The year 2005 marks Ayn Rand’s Centennial Year. Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a future dark age of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values—anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
The difference between this long-forgotten exercise in paranoia and other futuristic visions of a world controlled by the state, such as Aldous Huxley's or George Orwell's, is the extremist tone of Rand's story. The author lived in a black-and-white world in which things social or communal are evil and things individual and selfish are exalted. This "anthem" culminates in a hymn to the concepts of "I" and "ego," where the rebels are those who resist group action; the oppressors are government officials and others who attempt to provide a safety net for the less fortunate. The production is not improved by the theatricality of narrator Paul Meier, which is reminiscent of a ham Victorian actor intoning an overwrought melodrama. Not recommended.-Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC