Manifestly, this would imply nothing about either the relation between the two scholastic universals or the relation between any empirical society (a universal in the sense of universalist doctrine) and the empirical individuals comprising it. In particular, I could in this case still be as strong an individualist, politically or in any other sense, as I please. The opposite opinion is thus seen to rest on nothing but an error induced by the double meaning attached to ‘universal’ and ‘individual.’
II. In surveying the history of civilizations, we sometimes speak of objective and subjective cases. By an objective civilization we mean the civilization of a society in which every individual stands in his appointed niche and is subject, without reference to his tastes, to super-individual rules; a society that recognizes as universally binding a given ethical and religious code; a society in which art is standardized and all creative activity both expresses and serves super-individual ideals. By a subjective civilization we mean a civilization that displays the opposite characteristics; in which society serves the individual and not the other way round; in short, a society that turns upon, and implements, subjective tastes and allows everyone to build his own system of cultural values. We need not enter into the general question of the analytic standing of such schemes. But we are concerned with the sweeping assertion so often met with that, in the sense explained, medieval civilization was objective and modern civilization is (or until recently was) subjective or individualist, because this touches, or may be supposed to touch, upon the ‘spirit’ in which people conducted or conduct their economic analysis.