Commercialism is laying its great greasy paw upon everything including the irresponsible quest of thrills; so that, whatever democracy may be theoretically, one is sometimes tempted to define it practically as standardized and commercialized melodrama.
For behind all imperialism is ultimately the imperialistic individual, just as behind all peace is ultimately the peaceful individual.
Anyone who thus looks up has some chance of becoming worthy to be looked up to in turn.
A person who has sympathy for mankind in the lump, faith in its future progress, and desire to serve the great cause of this progress, should be called not a humanist, but a humanitarian, and his creed may be designated as humanitarianism.
It is well to open one's mind but only as a preliminary to closing it ... for the supreme act of judgment and selection.
Furthermore, America suffers not only from a lack of standards, but also not infrequently from a confusion or an inversion of standards.
The humanitarian would, of course, have us meddle in foreign affairs as part of his program of world service.
A man needs to look, not down, but up to standards set so much above his ordinary self as to make him feel that he is himself spiritually the underdog.
If quantitatively the American achievement is impressive, qualitatively it is somewhat less satisfying.
Tell him, on the contrary, that he needs, in the interest of his own happiness, to walk in the path of humility and self-control, and he will be indifferent, or even actively resentful.
A remarkable feature of the humanitarian movement, on both its sentimental and utilitarian sides, has been its preoccupation with the lot of the masses.
To say that most of us today are purely expansive is only another way of saying that most of us continue to be more concerned with the quantity than with the quality of our democracy.
Inasmuch as society cannot go on without discipline of some kind, men were constrained, in the absence of any other form of discipline, to turn to discipline of the military type.
An American of the present day reading his Sunday newspaper in a state of lazy collapse is one of the most perfect symbols of the triumph of quantity over quality that the world has yet seen.
A democracy, the realistic observer is forced to conclude, is likely to be idealistic in its feelings about itself, but imperialistic about its practice.
The democratic idealist is prone to make light of the whole question of standards and leadership because of his unbounded faith in the plain people.
If a man went simply by what he saw, he might be tempted to affirm that the essence of democracy is melodrama.
Act strenuously, would appear to be our faith, and right thinking will take care of itself.
To harmonize the One with the Many, this is indeed a difficult adjustment, perhaps the most difficult of all, and so important, withal, that nations have perished from their failure to achieve it.
We may affirm, then, that the main drift of the later Renaissance was away from a humanism that favored a free expansion toward a humanism that was in the highest degree disciplinary and selective.
The ultimate binding element in the medieval order was subordination to the divine will and its earthly representatives, notably the pope.
The true humanist maintains a just balance between sympathy and selection.
The human mind, if it is to keep its sanity, must maintain the nicest balance between unity and plurality.
The industrial revolution has tended to produce everywhere great urban masses that seem to be increasingly careless of ethical standards.
Democracy is now going forth on a crusade against imperialism.
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