Concentration

Industrial society was organized along Napoleonic principles to allow one man to concentrate. Any interruption of Napoleon’s concentration was dealt with savagely, but it also yielded a Continental legal framework and, for a short time, an empire. At the same time, many Americans, though far from all, were able to work together, giving most of their attention to the creation of the United States, which continues today.

Because the Napoleonic system depended solely on the concentration of one man, it shared and amplified the flaws of one man.

The American experience is fundamentally different, in that it enshrined plurality as the vital characteristic at every level of government. Instead of amplifying the faults of the many, it minimizes the power of the few, giving the essential good in a people more opportunities to appear at the forefront of the society; we are guided by this goodness, which is hard to see in one person but easily seen in many.