however, I also believe…show more content…
In the case of Bill Gates, who is listed in an issue of this year’s Forbes as the richest man in the world, yet spends a decent amount of time attending to charity, we see that the ideals of collectivism can exist within the ideals of independence. Furthermore, in the U.S., our government provides us with social and entitlement programs which benefit many people and are thus beneficial to the common good. Proponents of extreme individualism and capitalism may argue against these programs, but when they or a family member suddenly need these services, it becomes beneficial to them to keep these programs alive. In the public school system, community service is generally encouraged, if not mandatory. This clearly benefits the common good, as it ensures there is a force out there working to fix up or perform services for the community, but many individuals who participated in these programs would contend (perhaps begrudgingly) that these programs benefited them mentally, intellectually, emotionally, physically, or any combination of the
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