A nation’s sense of life is formed by every individual child’s early
impressions of the world around him: of the ideas he is taught (which he may or
may not accept) and of the way of acting he observes and evaluates (which he
may evaluate correctly or not). And although there are exceptions at both ends
of the psychological spectrum—men whose sense of life is better (truer
philosophically) or worse than that of their fellow-citizens—the majority
develop the essentials of the same subconscious philosophy. This is the source
of what we observe as “national characteristics.” . . . .
Just as an individual’s sense of life can be better or worse than his conscious
convictions, so can a nation’s. And just as an individual who has never
translated his sense of life into conscious convictions is in terrible
danger—no matter how good his subconscious values—so is a nation.
This is the position of America today.
If America is to be saved from destruction—specifically, from
dictatorship—she will be saved by her sense of life.