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Anthem - Reactionary Narcissism Camouflaged by Freedom Ideas

Uploaded by SchoolStinks! on Jun 19, 2005

Ayn Rand migrated from the Communist U.S.S.R. with a righteous anger. Not only was she as an individual demeaned by lack of a personal identity -- as far as worth and contribution to society, but her gender incurred unjust persecution as well.

It seems a trend that Americans enjoy literature that reveals the philosophical or political depravity of our own or other countries, and appropriately so. Art, whether visual or written, has always been a powerful form of critique on society and collective human morality.

However, In Anthem, Rand makes a critical mistake.

Rand, being from an oppressively communist country, has equal or greater right in relation to any other voice of her time, to critique and illuminate problems with totalitarian uniformity disguised as commonwealth. Unfortunately, her attempts to reconstruct or provide answers to the above mentioned problems of individualism, peppered throughout this book, aren't only flawed logically and rationally, but are also dangerous. Allow me to explain.

Very little in History has a firebrand or flagrant reactionist radically accomplished mass change in a culture or people.
Take some of History's most prolific examples of men and women who caused change. Gandhi, for instance changed an entire people's way of thinking through peaceful, conscientious objection and demonstration. He didn't take a polar opposite view to that of his oppressive opponent, but reasoned and demonstrated with logic and grace.

Ask yourself who was more successful in erasing the disgusting presence of racism in this country? Malcolm X? Or Martin Luther King Jr?

I shouldn't even need to bring the character of Jesus into this critique. Whether or not you believe in he existed, believe he was a prophet, or believe his story was the apex of the anthropic myth, it matters not. The impact his teachings and followers made and still make on this world is epic.

My point? If you look at the end of the book, the sacred word inscribed in stone to set the people free? Ego. That's right. Vanitos. Concentration on your own achievements, self awareness and successes. Communist pre-Russia was a prison camp where individuality, human rights, and personal talents were choked and stomped. This was something that we as Americans needed to be reminded of. However, even though Rand poetically reveals the creative and personal starvation of the Anvil & Hammer, the revelation of what a specific Country or government lacks is not the key...

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Uploaded by:   SchoolStinks!

Date:   06/19/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (646 words)

Views:   4608

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