Jim Jarvis 9/10 GT English 9/25/01 Anthem Essay # 1 The world portrayed in Anthem shows no signs of the progress one might associate with a collective society. The scientific achievement of Prometheus' world has had virtually no progress in the period after the Unmentionable Times. At first, the political and social structures, at first, look like a form of collectivism, then upon further examination reveal themselves as totalitarianism. Insomuch as, the ruling council dictates the actions of all. The ruling council of the world also decrees that no one shall sustain a personal relationship with anyone else in order to keep everyone equal.
In Prometheus' time the great cities and technologies of the Unmentionable Times have fallen into ruin. This loss of technology has perpetuated the dim world into a time reminiscent of 16th century Europe; with large cities, farms and an infrastructure, but no advanced technology. The "new technology" of Prometheus' time, the candle, first appeared one hundred years prior to Prometheus' birth.
This extremely slow technological development was partly due to the ideology behind the society. If candles became obsolete, then what would happen to the candle makers and the candle making factories. Essentially, this bureaucratic red tape prevented the development of technology.
The aspects of the society in which Prometheus lived contradict the very philosophy of collectivism. Preaching to all people from an early age, the council teaches that its will is "the will of all brothers," the holiest of things. Under this guise of "the will of all brothers" the council dictates everything. To act against the will of the council invites its wrath as well as does acting without their permission. They prohibit all things and actions unless specifically permitted by a law. This form of governing greatly hinders collectivism, the working by everyone to achieve a common goal.
Punishment, or the threat thereof, drives anyone that might speak out against the ruling council to acquiesce, for the ruling council must retain control over the people. To disguise this threat of force the ruling council created a set of transgressions, its laws of greatest importance. The council punishes those that commit any transgression brutally and swiftly. In this way the council maintains control of the world. Should men commit the greatest transgression of all, the Transgression of Preference, the power of the council would immediately become unstable and fail. That is, if the populous separated into groups based on friendships it would contradict the will of all men, for all men would not think the same thing, thus defeating the logic granting the ruling council control. Ultimately, the ruling council dictates to remain in control, for they know they will lose their power if they do not.
Prometheus' world holds little hope for those in it, save the rulers and those who escape. Technology has virtually nothing to offer this world, for relatively few inventions exist. Life consists of toiling to achieve nothing for one's entire life to appease a council that tells one what to do and where to do it. Those that do not share the council's views either acquiesce or invite punishment. No one has freedom to do as he likes in Prometheus' world. The ruling council tyrannized the population of the world, yet by conditioning and threatening the people from birth remained in control.