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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

LECTURE   TWO

SOCIAL COHESION AND
GOVERNMENT
THE original mechanism of social cohesion, as it is
still to be found among the most primitive races, was
one which operated through individual psychology
without the need of anything that could be called
government. There were, no doubt, tribal customs
which all had to obey, but one must suppose that
there was no impulse to disobedience of these cus-
toms and no need of magistrates or policemen to
enforce them. In Old Stone Age times, so far as
authority was concerned, the tribe seems to have
lived in a state which we should now describe as
anarchy. But it differed from what anarchy would
be in a modern community owing to the fact that
social impulses sufficiently controlled the acts of in-
dividuals. Men of the New Stone Age were already
quite different; they had government,* authorities
capable of exacting obedience, and large-scale en-
forced co-operation. This is evident from their
works; the primitive type of small-tribe cohesion
could not have produced Stonehenge, still less the
Pyramids. The enlargement of the social unit must
have been mainly the result of war. If two tribes had
a war of extermination, the victorious tribe by the