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105 pages, Paperback
First published May 1, 1938
I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man's soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet.
I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.
The word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it...the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong...This is a sophomoric thing to say. When you take collective living to its grotesque extreme, it doesn't mean that any collective thinking at all is terrible. It means that you shouldn't take it to its grotesque extreme. Zamyatin knew this. It doesn't take a genius, but it's still beyond Ayn Rand. Anthem is an overreaction. It's loony, extremist, fanatic. It's stupid.
What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it?