A Sadness of Crowds?

Peter C. Blum

It does not seem as though any influence could induce a man to change his nature into a termite’s. No doubt he will always defend his claim to individual liberty against the will of the group. A good part of the struggles of mankind centre around the single task of finding an expedient accommodation — one, that is, that will bring happiness — between this claim of the individual and the cultural claims of the group; and one of the problems that touches the fate of humanity is whether such an accommodation can be reached by some particular form of civilization or whether this conflict is irreconcilable.

(Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents)

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