Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Anthem by C 3-1594

                Anthem, as we know is a dystopian novel about a purely collective society in which individuality is often met with death. Even their names, the one thing that is truly unique to them, is barely so, for example, Equality 7-2521. The character's Storm Trooper-ish names reinforces the ideal of a sole collective society. Equality 7-2521 is a simple cog in the machine with no real outstanding role to play, no person to love, and no real meaning if he is alive, dead, remembering or dreaming. Ironically, this society would be a modern day Plato Republic that would make Plato smile with glee, or be taken aback by the sheer shock of his own folly in his design.

                A few minor grievances I had with the world itself was the technological stagnation that takes place in the universe. In a similar vein of  Moore's Law, technology is expanding at an exponential rate. So I personally found this element a little too unreal. Golden One was also set up as run of the mill love interest in my honest opinion. Understandably, by the act of Equality confessing his love for Golden One he understands individuality. Along with the new names of "Prometheus" and "Gaia" foreshadow the new future in store for the society.

                Now, the main argument is that being egocentric, or rationally egoism a cure for a collective society and can it lead it to new heights? In short, yes it can. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nation talks about the roles greed and selfishness plays into the economy. In minute phrasing, when merchants are motivated by self interest and personal gain, they are the most effective force in the economy. In a fanatical collective society, all economic forces would be heavily regulated leading to inefficiency. Lastly egoism can lead to great ambitious men in society. Men and women who think outside of the box, freethinkers, and creative individuals can move forward crafting art, literature, business and new scientific advancements that are beneficial to all members of society.  

                Uniformity out right egoism and individualism has the potential of leaving a few people out in the fringes of society. Those who don't seem to fit anywhere and quietly moved aside can feel disenfranchised and alone in a hostile world. Greed and corruption would also take hold as people are only looking out for themselves. However, this could be countered by giving a strong sense of purpose to unify the populous to can end goal via extensive patriotism. In the end, a lone choice of collectivism versus individualism in a poor choice, a society must find a balance between the two. America has a leaning towards egoism while Japan has a leaning towards collectivism, and both countries are in the upper echelon of the world's power, a monument display that both choices can work, with their ups and downs.

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