Friday, June 19, 2009

"Anthem"....A Part of the Foreword by Ayn Rand

I want to get this up before I take my son to summer school and will be gone for a big chunk of the day.

I bought "Anthem" by Ayn Rand yesterday since "Atlas Shrugged" was sold out; I finished it last night (105 pages; a snap for avid readers). "Anthem" chronicles one man's struggle to break from the group and be an individual in a world where your entire life is dictated by "Councils", and individual thoughts and actions are punishable by law and death.

I wanted to post part of Ayn's foreword from the book. It could possibly considered our call-to-arms and gives me courage and strength to keep taking a stand.

"The greatest guilt today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one's eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: "But I didn't mean this!"

Those who want slavery should have the grace to name it by its proper name. They must face the full meaning of that which they are advocating or condoning; the full, exact, specific meaning of collectivism, of its logical implications, of the principles upon which it is based, and of the ultimate consequences to which these principles will lead. They must face it, then decide whether this is what they want or not."

-------Ayn Rand, 1946 (partial foreword for "Anthem")


Anonymous said...

The best, and only true English, teacher I have had started off the year with a reading of Anthem. I have been, and will always be, a avid believer in Rand. While I am slightly put out by her more eccentric views and more importantly her almost collectivist tinge she takes to individualism I can't help but enjoy her.

blackandgoldfan said...

The one thing to remember about Ayn, Ramblings, is that she came from the old Communist Soviet Union, so in a way she was brought up like Equality 7-2521. It was only when she came to this country that she felt free enough to express her thoughts. Of course, Rand isn't for everyone. I'm just really starting to dig what she wrote.