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Full text of "Authority and the individual"


THE fundamental problem I propose to consider in
these lectures is this: how can we combine that
degree of individual initiative which is necessary for
progress with the degree of social cohesion that is
necessary for survival? I shall begin with the impulses
in human nature that make social co-operation
possible. I shall examine first the forms that these
impulses took in very primitive communities, and
then the adaptations that were brought about by the
gradually changing social organizations of advancing
civilization. I shall next consider the extent and in-
tensity of social cohesion in various times and places,
leading up to the communities of the present day
and the possibilities of further development in the
not very distant future. After this discussion of the
forces that hold society together I shall take up the
other side of the life of Man in communities, namely,
individual initiative, showing the part that it has
played in various phases of human evolution, the part
that it plays at the present day, and the future possi-
bilities of too much or too little initiative in indivi-
duals and groups. I shall then go on to one of the
basic problems of our times, namely, the conflict