In any relationship we feel an unconscious need to create, as it were, a new picture, a new edition of ourselves to present to the fresh person who claims our interests; for them, we in a strange sense wish to, and do, start life anew.
America ... holds up its way of life as the ideal for every nation, and seeks to impose its own standards of living - which many people think ridiculously and unwholesomely high - on others, partly of course in the search for markets. If it were openly stated that it was just a search for markets, that would be one thing, but it is not; by a tremendous propaganda campaign this materialistic conception is held up as an ideal, as somehow part of liberty, and above all, as a form of happiness.
Americans ... attach such a fantastic importance to their baths and plumbing and gadgets of all sorts. They talk as if people could hardly be human beings without all that; we in Europe are beginning to wonder if people can be human beings with it ...
In Europe, a product must be good, or it will not sell in competition with other products; with you, it is enough to say that it is good, often enough and sufficiently loudly. The keenest competition is not in the making of things but in the advertising of them!
What is freedom? It consists in two things: to know each his own limitations and accept them - that is the same thing as to know oneself, and accept oneself as one is, without fear, or envy, or distaste; and to recognise and accept the conditions under which one lives, also without fear or envy, or distaste. When you do this, you shall be free.