During my weekly routine of going to small groups, I often ask my fellow consumers in Christ sarcastically how they are enjoying their late-stage capitalist dystopia. I often get several responses to my little smartass of a question. To some my age, I often get confused stares, not knowing what to think of being asked such a big-brained question. Other times, I get chuckles as my audience understands my style of humor. Still, others give me a look of serious thought that they could, indeed, live in a dystopia.
Whether we live in a dystopia is up to your level of discernment on the signs of the times. But it is important to ponder these thoughts as the Day of the Lord approaches. To some, we live in the best of times, and to others, the worst of times. To some, we live at the end of days, and others scoff at the notion. Everyone has a vision of what a utopia looks like. And likewise, everyone has their version of what a dystopian clownworld looks like.
I often meditate on Genesis’s early lore and why man is the way he is. While mid-wits are gas-bagging whether or not the stories in the Bible are true, galaxy-brains are busy trying to wrap their heads around the true meaning of the Garden of Eden, its trees of life and knowledge, Man’s fall, our casting out of paradise, and the groundwork for our salvation. Why is everything broken? What are man’s true motives in life? How do we break the cycle of madness and sin? Why does it feel like we live in a dystopia? These are the actual questions of our times and the questions most relevant in these dark days.
I don’t believe any society or government ever purposely tries to build a dystopia. What most men are trying to do, whether intentionally or instinctively, is to try and develop their own Garden of Eden. Man’s sins constantly drive him east of Eden, away from the presence of the Lord, and create his own empire and own utopia. These “utopias” do not last as man’s lust, anger, and covetousness morph into rebellion. And the rebellion of man leads to dystopia. Indeed, there has been a twisted life cycle ever since the original revolution in the Garden of Eden. These thoughts led me to read what many consider the grandfather of the modern dystopian novel.
We is a dystopian novel by Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin. Written between 1920 and 1921, We is considered the prototype of modern dystopian fiction and one of the most influential novels in the genre. Books such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Albert Huxley’s Brave New World take many ideas and themes from Zamyatin’s work. The novel’s story takes place in a utopian/dystopian city called OneState. The main character and narrator is a character named D-503, a high-ranking engineer and creator of the spaceship INTEGRAL. We is relatively complex (as is all dystopian fiction) and deals with such issues as happiness vs freedom, human desire, rebellion, the majority vs the minority, and how far societies will go for paradise.
Yevgeny Zamyatin was born on February 1, 1884 in Russia. It is tough to pinpoint Zamyatin’s opinions or beliefs regarding Jesus Christ or Christianity. According to Wikipedia, Zamyatin lost his faith in Christianity at an early age when he became a Bolshevik. This is despite being a son of a Russian Orthodox priest. Whatever the case, Zamyatin, from the writing of We, was neither totally for nor against Jesus Christ and is familiar with the Bible. What is most interesting about Zamyatin is that he was a chronic dissident in a very well-known turbulent time in Russian history. He joined the Bolshevik fraction of the Social Democratic Labour Party while a student at St Petersburg. His support for the Bolsheviks resulted in his being arrested and exiled numerous times. He returned during the 1905 Revolution to demonstrate against Nicholas II, where Zamyatin was arrested again and sent to prison, where he endured months of solitary confinement. After graduating, he became a lecturer at the Department of Naval Architecture. Here, Zamyatin wrote At the World’s End in 1914, a satire on military life. This upset government censors, and Zamyatin was brought to trial but was acquitted. However, the book was banned, and the government destroyed all the copies. After supervising the building of Russian icebreakers in England during the First World War, Zamyatin returned to Russia after the October Revolution. Despite initially supporting the Bolsheviks, he became disillusioned with the party and switched his support to the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. During this period, he wrote articles attacking the Soviet Government.
Zamyatin discovered science fiction author H.G. Wells through his work with world literature, inspiring him to write We. He secretly distributed copies of the book in literary circles and was repeatedly warned that he could be arrested and executed if he attempted to publish the novel in his home country. However, Zamyatin smuggled a copy of the manuscript abroad, and an English translation was published in the United States in 1924. Nevertheless, Zamyatin’s plays and books were repeatedly banned and confiscated in the Soviet Union. Being completely blacklisted with no artistic expression, Zamyatin requested Joseph Stalin in a letter that he emigrate from Russia. He was granted this request and exiled himself to France, where he died of a heart attack in March of 1937.
The one consistent theme of Zamyatin’s life is being a dissenter of the status quo. Having worked for the Bolsheviks and being a critic of Soviet Russia gives more context into the themes of We. Revolution has been a considerable part of Zamyatin’s life, and it shows in the novel. However, this would come at a high cost as it would seem Zamyatin could never find peace or the freedom in his motherland to express his writings without getting harassed by government officials. He died in Paris in impoverished conditions, and his exile in France was a lonely one with a deteriorating output of his writing. It wasn’t until 1988 that We was published in Russia.
OneState is familiar to the World State of Brave New World or INGSOC of 1984. D-503 describes OneState as a utopia where everyone is happy and has their needs met. OneState is entirely made of glass. Everyone can see through the windows of the glass apartments and know what each other is doing. The visual you get is striking since this glass-city-montof is in many science fiction artworks. But the point is that this society welcomes spying on each other. It should be noted that this book was written in the early 20s so Zamyatin did not anticipate smart phones or cameras in everyone’s hands recording every gamer word they said in the privacy of their own home or every porn site they’ve been to. But they are a society policed heavily by an organization called the Guardians, who regularly spy on the inhabitants. Culture in this glass city is very rigid, with the citizens going by a carefully controlled schedule called the Table of Hours. OneState controls when you wake up, go to bed, go to work, eat, and do daily exercises like marching to the anthem of OneState. Their food is synthetic, unlike America’s diet of artificial Frito Lay chips and Sour Patch Kids. There is no marriage in OneState; they practice a strange mass polygamy. So if chud R-666 wants to have sex with hot femoid F-9001, all he has to do is fill out a “pink ticket,” and they will be assigned a sex day to have the curtains down for an hour so they can do the dirty and passionless deed. Childbirth is strictly regulated, with OneState choosing who gets to become pregnant and give birth. The children born in OneState are considered state property and are then taken away to be trained to become good wholesome citizens of this city made of glass. A green wall makes up the borders of OneState, which is to keep in the ciphers (what OneState calls their citizens), and to keep the outside world out. It is unknown just what this green wall is made of. There are hints that it is made of organic material. The point being is that the wall is separating the well-structured and sophisticated society from the unclean and wild outside,
There are no names in OneState, only assigned numbers. But, just like the government gives you a social security number when you are first born, OneState takes it to the next level. All the characters in the novel are called by numbers. These include O-90, who is the lover of D-503 and is considered too short to have children, much to her distress as she desires to give birth and be a mother. R-13, a poet for the state, orating masterpieces of literature to OneState as dissidents get publicly executed. And the mysterious S-4711, a guardian who is a constant creeping force in the novel. There are no unique names, not even bland white-people names such as Kevin or Tom. Just a number with no racial or cultural meaning behind it, And that comes with a state uniform (or Unis) that everyone universally wears. There is no cloak of many colors to aggravate the jealousy of others—only a dower, plain work uniform.
OneState is ruled by a dictator named the Benefactor, who acts like some type of strange god-like figure, or in layman’s terms, a cult-of-personality dictator. D-503 writes the Benefactor’s pronouns in capital letters in the same way the scripture has God’s masculine pronouns capitalized. Every year, the ciphers of OneState hold a mock election to reelect The Benefactor and show the state their universal collectivist attitude. Instead of democracy, individuals making individual choices become the “we” instead of “I” by showing their support for their dear leader. In return, the Benefactor preaches to them that happiness can only be achieved by removing desire and unpredictability.
The origins of this strange glass city, according to D-503 is the outcome of a 200-year war where OneState wiped out nearly 99.8% of the population. They killed the “Christian savages” and others over resources related to food and fuel. In the end, OneState was established as a society where they would solve the problem of envy and want so everyone would be in bliss. With the theme and spirit of OneState, which is that happiness and freedom are incompatible. Therefore, OneState has removed the freedom of its citizens to restore their happiness. Hence, OneState is a gilded cage.
We is written as a journal by the novel’s main character: D-503. He is the chief engineer of the spaceship INTEGRAL, designed to travel space to conquer other planets and any alien life. As he works on the final touches and prepares the spacecraft for a test launch, he records his daily life and ideals of OneState in hopes of giving aliens a perspective of the wonders of his city-state. D-503 is highly intelligent, a brilliant engineer, and has a keen articulate mind. He is, however, obsessed with mathematics, reason, and order that OneState provides. The main attributes that D-503 has are his zeal for OneState and its reason-based system to life. To D-503, OneState is a paradise. However, this is entirely different from the discerning mind.
Most of the beginning chapters of We have D-503 praise the system and structure OneState provides. That is until he meets the primary female character in the novel while on a march with other ciphers pledging allegiance to his gilded cage: I-330. Unlike his lover, O-90, who has a flair of innocence and is almost naive at times, I-330 is rebellious. She smokes, drinks, and puts on lingerie (all illegal in OneState). She is articulate, charming, and has a very coy wit. It is revealed later in the novel that she is a member of MEPHI, an underground organization dedicated to overthrowing the government of OneState.
At first, D-503 hates I-330 and is repulsed by her carefree and rebellious nature. He even thinks of reporting her to the Guardians. However, he soon becomes infatuated and obsessed with her. As the book progresses, D-503’s desire for I-330 increases, and D’s writing and behavior become more unhinged. D grows to be more self-conscious about his new-found “awakening.” He begins to have strange dreams, considered a mental illness in OneState, and realizes that he is developing something OneState thinks is primitive: A soul. The doctor examining D-503 also confesses to the engineer that many in OneState are growing souls. D-503 is perplexed by this development since he is a man of reason, and a soul is not reasonable at all.
D-503’s writing becomes more scattered, with his thoughts going all over the place. Some records leave a question in the reader’s mind whether or not D-503 was dreaming, and even D-503 himself questions whether or not he is going mad of his obsession with I-330. Eventually, I-330 leads D-503 into the world outside the Green Wall. There D-503 encounters “wild forest creatures’ ‘ that he has only seen in museums. The book’s description of these people outside OneState is murky, but the german movie version Wir (1982) has D-503 encountering the 21st-century man in a t-shirt, jeans, Uggs, and sportsball jackets. Here in this place, D-503 can engage the primitive side of his humanity with all types of debauchery not allowed in OneState.
As he continues to meet with I-330, it is more apparent to the careful reader that I-330 is manipulating the gullible D-503 into going along with her plan to hijack the INTEGRAL. For what purpose is not clear in the novel. But it is central to MEPHI’s plans to overthrow the glass city. It is also clear that D-503 is delusional in his idea that everyone is happy in OneState. This is made apparent in a scene where a riot breaks out during the re-election of the Benefactor and the MEPHI posters popping up in the glass society. The tides of revolution are about to break through, disturbing D-503. In response to this uprising, OneState forces a mandatory medical procedure on the ciphers to take what is called the “Great Operation.” This surgery on the brain kills off emotions and imagination, turning the patient into nothing more than an automaton. The catch is that OneState promises that this surgery will take the splinters out of their mind and enter them into a state of bliss.
Eventually, D-503 agrees to help the rebellious group led by I-330 by hijacking the INTEGRAL in its test flight above the Earth. But, unfortunately, this plot fails when OneState discovers their plans, and D-503 is summoned to meet the Benefactor face to face to answer for his sins.
The Benefactor chastizes D-503 for being gullible and supporting rebellion despite his high ranking as the creator of the INTEGRAL. The Benefactor also flatly tells our hero that I-330 has been manipulating him to gain access to the spaceship and that she genuinely does not love him. The engineer is left devastated and an emotional wreck as he runs into I-330’s glass apartment and finds hundreds of filled-out pink tickets on the floor to different numbers. During these last chapters, all hell breaks loose, both D-503’s psyche and the green wall of OneState, as news breaks out that rebels have breached the Green Wall.
D-503 is eventually given the state-enforced lobotomy, removing all his emotions and desires. He then willfully gives testimony regarding the inner workings of MEPHI and I-330. The last journal entry of the novel is D-503 giving an emotionless account of how a defiant I-330 is tortured in front of a dead-eyed and cold D-503. She refuses to provide any information, and she is ultimately killed. MEPHI takes a huge blow. But all is not lost on the reader. As D-503, while praising how the “splinter in his mind is gone” and giving glory to OneState, notes that the green wall has been broken through, leaving the story on a cliffhanger if OneState will fall to revolution.
It is very clear reading Zamyatin’s masterpiece that the dystopian world has influenced many authors in We. While Zamyatin did get some predictions right, he did get some predictions wrong, at least from a western world perspective. This is forgivable, considering We was written in the 1920s before the advent of Clownworld USA. Nevertheless, We is intelligent and relevant enough to dissect its themes, especially through the lens of scripture. Unfortunately, We is not going to lead you to Christ. Some scholars even believe that We was written as critical of organized religion. I can understand this on the surface level as there are some comparisons to the Fall of Man narrative. Some comparisons include D-503 representing Adam and I-330 representing Eve. S-4711 is the deceitful Serpent tricking Eve. OneState represents Paradise or the Garden of Eden. However, these comparisons are shallow at best and gross misrepresentations at worst. There are biblical themes, but not in the way you think.
From the trailer of the upcoming movie.
It is hard to imagine citizens of Clownworld USA living in such a rigid world as described by D-503. Zamyatin’s OneState does not have a transparent economic system that runs on beelze-bucks, consumer products, and other stuff you’d expect in a socialist-capitalist system. OneState might seem like the prototypical communist system on steroids as envisioned by Karl Marx. There are parallels between communism and OneState’s system of society, with everyone sharing everyone and the romantic view of everyone having their needs met. However, with Zamyatin having intimate knowledge of how the Bolsheviks worked, he did have interesting takes on what a future dystopian world would look like if humanity took just more of a great leap forward than Chairman Mao did.
