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Monday, May 23, 2011
I don't agree with Rand Paul. I'm not talking about how I don't agree with him on any kind of government policy of proposal, I just don't agree that you can go around calling Anthem a novel. I read the Kindle edition so I'm not sure how many pages it has but it only took about an hour to read. Normally I call that a short story but I guess if you want to stretch you could call it a novella.
The story starts out like a standard dystopian novel written in the age of communism. Everyone is assigned a career after they graduate high school, everyone is poor and miserable and every good idea is repressed. The main character finds a secret hiding place where ancient technology is sitting around and spends his weekends reading books in the subway. Eventually he decides to share his knowledge with the ministry of science but they won't accept his findings because he doesn't have the proper academic credentials. He ends up running away with some girl and re-discovers his individuality and vows to populate the earth with children that are free from the chains of communist and intellectual oppression.
The story is pure Ayn Rand. There are three reactions people can have to this story. Many people will be inspired to know that there is another soul out there who knows what it is like to have your good ideas rejected and cheers your superior individualism. A second reaction is to be disgusted that such a poor piece of philosophy is even being discussed on the floor of the US senate. My reaction was to laugh a bit about the tortured prose at the end of the novel where the character discovers individuality and to delete the story from my Kindle.