"[W]hen the price of peace with others is the surrender of one's highest values, conflict becomes one's greatest asset." The conflicts in Southwick's dystopia are disturbingly familiar, with elements that echo today's headlines. In a world where most people are increasingly constrained to toe the line and give at least lip-service to the dual social concepts of Unity and Sacrifice, anyone who does not conform must self-identify as criminal, or become actively anti-social. Society regards either as negative, of course, and so the real choice is self-abnegation--accepting the values imposed by society--or isolation from it.
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