OneState and the Benefactor can be compared to the ancient nation of Babel, and its mighty leader, Nimrod. The great-grandson of Noah, Nimrod, is the first of the mighty men mentioned after the Great Flood. After the deluge, humanity followed the ambitions of Nimrod, who was rebellious against God. According to the historian Josephus, Nimrod persuaded his subjects not to ascribe the strength of their kingdom and happiness to God but that their courage procured their happiness. Just like his antediluvian forebears, Nimrod and Babel were rebellious against God and built a tower to the Heavens. This is similar to how the INTEGRAL was created for OneState to reach outer space. In response to the rebellion, the Lord came down and confused the people’s languages, ending the first recorded world empire as humanity spread on the Earth from there.
Since then, humanity has been obsessed with gathering once again into a world state. Every attempt by man to establish Globalization has ended up ruled by evil and wicked men, and the Anti-Christ will govern the final proper global government according to Revelation.
What OneState represents is man’s attempt to gain paradise for himself. It is just another long line of empires that have shunned God and decided to create paradise in their own image. Scripture clarifies that life is a cycle and nothing new is under the sun. Nations come, nations go. Warrior-kings go into battle, gain glory and power, die, and go to the grave. From Nimrod, to the United States, nations have always claimed they are on the “golden path” to paradise and will usher in a new order for the ages. But, instead of relying on God for their strength, they rely on their military power. Instead of letting God provide, they put all their trust in trade and economic power. Although modern nations claim they have God on their side, their culture and actions blaspheme the Lord of Glory. They say they conquer in the name of God but don’t dare utter the name of Jesus Christ. Just what god are they proclaiming?
Man has been in a state of revolution ever since his fall. Instead of enjoying the peace and paradise God gave us, we craft paradise in our own image. The consequence is that paradise is lost, and the Garden of Eden is turned to ashes by our evil desires and twisted hearts. Man goes to war and in his strife, continually fights to bring paradise to Earth through the conquest of blood. We kill our fellow man, conquer their lands and plunder. We try to build our empires and bring forth this golden age, this era of milk and honey that will last forever. But in the end, it all turns to dust. Nothing lasts forever. Every nation ultimately dies. And the cycle continues.
Unfortunately, this is just preaching to the choir. Even secular heathens know that history constantly repeats itself and there will always be conflict on Earth. This does not stop the ambitious from furthering their goals, no matter how insane they are. The most powerful want to usher in a global system to rule the world and be on top of the pyramid. But like with many nations and sins, there is always the threat of judgment from God and His prophets that warn of it. Throughout the novel, there are many mentions of the green wall and how it surrounds and protects OneState in a way where D-503 brags of its defenses. The Green Wall keeps bad weather out, and one of the more clever biblical references is in record 31 when D-503 boasts how nothing can break the green wall down. Looking at the sky, he comments that OneState chained the sun like Joshua. This is an apparent reference from the book of Joshua, where the Lord commanded the sun to be still until Israel conquered the Amorites. In other terms, the green wall is the Walls of Jericho, ready to be torn down and suffer God’s judgment. There is also mention that when rebels broke through the green wall, there was rain. The symbolism here is the Great Flood, giving more ominous judgment to OneState.
The great irony of reason-based midwit atheists is they think by getting rid of religion; they will usher in the great society. But as Zamyatin points out, intentionally or not, OneState looks more like an ancient pagan cult in the spirit of the Philistine cities and Canaan. The State is worshiped. The leader is unquestioned and worshiped. The citizens are machine-like, marching to the beat of the state’s drums. Poets read odes to OneState. Even the executions are carried out in a quasi-ritualistic fashion, not unlike Nebuchadnezzar sentencing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to the blazing furnace.
If OneState is like the Garden of Eden, then the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is calling out society’s BS. The great sin of OneState and today’s reprobate world is challenging their definition of good and evil. Record 20 tells of how OneState executed a cipher simply for a poem criticizing the state of things. In fact, We is full of mentions from D-503 that OneState believes what is good is evil, and what is evil is good. The glass city gets to decide and define what is good and what is evil. Spying is good, polygamy is good, cruelty is the greatest form of love. Never is this more evident than O-90’s desire to fulfill her biological and God-given gift of bearing a child, even if it meant her death. D-503 believes this violation by O-90 to OneState to be the greatest of evils. George Orwell’s 1984 explores this further with the classic motto of INCSOC: “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”
Zamyatin wrote We with the context being his own censorship of his work and criticisms of the Soviet Union. If his government gets to decide what is the right way to think and what is the wrong way to think, what is the point for a writer like Zamyatin to express and think for himself? Zamyatin was hurt by the Soviet Union censoring his writings, just like insane harpies and tranny mods censor anything on social media that goes against the status quo. While we can wrap ourselves around the constitution and “muh freedom of speech,” all it takes for a social media moderator or a bank to click a button and de-person you from the general public. Call out the world’s BS, and the world will retaliate against you.
This is why many powerful men in Roman Judea so hated Jesus Christ. He called out the sins of the religious leaders and the status quo of this wicked and adulterous age. It is the same with nearly every prophet in the Bible, from Abel, to John the Baptist. Our worship (Abel), actions (Elijah) and words (John the Baptist) convict the world of their sins. The world, in response, will try to kill or exile you to the deserts of life. The worst, however, is when they discredit and mock you. D-503 is a mocker as he scoffs at life before OneState. He calls Christians “savages” and ridicules the past generations and their ways. Nothing is new under the sun, as followers of Christ have felt mockery since the Enlightenment. When we call out the world and its sins in this modern age, we are either exiled to echo chambers on the internet or pigeonholed and branded as a political sect of the GOP. Jesus Christ’s reward by the World for telling the truth was getting nailed to a cross. God’s reward to Christ was a crown and kingdom that will last forever.
Like this article? Read Fahrenheit 451 for more analysis.
Numbers and mathematics play an essential role in the novel’s overall narrative. Throughout the story, D-503 compares the world around him with mathematical concepts and formulas to his audience. The Bible also famously makes use of numbers as symbols. Unfortunately, there is not much compared with the numbers features in We to anything related to the Bible, at least on the surface. Although, I find O-90’s name interesting considering that was the age Sarah gave birth to Issac. Other than that, most of the numbers come from Zamyatin’s personal life. D-503 does make a big stink over imaginary numbers, such as the square root of negative -1. This signals that D-503 hates the unknown.
Two numbers, or more accurately, two mathematical concepts, feature in the narrative. This is “0” and infinity. In chapter 20, D-503 references zero and how history is nothing but going in circles. Societies come and go, and life is nothing but a circle. Some are golden (referencing the golden ratio) some are bloody, but always end in a zero or the start. D claims that OneState is the start of this zero, but this was a different zero. Instead of plus zero, they are minus zero. Like many societies before OneState, they braved one side of zero and went to the other. Instead of the dark side of a circle, they are the light side of this circle. OneState conquered the world and became the final 0.
The Bible does talk about zero a lot. While the number 0 as we know it did not exist during the writing of scripture, the concept of null or void is there. The irony is that zero in scripture is almost always negative or promotes evil. In Genesis, the Earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. In Romans 3:10, the scriptures emphasize that no one (0) is righteous, not even one.
