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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

SOCIAL   COHESION   AND   GOVERNMENT
needed any psychological mechanism towards social
cohesion; all the rest merely obeyed. No doubt large
parts of the population were unhappy; one can get a
picture of their condition from the first chapters of
Exodus. But as a rule, so long as external enemies
were not to be feared, this condition of widespread
suffering did not prevent the prosperity of the State,
and it left unimpaired the enjoyment of life by the
holders of power. This state of affairs must have
existed for long ages throughout what we now call
the Middle East. It depended for its stability upon
religion and the divinity of the king. Disobedience
was impiety, and rebellion was liable to call down
the anger of the gods. So long as the upper social
layers genuinely believed this, the rest could be
merely disciplined as we now discipline domestic
animals.
It is a curious fact that military conquest very often
produced in the conquered a genuine loyalty towards
their masters. This happened in time with most of
the Roman conquests. In the fifth century, when
Rome could no longer compel obedience, Gaul re-
mained completely loyal to the Empire. All the large
States of antiquity owed their existence to military
power, but most of them were able, if they lasted
long enough, to generate a sense of cohesion in the
whole in spite of the violent resistance of many parts
at the time of their incorporation. The same thing
happened again with the growth of modern States
during the Middle Ages. England, France, and Spain
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