So far we have criticized some of the distorted developments in the functioning of liberal and democratic societywith no fear of being misunderstood as its opponent. We could do so because the great strength of the liberal system and of democracy consists in the fact that they can bear criticism, and as long as they are vigorous, they are elastic enough to find ways and means of bringing about reform. The source of our criticism consists neither in the snobbish condemnation of the masses which is so widespread nowadays, nor in cheap grumbling about the principles of liberalism and democracy. The ultimate drive is rather the wish to make an appeal to those to whom freedom and justice are still ultimate values, to think about the proper means to secure them under the changed technical and social conditions of the present world; and this in the first instance means keeping a watchful eye on the deteriorative tendencies in liberalism and democracy which are emerging in this era of mass societies and the growth of monopolies. We are firmly convinced that modem society will sooner or later be able to form its various elements into stable and creative cultural patterns, like those more or less attained by the various societies in earlier stages of social development. The chief difficulty of modern society lies not so much in its vastness as in the fact that the liberal method of organization has not yet reached the stage where it can produce the organic articulation (Gliederung) which a vast and complex society needs.1 Modern psychology and sociology
have shown-as we have already pointed out-that the same persons react differently when they form an uncoordinated mass.! The contemptible behaviour about which we hear so much is actually due to an uncoordinated mass, and the flaws in the working of liberal society are probably the symptoms of transition. The process of selection and it,s corresponding institutions, which were appropriate to a society with only a limited choice of intellectuals are cracking under the impact of the mass influx with which they were not designed to deal.