In school, the 0 times table is always the easiest because any number times 0 is always 0. This makes sense in the spiritual world as well. Our sins make everything we touch turn to dust (or 0). Sin times anything always turns to death (or 0). This is in contrast to God, who is infinite. He is the beginning and the end: the first and the last. God is, was, and always will be. There is no “0” in God because God has no evil in Him. By D-503 calling OneState the final “0,” he is telling us that this society is void and has no redeeming or productive structures worth anything. 0 is 0. Evil is evil. OneState essentially worships death. Death was the foundation of OneState, and most inside the society are spiritually dead.
D-503 and I-330
If the Benefactor is the Antichrist and OneState is the Beast of Revelation, then D-503 can be considered the False Prophet. Unlike dystopian novels such as 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and A Handmaid’s Tale, all have protagonists who know something is wrong with the world they live in and hate their dystopian world, D-503 whole-heartedly preaches the wonders of OneState. This is unusual in such a novel like this, but one that gives an interesting perspective when looking at the narrative through the lens of the Bible. In many dystopian novels, the main characters sometimes become an extension of the author’s personality or inner turmoil. Zamyatin, being a follower of bolshevism and becoming disillusioned with the party later on, can relate to D-503’s disillusionment with the OneState system he lives in.
Of all the Biblical characters, Samson can be seen as someone relative to D-503. While D-503 is not physically strong as the Nazirite, he is intellectually a brilliant mind and gets hoodwinked by the femme fatale in I-330 (who represents Delilah). The Philistines gouge out Samson’s eyes, and D-503 gets a lobotomy by OneState that blinds his soul. But unlike Samson, who repented and killed himself to kill the Philistines, D-503 does not have that luxury. If D-503 is a false prophet, then he can be considered an anti-Samson. God still gave D-503 an intellectual mind but has taken his will to repent. Another character that D-503 can relate to a degree is King Solomon. Solomon is noted for being the wisest man on Earth until his concubines tempted him into worshiping the Baals and other idols, causing Israel to collapse from their golden age.
The comparison of these two famous Bible characters should be obvious. Both were men of great talent and prestige; Samson for his strength and Solomon for his wisdom. Yet, it was the wayward woman who brought them to their downfall. D-503, an engineer of esteem and creator of a spaceship important to OneState with so much zeal for the government’s ideals, was wholly enticed by I-330’s charms that he was willing to let MEPHI hijack the spaceship. This is not shocking in the greater scope of things, as the Bible consistently warns against the forbidden woman and her enticing nature. Despite what obnoxious feminists will tell you, women have enormous power over the male psyche and spirit. D-503 is the classic simp in these regards. He is a man of such great talents and conviction, yet he crashed and burned by the smooth tongue of the strange woman. It is a tale as old as time itself, and the immoral woman has cost the life missions of many great men.
From outside the panopticon of OneState, we can see that it is nothing but a glass prison, but to D-503, it is all he has ever known. It is the only system he has ever been in and the only religion he has ever experienced. D-503 was born in OneState, molded by OneState, studied the doctrines of OneState, and became a disciple of OneState. He is utterly content in OneState and believes that this glass society is the pinnacle of human civilization. He is oblivious to the judgment about to befall OneState or the actual state of the ciphers (and his own) soul. Just as in today’s society, the heathens and unbelievers are oblivious to the judgment that will befall them if they do not repent.
D-503 can be looked at in several ways. The engineer can fit into the stereotype of the intellectual atheist, or for example, someone in the form of Richard Dawkins. D-503 is an arrogant man of reason who worships the state and has a reason-based worldview. This is similar to many atheist-types who ironically worship Clownworld and have many strange moral quirks about them. D-503 believes that childbirth without the state’s approval is a grave sin, while Richard Dawkins believes the next level of human evolution is eating human flesh. Men can become women, and women can become men. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength—Que in a superimposed image of Joaquin Phoenix in Joker.
On the flip side, there is a lot of parallel between D-503’s journey of discovery and the deconstruction movement in polite western Christianity. D-503 starts questioning his feelings and emotions as he is challenged in his beliefs. Just like modern Christians are being challenged for their beliefs by disagreeable pagans. You can even flip the narrative and frame that D-503 is having a grand conversion moment in the novel where he will finally come to the truth and repent. But it is probably more of the former. After all, Christianity has gone extinct in D-503’s world, and there is no evidence that a Bible exists anywhere in OneState. The only thing left are vague memories and lore from scripture in the manner of the stories of the Greek gods. It’s just there to mock the savages of yesterday.
Anyone who was raised by Christian parents will be brought up in the Green Walls of their parent’s belief system or their church’s doctrine. But often these walls are paper thin at best and non-existent at worst. We have a generation of parents who raise their kids in abusive corporate mega churches, with the only Bible teaching they are getting is from Veggie Tales and The Purpose Driven Life. This, along with a daily diet of social media vanity, instagram THOTS, and mainstream media preaching that every form of filthy degenerate perversion is good and sexual morality is bad. Is it any wonder that many end up falling when the real hard, chaotic variables of life come in and test their faith?
This is the dilemma for many who are sheltered or caged by a worldview their entire life and are never challenged, questioned, or pondered whether there could be a different point of view or different opinion to mull over. There is wisdom and sweetness in Proverbs. But if you are not teaching the brutality of Job or the struggles of Ecclesiastes and other truths in scripture, you are only giving people half-truths and half-baked copes, instead of the whole truth and true hope. Followers of Christ should not be afraid of the hard truths and violence in scripture. Suppose we shy away from the hard stuff in the Bible. In that case, all we are doing is erecting unnecessary walls to people weak in the faith and giving ground to unrepentant pagans in the manner of I-330 who just debate us to subvert and annoy the elect.
As followers of Jesus Christ, if your foundation is not firmly built on the rock of the Gospel, and you make the foundation of your life on whatever mainstream media or a political party tells you, your house and worldview will fall. You will descend into madness and grasp for anything in the darkness. But this is harder than it looks to a western mind since, from the cradle, we have been raised on TV, movies, pop music, and an overall culture that rejects truth and promotes lies with just enough kernels of truth to warp reality. Just like OneState takes the children and brainwashes them into OneState society, we give our children to public schools that indoctrinate them with LGBT butt stuff. We offer our young adults to colleges that indoctrinate them with Frankfurt School LGBT butt stuff. Is it no wonder that when they enter adulthood they look like the World, act like the World, sound like the World, believe in the World’s values, believe the World’s lies, and believe in the World’s sexual ethics? They will look like the unrepentant World instead of looking like a born-again, adopted child of God, paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ.
D-503 had a rock-solid foundation in the doctrines of OneState. Yet he nearly threw it all away for the desire for I-330. D-503 thought he was happy and had everything until that random variable I-330 came into his life. Wisemen who claim to have reason can just as quickly become fools when tests and trials come their way. Desire and sin have a way for rational men to make irrational decisions. It was illogical for Cain to kill his brother Able, but due to his anger over his brother’s sacrifice being blessed by God over his sacrifice blinded him in rage. It was irrational for Esau to sell his birthright to Jacob for soup, yet his carefree and undisciplined worldview caused him to despise it. D-503 praises the mass polygamy OneState practices until he finds out I-330 is with other men, and his envy and jealousy are flared to life. You might be ok with your wife practicing ENM until you wake up and realize you’ve been hoodwinked and are just a cuck while your wife is just a whore.
