Why Totalitarian Dictators Separate Children from Their Families

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Ayn Rand’s novella, Anthem, depicts a totalitarian society that oppresses the ideology of individualism. Within these societies children live apart from their families and grow up without any inherited characteristics of being an individual. Anthem is an example of this kind of society because it showcases the link between a totalitarian dictator’s power to the oppression of individualism found in a children that live apart from their families. Totalitarian Dictators enforce the arrangement of children living separate from their families because it oppresses individualism and allows for a better grasp of beneficial control over a society.

Dictators enforce children living separate from their families because without the family setting individualism is not supported. This occurs because many individualistic characteristics are inherited from the family setting. Controlling the setting in which a child grows up can alter the ideological views an individual has and can be used to promote other ideologies such as collectivism like that which was found in Anthem. Totalitarian dictators enforce this living arrangement in order to oppress individualistic ideas therefore, limiting the power an individual has. In Anthem, Rand uses this strategy by separating kids from their families in order to censor content that might encourages individualistic qualities and to promote collective thinking in order to provide more power to a dictator.

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As a child, Equality 7-2521 is sent to the Home of the Students where his individualistic thoughts were discouraged and were restrained by the knowledge his group members possessed (Rand 20). By eliminating the family setting, individualistic thinking has no framework or promoted thoughts. It would benefit dictatorial leaders to minimize the family setting because it allows for individualism and therefore limiting the family setting limits the possibility of individual mind sets (Rand 1). Dictators use the oppression of individualistic qualities to give themselves beneficial power over societies. When Equality 7 – 2521 gives the Council of Scholars electricity, he both literally and figuratively enlightens the potential of individualistic capabilities (Rand 61 ) . This proves as a threat to the Council by displaying the possibilities a single individual can have when not bound to the mindset of others.

The light brought to the Council may analytically symbolize the power that individualism has in a collective society and the Council’s inaptitude to control the electricity may represent the need for the oppression of individualism in Equality 7 – 2521’s society. Totalitarian dictators oppress individualism in order to maintain power therefore avoiding the threat that single individuals with free minds pose to their power. Controlling these characteristics derived from ones childhood setting can be used in totalitarian societies by giving more power to the dictators because it limits individualistic capabilities by limiting the qualities known unto what a group knows. This type of society is displayed in Anthem because the Council of Scholars control the individualistic qualities derived from the childhood setting and instead teach the ideology of collectivism. This helps express Ayn Rand’s philosophical views by displaying the potential found in those with individual characteristics and how they lead to less power as far as those in control. This shows why totalitarian dictators must oppress the power found behind individualism in order to maintain beneficial power in society. Equality is one reason that totalitarian dictators may separate children from their families. Within an equal society, it is easy for dictators to have more power over the people. Growing up in a family setting is different for each individual person therefore if each raising is different it is impossible to be equals. By separating children from their families, it allows for each child to receive equality in the way each person is raised. Anthem is a prime example because it exemplifies the equality found in being separated from ones family.

In Equality’s 7-2521’s society every baby is separated from their parents at birth and given the exact same upbringing. Each person is taught to do better as equals in a group. This ideology was drilled so far in a student’s head there was not room for any individualistic thoughts. Every morning, everyone is required to recite, “ We are nothing. Mankind is all. We exist through, by, and for our brothers who are in the state.” (Rand 21). This quote from rand executes the thought process driving the ideological equality found in Anthem. By promoting equality dictators have an advantage because it makes society easier to control when everyone is equal and limited in knowledge based on what the weakest link knows. This theme found in Anthem reflects Rand’s philosophy because it shows the irrationality that lies within equality and how the discount of individualism leads to it.

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Why Totalitarian Dictators Separate Children from Their Families. (2016, Nov 07). Retrieved from


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