Freedom as we know it is a condition of ego. Prosperity is a condition of things. Increase these satisfactions to any degree and there is still that knowledge of incompleteness which torments the spirit. This is the anxiety of the perishable I fragment to make affinity with an imperishable whole. Beyond the sense of belonging to himself man craves also the sense of himself belonging. We are bound to live two lives at a time. One is our own, a little arc, sudden and discontinuous; the other is the life of society, perpetual and perhaps immortal. To live them consciously, without conflict, so that one shall fulfill the other, is the next achievement. Necessity lies in one, completion in the other.
That servile status of the individual binding him to the sceptre, to the state, to the lord, to the land on which he grew, with no inalienable rights of being, is the oldest political story. The extreme revolution, wherein the state itself becomes the cringing body, mob-serving, owing everything to the individual who owes it nothing in return, is a complicated modern story, with some fearful and abrupt periods. An entirely new story would be that of a people jealously egoistic dedicating their freedom to a social imperative discovered in themselves and learning by that act what freedom is for.
—Garet Garrett, The American Omen (via laliberty)