What is the author's message about loyalty?
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I think that, within the context of Anthem, loyalty and collectivism are closely linked. In Equality 7-2521's society, collectivism has defeated more capitalist societies in the Great Rebirth, and as a result, every aspect of society is integrated into a rigid state system. The school system indoctrinates the state's children with the philosophy that instead of living to satisfy their own desires, they must live exclusively for their brothers, paralleling the Soviet use of "comrade" for fellow citizens. The society is highly dystopian, and Ayn Rand suggests that groups of people never make decisions that are as far-sighted and progressive as those of individuals. Consequently, the society has regressed to the technology of the pre-Enlightenment era, repeating the Dark Age, and men such as Equality 7-2521 who could benefit their society are encouraged to waste their talents. The central thrust of the novella involves Equality 7-2521's search for a philosophy alternative to collectivism and to its emphasis on the group and the state. Eventually Equality 7-2521 rejects all tenants of collectivism. At the same time, as critics have mentioned, a reader of Anthem may usefully recall that Rand uses a very extreme form of collectivism to make her point, and that the solution to Anthem's society may be a moderate rather than an entirely individualist society.