Hello Apple! Is the equality dream for you? Do you believe that everyone is equal? It goes without saying; the people are not equal for now. But I think you will agree, It is not related with the humanity.
In the previous days, I was reading Zamyatin‘s book We and I’ve seen a different perspective about the equality in the book. Maybe you’ve already read it or you’ve never heard of it; everything’s fine.
Firstly, we should know that Yevgeny Zamyatin was born on 1884 in Russia. During his lifetime, he wrote many stories and novels. In this article, we will not focus on his works in general, instead, we will just analyze a sentence from We. In the distopian book, Zamyatin says;
”…To be original means to stand out among others; consequently, to be original means to violate the law of equality. What was called in the language of the ancients ‘to be common’ is with us only the fulfilling of one’s duty.”
In fact, in these sentences, Zamyatin tries to tell that If you evade from individualism, you begin to demand for equality. Being original signifies being one, special and different; you sacralize yourself in other words. So before we make reference to equality in the context of production and consumption, we have to talk about ”me and the others”. Because the equality begins with the human affairs. Do you agree Apple? If you do, let’s continue to clarify it.
The key point in that sentence is the word ”among others”.We have to understand that the person does not exclude the society and also the society behaves same. They stay together and undivided in other words. We could also call it as harmony. They are acting as one body and they are all serving to a same purpose. As a person, I could legitimate my existence, If I identify my existence with the others. So If I leave the place where we stay and move together, It means that I break and ignore the equality. But there is one more word that is ”law” in that sentece. This word shows that explicitly, breaking the equality is actually taboo and forbidden.
Yes Apple! They are all same and equal but there are some other things that we should understand. Zamyatin also mention about the effects of the language in the sentence. We could say that here, the source of equality comes from the language, because It steers my behaviors in my subconscious. According to Zamyatin, we could change the unequal situation, If we change our language. In the novel, being original in other words violate the equality is identified with ”duty”. So the duty is projection of equality in a sense.
Actually until now, I can be seen as accepted Zamyatin’s ideas. Even we think that Zamyatin says the truth. But the truth is different Apple! This point of view encompasses the whole book. Especially when I was reading the book, I’ve thought; ”Is this a distopia?” Because all characters are really far to live in a distopia, but Zamyatin hides his distopia right here. He presents the equality as a consumer good in the novel. They commercialise the equality as source or medium of happiness. However they enforce us consuming to become happy now and they intoxicate us with these ideas; in the novel, they sell the equality like consumer good.
So, If we talk about equality or unequality, we should focus on ”me and the others”. Because If we just focus on consumption, we similarize the human relation with form of production and consumption. Consequently, we have to equalize between us otherwise the system will discover a new American continent everyday and we can never realise that the continent is a vicious circle.
What do you think about Zamyatin’s point of view about the equality Apple? If you have any question, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment.