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What ideas must people first accept before such a totalitarian society (such as the...

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ultimateques | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM via web

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What ideas must people first accept before such a totalitarian society (such as the one in Anthem) can take hold?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM (Answer #1)

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To allow a totalitarian state based on absolute collectivism, the people must first be willing to completely give up personal/individual freedom. Rand’s novella is an allegory. If such a state were to exist, it would probably not be as exaggerated as it is in Rand’s novella. But, for the sake of argument, if this were to happen, there would have to be a government-enforced policy to eliminate the concept of individuality. This would have to take place in every institution: certainly in education, economics and politics.

People must also accept the idea that all activities must be performed for the society as a whole. Therefore, there would be no actions which benefit only one person. This would be a drastic revision of all aspects of how humans think about themselves and their community.

Capitalism would be gone. There would be no private property because there could be nothing owned by one person. Each person would have to accept the idea, as a reality, that he/she does everything for everyone. In other words, he/she never does anything for “one” other.

Monogamy would also be gone because no individuals can perform actions which are geared towards just one individual. Everything would have a social aspect. Nothing would have a personal aspect. People would have to accept that individuality is so inferior to communal interests, that individuality is rendered existentially pointless and morally corrupt.

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