The present civilization is based on greed and individual competition; it cannot last forever, because it has no intrinsic value. The individual, who has created and is dominated by this civilization, is caught up in accumulation, which is his sole incentive; that is, the individual tries to express his ambition and attain his desired social position through the accumulation of wealth and power. He has therefore set up social distinctions and such a civilization, based on ruthless selfishness, must eventually break down. It is merely a matter of time. As long as you have this conception of individuality, which is but selfishness and greed, no civilization, no structure built on it can last, nor can it free the mind from sorrow.
Until now you have been spiritually a slave; that is, you have followed, you have imitated, you have set up spiritual authorities, and tradition has bound your mind. No matter to what country you belong, there is everywhere a constant adjustment towards tradition. In thought and emotion, as an individual you have merely conformed, while in the world of action you have lived utterly for yourself, selfishly pursuing your own security. As I have said, I am not giving you a panacea; but I maintain that only when you understand the right function of individuality is there a way out of this chaos. To me, individuality can be expressed only in the world of thought, not in the world of existence; that is, you must think intensely for yourself, untrammelled by tradition, by habit or by fear of public opinion. But in order to supply the needs of existence, you must co-operate, work and plan together; that is, you must get rid of this idea of nationality, flags and frontiers. Thereby you will come naturally to solve the economic problem because you will be working from a human point of view, not through separative national prejudices.
Early Writings, Volume VII
Radio Talks, USA and Canada 1932