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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

SOCIAL    COHESION    AND    GOVERNMENT
petty kings constantly went to war with each other,
and governed small territories as best they could,
while they had to meet the anarchy of a turbulent
Teutonic aristocracy and the sullen dislike of the old
Romanized population. Slavery on a large scale
almost disappeared throughout Western Christen-
dom, but was replaced by serfdom. In place of being
supported by the vast fleets that brought grain from
Africa to Rome, small communities with few and
rare external contacts lived as best they could on the
produce of their own land. Life was hard and rough,
but it had no longer the quality of listlessness and
hopelessness that it had had in the last days of Rome.
Throughout the Dark Ages and Middle Ages lawless-
ness was rampant, with the result that all thoughtful
men worshipped law. Gradually the vigour which
lawlessness had permitted restored a measure of order
and enabled a series of great men to build up a new
civilization.
From the fifteenth century to the present time the
power of the State as against the individual has been
continually increasing, at first mainly as a result of
the invention of gunpowder. Just as, in the earlier
days of anarchy, the most thoughtful men worshipped
law, s'o during the period of increasing State power
there was a growing tendency,to worship liberty.
rThe eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had a re-
markable degree of success in increasing State power
to what was necessary for the preservation of order,
and leaving in spite of it a great measure of freedom