Theme Of Individualism In Ayn Rand's Anthem

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“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It 's people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.” -- Banksy, Wall and Piece. A society cannot function without a system of rules to create order and morality. However, the creators of the nameless, collectivist community in Anthem took this concept too far with the complete removal of individualism—the root of ego. This mistake removed the thoughts and actions of individuals, which is what allows a society to flourish. While the city in Ayn Rand’s novella uses a complex system of laws and government controls in hope of suppressing ego, they ultimately fail due to the fact that there will always be someone whose ego cannot be suppressed, which is why the society that Equality 7-2521’s has envisioned creating would include none of these rules. Anthem’s community removes individuality and in its place instates a sense of togetherness and collectivism in an attempt to eradicate ego. First, the assault on the individualistic nature of mankind is overwhelming evident in the moss-strewn marble engraving above the Palace of the World Council: "We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever" (19). All citizens are required to repeat this phrase to themselves whenever they are tempted--the name for the transgression of individualistic thoughts--effectively removing the idea the one is an
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