Literature: Anthem

Anthem is a novella by Ayn Rand (contrast with Atlas Shrugged). It touches on the usual Objectivist themes, but it has a more fantastic, sci-fi setting, and it's pretty much the concentrated embodiment of The Evils of Free Will. In the future, humanity has fallen into a dark age brought on by the evils of collectivism. Individualism and freedom have been stamped out to the point where speaking the words "I, me, my, mine, ego" is a crime punishable by death. Society is ruled by several dictatorial Councils that outlaw all new ideas and inventions; as a result, science and the arts have stagnated.

The book is the secret journal of Equality 7-2521, in which he recounts his youth and tells of his emancipation from Ayn Rand's dystopia. He had been born with a "curse" — a strong sense of curiosity, eagerness to learn and question everything, and an unwillingness to subordinate himself to society.

For more information on Rand's ideas, please see Objectivism.

Not to be confused with the Japanese Heavy Metal band or the Neal Stephenson Doorstopper, Anathem.

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