Men Act, States Don’t

Written by Chris Bassil for Duke’s The Chronicle.

There is a tendency, in contemporary political and economic discourse, to reduce conversations to the level of the aggregate. Thus, we speak in terms of “labor” seeking goals, “nations” taking action and “society” handing the president a mandate. Such a way of looking at the world, as convenient and at times useful as it might be, commits a serious error. A great deal of grief might be saved by framing our discussions around the individual, rather than the collective.
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