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anthem essay on government rules and controls

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In her novella Anthem, Ayn Rand describes a futuristic society in which the concept of self, even the pronoun “I”, has been eliminated. Members of this society are expected to submit to a barrage of rules. Ostensibly, these rules are set in place to help the society function as a unit; in reality, they serve only to subjugate its members, to keep them downtrodden and unable to resist their circumstances.

From the time they are children, these people learn the holiness of “we”—that the only good is the good for all, that solitary man is evil. Each day, they stand and recite the mantra, “We are nothing. Mankind is all. We exist through, by, and for our brothers who are the State.” Their entire adult lives are governed by a system of
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But when he presents this new innovation to the scholars, they scold him, ridicule him and make plans to destroy his great achievement. Equality is enraged by their ignorance and rigidity. He flees to the dense woods that surround the city, accompanied by his glass box and by Liberty 5-3000, the woman who will become his lover.

In the forest, Liberty and Equality come upon a house from the
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