All Commentary
Wednesday, August 1, 1962

Individual Liberty In The Crucible Of History: 4. A Collectivist Curvature of the Mind

Dr. Carson is Associate Professor of History at Jacksonville State College in Alabama. This is the fourth of six articles in a series on Indi­vidual Liberty in the Crucible of History. The fifth one, “The Road to Collectivism,” appears next month.

Any capable observer should be able to see that there has been a gradual and mounting circum­scription of liberty in America in the twentieth century. It mani­fests itself in the spreading ten­tacles of government control and regulation, in the concentration of power in the federal govern­ment, in government by Presiden­tial decree, in the unchecked rul­ings of independent commissions, in the proliferating activities of government agencies, in the vir­tual confiscation of earnings by means of the progressive income tax, and by a diminishing control of their property by owners.

Complaints about the increas­ing role of government in what were once the private affairs of citizens, about the attrition of in­dividual liberty and of family, lo­cal, community, and state control of affairs are met with a chorus of replies which are larded with such terms as “necessary,” “inevi­table,” “destined,” “realistic,” and “practical.” Note, for example, the tenor of this recent announcement from the White House. “We are going to have an urban de­partment,” said John F. Kennedy. “It may not come this year, but in my opinion, it will become as necessary and inevitable as the Department of Agriculture and HEW.”1 Many writers and speak­ers imply by their language that the momentous changes of this century have occurred as a result of ineluctable processes that were beyond the will and control of man, that the centralization of government, for instance, was born by immaculate conception out of necessitous circumstances.2

A Major Distortion

So far wide of the mark is this interpretation of the changes of this century as products of cir­cumstances that it amounts to a major distortion of history. In fact, the turning to government to solve every problem, the exten­sion of government regulation and control, the provision of gov­ernment aid, result from a bent of the American mind. Not only did this curvature of the mind not grow simply out of circumstances but, on the contrary, it was im­planted by theorists, novelists, and assorted reformers. That ideas derived from this curvature of the mind now appear “natural” and “inevitable” is not particu­larly strange; it is the recurrence of a phenomenon that has oc­curred time and time again in history—the phenomenon of the acceptance by those who do not analyze their beliefs of whatever is established and usual as natu­ral and right.

There was a time not so very long ago, however, when those ideas imbedded in the national consciousness by the New Na­tionalism, the New Freedom, the New Deal (s), and the Fair Deal were new and untried, when they appeared as ridiculous to men of power and influence as any other ideas do now. This means nothing more (nor less) than that the col­lectivist curvature of the mind has now become an orthodoxy. My point, however, is that those ideas which now hold sway over Ameri­cans were spread by men. They were formulated into theories by writers and speakers, propagated by reformers and politicians, served as ideological ballast for programs and movements, and are believed by many Americans be­cause they were taught to them.3;

How the Way Was Prepared

In earlier articles, I have at­tempted to explain how the way was prepared for a new ethos in America. The intellectual founda­tions of liberty—belief in reason, freedom of the mind and will, natural law, and individual re­sponsibility—were undermined by deterministic theories bolstered by Darwinism, by an increasing emphasis upon the role of the non-rational in human behavior, and by doctrines of force and neces­sity. Industrialization and mecha­nization, accompanied by the rise of the city, the influx of numerous immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, the concentra­tion of wealth, and the growth of corporations and trusts posed new problems for the livelihood and independence of the individual.

