Deep thought

“Tocqueville came to the conclusion that there was an inherent struggle in America between two opposing impulses:  the spirit of rugged individualism versus the conflicting spirit of community and association building.  Franklin would have disagreed.  A fundamental aspect of Franklin’s life, and of the American society he helped to create, was that individualism and communitarianism, so seemingly contradictory, were interwoven.  The frontier attracted barn-raising pioneers who were ruggedly individualistic as well as fiercely supportive of their community.  Franklin was the epitome of this admixture of self-reliance and civic involvement, and what he exemplified became part of the American character.”

Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin

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