Free Will Versus Determinism

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In the book Anthem, one of the main characteristic shown is free will. The author Ayn Rand uses Equality 7-2521 as a perfect example, even though he is not the only one who makes this choices. Equality 7-2521 is very different from everyone else in this society, he decides to start wondering about the Unspeakable Word. Everyone in this society have the choice to be slaves. They are not forced to obey the rules, they do so because they voluntarily gave up to the responsibility to think for themselves. Almost all citizen with the exception of Prometheus and The Golden One have chosen not to think by themselves, which it leads them to obey the rules of the government. “It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone.” Equality starts off by telling us he’s doing something wrong. He breaks an important law, this makes us noticed right away as if we were in a very controlled world. A world where no one is free to do what they want.

There are numerous examples of the ways this society taking away each person’s individuality. They destroy the concept of the individual, allowing only “we” to be spoken. It outlaws solitude and proclaims that sodality is the cause of all evil. In fact, the society believes that any outcome of a solarity venture is harmful to everybody. Early in this novel, Equality 7-2521 reveals one of his sins: his preference for the Golden One. Citizens in this society were thought that it was a sin to prefer one anything over the other. It is a sin to prefer an individual one because according to the World Council, all men must strive to be completely alike and must not have preference for one of their brothers or another female. “For we matter not and it must not matter to us whether we live or die, which is to be as our brothers will it’. They were taught that they live for their brothers and if they didn’t then there was no reason to still be living. Each individual had to put the lives of their brothers before their own. Society also makes each individual feel as though they have to be the same as everyone else and if they aren’t then it’s a crime.

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Freewill and determinism exists in this society. Everyone has the right to be free, but no one chooses to be. They all prefer to be slaves of this society. International 4-8818 also has free will. He is in a difficult situation when Equality 7-2521 states that if he does not report the existence of the tunnel International is committing a crime also he’s putting his life on risk. If he decides not to report it, he is going against everything he has been taught, every law decreed by the Councils and, consequently, is risking his life. If, on the other hand, he chooses to inform the Councils, Equality 7-2521 does not have free will due to determinism. However, Equality 7-2521 fled from the collectivist society with his love, the Golden one. He could not do so without free will. Another potential alternative shown in Anthem is rebellion, Equality shows rebellion many times throughout this novel, he breaks many rules one example is when they find the tunnel. “Since the council does not know of this hole, there can be no law permitting to enter. And everything which is not permitted by law is forbidden.” Equality and International debate on either to go down or not, and this is when Equality shows rebellion.

Historical Struggle for Freedom.

Many years ago people used to see Gods as a role model, people used to obey them voluntarily. Just like in the novel, all this people obey to the government voluntarily. From many centuries ago to his day, nobody is obligated to obey to someone, we all do it because we feel the need to do it. Same thing with kings, everyone thinks kings are always right and do everything for the well being of everybody, but some of the hide mysterious things just for their own well being, in anthem, the government hides a lot of stuff from the citizens, but if we realize they hide it just to protect them not to protect everyone in this society. Everyone has been a salve of kin. People usually go by looks not by the people’s values. In anthem, the citizens are slaves of the government’s kin. Just because they are the government doesn’t mean they have to obey them or think that everything they do is right. Race has divided a lot of people for many years. African American used to be slaves of white people. But why? Just by the color of their skin? Just because they are different?. In this novel, there are approximately three characters that are being excluded from everyone else. International 4-88181, Fraternity 2-5503, who cries without reason, and Solidarity 9-6347 who calls for help in the night, and a few others. They all have been separated from everyone else just because they are different. Now days is a little different we’re not slaves to gods, kings or races. But there’s something even worse. Technology, we are so addicted to i we don’t even pay attention to what happens around us. Believe it or not we are slaves of technology we obey to everything that internet says, and just like the novel we do it voluntarily we do it because we feel the need to do it, we are not being obligated to obey.

When Equality finds the meaning of the word “I” he realizes there are many things hidden in this society. He starts to realize things. Equality whom now is named Prometheus is determined to find more secrets that this society has been hidden from all men. Equality looks ahead and sees the future clearly before him. Prometheus says that he will continue to live in his own house and gain much knowledge from his books and use that knowledge in the coming years to recreate the achievements of the past. Prometheus had determinations, free will, rebellion, to accomplish freedom for himself. “These are things before me. And as i stand here at the door of glory, i look behind me for the last time. I look upon the history of men, which I have learned from the books, and I wonder. It was a long story, and the spirit which moved it was the spirit of man’s freedom. But what is freedom? Freedom from what? There is nothing to take a man’s freedom away from him, save other man. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else” that were equality realized they all have been slaves of each other. To bee free they no longer have to be slaves of their own brothers.


Lets starts off by asking, what is collectivism? Collectivism is the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it. The United States has many rules that are collectivism, any law that treats a person as part of a group, is considered collectivism. Basically any person who owns a business that pays income tax, because those business make money and part of that money gets adjust to different type of masses in the form of social programs. That’s how collectivism is being shown in our society nowadays, everyone works on a place and divide the earnings of their work equally

Neither the United States in 1776 or the United States of today are nothing like anthem. The united States of 1776 had liberty, freethinkers, the pursuit of what makes an individual happy. In anthem the fear of what they did not understand drove them to make them to take equality to new extremes. The United States of 1776 had fear of the chaos that was happening around the world causing them to take security to new extremes in order to prevent the same thing to happen in the US. In 1776 the 13 American colonies cutted off their political connections with Great Britain.


Individualism is habit of being independent and self-reliant. It promotes the moral worth of the individual and is the idea of self identification versus identifying as a group. Individualism is a decision to not be ruled or to rule anyone. To decide over anyone and let anyone decide over me. Equality is perfect example for individualism, after he shows rebellion, he starts to show individualism. He doesnt let the government rule him nor he rules someone so e just like him. Now days he have the choice to be individualism but some people don’t choose it. People who are scared of changes don’t speak up for their rights. Those kind of people are the ones who stay quiet and obey everything they told to do so. They prefer to be ruled because they think it’s easier just like in Anthem. “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.” Individual happiness just like Equality states, is the highest goal of life. It is an end in itself. There is no larger moral purpose to life, other than individual happiness. This is the central ethical idea of Rand’s egoism, and it’s radical. It’s opposed to any philosophy that holds that individuals can or must serve a higher purpose than their own happiness. No such obligation exists.

The government has been brainwashing that our constitution has been based on the concept of individualism. Nowadays we are so determined not to allow anyone rule us. We believe in individualism and to focuses on each person having freedom to act. Or maybe that’s what the government has been letting us think, maybe we are not individualism at all. But we are the opposite of that, what if we are collectivism? And the government just let us think the opposite so we don’t have to worry about them, or be worried about the government ruling us.

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