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If you want to know what the legendary Ayn Rand, who grew up in Stalinist Russia, believes in a nutshell, read this novella. In this futuristic story, people’s names are replaced by genres and numbers (Liberty 5-3000), humanity has all individuality stripped away, and a collective society emerges. The word “I” is banished, even when referring to oneself. The narrator knows he is different but is not sure how or why. He knows he is not meant to be a street sweeper, as the Elders dictate to him. He has no parents, no family–no one does. His life is controlled by Elders from beginning to the day he dies. He refers to himself as “we,” and is raised to serve the common needs of all. Until one day he discovers an underground place where electricity works–apparently a subway or city from before the end of days. Excited, he shows the Elders but is shunned and shamed. He decides to return to the place, try to make sense of what has happened to mankind and why such technology is being ignored, to improve the lot of the common worker. In the process, he discovers himself, love, his convictions and a future as an individual. A very short read, with powerful and rich ideas about individualism to think about. Five/five stars.