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Objectivism and Collectivism - Essay Example

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It is within man’s nature to think and reason and thus one of the main topics that have been discussed in philosophy consists of the question which is the best way to live the life that an individual has. …
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Objectivism and Collectivism
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Objectivism and Collectivism It is within man’s nature to think and reason and thus one of the main topics that have been discussed in philosophy consists of the question which is the best way to live the life that an individual has. This has brought about the two philosophies of collectivism and objectivism which can be said to be direct opposites of one another when it comes to the beliefs and practices they promote (Mayhew 56). They do however also maintain a few similarities in certain aspects as well and it is by comparing and contrasting that one is able to identify both the differences and similarities that objectivism and collectivism bring to the table in the discussion of a life well lived. One platform that exhibits both these philosophies clearly is in the book (Mayhew 26) Anthem written by author Ayn Rand in the year 1937 though it was published a year later. In this book the author manages to depict the two philosophies in various scenarios and through various characters within the story that can help one compare the two. It is suggested as a matter of fact that Ayn Rand was the individual who came up with the philosophy of Objectivism so it is no surprise that it is displayed phenomenally in this piece of literature (Mayhew 154). Objectivism refers to a philosophy that advocates that the purpose of an individual’s life is the discovery of their own happiness and thus morality is achieved in the respect of one’s individual’s rights. Objectivism promotes putting one’s self interest ahead of the pack and the author Ayn Rand describes it as "a philosophy for living on earth" that defines human and worldly nature and thus can be said is established in reality (Mayhew 235). Collectivism on the other hand is the polar opposite and refers to a philosophy whereby an individual puts the needs of the society before their own instead of the other way around. This philosophy advocates for the interdependence of individuals on one another whilst in a society and focuses on what can be termed as the greater good in reference to what will benefit a community as a whole instead of a sole individual. Through conducting a study of both philosophies, it can be determined that objectivism can be attributed to the economic stand point of capitalistic societies who focus on making a profit that the earner is able to enjoy while collectivism can be derived from the communism aspect of economy whereby the economic structure is based on benefiting the entire society on an equal level despite the level of success of the various individuals involved (Mayhew 241). In the book Anthem by Ayn Rand, both philosophies can be seen clearly at certain points of the story. Collectivism is in fact seen through out the story brought out by the World Council and the various tenets they support and have imposed on the society. These include the philosophy of putting everyone on a level ground and eliminating any aspect of individuality that may exist within a person (Mayhew 212). This seen in various circumstances, such as banning words that are used to refer to a person’s individuality such as “I” and “My”. Objectivism on the other hand is displayed through the main character of the book Equality 7-2521 and his girlfriend Liberty 5-3000 who are both depicted as free thinking minds and get involved in their own individualistic interests which include interacting with one another among other fetes (Mayhew 134). Equality 7-2521 especially displays a high level of objectivism through his various acts such as performing experiments (which are against the law unless one is authorized to do so) in the confines of the secret tunnel he discovered as well as attempting to present his findings to the World Council in a bid to change their about the position they have assigned him as a street sweeper (Mayhew 226). The latter however can be said to have both levels of objectivism as well as collectivism in it as well. Objectivism is shown as he hopes that by revealing his discovery to the World Council he hopes to switch professions to what he prefers doing thus showing self interest, but collectivism is also displayed as part of the reason he decides to reveal his discovery is that it will be beneficial to the rest of society (Mayhew 226). In conclusion, similarities can also be found in objectivism and collectivism as they both aim to make the world a better place for the people who live in through their philosophies (Mayhew 123). Though they attempt at going about doing this in different ways, the intention however remains similar for both doctrines. Work Cited Mayhew, Robert, ed. (2005). Essays on Ayn Rand's Anthem. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. Read More
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