Anthem by Ayn Rand

It is a sin to not think like others. It is an offence to think alone. You need the permission of the Council of Vocations before you can write. There is no established punishment for it yet. Writing down your thoughts is a crime. Our name is Equality 7-2521 and we all wear an iron bracelet. We are 21 years ago and 6 feet tall. All men must be alike. We have to repeat these words ‘We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE. One, indivisible and forever.’ These words were established a lot time ago. No one can recall what happened before the Great ReBirth. Everything the World Council said was the whole true. There is no free will except of the will of all men together. Our group of men are different from the rest as we have transgressed. We often fought with our brothers since young. We were all prisoners now. It was evil to be superior by our fellow brothers. We could not forget the past or pretend not to know something we already knew. After the Home of the Students, the Council of Vocations would prescribe what we should do. Preferring something over another was a form of Transgression. The Council of Scholars claimed to know everything. We were fascinated by science and how things work. Many of us dreamt to work in the Council of Scholars. If you were assigned to be a Leader, you could study more. Our life mandate was to be a street sweeper. Life was tough and with long hours. We often were made to sing the Hymn of Brotherhood, Equality and Collective Spirit. Once men turn 40, they are sent to the Home of the Useless, where the State cares for them. We loved a group called International 4-8818 and that was a transgression. Later, in a field, we pushed aside an iron bar and saw an iron grill over a black hole. We opened the grill and decided to explore despite knowing that it was an offence. It was a high tech tunnel. The place was left from the unmentionable times. We wanted to keep this a secret at all cost and protect it with our lives. The International group didn’t want to betray us. We started stealing valuable items and bringing it to the tunnel. For 3 hours each night, we would study in the tunnel. This has been going on for more than 2 years. We are doing this because we love exploring. We do not feel remorse or fear in our hearts whatsoever. Our strange ‘evil’ ways seem peaceful indeed.

We were not happy in those years in the Home of the Students. It was not that the learning was too hard for us. It was that the learning was too easy. This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. – The Narrator

We are forbidden to speak about women. There is a female group known as Liberty 5-3000. They were in charge of planting seeds in a field. After many instances, they gradually grew warmer towards us. Only speaking to other groups in Social Meetings were acceptable. It is an offence to think of other men outside your group. It was not an offence to think of women in the City Palace of Mating. There would be a Council of Eugenics who would assign a female to each man. Women will never see their children and the kids won’t know who their parents are. The female group was known to us as the Golden One. Finally we spoke to their group. They were a group of 17 year olds. We were reprimanded for singing for no reason. It is forbidden not to happy. However, our brothers look at us with fear in their eyes. Our brothers have the ultimate say. There are groups of people who are not happy all the time. Legend has it that those who enter the Uncharted Forest do not come out alive. Many of the important secrets were lost. You will be sentenced to death if you mention the Unspeakable Word. One man was burned in public for saying it. At that moment of being burnt, the Saint was still smiling. This was very intriguing to us. We would not guess the word before that guy perished. What is the Unspeakable Word?

Indeed you are happy. How else can men be when they live for their brothers? – Home Council

Men are free and the earth belongs to them; and all things on earth belong to all men; and the will of all men together is good for all; and so all men must be happy. – The Narrator

The Council of Scholars has said that we all know the things which exist and therefore all the things which are not known by all do not exist. – The Narrator

We will uncover secrets because we seek them. We were slowly discovering new secrets of life. It is important to keep learning, even though we can’t share it with anyone.

We saw the Golden One by the hedge. They called us ‘the Unconquered’. In return, we termed them ‘Our Dearest One’. Now, they brought water to us.

We completed building a strange thing. We made a wire glow. It was an electric current running through a wire. It was now possible to light the city with metal and wires. The plan was to present the idea to the World Council of Scholars. We felt the wire being part of body as well.

Now, we had been caught by the government. We were lashed in the Palace of Corrective Detention. We lost count of the blows. We refused to tell the judge where we went after we were late for duty. Now, we were placed in a prison cell. It would be the Council of Scholars meeting tomorrow and we had to escape somehow. Thankfully it was easy to escape. We went to hide in the tunnel and prepare for the next day.

It is dark in the forest. Finally we were in the hall of the World Council of Scholars. The scholars despised us when we revealed we were Street Sweepers. We demonstrated to them the power of light. The men were afraid. Many of the scholars were jealous and ordered us to be lashed for trying to show that we were superior to them. We were disappointed by such a reply. Lone thinkers had no place in society. Our box would bring ruin to the Department of Candles. The scholars wanted our box to be destroyed. We leapt out of the place, through glass. We simply ran away. Unknowingly, we ended up in the Uncharted Forest. We could no longer go back to the town and would rather prefer solitude. The golden one was not with us and we missed her.

What is not thought by all men cannot be true…What is not done collectively cannot be good. – Collective 0-0009

The forest was a mystery and yet held such charm for us. We were free to do whatever we wished. We started to explore the forest and appreciate nature. For food, we learnt how to cook and eat birds. The stream was a thing of sheer beauty.

The Golden One came to visit us now. We learnt from them that they followed us. They wished to share our damnation wherever we went. It was clear that they wanted to stick with us now. We hugged one another and experienced true joy. This new life felt so clear and simple but yet brought immense joy. We were weary when we toiled for our brothers. There seemed to be an error in which the brothers taught. What was it? We were closer to the Unspeakable Word, but could not pinpoint what it was. The Golden One confessed that they loved us.

We started scaling small mountains. We came upon a house. It was of a very modern design. This was a house from the Unmentionable Times. Undaunted, we explored the interior. It was odd that the house could only fit 12 people. We wondered about the men from the Unmentionable Times. We found scripts which we didn’t manage to comprehend fully. This was our house.

What is this secret our heart has understood and yet will not reveal to us, although it seems to beat as if it were endeavoring to tell it? – The Narrator

I am. I think. I will. I am the meaning of the things. I discovered self-will. I am not a servant for men’s needs. Honor must be earned. Do not keep using the word ‘We’. I finally discovered the usage of the word ‘I’. This was the forbidden word.

It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect. – The Narrator

I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on Earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose. – The Narrator

I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom. – The Narrator

Nothing can kill the spirit of man. I realized we all needed names so that we can be addressed. I shall be Prometheus and the Golden One shall be named Gaea. My aim would be to build up knowledge and then contribute it to future generations. I would learn how to build electricity again. If possible, when my fortress is built, I will call forth those who had been ostracized by the brothers to join me. I would rewrite the new history of Man. Man needed to free himself from his brothers. This was freedom. The problem was that men worshiped ‘We’. The spirit of Man will always awaken. For freedom, rights. For life and for honor. I will never let this word die ‘EGO’.

anthempic

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One thought on “Anthem by Ayn Rand

  1. Pingback: Anthem by Ayn Rand | The Socialist

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