Collectivism Vs. Individualism In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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Unity. Equality. Superior happiness. All of these generalities are the empty promises guaranteed by a collectivist society. Anthem’s constructed society—built on endless restrictions and laws—falsely propagates these ideals and unknowing citizens blindly accept them, ignoring their own aspirations. Through the main character, Prometheus, readers experience the suffocating nature of a society that enforces “total equality.” Ayn Rand’s novel Anthem explains, relates and propagates the negative effects of collectivism on man’s individuality.
Rulers justify their collectivist society by appealing to the desire for equality. Exploiting the craving for fairness, power-hungry leaders are able to convince the community that a unified society is in their best interest. A rebellion is highly unexpected due to the unwavering trust the citizens place in their government. Prometheus’ escape from prison with little effort proves the leaders’ confidence that no one would defy the law (66-67). Much like the antagonist of The Fountainhead explains, man’s morals allow him to be easily manipulated. His desire for justice and a choice, blind him so that he would sacrifice anything to achieve even an illusion of those concepts. Anthem’s ability to relate to several experiences and universal situations, make …show more content…

Most readers do not understand the concepts of collectivism and individualism prior to reading Rand’s novel. In both Anthem and her speech “Soul of a Collectivist,” she determines collectivism to be evil because it directly opposes her own philosophy of objectivism. Serving as effective propaganda, her readers finish with beliefs similar to her own rather than the desire for a collective society. By slowly introducing ideas to Prometheus throughout the novel, readers are able to experience foreign ideas and revelations with him, such as when he learns “the sacred word: ego”

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