An article by Jeffrey Lord in the American Spectator on the demonizing of conservatives reminds us of these lines from William F. Buckley's movement-launching book, God and Man at Yale, written when he was only 25 years old.
I believe that the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world. I further believe that the struggle between individualism and collectivism is the same struggle reproduced on another level.
He is right, with one important caveat. The answer to collectivism isn't really individualism, but rather personalism. Why? Alice von Hildebrand frequently reminds us of a saying of her husband's: "The truth doesn't lie between two errors, but above them."
Personalism is a philosophy that upholds the uniqueness and dignity of each and every individual, without losing sight of the essential "communitarian dimension" of the person.
The paradox is well-captured in well-known declaration of Vatican II: The person is the only creature created for his own sake and called to give himself in love to others.
As Dr. Crosby's series will teach us so well, John Paul's philosophical legacy can almost be summed up as an elaboration of this theme.