Signs of Life
We live in the age of The Group. Group fear, group laughter, group compliance, group protest.
As I have said many times, following Socrates, every crowd is dumber than its dumbest member. “Group activity” and “group thought” are euphemisms for death and stillbirth, respectively. No group achieves more of positive value than any individual member, acting alone or in coordination with one or at most two other individuals, would have accomplished on his own, even in his sleep. No crowd was ever right, though crowds are occasionally — perhaps five percent of the time — capable of being exploited as ballast for a well-directed ship.
The great danger of liberty, and the great error of late modern democracy, is in mistaking the self-governance of many individuals for the “collective action” of a de-individualized group — freedom confused with the rule of the crowd.
The thinker is alive,
and searches for life around him —
as the living do.
Sometimes we see life
where there is only movement —
the dreamer’s mistake.