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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

SOCIAL    COHESION   AND    HUMAN   NATURE
human remains that have been discovered so far are
estimated to belong to a period about one million
years ago, but for several million years before that
time there seem to have been anthropoids that lived
on the ground and not in trees. The most distinctive
feature by which the evolutionary status of these
early ancestors is fixed is the size of the brain, which
increased fairly rapidly until it reached about its
present capacity, but has now been virtually sta-
tionary for hundreds of thousands of years. During
these hundreds of thousands of years Man has im-
proved in knowledge, in acquired skill, and in social
organization, but not, so far as can be judged, in
congenital intellectual capacity. That purely bio-
logical advance, so far as it can be estimated from
bones, was completed a long time ago. It is to be
supposed accordingly that our congenital mental
equipment, as opposed to what we learn, is not so
very different from that of Paleolithic Man. We have
still, it would seem, the instincts which led men,
before their behaviour had become deliberate, to live
in small tribes, with a sharp antithesis of internal
friendship and external hostility. The changes that
have come since those early times have had to depend
for their driving force partly upon this primitive
basis of instinct, and partly upon a sometimes barely
conscious sense of collective self-interest .fone of the
things that cause stress and strain in human social life
is that it is possible, up to a point, to become aware
of rational grounds for a behaviour not prompted by