29 Pages

Prelude Individualism: True and False

To advocate any clear-cut principles of social order is today an almost certain way to incur the stigma of being an unpractical doctrinaire. It has come to be regarded as the sign of the judicious mind that in social matters one does not adhere to fi xed principles but decides each question ‘on its merits’; that one is generally guided by expediency and is ready to compromise between opposed views. Principles, however, have a way of asserting themselves even if they are not explicitly recognised but are only implied in particular decisions, or if they are present only as vague ideas of what is or is not being done. Thus it has come about that under the sign of ‘neither individualism nor socialism’ we are in fact rapidly moving from a society of free individuals towards one of a completely collectivist character.