Individualism Vs. Collectivism In Craig Biddle's Anthem

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Should a society be individualistic or collectivistic? Anthem is a novella written in 1983 by Ayn Rand that focuses on a dystopian society that had regressed. This dystopian society is surely a collectivist society, where an individual is part of a group that works towards a common goal, but have to make sacrifices in order to do so. Individualism is the opposite of this type of society; it is when a person has his own rights and decisions that impact themselves. Craig Biddle’s article “Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choices” provides an argument for both collectivist societies and individualistic societies. Unlike Anthem, societies should be individualistic. Individualism gives people the right to control their own lives…show more content…
In Anthem, individualism is taken away from the people, and as a result, they have regressed instead of advancing. “‘It took fifty years to secure the approval of all the Councils for the Candle, and to decide upon the number needed, and to re-fit the Plans so as to make candles instead of torches.’” (Rand, 7.42). The collectivist society prevents progress as they collectively decide on whether to accept a new innovation, taking years to approve the innovation. When Equality 7-2521 brings his new source of light to the World Council of Scholars, they turn him away because his idea came from one individual and not a large group. Also, the people of this society are to be viewed the same but when Equality approaches the Council, they look down on him because he is a Street Sweeper and not a scholar. Consequently, this illustrates how the collectivist society does not comply with their own rules, showing how they are hypocrites and unjust. Also, in Anthem, “And the fire which is called the Dawn of the Great Rebirth, was the Script Fire where all the scripts of the Evil Ones were burned, and with them all the words of the Evil Ones.” (Rand, 2.43). In this fire, books written in the past were all burned, erasing knowledge recorded for many years. This was the society’s attempt at erasing individuality from everyone’s knowledge. In the same manner, the community is regressing due to lack of knowledge. In order for…show more content…
Individualism allows for a person to hold onto their given rights and for a society to move forward. Collectivism supporters may say that collectivism allows for the exchange of new ideas within a group, but this is invalid because an individual comes up with an idea and then spreads it into a group. If a government becomes a collectivist regime, people would be restricted from doing many things they love because a groups’ interest is held above an individual’s interest. A society would be dragged back in time instead of being motivated to progress. An individualistic society would have most rights given to every person and they would have more freedom
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