Nonfiction > Walt Whitman > Prose Works > III. Notes Left Over > 21. An American Problem
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Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Prose Works. 1892.
  
III. Notes Left Over
21. An American Problem
  
ONE of the problems presented in America these times is, how to combine one’s duty and policy as a member of associations, societies, brotherhoods or what not, and one’s obligations to the State and Nation, with essential freedom as an individual personality, without which freedom a man cannot grow or expand, or be full, modern, heroic, democratic, American. With all the necessities and benefits of association, (and the world cannot get along without it,) the true nobility and satisfaction of a man consist in his thinking and acting for himself. The problem, I say, is to combine the two, so as not to ignore either.   1

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