“Previous generations were able to look upon intellectual and cultural progress as simply the inherited fruits of their forebears’ labours, which made life easier and more beautiful for them. But the calamities of our times show us that this was a fatal illusion. We see now that the greatest efforts are needed if this legacy of humanity’s is to prove a blessing not a curse. For whereas formerly it was enough for a man to have freed himself to some extent from personal egotism to make him a valuable member of society, to-day he must also be required to overcome national and class egotism.
“…When we survey our lives and endeavours we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other human beings. We see that our whole nature resembles that of the social animals. We eat food that others have grown, wear clothes that others have made, live in houses that others have built. The greater part of our knowledge and beliefs has been communicated to us by other people through the medium of a language others have have created. Without language our mental capacities would be poor indeed, comparable to those of the higher animals; we have, therefore, to admit that we owe our principal advantage over the beasts to the fact of living in human society. The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a great human society, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave…”