"True individualists tend to be quite unobservant;
it is the snob, the... sophisticate, the frightened conformist,
who keeps a fascinated or worried eye on what is in the wind."
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Company Manners, 1954
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Reader comments about this quote:
Hmmm...maybe so but it is the seer,the "man of wisdom" who "sees" what is in the wind (often before the wind blows) and aligns his actions accordingly through the wise counsel of his impecability.
 -- Me Again     
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    Individualism is not indifference. He has is all wrong. On the other hand, what he says about the snob and so forth may be true. Interesting perspective, but ultimately misguided.
     -- Ben, Orem, UT     
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    Ben, well said. What does being an individualist have to do with being observant? Nothing, no correlation. Depending on how you define snob, sophisticate, and conformist (as narrowed by a frightened state), or any attributes there related, you may stay fascinated or worried on any given happenstance. Hmmm could happen I guess.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    He must really have something against the "Upper Crust!" We are all individuals with one life-one vote!
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Not sure what Kronenberger had in mind in 54, but today the "individualist" aka "right wing extremist" or "patriot" is not usually of the snob variety and may be seen as acutely tuned in to the rapidly changing political landscape. Probably because in 54 "they" had yet to go after our basic rights in a wholesale fashion. That had not been seen on this side of the pond since the war of independence. In fact we had only 9 years behind us since so many American, British, Canadian...et al: lives had been lost to preserve those very rights. And now we just give them away...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    People as a rule are more or less influenced by their environment and the opinions of others. To the extent that they are is the extent to which they are more snobbish, sycophants, and copy cats trying to get ahead. The more that they are not influenced is the degree to which they are more individualist. The man is right on. He has nailed the individualist personality and the true joys of natural freedom.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Individualists are not as a rule 'party-men' which may explain why the parties are full of snobs, sophisticates, and frightened conformists.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I meant to add that observant, critical, opinionated persons who attack the thoughts, opinions, styles, positions etcetera of others are reactionaries, folk who are getting their strings pulled by every thing around them. A person who gets their strings pulled is not an individualist at all. I meant to give this quore a big fat 5.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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     -- RBESRQ      
     -- A.WOODS, G      
    Absurd.
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester     
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