Darwinism provided the ideas for a new outlook. At first, Dar­winism was used to preserve the existing order with its individual­istic orientation. Men like William Graham Sumner and Andrew Carnegie took such ideas as natu­ral selection and survival of the fittest and described them as the means by which social progress was wrought out of individual ef­fort. Sumner, as I have shown, used the ideas of gradual evolu­tion and the determining role of social custom and practice in hu­man affairs as an argument against the possibility of reform. But Sumner’s individualism was vitiated by determinism, his quest for freedom turned into the ex­tolling of necessity, and the basic ideas from which he had drawn his defense became a springboard for the collectivistic interpreta­tions which abounded among thinkers in the late nineteenth century. In short, reform-minded thinkers worked out a justifica­tion for reform which they based on Darwinian evolution. Some his­torians refer to such reform theo­ries as reform Darwinism.4

The collectivist ethos—viewed as a coherent philosophy—resulted from the mingling and mutation of ideas drawn from many sources. It has become by now a kind of “American” ideology. Properly speaking, it is neither socialism, nor communism, nor capitalism. Its adherents prefer to call it democracy or, when they are in a more descriptive frame of mind, social democracy. Thus far, the application of this ideology in America has eventuated in the creation of a partial welfare state. It supports a tendency toward some kind of national socialism within a framework of interna­tional (excluding the communist sphere) socialism, and the United States is listing heavily in that direction at present. To trace this ideology back to its sources is to expose the eclectic means by which it was formed. But this should not mislead us as to its present condition as a total ideol­ogy whose adherents now accept and propagate without doubt or thought.

Society as an Organism

The collectivist curvature of the mind owes its bent most di­rectly to the conception of society as an organism. Briefly stated, this is the view that society—far from being merely a collection of individuals—has a being of its own. In the thought of collecti­vists, society is “thingified,” has a life and needs of its own, is the source of “human” being, and, presumably, is the end for which man exists. To show that the ex­istence of such a conception is not a figment of my imagination, permit me to quote from some of those who spread it. Lester Frank Ward, a pioneer American sociolo­gist and seminal social thinker, said:

The individual has reigned long enough. The day has come for society to take its affairs into its own hands and shape its own destinies.5

And again:

But society must be looked upon in the light of a conscious individual. In so far as it is conscious and in pro­portion to the completeness of its con­sciousness, it does not differ from an individual. No individual ever limits his activities to the simple sphere of self-preservation. Every individual is always seeking to benefit himself in every possible way. Society should do the same…. The extent to which it will do this will depend upon the collective intelligence. This is to so­ciety what brain power is to the in­dividual….6

Frederick Jackson Turner, who attempted to explain American history in terms of physical en­vironment, and did spread the idea of the end of the frontier, declared:

Society is an organism, ever grow­ing. History is the self-consciousness of this organism….7 First we rec­ognize why all the spheres of man’s activity must be considered. Not only is this the only way in which we can get a complete view of the society, but no one department of social life can be understood in isolation from the others…. Therefore, all kinds of history are essential… all are truly parts of society’s endeavor to understand itself by understanding its past.8

Henry George, the pace-setter and pathfinder of reformers, be­trays his organic conception of society with these words:

The rude society resembles the creatures that though cut into pieces will live; the highly civilized society is like a highly organized animal… 9

Note, in the choice of language exercised by Woodrow Wilson, how this conception had entered into the stream of political thought:

The trouble with the theory [of a Constitution based on natural law with checks and balances] is that gov­ernment is not a machine, but a liv­ing thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life…. Living po­litical constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. So­ciety is a living organism and must obey the laws of life….

All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when “de­velopment,” “evolution,” is the scien­tific word—to interpret the Constitu­tion according to the Darwinian prin­ciple; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.10

Derived from Darwinism

The central concept of the com­plex of ideas which increasingly dominates American thought, then, is the organic conception of society. It is the hard core of the ideology which has informed the twentieth century reform effort. The organic conception was de­rived mainly from Darwinism, by analogic extrapolation of ideas arrived at from the biological data with which Darwin dealt. It has been variously envisioned and applied by different thinkers.

