Buddhist metaphysics, the highest wisdom of Asia, solved the paradox of our isolated yet incomplete selves by dismissing the ‘self of consciousness as an illusion, and seeing all ‘true’ being as part of one Unity. Marxism, the highest achievement of Western thought, agrees — at least in regarding human beings not as mutually exclusive atoms but as entities continually borrowing and giving, and in this sense each infinite as well as finite. It is the heir of a long European evolution where the relationship between individual and social has always been a practical as well as a philosophical issue. Here from very early times there has been a dual, antiphonal development, nowhere else nearly so pronounced: on the one hand the single human integer with its rights and claims, on the other the collective organisation. In place of the Asiatic State, external in nearly every way to its subjects’ lives and impinging on them only by magical pretension or by compulsion, there arose in Europe the Mediterranean city-state, the alter ego of each citizen, a partnership extending, at any rate in the lofty conception of a Pericles, to every corner of life. It raised natural gregariousness to a higher plane, elevating man from a merely social being to what Aristotle called a political animal. Both individual and collective were thereby enlarged: a genuine political spirit can arise only through interaction between the two. Since then the two have been growing, through interplay or collision. Today finds us in another of those recurrent epochs when their rival demands are felt to have become incompatible. To escape from this by abolishing the collective, as Anarchism desires, would enfeeble the individual; to suppress the individual, as Fascism desires, would stultify the collective.