Don’t societies and civilizations make progress throughout history? What about social evolution? It is, according to the author, “an interplay of custom with origination” of extraordinary persons.
The authors call these persons “initiative individual –the ‘great man,’ the ‘hero,’ the ‘genius’ –regains his place as a formative force in history. He is not quite the god …; he grows out of his time and land, and is the product and symbol of events as well as agent and voice; without some situation requiring a new response his new idas would be untimely and impractical.”
Next, the authors give examples like Churchill, Napoleon, Marx, Lenin and Mao Tsedong.
The situation demands someone to jump out and lead. The higher the crisis, the higher is the hero’s place. The hero might remain normal and unknown if not for the special occasion or events.
“Events take place through him as well as around him; his ideas and decisions enter vitally into the course of history.”
So wonderfully said!