Thus, to Theodore Roosevelt the social organism was the nation. Attend to the revealing termi­nology with which he spoke:

National efficiency has many fac­tors. It is a necessary result of the principle of conservation widely ap­plied. In the end it will determine our failure or success as a nation. Na­tional efficiency has to do, not only with natural resources and with men, but it is equally concerned with insti­tutions…. It is a misfortune when the national legislature fails to do its duty in providing a national rem­edy, so that the only national activity is the purely negative activity of the judiciary…11

He refers elsewhere to “national rights.”12 This way of thinking has entered into the writing and speaking habits of Americans, and now we encounter casual ref­erences to national resources, na­tional income, national wealth, na­tional purpose, national problems, national vigor, and human re­sources (of the nation).

Other thinkers broaden the or­ganic conception so that it em­braces all the peoples of the earth. Would-be-president Adlai Steven­son expresses such an extension in this quotation:

The purpose of our aid programs should therefore be designed not pri­marily to counter communism—though it will do this too—but to create conditions of self-respect and self-sustaining growth in economies still behind the threshold of modern­ization…. I believe that this is the chief way to [sic] us to extend our vision of “a more perfect union” to all mankind. It is a commonplace that in a world made one by science and the atom, the old national boundaries are dissolving, the old landmarks van­ishing…. A workable human society has to be fashioned and we must start where we can—by setting up the in­stitutions of a common economic life, by employing our wealth and wisdom to spark the growth of production in poorer lands, by working together with like-minded powers to establish the permanent patterns of a work­able world economy.13

On the other hand, John Dewey, the philosophical catalyst who wove together the many strains of reform thought into an ideology, applied the organic conception to ideas and ideologized democracy. To Dewey—if I may quote my own summation of his ideas—”democracy is a political system, an economic system, a social sys­tem, and an educational system. It is a criterion for judgments, a theory of knowledge, a method, a principle, an aim, an ideal, a thing in itself. It is a way of life, a form of life, a form of associated living, a guide for living, a mat­ter of faith. It is equalitarian, hu­manistic, scientific, concerned with the needs and wants of man, constantly changing and growing. It calls for a particular kind of organization of society and a par­ticular orientation of all aspects of the culture…,” and “there is the nondescriptive usage…—democracy as an agreed-upon value which is to be realized in the so­ciety, an unquestioned good.”14 The above ideas, too, are the basic ones of the prevailing ideology.

Displacing the Idea of Liberty

It is not whim that prompts me to give so much emphasis to the organic conception of society and of ideas. For it is beliefs drawn from these that have crowded out the belief in individual liberty. American thinkers did not so much disavow individual liberty (though they frequently con­demned individualism) as they accepted ideas which displaced and subordinated it to other be­liefs. After all, once the mind has been curved to think in terms of such grandiose conceptions as na­tional purpose, the fabric of so­ciety, the unity of peoples, the needs and desires of mankind, in­dividual liberty can be, and has been, made to appear pale and in­significant beside them. How in­commensurable are individual lib­erty and the “good of mankind” when they are portrayed as in conflict with one another! This was especially the case as individ­ual liberty picked up overtones, within the collectivistic ethos, of selfishness, acquisitiveness, and narrowness. But, in the main, in­dividual liberty was shunted aside, not overcome by direct assault.

Many another ideational twig was grafted on to the ideological tree of the organic conception of society before it bore collectivistic fruits. The religion of humanity—partly temporalized Christianity and mostly refurbished humanism—provided the moral fervor and ethical imperatives to collectivism. As one historian describes it, this religion of humanity comprised the following views, among others.

Its root lies in universal human nature; because of this common root, historical religions are all one…. Its moving power is faith in man as a progressive being. Its objective is the perfection or complete development of man, the race serving the indi­vidual, and the individual the race. Its practical work is to humanize the world….15

Environmentalism was grafted on to collectivism to serve as ex­planation of human behavior. But this new ethos avoided absolute determinism. The claims of deter­minism were shaken for many twentieth-century thinkers by the “radical” freedom of William James. It was radical because James not only denied that man’s behavior is determined by exter­nal forces, but also denied that there were any fixed and immu­table laws in the universe. At any rate, reformers turned to the mel­iorism of Lester Frank Ward, who accepted the large role which society and environment play in human behavior, but argued that men, acting collectively, could con­trol social development.

