The Real Paradox of Individualism

The Real Paradox of Individualism

Natural human society isn’t the broad, flat, limitless and featureless landscape promised by Weiner (which he admits is “unnatural”). Rather it is a craggy and irregular terrain, with layers of cultural sediment built up diversely and unequally through time. There are summits of authority, and fissures in which creativity bubbles, like the proverbial primordial soup. Nisbet describes these fissures as “the interstices within which creativity and freedom thrive.” These unpredictable sources of emergent ideas and authorities threaten the unitary state, and thus are filled in, or sealed.

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