The opposite of big is not small, but personal… Wherever people are intimidated or manipulated into an assigned identity, they are being mystified. They are being tricked into forgetting that they are persons born to the right of self-discovery. There are even forms of mystification that spring from the noblest intentions, as when a dedicated revolutionary leadership…unfurls a ready-made, collective identity – that of the “working class”, the “masses”, the “people” – and with it an entire world view, an ethic, a supreme allegiance, a stereotypic character… The bigger the institution, the enterptise, the movement, the greater the opportunity for people to mystify one another and themselves… We need something that can arise only from within us as the outgrowth of intimate instruction and disciplined inner development: a sense of identity which makes each of us a unique event in the universe, a once-created-never-to-be-repeated center of originality… The choice is…between a society dominated by mystification and a society open to self-discovery… If the ethos of self-discovery is to create a true personalist order of life…it will have to find a distinctive political style that respects its special sensibilities and yet which can summon up the power to resist, to challenge, to initiate radical change, to assume responsibility for the revolutionary implications of liberated personhood… there is a political relevance to experiences of self-discovery… what we experience in ourselves as the emerging need of the person is the Earth’s urgent cry for rescue… there is no place in a world of persons for monopolistic and multinational corporations, for the maniacal middle-class religion of merchandise, for genocidal military establishments, for continued urban expansion, for state socialism, for overbearing public or private bureaucracies, for technocratic politics.
Theodore Roszak, “Person/Planet”, Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1978, p. 306, 310 – 312, 315, 319 – 320