Undermining Faith

Collectivists used relativism to undermine the prevailing certain­ties. They deified the “common man” and hypostatized, as I have already shown, the democracy through which he was supposed to speak. They called for a posi­tive role for government, which should act forcefully as the “arm” of society to achieve the aims of the “people.” Thinkers redefined rights so that they became “posi­tive” rather than “negative” con­cepts. For example, John Dewey defined liberty as “power, effective power to do specific things. There is no such thing as liberty in gen­eral; liberty, so to speak, at large…. The moment one ex­amines the question from the standpoint of effective action, it becomes evident that the demand for liberty is a demand for power….”16 Thus defined, liberty becomes a claim for effective power, and, since Americans were entitled to liberty, it became a claim upon government to pro­vide the citizenry with power.

Many other ideas have found lodging in this collectivistic ide­ology, though some of them are not firmly fixed. The belief in sci­ence and scientism is fairly deeply embedded in it. Sometimes class ideas are stronger than the or­ganic conception of society, and some collectivists—those nearest to the Marxist tradition, usually—find the depository of virtue to be not so much in the “common man” as the laboring man, or simply “labor.” Strangely, too, elitist ideas—though described in a different language—have found their way into this ideology. Thus, we find collectivists venerating experts and joining in the call for leaders. And, of course, social planning and human control ap­pear to be firmly fixed in this ethos, as does equalitarianism.

Man-Made Ideas

In making my account of the curvature of the mind, thus far, I have tried to make clear that we are dealing with ideas formulated by men, not some magical transformation thrust upon us by fate.

I want to go further and point up the fact that the spread of these ideas and the impetus to re­form came from men and groups, not, as Professor Dexter Perkins says of the New Deal, from “a so­cial process arising out of depres­sion….”17

In the first place, these reform ideas were formulated and spread by theorists. Henry George, a leader among these, published Progress and Poverty in 1879. It is estimated that by 1905 more than two million copies had been sold in the United States and elsewhere.18 The cause of the evils in America, George declared, was the private appropriation of rent—the unearned increment from land. His solution: take all rents by way of a single government tax, and the situation will right itself. George’s specific proposal made no long range impact, but his covert attack upon property, his declama­tions against existing conditions, his proposals to use government for social purposes, have left a deep mark.

The Reformers

The major reform ideas which were to go into the new ideology received their early articulation in the writings of Lester Frank Ward in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His central works were Psychic Fac­tors in Civilization, Dynamic So­ciology, Pure Sociology, and Ap­plied Sociology. He opened the way for reform, theoretically, by arguing that a new stage in evolu­tion had been reached, a stage in which society could take over the direction of its development by using “social intelligence.”

In this new stage, mind had repealed “the law of nature, and enacted in its stead the psycho-logic law, or law of mind.”19 He advanced the notion that feelings are the source of ideas. “The true order of the phenomena is that the conditions arouse the feelings and the feelings create the ideas or beliefs. These last are the final form into which the whole is crystallized in the human mind, constituting the thought of the age and people in which they pre­vail….”20 He redefined justice and equality. “The true definition of justice is that it is the enforce­ment by society of an artificial equality in social conditions that are naturally unequal. By it the strong are forcibly shorn of their power to exploit the weak.”21 The hedonistic strain in the new thought was made explicit: “The new ethics has for its aim the minimization of pain and the maximization of pleasure.”22

Of Ward’s influence, Commager says: “He inspired a whole gener­ation of scholars and reformers to believe that it was possible to remake society along happier lines, and a new generation that did not know him worked with his tools and fought with his weapons.”23

Thorstein Veblen worked to con­struct an evolutionary view of economics, an economics no longer “inhibited” by fixed laws. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrenched the interpretation of constitutional law out of the path of its “subservience” to the Con­stitution or to natural law, be­labored his colleagues for making decisions based upon their social and economic assumptions, and implied that judges should bow to the will of the majority.24

