The Politically Incorrect Show - 30/03/2000
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, KAYA ORAAAA & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday March 30, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
I promised caller James yesterday that the subject of today's editorial would be the novelette Anthem, by Ayn Rand, first written in 1937, then edited & published in its present form in 1946. It is the story of a totalitarian world in which the word 'I' has been expunged from the language. It is written by its hero, a man who has rediscovered the word 'I' - and intimations of a free & prosperous era before it was eliminated. Currently, by contrast, everyone is numbered & uses the collective pronoun 'we.' The hero rebels & escapes to establish a remote mountain refuge with his equally newly-enlightened beloved & a few followers.
Unlike other depictions of collectivist dystopias, such as 1984 & The Prisoner, Anthem does not portray its totalitarian society as technologically advanced. Quite the reverse - its ruling Council of Scholars has only just got round to permitting the use of candles. And the hero, assigned to be a street sweeper, has turned himself into a scientist & inventor. Ayn Rand recognised the inseparable connection between liberty & reason, & could not conceive that a tyranny with no free countries to spy on or steal from could be technologically advanced.
The story begins with the words, "It is a sin to write this." It flashes back to the horrors of what passed for life in what is effectively one vast slave-labour camp, & ends with some visionary reflections. As our own country plunges headlong into the collectivist morass, I can do no better than quote from this oh-so-apposite, poetic prose.
"At first man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, & there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of the freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled. But then he gave up all he had won, and fell lower than his savage beginning."
And further on:
"Through all the darkness, through all the shame of which men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains, but it will break through. ... For the coming of that day shall I fight, I & my sons & my chosen friends. For the freedom of Man. For his rights. For his life. For his honour. And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in the stone the word which is to become my beacon & my banner. The word which will not die, should we all perish in battle. The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it & the meaning & the glory. The sacred word: EGO."
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