This leaves us with the principal female character in We, I-330, and her position of revolution and burning the system to the ground. But what exactly is I-330 fighting for? What are her ideals? What are her long-term goals? Precisely what system does she want to implement in replacement of OneState? These ideas are not fleshed out in the novel, and possibly intentionally by Zamyatin. Is she a force of good or evil? Does she love D-503, or is she just using him for her own goals, like Delilah? The fact that she is a part of a group named MEPHI implies that this group is not what it seems and that she is getting duped.
MEPHI is in reference to Mephistopheles of German lore, particularly of Faust legend. Mephistopheles, also called Mephisto, is similar to the Devil in the tale. He is a fallen angel and trickster. With this in mind, MEPHI could symbolize a satanic agent that is working to undermine and start a rebellion to bend to Satan’s goals. I-330 herself, could represent an agent of Satan, tricking D-503 into working for MEPHI by manipulating his heart and soul.
If anything, I-330 is rebelling against OneState for rebellion’s sake. We never get a monologue in the mind of I-330 or get her actual point of view. We do not get her past or her end game for the rebellion. In this sense, she is a genuine wild card. Or an agent of chaos. I-330’s characterization and force differs from other dystopian novels with inadequate female characters, such as 1984’s Julia, who is just a rebel from the waist down, or Fahrenheit 451’s Clarisse, who is the classic manic pixie dream girl.
According to the Bible, rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, which is ironic considering I-330 uses feminine charm to do her undercover work for MEPHI. D-503 often refers to I-330 as an “x” or an unpredictable variable. Her opacity frustrates D-503, and to the mathematician, she is like an irrational number that cannot be solved, and D-503 consistently misreads her emotions.
I-330’s rebellious nature contrasts with the other central female character in the novel, O-90, who just wants to have a child with D-503. O-90 is the opposite of the alluring I-330; submissive, simple, and makes her love for D-503 known, unlike the ambiguous I-330. O-90 is a representation of femininity, while I-330 is a representation of the rebellious woman. The fascinating thing is both are rebelling against OneState in the narrative but through different means. It is true that the current reprobate western media often puts down the mother, especially raising children. Motherhood is evil; being a whore is good. Childbirth is evil; abortion is good. Being faithful to your husband is evil; having 666 sex partners is good. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. The ironic outcome in We is that O-90 and her child are smuggled out of OneState (ironically by I-330) and her life is spared while I-330 is executed at the novel’s end. The motherly spirit saved O-90 from judgment, unlike I-330, who died in a rebellion. I guess Jesus Christ was right in saying the meek shall inherit the Earth.
This also raises the question of why D-503 would choose and pursue I-330 over the more wholesome O-90. But every young man knows that sometimes the thrill and pursuit of the unknown can get our kicks or buzz in gear. For every wholesome girl who practices cottagecore and LARPS as a mennonite, there is the wild and unruly goth girl with the allure of bringing a certain excitement to your life. It is the crazy girl dilemma; The crazy becomes exciting until it is not, and her quarrelsome gets out of control and destroys your life.
In a political sense, Zamyatin is framing I-330 as a new idea, something fresh, something exciting. She represents the new, sexy system of government, one that must rebel and conquer the old system. If O-90 is a representation of OneState, then D-503 sees the flaws of the system he lives in by O-90’s desire to be a mother. It is, in some ways, relevant to the church’s dilemma. The church has proposed to by many strange doctrines. O-90 just wants to have a child; the sheep just want to worship Jesus Christ and be fed the Bible. Instead, we are tempted by Jezebels, who draws us to eat foods sacrificed to idols. Or, in layman’s terms, whore ourselves to strange teachings and doctrines. Is the answer to the church’s problems rebellion and letting the MEPHI’s of the world and their ideology into our congregations? Or maybe it’s to return to the rock of our salvation and preach from the Bible? New ideas and doctrines might seem sexy and enticing at first glance; they might even seem radical (to borrow a term from David Platt). But we must exercise discernment when judging these new ideas and ensure these don’t lead to preaching another gospel.
Sometimes, living a simple 9-5 job, raising children for the Lord, and participating in a church community is the most radical thing you can do against an ungodly government and society. But unfortunately, we live in a society that plays too many video games and watches too many cartoons. Instead, they will follow strange teachings and bizarre movements such as Christian nationalism or the social justice movement of the month. Everyone wants to be a hero like Tony Stark or Captain America and get the glory. But there is nothing like being an Old Testament prophet, standing up, and getting straight to the point by calling the world out on its BS and preaching that men need to repent and believe the gospel, giving the glory to God.
Whether or not I-330 had the obnoxious jezebel spirit of rebellion in her heart or genuinely believed she was doing the right thing will be totally up to the reader’s viewpoint and level of discernment. After all, Eve didn’t rebel for rebellion’s sake but ate the fruit because it was pleasing to the eyes, suitable for food, and thought it would make her wise. Eve was deceived into eating the fruit. But then again, rebellion is rebellion, and that allure to becoming like God is a powerful temptation. I-330 wanted to hijack the INTEGRAL to reach the highest of heavens, like Eve, who thought she could become like God by eating the fruit.
To I-330’s credit, she did not cry nor give up her comrades when tortured by OneState and ended up dying a martyr. In a Christian view, with D-503 and I-330, we have two different responses and two different outcomes when you come face to face with the truth. D-503 rejected the truth and freedom as MEPHI saw it and ended up taking the operation, permanently selling his soul to OneState to be blissfully ignorant. I-330, on the other hand, died for her beliefs. We know that I-330 never had the truth about God or the Bible. But the parallels between true disciples of Jesus Christ getting martyred for the faith against an anti-christian government are evident. D-503 took what was essentially the Mark of the Beast, taking a coward’s way out and getting rid of the “splinter” in his mind. Or, in other words, searing his conscience.
The road to hell is always paved with good intentions and in this sense, no one knows what I-330’s intentions were. We will never know what was in I-330’s heart or the inner turmoil. No one knows the true demons inside the revolutionary heart. The heart is desperately wicked and who can know or understand it other than God Himself? Who knows the true intentions of Spartacus, William Wallace, or even the Framers of the United States. Revolutions are always complex, violent, bloody, and brutal. The victors write history and often paint their conquests with rosey colors. But the reality is that few revolutionaries fight for noble causes, and if they are, they are often duped and tricked by power-mad men who fill in the power vacuum these revolutions make. Few, very few, fight in the name of God. And if they do, the citizens will praise God for a season, then march right back into sin and idol worship, forsaking the God that delivered them. The whole book of judges details this plight. With tribes doing what was right in their own eyes.
Did I-330 die for a worthy cause? Or is MEPHI just a tool of judgment by God himself to bring judgment to OneState? It is not beneath God to use wicked nations to bring judgment on another nation. God used Israel to destroy the hellaciously evil Cannonites and other tribes that practiced demented paganism. And God used Babylon to judge Israel harshly and send them to exile. God and God alone establish the rulers of nations and which revolution succeeds and which does not, all for His own purposes, whether they be blessings or curses.