Henry Demarest Lloyd de­nounced the depredations of pri­vate wealth and public corpora­tions and held out the lure of solution to the problems which beset America by collective effort in the influential book, Wealth against Commonwealth (1894). Daniel De Leon, American Marx­ist and socialist leader, told an audience in 1896:

Our system of production is in the nature of an orchestra. No one man, no one town, no one state, can be said any longer to be independent of the other; the whole people of the United States, every individual there­in, is dependent and interdependent upon all the others. The nature of the machinery of production; the subdi­vision of labor… compel the estab­lishment of a Central Directing Au­thority….25

Herbert Croly provided some of the theories of Theodore Roose­velt’s New Nationalism in The Promise of American Life (1909).

Utopian Novelists

Against the sordid background, as they described it, of ruthless competition, unholy business con­spiracy, the inequities of massed wealth in the hands of a few and the vast deprivation of the many, utopian novelists etched into the foreground the vision of a per­fect society for America, a so­ciety ruled by brotherly love and governed by the ethics of social justice. Perhaps the most influ­ential of these was Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, published in 1888. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies in the next few years.26 The good society, on his view, was one without private property, where all men served so­ciety in a kind of industrial army during the years from the age of 21 to 45, and in which power and force had given way to love and good will. There were other uto­pian novels in these years for the discriminate searchers after heaven on earth. William Morris provided News from Nowhere, and William Dean Howells wrote A Visitor from Altruria.


The way was prepared for utopia in the early twentieth cen­tury by writers called Muckrakers, who created a new genre of literature—the nonfiction semi-scholarly exposé. Ida Tarbell ex­posed the activities of John D. Rockefeller in her two-volume

History of the Standard Oil Com­pany, a work distinguished both for its scholarship and the right­eous indignation of its author. Lincoln Steffens exposed corrup­tion in The Shame of the Cities. Jacob Riis wrote sentimentally, even maudlinly, of tenement life in How the Other Half Lives. David Graham Phillips told of the manipulations of businessmen in government in “The Treason of the Senate.” “Ray Stannard Baker investigated the railroads; in Everybody’s Thomas W. Lawton bitterly attacked contemporary fi­nanciers; Charles Edward Russel investigated the beef trust and Judge Ben Lindsey existing abuses in criminal law…,”27 as magazines picked up mass circu­lation by publishing these popu­lar exposés.

A related phenomenon was the muckraking novel, which may have had an even greater influ­ence in conveying a picture of an America desperately in need of change and reform. There was Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, Frank Norris’s The Octopus, Rob­ert Herrick’s The Web of Life, and Jack London’s The Iron Heel.

So effectively did muckrakers mingle fact and fiction, reporting and righteous indignation, open description with covert prescrip­tion that the historian who would disentangle the reality of these years from the myth has a for­midable undertaking.

There were movements, too, which took up the cudgels for col­lectivism and helped to spread these ideas. Prominent among these was the Social Gospel move­ment. Religion, which had long offered the most profound bases for individual liberty, was sub­stantially changed as a result of this movement. Out of moral con­viction, out of concern for social and economic conditions, under the influence of the theories of evolution and the sociological find­ings of the effect of environment upon men, preachers and thinkers formed their thought and started the movement.

