Human excellence is essentially individual. Ten thousand men of ordinary skill, by pulling their resources, could never have produced Aristotle’s Ethics, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or Bougeureau’s Abduction of Psyche. Even in the cases where crowds do great things, there tends to be a single genius guiding their efforts: the American Revolutionaries never would have succeeded without George Washington, and Standard Oil would never have arisen without Rockefeller. Achievements by great masses of men tend to be, in fact, the achievements of one man with a large group as his instrument. Excellence is magnified in collaboration, but never created from collaboration.
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