The darkest part of this novel is unquestionably OneState’s mandatory operation for all citizens to take what they call “The Great Operation.” This medical procedure is fashioned after the surgical lobotomy. However, instead of cutting out part of the brain, radiation is shot at it, with the after-effects being the killing of the imagination and emotions. This effectively turns the citizens of OneState into nothing more than cogs of the machine without feeling or a soul. Humanity is cut from them as they turn into virtual automatons. D-503, in the end, is given this operation. Whether it was by force or by will is not made clear in the novel, but we do notice that something is missing from him at the end of the book as he coldly recounts his betrayal of I-330 and ratting out MEPHI.
Careful readers can put two and two together and compare the Great Operation of OneState to the Mark of the Beast of Revelation. The Mark has always been one of these “cottage industry” types of verses in scripture. There has been a lot of interpretation among scholars and normies—some range from plausible to unbelievable and deranged lunacy. In modern times, it is almost always linked with microchips, or barcodes being planted on your hand or forehead. While no microchip is implanted in the back of a hand in We, the operation produces markings on the forehead. I do not think Zamyatin intentionally wrote this dark segment of the novel with the Mark of the Beast in mind. Still, this gives us an interesting thought experiment of what the Mark of the Beast could look like in the future.
Trying to control the masses in a dystopian world is not new to the genre. Brave New World has the drug soma, which enslaves the citizens in a drug-induced bliss. 1984 uses a more tried and true method, which is just good ole fashion torture and mental anguish, to make sure its citizens behave themselves and not indulge in thoughtcrimes. We tries to quash the ciphers’ looming rebellion and awakening by mandatory brain surgery, with the catch being that this surgery will cure them of the desires that torment them and restore their happiness.
According to Revelation 13:17, the beast will be related to commerce and one’s ability to buy and trade goods and services. In other words, if you do not take the mark, you will not be able to participate in society. You will not be able to purchase your next funko pop on Amazon without the mark. Your extra large Dominos pizza order will be canceled when they find out you are not on the antichrist’s good boy list. Want a job? Think again. Without the mark, you will not be able to get a job or legally sell or trade goods and services. You will not be able to get a bank account, car, or even be allowed on social media. You will effectively be de-personed. Forever cast out from the beast’s economic and social system.
We does not go to this extreme as OneState does not have a clear economic system. But what OneState does promise its citizens is if they take this operation, they will be “happy.” They will be safe from the splinters in their mind once they take to brain surgery and correct their deficiencies. The thought that OneState’s citizens are sick and need help compels people to take the operation, no matter the consequences.
Believe it or not, the Bible did have a mandatory surgery, at least in the old covenant, in the form of circumcision. But there is a big difference between getting forskin cut and a grown man that willfully gets an operation that destroys the soul. Circumcision is still a hot-button topic of discussion among the elect, and delving any further will go beyond the scope of this article. Besides, circumcision will not save a man. It is not the act of getting the mark but the spirit of why someone would want to get it in the first place.
How many image-bearers of God have been deceived by corrupt and ungodly family members, politicians, media influencers, and corrupt doctors telling them if they get this one surgery, take this one drug, or do this one medical procedure, they will finally be happy? It is easy to down an antidepressant, and God did give us plants and medicine to combat and help those who are legitimately in need. But we also live in a society where there is so much money in pharmaceutical companies and there is so much pressure by doctors to push drugs such as SSRIs and the like to push to the masses. That is only drugs. What about those pushing face-lifts, butt and breast implants, and all the wonders plastic surgery has to offer to insecure women? I know a certain sub-section of Christians will scoff at the body-positive movement, but can we please step back and just look at the sheer torture society and mainstream media puts on women and their image?
The most extreme of these medical procedures will be surgeries such as sex-change operations. How many souls have been destroyed, utterly and completely by perverted, degenerate, filthy, debased and inhuman doctors who spit on their Hippocratic oath and tell gender-confused individuals to cut their breasts off or cut their genitals off to finally enter a state of happiness? God had circumcision, but Satan’s version is the sex-change operation where he lops off the penis completely. Thank God the blood of Jesus Christ can make those who repent clean and whole again.
I often wonder in the context of We that if people of this wicked and adulterous generation were given a choice between an operation of this nature, would they take it? Would people trade their desires, emotions, and whatever makes up the human soul for happiness and bliss? Many would bump their chest and loudly say no, but are people being honest with themselves? Life is painful and challenging. There is not one good person, nor does one escape the hardships and challenges of living in the world. Many of us have heavy burdens and crosses that we must bear daily, whether physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, or mentally. To some, we have lost a job, and others have lost a loved one. Some have been given the news of cancer or are getting a divorce. Some are starving; some are lonely; some just need an angel to tell them it will be alright. Then there is the constant swirling of war around us—both with firearms and with the tongue. The pandemic of fear and anxiety is gripping this generation, and everyone has a never-ending drama in their life with no solution, peace, or hope.
And this does not even include our obvious sin problem and the impending judgment. From a Christian point of view, the splinters in the minds of the ciphers can be interpreted as the human consciousness pointing out their sins and their need to repent. The world hates this call to change their minds. They will refuse to repent even in the face of judgment and great plagues. The fact is that God will, and has already, begun his judgment upon the world for its sins. The ungodly want nothing to do with this message of judgment and hellfire. They will do anything to have their ears tingled.
The scary thing is that many, if given the opportunity, would take an operation of this nature just to quill whatever hell is in their heart or not to face the trials of being a follower of Jesus Christ. We might think we would fight and rebel against such a procedure, but when faced with the choice of having your bank account frozen and being cast out of the economic realm or getting a simple surgery or a little mark on your forehead to tell society you are one of the “good guys” instead of those intolerable Christians, how many would bow before the beast and take his mark? Of course, we all can be macho and cry aloud that we will never take the mark, but we honestly need to discern the average western man and realize that he is slowly being prepared to take the mark willingly.
If we cannot heed John’s warnings in Revelation, especially in light of the degeneration of 2019-2021, how will we discern the actual mark when it comes out? We let governments barcode us with a social security number; we let corporations spy on us, both force us to take procedures we do not want to do, but have to by threatening our jobs, families, and social standings. We are all so invested in the economic and social structure of the western world; what would happen if we are met with the choice between Jesus Christ and the truth or the gay disco world order and their lies? If followers of Christ are not even willing to:
Throw their pornography in the bonfire.
Stop cheating on their spouses.
Take their children out of public schools.
Stop going on social media.
Protect their eyes from filthy movies and TV shows.
Protect their ears from pop music degeneracy.
Willing to participate in a church.
Read their Bible.
Do any kind of praying.
If modern man is not willing to do any of the basic Christianity 101 stuff, how in the world will they be able to say no to getting Satan’s stamp on their forehead? Wake up! America may claim they’re a Christian nation. We give lip service to God but our hearts are far from Him.
It is ambiguous whether or not D-503 took the operation willingly. Even in the movie version, it is left vague. What wasn’t ambiguous was that the process destroyed his ability to love, as witnessed by his callus snitching of MEPHI and watching I-330 being tortured to death. But hey, at least D-503 is happy, right? This is the scariest thing that will happen to a follower of Christ, should they ever fall away from the faith and take the mark. They will lose their ability to love. D-503 might be at peace, but it is all counterfeit and fake.
