Anthem (1938, 1946)

This novelette came about due to Ayn Rands wish to present all the evils of collectivism, the subjugation of the needs of an individual to the needs of a group, and what the future might look like if humanity pursues that path. It is a dystopia so hardline collectivist that even the word “I” is stripped from use.

The main theme of Anthem is the idolization of egoism and the portrayal of how it benefits humankind. It follows Equality 7-2521 as he struggles for knowledge in a totalitarian and scientifically regressive system that condemns independent thought. He lives in a world where there is no private or personal property and having a preference for something aside from what is dictated is a sin. Obedience to the collective is the upmost virtue of this society.

In this journey of discovery, Equality 7-2521 not only discovers what lead humanity to regress but also to the key that is necessary to bring about new prosperity and a rebirth of the heights that humankind can reach.