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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

MAN IN THE  MODERN  WORLD

politics and in local government and community aflhirs, by dis-
cussion, through the ballot box, and by actual service; but there is
also freedom of participation in group organizations, whether to
protect particular interests (like trade unions), or to give outlet to a
shared enthusiasm (like choral societies or natural history clubs);
and there is also the opportunity of participation in cultural life and
in organizations for service. The technique adopted in planning
schemes like the TVA or the Columbia Basin projects is demonstrat-
ing how the general public can participate in a bold central plan.

Throughout, the basic criterion is that the individual and his
ultimate welfare and fullest development shall be paramount; not
the State, nor national power or wealth, nor maximum profits, nor
even the cultural achievements of a society in art or science or
literature. And this implies the maximum amount of freedom, the
fullest equality of opportunity for development, and the maximum
degree of co-operation. The freedom must not be freedom at the
expense of others, the opportunity must not impair the possibilities of
co-operation.

The individual is the ultimate yardstick; but ho cannot develop
fully or freely except in an organi'/od society. Nor is any one indi-
vidual the yardstick: his freedom and opportunities must obviously
be limited by the need for guaranteeing freedom from interference
to his fellow-individuals.

VI

So much for the universal criterion of democracy. What remains
is to find those special applications of democracy which will be
necessary in the new phase upon which the world is now entering.
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity—--thest^ will always constitute demo-
cracy's triple crown; b\it, to change the metaphor, their edges have
grown blunted by use, so that they need redefining in new terms;
and their particular expressions must be to a large extent determined
by the social and economic conditions of the lime.
The outstanding characteristic of the early nineteenth century was
that it was an expanding and an industrial world. In that world
democratic freedom was inevitably concerned with throwing off the
shackles of the semi-feudal past, and with the rights and duties of free
individual enterprise to exploit the resources of nature to the fullest
possible degree; democratic equality was largely limited to political
equality for the middle classes; and democratic fraternity was still
largely confined to the concepts of charity and noblesse oblige,. The
outstanding characteristic of the world we are now entering upon is
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