Reinhold Niebuhr - Individual Quotes
5 Sourced Quotes
Freedom is necessary for two reasons. It's necessary for the individual, because the individual, no matter how good the society is, every individual has hopes, fears, ambitions, creative urges, that transcend the purposes of his society. Therefore we have a long history of freedom, where people try to extricate themselves from tyranny for the sake of art, for the sake of science, for the sake of religion, for the sake of the conscience of the individual — this freedom is necessary for the individual.
The brotherhood of the community is indeed the ground in which the individual is ethically realized. But the community is the frustration as well as the realization of individual life. Its collective egotism is an offense to his conscience; its institutional injustices negate the ideal of justice; and such brotherhood as it achieves is limited by ethnic and geographic boundaries. Historical communities are, in short, more deeply involved in nature and time than the individual.
Marxism was the social creed and the social cry of those classes who knew by their miseries that the creed of the liberal optimists was s snare and a delusion... Liberalism and Marxism share a common illusion of the "children of light." Neither understands property as a form of power which can be used in either its individual or its social form as an instrument of particular interest against the general interest.