Our individualism is no middle ground between autocracy — whether of birth, economic or class origin — and socialism. Socialism of different varieties may have something to recommend it as an intellectual stop-look-and-listen sign, more especially for Old World societies. But it contains only destruction to the forces that make progress in our social system. Nor does salvation come by any device for concentration of power, whether political or economic, for both are equally reversions to Old World autocracy in new garments. “Salvation will not come to us out of the wreckage of individualism. What we need today is steady devotion to a better, brighter, broader individualism — an individualism that carries increasing responsibility and service to our fellows. Our need is not for a way out but for a way forward. We found our way out three centuries ago when our forefathers left Europe for these shores, to set up here a commonwealth conceived in liberty and dedicated to the development of individuality.
Herbert Hoover, American Individualism
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