To Conform or Not to Conform?

Topics: Ayn Rand, Council of the European Union, Social psychology Pages: 2 (712 words) Published: January 12, 2009
To Conform Or Not To Conform?
The book Anthem by Ayn Rand has literally no opposition to the leaders of Equality 7-2521’s society. In the book, there are several instances where Equality, the protagonist, wonders about how or why everyone is following the leaders in his society so closely. Equality ends up being free, but several rules and beliefs stand in his way. These are the beliefs he must accept to be part of his society. There is no opposition to the leaders because they have programmed everyone to practice altruism, collectivism, and conformity and obedience.

Throughout the book, Rand makes it clear that the society believes in altruism. In the novel, Equality 7-2521, having been programmed by his society, knows that “the laws say that none among men may be alone, ever and at any time, for this is the great transgression and the root of all evil” (17). In other words, no one shall separate themselves from the group and be called I; that is seen as a sin in this society. Equality’s society believes that the word “I”, and anyone who calls themselves this, is either evil or will become evil. Therefore, everyone shall be “we” and no one shall break away. It is clear that altruism is a huge factor in this society’s daily life. Also, speaking in plural pronouns, Equality believes that “we are nothing. Mankind is all. By the grace of our brothers are we all owed our lives. We exist through, by and for our brothers who are the state” (21). In essence, Equality is trying to say that mankind needs all of the members to function correctly and to be successful. Everyone in this society depends on everyone else. They only exist through their brothers; however Equality will discover otherwise.

Another idea in Anthem that Equality must have accepted is that the Council of Scholars has the first, and last, word. In the book, Equality says that “the Council of Scholars has said that there are no mysteries, and the Council of Scholars knows all...
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