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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

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SOCIAL    COHESION   AND    GOVERNMENT
in some cases, those demanded by some religious
body.   Then there are vast industrial  enterprises.
Even in the United States, which attempts to limit
the economic activities of the State to the utmost
possible  degree,   governmental  control  over  such
enterprises is rapidly increasing. And as regards in-
dustrial enterprises there is little difference, from
the psychological point of view, between those con-
ducted by the State and those conducted by large
private corporations. In either case there is a govern-
ment which in fact, if not in intention, is remote
from those whom it controls. It is only the members
of the government, whether of a State or of a large
corporation, who can retain the sense of individual
initiative,  and there  is inevitably a tendency for
governments to regard those who work for them
more or less as they regard their machines, that is to
say, merely as necessary means. The desirability of
smooth co-operation constantly tends to increase the
size of units, and therefore to diminish the number
of those who still possess the power of initiative.
Worst of all, from our present point of view, is a
system which exists over wide fields in Britain, where
those who have nominal initiative are perpetually
controlled by a Civil Service which has only a veto
and no duty of inauguration,  and thus acquires a
negative psychology perpetually prone to prohibitions,
Under such a system the energetic are reduced to
despair; those who might have become energetic in
a more hopeful environment tend to be listless
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