Participation in the productive process demands conformity and adjustment to the ways of social production. This necessity became stronger the more uniform and comprehensive the methods of production became. Technical society grew into fixed patterns. Conformity in those matters which conserve the smooth functioning of the big machine of production and consumption increased with the increasing impact of the means of public communication. World political thinking, the struggle with collectivism, forced collectivist features on those who fought against them. This process is still going on and may lead to a strengthening of the conformist elements in the type of the courage to be as a part which is represented by America. Conformism might approximate collectivism, not so much in economic respects, and not too much in political respects, but very much in the pattern of daily life and thought. Whether this will happen or not, and if it does to what degree, is partly dependent on the power of resistance in those who represent the opposite pole of the courage to be, the courage to be as oneself. Since their criticism of the conformist and collectivist forms of the courage to be as a part is a decisive element of their self-expression, it will be discussed in the next chapter. The one point, however, in which all criticisms agree is the threat to the individual self in the several forms of the courage to be as a part. It is the danger of loss of self which elicits the protest against them and gives rise to the courage to be as oneself—a courage which itself is threatened by the loss of the world.

4th Chapter of Tillich’s Courage to Be