Skip to main content

Full text of "Authority and the individual"

See other formats

friends and foes—friends, towards whom we have
the morality of co-operation; foes, towards whom we
have that of competition. But this division is con-
stantly changing; at one moment a man hates his
business competitor, at another, when both are
threatened by Socialism or by an external enemy, he
suddenly begins to view him as a brother. Always
when we pass beyond the limits of the family it is
the external enemy which supplies the cohesive
force. In times of safety we can afford to hate our
neighbour, but in times of danger we must love him.
People do not, at most times, love those whom they
find sitting next to them in a bus, but during the blitz
they did.
It is this that makes the difficulty of devising
means of world-wide unity. A world state, if it were
firmly established, would have no enemies to fear,
and would therefore be in danger of breaking down
through lack of cohesive force. Two great religions—
Buddhism and Christianity—have sought to extend
to the whole human race the co-operative feeling
that is spontaneous towards fellow tribesmen. They
have preached the brotherhood of Man, showing by
the use of the word "brotherhood" that they are
attempting to extend beyond its natural bounds an
emotional attitude which, in its origin, is biological.
If we are all children of God, then we are all one
family. But in practice those who in theory adopted
this creed have always felt that those who did not
adopt it were not children of God but children of