Book Notes: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #15

This man of society who, in contrast to the natural man, is weaker to the degree that he no longer must face any of the dangers the latter had to overcome-that is, precisely as weak as he who is incapable of overcoming even the slightest danger and who has no other activity, no larger sphere of action, because his interests go no further than his own life needs, this nearly inorganic will to live-this man, nevertheless, enjoys, in exchange for his tiny learned task and his submission, the security of all that human ingenuity has accumulated in society, what he would not otherwise obtain except by individual superiority, the potency of persuasion. With the work of inferior individuality appear the fruits of superior individuality: such is the rhetorical significance of social optimism. It tells the individual: "He who carries out his duty toward society has the right to live secure." But who gave you the right to presume that your duty is that which society tells you it is? It also says: ... `He who is the same in his heart as he is with men shall be free. But man says: he who is true in his heart to the point of not changing with regard to others shall be free. For rhetoric is true with regard to others in that it obeys others; but truth in oneself persuades others.' 

The individual who does not at first appear to be a slave to society can still be a slave to himself. He has purchased a very basic freedom through the persuasion of others but has nothing to stand on I'd such persuasion no longer serves him.