AYN RAND’S ANTHEM 1938 ON A PIECE OF PAPER, WRITE DOWN A QUESTION YOU HAVE ABOUT THE NOVEL. CONTEXT FROM SHMOOP UNIVERSITY Rand intended Anthem to be a scathing critique of collectivism, which can be defined as any philosophy that subordinates the individual to the well being of the community, or collective. It's no big surprise Rand hated collectivism so much – the real life version of it that she experienced scarred her for life. Rand was born in Russia in 1905, to a fairly well-off, intellectual Jewish family (her father was a chemist and pharmacist). At age twelve, she witnessed the Russian Revolution, in which the communists (most definitely "collectivists") took over the county and began to expropriate property from the well-off in the name of "the people" and "the proletariat" (the poor, working class). Rand's family lost almost everything to the government, including their pharmacy, and Rand herself was later almost expelled from the university for not being "proletarian" enough (that is, not enough like your average member of the working class). QUIZ 2/4 In comparing the Dream Works clip of ANTZ to Ayn Rand’s Anthem, explain two obvious similarities and two obvious differences. (Note: You will get this wrong if you say the movie characters are ants, and the book characters are humans.) READS LIKE SCRIPTURE? In the very first sentence, we come across the word "sin“ (18). Many of the other words used throughout the story to describe that which is forbidden in Equality 7-2521's society also have a religious resonance: Transgression, Evil Ones, Unspeakable Word, Unmentionable Times. It's often been noted that totalitarian societies adopt some of the trappings of organized religion, and effectively become religion for the population. Ayn Rand may be capturing that idea here. FROM NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE • But on the other hand, there's a noticeable absence of any positive religious words like "sacred," "divine" in circulation within Equality 7-2521's society. • The only time Equality 7-2521 uses any such language while he is still in the city is when he describes the Transgressor as a Saint. • It is once he leaves the City and discovers the word "I" that he starts to use positive religious language. And then it just doesn't stop: Spirit, temple, temple of spirit, sacred, and holy. S I F T SYMBOL: CESSPOOL (MERRIAM WEBSTER) 1) an underground reservoir for liquid waste 2) a filthy, evil, or corrupt place or state <a cesspool of corruption> ELIÁN'S FUTURE IN A TOTALITARIAN STATE BY BERIT KJOS APRIL, 2000 TIME MAGAZINE THE CODE OF THE CHILD OUTLINES THE BASIC RULES AND RESTRICTIONS OF EDUCATION AND CHILD-RAISING: • Article 3. The communist formation of the young generation is a valued aspiration of the state, the family, the teachers, the political organizations, and the mass organizations that act in order to foster in the youth the ideological values of communism. • Article 5. The society and the State watch to ascertain that all persons that come in contact with the child during his educational process constitute an example for the development of his communist personality. • Article 8. Society and the State work for the efficient protection of youth against all influences contrary to their communist formation. • Article 9. Educators have a high mission in the development of the communist personality. • Article 23. Upon completion of primary schooling young people may continue their education... on the basis of their academic achievement, political attitude and social conduct. • Article 68. Children and young people prepare for the patriotic/military education by acquiring military knowledge… and active military service making their own the principles of proletarian internationalism and combative solidarity. JANUARY 22, 2013 5 19TH-CENTURY UTOPIAN COMMUNITIES IN THE UNITED STATES BY BETH DUNN UTOPIAN COMMUNITIES IN 19TH-CENTURY AMERICA WERE CONSIDERED BY MANY TO HERALD A NEW AGE IN HUMAN CIVILIZATION. OFTEN LED BY CHARISMATIC LEADERS WITH HIGH RELIGIOUS OR SECULAR MORAL IDEALS, THESE SETTLEMENTS EXPERIMENTED WILDLY WITH DIFFERENT MODELS OF GOVERNMENT, MARRIAGE, LABOR AND WEALTH. HUNDREDS OF SUCH SOCIETIES LITTERED THE U.S. LANDSCAPE DURING THE 1800S, MOST DISAPPEARING WITHOUT A TRACE. HERE ARE FIVE THAT MADE A LASTING IMPRESSION ON LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES, FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE. 1. BROOK FARM (1841-1846): THE TRANSCENDENTALIST ROMANCE • The philosophical movement known as Transcendentalist was in full swing when Unitarian minister George Ripley founded Brook Farm in the rural Boston suburb of West Roxbury in 1841. The community wasn’t particularly unique for its time—after all, more than 80 utopian communities were launched in the 1840s alone—but it was notable as the first purely secular one. • Members farmed the land together and held the fruits of their labor in common. The idea was that this would give settlers more time to pursue their own literary and scientific interests, which would then benefit the rest of humankind. • Money troubles and internal squabbling eventually eroded the community, which disbanded after only a few years in existence. Founding member Nathaniel Hawthorne ended up having a pretty miserable time there, which he would later document in his fictionalized account of Brook Farm, “Blithedale Romance.” 