Monday, March 28, 2016

Anthem Response

      Ayn Rand’s book Anthem is about a young lad who thinks he is an outcast because he has self-awareness. He comes to realize then that he may be an outcast but he uses it to his benefit. All his life he wanted to be a scholar, so during the social hour he would escape and use his curiosity to learn new things. In the book Anthem, the society is in fact a collectivist society to the extreme. People are told what to do, and how to do it. They are told who is allowed to mate with whom and are assigned jobs for life which they cannot get out of. The young lad is named Equality 7-2521 and he is assigned to be a street sweeper, he thinks of it as punishment for the fact that he always has crazy thoughts and questions.
      Rational egoism is basically being selfish or egotistic for a rational reason. In my personal opinion rational egoism can be a cure for a collectivist society because of the fact that a person may use their own self awareness and become something. Although in a collectivist society you are told how to act and be, they cannot tell you what to think. If someone like Equality 7-2521 can escape a collectivist society and become his own person so can anyone else. Rational egoism can help cure a collectivist society by one or a group of people who want something better for themselves get it. For example, a group of people in a collectivist society are tired of living that way, they want to free and live how they want to so they decide to escape or takeover the society so they can have their freedom.
     The good about rational egoism is the fact that you are doing it for yourself, although you are told not to be how you want to be. A person who is rationally egoistic does it because they think about themselves and for others (mainly themselves most of the time). Meanwhile in a collectivist society they do it “for the greater good”, where they think everything should be done one way and one way only because it is the best thing for them(or so they think). I mean in a sense a collectivist society could work out because there is structure, but a collectivist society that is extreme like one that tells you who to intimate with and at what time would not work.
    There is always good and bad to everything, and one bad that rational egoism brings is the fact that you would be looked down on. Not only that but you are thinking more about yourself rather than everyone else. Going back to the example I used earlier, someone who does not like the collectivist society they live in wants to take over because they want the freedom, but it backfires because maybe what they want is not what everyone else wants. Then it goes back to them being a collectivist society all over again. Not only does it bring those problems but if you are thinking about yourself you are doing it with intentions of it being the right thing, which is not always the right thing. You may think robbing someone is the right thing to do but in our society it is not and you will get in massive trouble(depending on how bad the theft).

     Our world today compared to Ayn Rand’s Anthem is nowhere near the same. We live in a society where everyone is rationally egoistic and it is not looked down on. I feel if we were forced what to do and how to do it, there would be a revolution. Everyone is someone and no two people are the same. 

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