Freedom and Culture in Western Society

It may be that, without the pressure of social forces, political ideas are stillborn: what is certain is that these forces, unless they clothe them­selves in ideas, remain blind and undirected.

Isaiah Berlin


A nation is not civilized because a handful of its members are successful in acquiring large sums of money and in persuading their fellows that a catastro­phe will occur if they do not acqui­re it.. What matters to a socie­ty is less what it owns than what it is and how it uses its possessions. It is civilized in so far as its conduct is guided by a just appreciation of spiritual ends, in so far as it uses its material resources to promote the dignity and refinement of the individual human beings who compose it.

Richard Tawney


As our traditional objectives are gradually fulfilled, and society beco­mes more social-democratic with the passing of the old injusti­ces, we shall turn our atten­tion increasingly to other, and in the long run more impor­tant, spheres - of personal freedom, happiness, and cultural endeavour: the cultivation of leisure, beauty, grace, gaiety, excitement, and of all the proper pur­suits, whether eleva­ted, vulgar, or eccentric, which contribute to the varied fabric of a full private and family life…

We do not want to enter the age of abundance, only to find that we have lost the values which might teach us how to enjoy it.

Anthony Crosland