Instead of being individualistic, this movement was sparked by men who conceived of society as an organism.28 The life of an in­dividual, they held, is inextricably bound up within this organic unity. For this reason, individual salvation is inadequate. Almost all sin involves not only the sinner but others as well, and it is point­less, on this view, to attempt to deal with it as though it were an individual matter.29

Furthermore, some thought, man sins frequently merely by participating in the social order, a participation which he can hardly avoid. Suppose, said George D. Herron, who went from social Christianity to Christian social­ism, that one had to take a trip (in 1899), the only practicable means of traveling would be by train. But in traveling by train one would be involved in all of the evils which had gone into the mak­ing of the railroads, maintaining them, and operating trains upon them. Herron’s words convey the fervor of his conviction about the evil involved in participating in society’s corruption:

The economic system denies the right of the sincerest and most sym­pathetic to keep their hands out of the blood of their brothers. We may not go to our rest at night, or waken to our work in the morning, without bearing the burden of the communal guilt; without being ourselves cre­ators and cause of the wrongs we seek to bear away.30

The Social Gospel

Many preachers of the Social Gospel believed that before in­dividuals could be reached and helped, society itself must be changed. Besides their organic view of society, these men be­lieved in the immanence of God, and that the Kingdom of Heaven was to be realized upon earth. The regeneration of society was to be the first step in the realization of this Kingdom. In what amounted to a plan for the redemption of society, the church had three functions, according to one theo­retician: to present and embody a social ideal, to initiate agencies and movements for the realization of the ideal, and to supply the sacrificial service necessary for the accomplishment of the mis­sion.”

This plan of action did not in­volve, for most of the men, the prospect of violent revolution; they rather hoped to change so­ciety by convincing men of the need for reform along ideal lines planned with an intimate under­standing of the workings of so­ciety. It was, in a sense, the appli­cation of some ethical ideas drawn from Christian doctrines to re­form Darwinism. The full story of the impact of the Social Gospel would have to be told in terms of the work of the social action com­mittees of many denominations, of the formation of national and in­ternational bodies to spread the ideas, and of the innumerable sermons preached to thousands of congregations embracing the So­cial Gospel under such church bul­letin titles as Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” In this manner did col­lectivistic thought enter many of the churches.

Socialism, both in a broad and in a narrow sense, provided the ideas for political movements which made some impact upon American thought. The Socialist Labor Party was organized in 1877, and ran its first presidential candidate in 1892. The party con­tinued to grow and despite a split in its ranks, the main wing gained national following. From 1901 to 1912 the Socialist Party in America grew rapidly in mem­bership and became for a time an important factor in presidential elections.32 More important, how­ever, than the immediate follow­ing which the party had was the widespread dissemination of its ideas.

A Growing Organism

Socialism was based upon the view that society is an organism in the process of development. This growing organism develops according to laws differing from but analogous to the growth of the individual. Since to him the well-being of all is more impor­tant than that of any individual, the socialist believes “that the in­dividual should subordinate him­self to society, maintaining that thus alone can the welfare of all be secured….33 Socialism is “a principle which regulates social and economic life according to the needs of society as a whole….”34 In its narrower and more precise meaning, socialism is the idea that the economy must be reorganized; private property must be abolished so far as it is a significant instru­ment of production; productive property must be collectively owned and managed; distribution must be carried out according to a plan based upon need.35

Any complete story of how col­lectivistic ideas were propagated by groups should call attention to the activities of certain unions, to the Progressive Movement, to the Populist Movement, and to the New Deal. Nor should I neglect an account of how, in the course of time, the halls of the academy echoed the sentiments of Richard T. Ely, Lester F. Ward, John Dewey, Frederick J. Turner, Walter Lippmann, Thorstein Veb­len, et al., as teachers and profes­sors presented collectivistic ideas that had become embedded in the theories of sociology, the interpretation of history, the “principles” of political science, and the “certi­tudes” of economics. Anyone who has been through any one of the majority of American colleges and universities in the last thirty years should have some inkling of how much a part of “educa­tion” this curvature of the mind has become.

Enough has been said, how­ever, to show clearly that the ven­tures in collectivism in this cen­tury have not been simply the re­sult of a social process rooted in social circumstances. The installa­tion of collectivistic practices fol­lowed upon the creation of a col­lectivist curvature of the mind. Some circumstances lent plausi­bility to collectivist ideas. For example, railroads that linked towns throughout the country and industries with a nationwide market may have given a sem­blance of credibility to such no­tions as national income, national problems, and national health. But it was men who developed the ideas, spread them in literature and by movements, interpreted the meaning of circumstances, and seized the opportunities to translate a curvature of the mind into a direction for a people.

