Personalities in Social Reform

Personalities in Social Reform

Personalities in Social Reform

Personalities in Social Reform

Excerpt

We have been catapulted into an era of change. It is not a question of change or continuity. It is a question of the nature of change. Is it to be the change of consent, or the change of coercion? Consent involves democracy. Coercion implies dictatorship.

In democracy, the free man in co-operation with free men reaches agreement concerning practices that give evidence of enriching personality. He finds his own best interest in the common good, but knows he makes his most creative contribution to the common good when society guarantees him the freedom requisite to the fullest expression of his individual talents. In dictatorship, mind and body are shackled, and the enslaved march under the orders of their minority masters, who lure the unthinking by Pied Piper promises of utopia. But the promised land is never reached by avenues of dictatorship. Still the people listen to "the Leader" and will continue to do so until democracy becomes dynamic, and turns its creative powers to the solution of the fundamental questions of power and of justice. Power must be brought under democratic control, and justice must be established by the democratic process.

The role of personality is discounted by economic determinists. The Marxist holds that the prevailing mode of production determines the institutions and practices of an epoch. These studies consider the place of personality in social reform, and demonstrate, I think, that man can lay hold upon . . .

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