2. FRUITLANDS (1843-1844): THE FARM WITHOUT FARMERS • Fruitlands was founded in Harvard, Massachusetts, as a self-sufficient farming community by Charles Lane and Bronson Alcott, two men with no practical experience in either farming or selfsufficiency. In contrast to the more freewheeling ethos of Brook Farm, Lane advocated a far more rigorous lifestyle. • Settlers were forbidden to eat meat, consume stimulants, use any form of animal labor, create artificial light, enjoy hot baths or drink anything but water. Lane’s ideas later evolved to include celibacy within marriage, which caused no small amount of friction between him and his most loyal disciple, Bronson Alcott, who had relocated his wife and four daughters to Fruitlands. • Bronson’s family included a young Louisa May Alcott, future author of Little Women. Louisa, her sisters and their mother appear to have been saddled with the lion’s share of labor at Fruitlands, despite lip service from Lane about the alleged equality of the sexes. When winter set in and life at Fruitlands became increasingly harsh, most of its original members fled for more congenial settings. Louisa later wrote a scathing, barely fictionalized report of life at Fruitlands called “Transcendental Wild Oats.” The community lasted less than seven months in total. • from Merriam Webster: lip service is the support for someone or something that is expressed by someone in words but that is not shown in that person's actions 3. NEW HARMONY (1825-1829): THE BOATLOAD OF KNOWLEDGE • The settlement of New Harmony in Indiana was established to allow its members to pursue the study of the sciences and natural philosophy without the encumbrances of modern, capitalist life. • Its founder, social reformer Robert Owen, successfully lured away from Philadelphia an entire community of scientists who at the time were considered the brightest and most promising in the nation, including several founding members of the National Academy of Science. • Many of these original settlers traveled by boat together to their new home in a journey that was referred to as the “Boatload of Knowledge.” The community thrived for four years before collapsing amid internal disputes over money. But it did succeed in establishing a western center of scientific discovery at a time when these activities were largely confined to the northeastern states. 4. ONEIDA (1848−1881): THE COMPLEX MARRIAGE • The Oneida colonists in upstate New York considered themselves all to be married to each other in a practice they called “complex marriage.” Monogamy was thoroughly rejected, and all decisions about childbearing and procreation were handled by committee. • Not to say there weren’t slip-ups: A number of children were born without the sanction of the community, though they appear to have been provided for just as if they’d been planned in accordance with the rules. Mothers were only given the care of their offspring for the first few years of life, while the community at large assumed responsibility for older children. 5. THE SHAKERS (1745-): THE SIMPLE LIFE • Technically founded in the 18th century, the Shakers nevertheless enjoyed a heyday in the 19th, spawning numerous settlements across the United States, attracting converts and adopting infants and children who were left in their care. • The Shakers are known today mostly for their starkly simple furniture design, the successful manufacture and sale of which was a primary reason for their enduring success. Shakers practiced celibacy and communal ownership of goods, along with a strict separation of the sexes in both work and life. • Membership dwindled in the early 20th century, eventually leading to the consolidation of more than a dozen communities into just a few. Most Shaker settlements have now been converted into museums, although one small cluster still persists in their unique way of life in a small community in rural Maine. AND YET . . . FROM LANCASTER COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU • The PA Amish lifestyle has remained largely unchanged since they settled in Lancaster County 300 years ago. On the surface, the PA Amish lifestyle might appear to be staid and inflexible. • However, it reflects a way of life that is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, as well as unwritten rules from the Amish Ordnung that prescribes behavior, appearance and other aspects of the Amish culture. The resulting community of Amish in PA is one of humility, modesty, obedience, equality and simplicity. TED IDEAS WORTH SPREADING • Glenn Barres, co-founder of Idea Sponge, Inc. started a TED collaboration on what would a Utopia look like? • “What are some of the attributes required of a Utopian Society? Some say it cannot exist but I don't like that word, ‘can't’, so please only answer with possibilities of achieving this, not the reasons why it can't.” • Consider collaborative communities • Tribalism • Amish • Are we inherently competitive or cooperative? • When a child learns “I,” is it a positive or negative result? • Well-known proverb, “It takes a community to raise a child.” NIC MARKS: THE HAPPY PLANET INDEX • Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation's success by its productivity—instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn't have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? • Nic Marks gathers evidence about what makes us happy, and uses it to promote policy that puts the well-being of people and the planet first. He's the founder of the Centre for Well-Being at the UK think tank New Economics Foundation (NEF). RACHEL BOTSMAN: THE CASE FOR COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION • In her talk, Rachel Botsman says we're "wired to share“—and shows how websites like Zipcar and Swaptree are changing the rules of human behavior. • Rachel Botsman writes and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies, and on how it will transform business, consumerism and the way we live. MATT RIDLEY ON IDEAS • At TED Global 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It's not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is. • It’s all about cumulative technology. JOURNAL WRITE •What makes a Utopia possible and perhaps even enduring?