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On Liberty

Your walk of life does not matter, neither your occupation, social standing, nor domestic circumstances. If your brains are sufficiently developed, your understanding sufficiently large to realise what a hard vigilant taskmaster Liberty is, how it must be won by bitter exertion, deep introspection, subtle selection of essentials, and the most ruthless determination to articulate and to live the essence one discovers to be oneself —then, and not till then, are you individually free.

No wonder so few people are personalities and truly human. It is so much easier to jog along simply on the lines of least resistance, to submit to the general trend without struggle, to allow habits, comfort, laziness or cowardice to hold one down, to be nothing but a reaction to other people’s lack of ideas, to say and do what is generally expected, what thousands have said and done before on similar occasions.

After all, only slaves tolerate fetters. Freedom is within the reach of those who will take the trouble to grasp it. But it cannot be bestowed from without, like a diploma or a patent; it must be won from within — and one must feel the power to win it.

Socialism points the way. Economic freedom alone makes individual freedom possible for mankind.

W. J. E.