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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE   INDIVIDUAL
with Spain, French Huguenots with England. In our
own day two widespread creeds embrace the loyalty
of a very large part of mankind. One of these, the
creed of Communism, has the advantage of intense
fanaticism and embodiment in a Sacred Book. The
other, less definite, is nevertheless potent—it may be
called "The American Way of Life." America,
formed by immigration from many different coun-
tries, has no biological unity, but it has a unity quite
as strong as that of European nations. As Abraham
Lincoln said, it is "dedicated to a proposition."
Immigrants into America often suffer from nostalgia
for Europe, but their children, for the most part,
consider the American way of life preferable to that
of the Old World, and believe firmly that it would be
for the good of mankind if this way of life became
universal. Both in America and in Russia unity of
creed and national unity have coalesced, and have
thereby acquired a new strength, but these rival
creeds have an attraction which transcends their
national boundaries.
Modern loyalty to the vast groups of our time, in
so far as it is strong and subjectively satisfying, makes
use still of the old psychological mechanism evolved
in the days of small tribes. Congenital human nature,
as opposed to what is made of it by schools and
religions, by propaganda and economic organizations,
has not changed much since the time when men first
began to have brains of the size to which we are
accustomed. Instinctively we divide mankind into