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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE   INDIVIDUAL
than when it is smalL If it becomes practicable (as is
not unlikely) to use atomic power on a large scale,
this will enormously augment the profitable area of
distribution. All of these modern developments in-
crease the control over the lives of individuals
possessed by those who govern large organizations,
and at the same time make a few large organizations
much more productive than a number of smaller
ones. Short of the whole planet there is no visible
limit to the advantages of size, both in economic and
in political organizations.
I come now to another survey of roughly the same
governmental developments from a different point
of view. Governmental control over the lives of
members of the community has differed throughout
history, not only in the size of the governmental area,
but in the intensity of its interference with individual
life. What may be called civilization begins with
empires of a well-defined type, of which Egypt,
Babylon, and Nineveh are the most notable; the
Aztec and Inca empires were essentially of the same
type. In such empires the upper caste had at first a
considerable measure of personal initiative, but the
large slave population acquired in foreign conquest
had none. The priesthood were able to interfere in
daily life to a very great degree. Except where re-
ligion was involved, the King had absolute power,
and could compel his subjects to fight in his wars.
The divinity of the King and the reverence for the
priesthood produced a stable society—in the case of