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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

SOCIAL   COHESION   AND   GOVERNMENT
it took a long time to move an army from one part
of the empire to another, and also that the civil
government had not discovered ways of preventing
military insurrection. To some degree these condi-
tions lasted on into modern times. It was largely lack
of mobility that caused England, Spain, and Portugal
to lose their possessions in the Western Hemisphere.
But since the coming of steam and the telegraph it
has become much easier than it was before to hold a
large territory, and since the coming of universal
education it has become easier to instil a more or less
artificial loyalty throughout a large population.
Modern technique has not only facilitated the
psychology of cohesion in large groups; it has also
made large groups imperative both from an economic
and from a military point of view. The advantages
of mass production are a trite theme, upon which
I do not propose to enlarge. As everybody knows,
they have been urged as a reason for closer unity
among the nations of Western Europe. The Nile
from the earliest times has promoted the cohesion
of the whole of Egypt, since a government controlling
only the upper Nile could destroy the fertility of
lower Egypt. Here no advanced technique was in-
volved, but the Tennessee Valley Authority and the
proposed St. Lawrence Water Way are scientific
extensions of the same cohesive effect of rivers.
Central power stations, distributing electricity over
wide areas, have become increasingly important,
and are much more profitable when the area is large