Amy H. Sturgis (eldritchhobbit) wrote,
Amy H. Sturgis
eldritchhobbit

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Happy Birthday, Yevgeny Zamyatin!

Happy birthday to the father of modern dystopian fiction, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1 February, 1884 – 10 March, 1937)!

We


So, take the idea of “rights” and drip some acid on it. Even the most adult of the Ancients knew: the source of a right is power, a right is the function of power. Take two trays of a weighing scale: put a gram on one, and on the other, put a ton. On one side is the “I,” on the other is the “WE,” the One State. Isn’t it clear? Assuming the “I” has the same “rights” compared to “WE” the State, is exactly the same thing as assuming that a gram can counterbalance a ton. Here is the distribution: a ton has rights, a gram has duties. And this is the natural path from insignificance to greatness: forget that you are a gram, and feel as though you are a millionth part of the ton…
― Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1924)
Tags: dystopias, sf
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