Foot Notes

1 Time, LXXIX (March 23, 1962), p.16. Italics mine.

2 In the first chapter of The New Age of Franklin Roosevelt 1932-1945 (Chi­cago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), Professor Dexter Perkins refers to “the necessity for the regulation of their affairs by government,” “the need for control,” a “point of view of the problem of relief that was destined to be accepted,” a question that is “inevitably complex,” “the need for relief appro­priations,” and “justifiable to meet the needs of relief….” He argues, in the second chapter, “that the New Deal had its roots in social circumstances and is more wisely regarded as the reaction of the Americans to the Great Depression rather than as the accomplishment… of any individual.” (p. 71.) Italics mine.

3 It should be said, in justice, that there is a considerable body of scholarly literature today analyzing the ideas of reform and showing how they came to inform Americans. But this has been ill taught thus far by historians at large.

4 Eric F. Goldman, Rendezvous with Destiny (New York: Vintage Books, 1956), ch. V.

5 Sociocracy,” American Thought: Civil War to World War I, Perry Miller, ed. (New York: Rinehart, 1954), p. 113. Italics mine.

6 Lester F. Ward, Applied Sociology (Boston: Ginn and Co., 1906), pp. 38-39.

7 Fritz Stern (ed.), “An American Definition of History,” The Varieties of History, (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1956), p. 203.

8 Ibid., p. 201. Italics mine.

9 “Social Problems,” American Thought, p. 50.

10 Woodrow Wilson, The New Free­dom, William E. Leuehtenburg, intro. and notes (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1961), p. 42.

11 Theodore Roosevelt. The New Na­tionalism, William E. Leuchtenburg, in­tro. and notes (Englewood Cliffs: Pren­tice-Hall, 1961), pp. 35-36. Italics mine.

12 Ibid., p. 43.

13 “Extend Our Vision… to all Man­kind,” The National Purpose (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960), pp. 32-33. Italics mine.

14 Clarence B. Carson, “The Concept of Democracy and John Dewey,” Modern Age (Spring 1960), p. 184.

15 Ralph H. Gabriel, The Course of American Democratic Thought (New York: Ronald Press, 1956), p. 187.

16 John Dewey, Problems of Men (New York: Philosophical Library, 1946), p. 111.

17 Perkins, op. cit., p. 80.

18 Gabriel, op. cit., p. 212.

19 Henry S. Commager, The American Mind (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), p. 206.

20 Ward, op. cit., p. 47.

21 Ibid., p. 23.

22 Ibid., p. 28.

23 Commager, op. cit., p. 215.

24 See, for example, Holmes’ dissent­ing opinion in Lochner v. New York (1905).

25 Thomas G. Manning and David M. Potter (eds.), Government and the Economy, rev. by E. David Cronon (New York: Holt, 1960), p. 46.

26 Daniel Aaron, Men of Good Hope (New York: Oxford University Press, 1951), p. 102.

27 Alfred Kazin, On Native Grounds (New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1956), p. 81.

28 Charles H. Hopkins, The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestant­ism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940), p. 125.

29 See Walter Rauschenbusch, A The­ology for the Social Gospel (New York: Macmillan, 1917), pp. 5-6, 20, 35-37.

30 George D. Herron, Between Caesar and Jesus (New York: Thomas Y. Crow­ell, 1899), pp. 24-25.

31 Hopkins, op. cit., pp. 137-38.32 Harry W. Laidler, Social-Economic Movements (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1946), p. 588.


  • Clarence Carson (1926-2003) was a historian who taught at Eaton College, Grove City College, and Hillsdale College. His primary publication venue was the Foundation for Economic Education. Among his many works is the six-volume A Basic History of the United States.