Taking the mark requires a complete and total rejection of the Holy Spirit and the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is not a causal decision, especially if you are born again and know the truth. I don’t believe that taking the mark of the beast will be exactly like the Great Operation of We where you turn into an emotionless drone that took one too many Xanny bars. But I believe that any sliver of love will exit those who mark themselves to the beast’s system. And when you lost your ability to love, who knows what type of demented stuff you will believe. We are living in an age where people have, and will, lose their minds. God will give them over to a reprobate mind, to do the things that they should not do, and believe things they should not believe. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.
We do not need brain surgery to kill our sin problems and our wild imaginations. What we need is heart surgery. We need a brand new heart to see the Kingdom of God. We need a circumcised heart, so that we can love the Lord our God with all our hearts and souls. All of us need to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pills, surgeries, and media manipulation can never deal with our morality problem, because deep down humanity loves the darkness and will not come to God because our deeds are evil. Only by changing our minds and turning to God will the clouds over our minds will start to dissipate. It takes a being the size of God to deal with the broken hearted of a repentant man. And a broken heart is something God does not despise as long as our spirit is contrite.
From the German movie adaption Wir
At the heart of We is the challenge between happiness vs freedom. Can happiness and freedom coexist with one another? These choices are framed in a way similar to The Matrix Neo’s choice between taking the blue pill and being blissfully ignorant while enslaved in the Matrix or taking the red pill and waking up to harsh reality but being free. In We, do you remain in OneState and be in a state of happiness and safety despite being enslaved, or do you risk life, limb, and well-being but be free?
Zamyatin frames this question in a way where we travel back to the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, where man was given a choice between living in the comfort of God’s paradise or eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and having the freedom to become our own gods and live outside the boundaries of God’s paradise. This is how secular man typically defines this dilemma. But this goes against the fundamental questions of how our world works and what happiness and freedom look like.
The fact is that we were created in God’s image. God is happy, and in that image is our desire for happiness. God, in the beginning, gave humanity the world and gave us everything we needed to be happy. Even outside the boundaries of the Garden of Eden, the world was ours. Yet we believed the lie that happiness is contingent upon having everything we wanted. Our failure to acknowledge God as the source of joy led to our sinful choices and banishment from his presence. And from the fall, humanity has struggled to regain the sense of happiness he experienced in God’s presence.
The strange thing about the narrative of Eden is that humanity never went back to the Garden of Eden nor tried to wage war to enter it again. Instead, man went east of Eden, even further away from the garden, to try and build a paradise for himself. Yet, instead of reconciliation, we build empires, like OneState, built on the blood of our fellow image-bearers.
Spiritual laws are fundamental and have dire consequences for those who break them. God has a path to happiness, but it is different from what the World would naturally choose. The world’s happiness is fleeting and only lasts like vapor in the wind. A man will lose his temper and produce cathartic bliss, but as Cain discovered when he killed his brother Able, this only lasted briefly. And the long-term consequences were further banishment from God’s presence. Esau traded in his birthright for a bowl of soup. His hunger was satisfied for a second, but the consequences were he gave up the eternal blessing that ended up going to Jacob. The worldly pursuit of happiness has its consequences, even on a national level. Just as Israel was judged brutally for its Baal worship via the Babalonian exile, so was OneState about to be judged for their sins via revolution and a crashing down of the green wall.
Happiness is in the eye of the beholder, and not everyone is happy in OneState, despite what the unreliable narrator, D-503, tells us. This is evident in many points in the novel, including the riot during the Benefactor’s election and 0-90’s desire for her baby to live. So is the solution rebellion and freedom?
The truth is no one is free. We will either be slaves to the One True God or slaves to sin. We will serve the Creator, who is forever blessed, or the dark forces of this present age. The human urge to follow a leader is ingrained in us. Despite our nature to be free, we will always follow some sort of leader, whether physical, like the Benefactor, or spiritual, like the doctrines of MEPHI. If MEPHI is crashing down the walls of OneState, what will they be free to do? Free to murder? Free to pillage? Free to rape? Free to conquer? Even if OneState is freed, someone new will rise and rebuild society in their own image and take the reins of power. Maybe even worse than the society of OneState.
D-503 In record 11 talks about the Genesis narrative and how mankind was given a choice: Happiness without freedom or freedom without happiness. Adam chooses freedom by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and mankind has been miserable ever since. D-503 comments that Adam and Eve were “homesick for the chains.” OneState sought to correct this problem by enslaving everyone in a system but providing everything they needed. In this way, they conquered the feeling of desire. Humans get hungry, and famines can lead humanity into strange and debased desires. So OneState provides them with endless synthetic food. OneState then conquered the question of love by sharing everybody with everyone. Everyone also has work in OneState, so they are not left with ample time to play Nintendo Switch. So in some ways, OneState is indeed a paradise. This is why We is so hard to relate to in the western world. Because while we are fat and obese, our body craves nutritional food and our NWO overlords consistently push bug meat for us to eat. Sex may seem plentiful, but increasingly generations are having less sex than ever before, and it is becoming harder to come by as marriage and sexual morals are approaching, and have approached, Sodom and Gomorrah levels of depravity. And work is becoming increasingly difficult to find meaning or purpose. Especially in the gig economy. It is a struggle to live, and many are finding refuge in more socialist ideas similar to the ideals of OneState.
So despite these problems, how does one find contentment and happiness? The Bible makes it clear that true happiness comes from God Himself. God is the author of life and the author of joy. But man cannot take this because man is at war with God. Our idea of happiness is, more often than not, sinful. But with this said, the very first thing we must do is repent of how we view happiness and freedom. We must change our minds about what the world values regarding happiness. We must break free of the World’s lies to find happiness outside of God.
God wants us to be happy, but it does not come without a cost. We must pick up our cross daily and consider ourselves dead to sin. We must not pursue worldly happiness, which is fleeting and makes us slaves to sin. Is it freedom to want to be famous on tiktok, when the high only lasts 5 seconds and at the cost of your decency? Is it freedom to want to be a sexual degenerate when the consequences are dire, including shame, hurt, heartbreak, and unwanted pregnancy? Is it freedom to pursue money when the outcome is even more emptiness? These things the world seeks and the world values, but they are all vapor and passing away. Death is the destination of all who love the world.
But this is easier preached than done. Our flesh constantly betrays us, and wages war with the spirit. You will always have delusional types like D-503 who love the systems they live in or wish to live in. You will have boomers who love the American way and soy-filled bugmen who swear on the doctrines of Jeff Bezos. But not everyone believes that the system we live in is perfect. And not everyone is living a life of happiness promised by the false idols of the 21st century. Envy is crouching at everyone’s door. Everyone will have the dilemma of Cain when it comes to each and everyone’s lot in life. The United States is one of, if not the most prosperous nation in world history, yet everyone is miserable and enslaved by their desires.
Increasingly society is looking towards governments and big tech leaders for happiness. Even if the government is reprobate and depraved and big tech is greedy and debased. They will believe what the mainstream media tells them, even if it is all ad-sponsored lies. They look towards big tech oligarchs to protect them from harsh reality. They censor, lock up, de-platform, and dehumanize people that they disagree and, in the end, create their own personal OneStates with green walls surrounding them.
