In today’s “On the Square” article. R. R. Reno reflects on Walt Whitman and the World at Our Disposal. He argues that despite appearances (that “I celebrate myself” business),
Whitman’s hymns to the self do not reflect an inwardly turned selfishness. On the contrary, as he recognized, a democratic culture requires a self-enlarging sensibility. A society of peons cannot rule itself. Thus the assertive moment: My voice should be heard! My vote counts!
The problem, he goes on to argue, lies elsewhere.