No one wants to think for themselves anymore or face the harsh reality of our world; instead they will lobotomize their souls with SSRIs, boxed wine, vape pens, Xanax, pornography, sportsball, gambling, video games, and anything else that can dull the pain. Deep down, man is depraved. If your God is your belly, no amount of food can satisfy you completely. A government can provide the plebs with robo-sex dolls, big macs, and all the tiny homes men can desire, but it is never enough. Man is never full-filled by earthly things.
Jesus Christ never pursued the lust of the flesh, eyes, or the pride of life. Instead, he followed the things of God and lived entirely in the truth, no matter the circumstances. Through Jesus, we get the genuine keys to happiness. Jesus Christ was never hoodwinked or given into the temptation of the lies this world spews, but instead completely submitted to the will of God, even to the point of death on the cross. He was never enslaved by the lie but rejoiced in truth. If we live by the truth of the Word of God, we will be free from the World’s spells and temptations. We will know exactly what is going on in the World.
Judgments, trials, disasters, and the like will always come, no matter how big the green walls around your paradise are. The thrill of sin is just that, a mere thrill. OneState was just a blip in the history of We, and as we discovered in the novel’s last chapter, judgment has come through its defenses. Many of us do not want to face the truth of judgment and will sear our consciousness in the same manner D-503 seared his. The fact is the world is increasingly passing away, and many, yes many, are being swept away by the world’s worries. We live in a nightmare golden age of anxiety and worry with no hope. OneState or MEPHI did not have the gospel, but we do. We have the knowledge and message that God freed us from the coming judgment through the sacrifice of His one-begotten son, Jesus Christ. That whoever believes in this name shall not perish but have everlasting life. This is both true freedom and true happiness.
Through belief in Jesus Christ, we are freed from condemnation from God because Christ paid for our sins. We are also free from sin because sin was imputed to Christ, and Christ’s righteousness was imputed to us. Finally, we are freed from the sting of death because of the promise of eternal life.
We is a somber warning against a society pursuing its own paradise instead of pursuing the Kingdom of God. Of course, we can all choose to close up our souls in the green walls of our hearts. But sooner or later, the unknown variables of life will come crashing through, and that is when the actual test of a man begins. Life and people are complex, and we don’t know why certain events happen in our life. And sometimes, life gets ruined, and we are back to 0, just like what happened to Joseph and Moses.
But it takes experience to build a soul and trials to develop faith. Moses and Joseph did not permanently wallow in despair during their tests; they worked within the boundaries set before them and waited patiently for God to open an opportunity. As a result, Joseph became 2nd in command of Egypt and saved many lives from famine, while Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and became the principal author of the Torah. These men went on amazing adventures and saw the Lord powerfully at work. But for these men to see the power of God, they had to exit their green walls, and at least for Moses, he had to repent of the rebellion he was trying to ignite on his own terms.
We cannot be mindlessly pursuing or enslaved by happiness like D-503 because we know that these things are fleeting and do not fill the God-sized hole in our hearts. Instead, we must rejoice in truth and, even harder, rejoice in our sufferings. Because through our trials and sufferings, we grow and learn. We produce perseverance, character, and hope. These are true treasures that the World cannot understand. It takes experience to develop a soul and storms to build faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Does this mean we should not pursue contentment? This is a matter of perspective and discernment. We all need to check our hearts and search ourselves so that we are not in sin by pursuing anything that goes against God or our fellow man. There is no pursuit of happiness to a follower of Jesus Christ, but a pursuit to deny ourselves, pick up your cross, and follow Christ. We do not follow the sinful, demented, and degenerate, values of the world and its definition of happiness but follow God’s way to happiness which leads to eternal life.
There is also a danger of rebellion and pursuing revolution. I-330 asked D-503 in one of the signature chapters of the book what the “final number” is. D-503 is astonished by this question. This is in the context of D-503 and I-330’s conversation about revolutions. D-503 honestly believes that OneState is perfect. The final revolution. The pinnacle of human civilization. Why would D even consider revolution when everyone is “happy?” But just like there is no final number, there can be no “final revolution.” There is no perfect system to go by in this world. Midwits can bark about the wonders of Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, Conservatism, Liberalism, Leftist ideology, Nationalism, Globalism, and all the weird “isms” in between. But man cannot get rid of the wickedness of his heart. Some ways seem right to a man, but in the end, they all lead to death. There will always be wars and rumors of wars, whether we like it or not.
I don’t know what the future holds. But I know the future Zamyatin envisioned looks more real by the day. Followers of Christ need to sit and pray to God, asking Him to search their hearts if they are ready for the trials detailed in Revelation. I know God is in control and Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead. There is no rebellion because Christ completely conquered the world and now all authority in Heaven and on Earth belongs to Him. Even if it appears all hell is breaking loose, I know that this is all a part of God’s plan and His wisdom. OneState and rebels like I-330 had no hope because they ultimately rejected God, and just like OneState, the World will reject God. But to the elect, we have real hope and hold on to the good news about God’s love for humanity and his redemptive plan for salvation through His son, Jesus Christ.
In record 24, D-503 profoundly comments that he wants to be with I-330; he wants even the pain of being with her.
“To love, you must be willing to experience pain. Because love is only measured by what happens when someone hurts you.”
How true this is. We live in the dark ages of love, as no one truly knows what true love is. The purest love in this world is God Himself. Because God is love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
These attributes of love can only be measured in the context of the negative qualities that conflict with it. Love is not the false romantic type of love peddled by demons in the various media landscape. Love is not when you have all your wants and needs met on your terms. But it is only measured when someone harms your being and soul. It is easy for a husband to love his wife deeply, but what happens when you find your wife cheating on you after you showered her with all the affection a man can give a woman? Can that man find the strength to exercise Godly love? And yet, as detailed by many of the Old Testament prophets, this is what humanity constantly does to God. We whore ourselves to idols and sin against our fellow man. We spit on the blessings God has given the world. To love is to be utterly vulnerable to being hurt. How many of us have hearts made of stone by the wrongs done to us and done to others? It’s enough to want to fry our brains with radiation. Mankind wants to love but does not want to take risks to achieve it.
It is easy for God to make us all flesh robots in the beginning and create a society similar to OneState. Yet God still gave us a choice. You can take an Arminian or a Calvinist view of the doctrine of free will, and I am not advocating for either position. But the fact is that God did give us a choice in the Garden of Eden. Will we live in God’s paradise and live forever, or try to build our own paradise and die? For God to give us this choice, He had to be willing to get hurt, get spit on, get slapped in the face, mocked, and be rejected. And man sinned by choosing madness and death. And even still, God is love. He came down to Earth through His son, Jesus Christ, and took risks and temptations every man goes through to show us the way back to the Father. Jesus went through the heartache, the mocking, the pain, the turmoil, the rejection, the betrayal, and even a brutal death on the cross. Yet Jesus Christ proved who He said He was. Despite man’s hard-heartedness towards Him, Jesus loved the Father and man perfectly. Through His resurrection from the dead, mankind has once again been given a choice: Believe in this message of salvation through Jesus Christ and live, or reject this message and die. We will only be free from sin and death by returning to God and finding true happiness in a broken and hopeless world. Heaven and Earth will witness the choice we make. Let’s choose life.