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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE   INDIVIDUAL
large empire, or for the preservation of commerce
over a wide area. The result is a diminution ofpopu-
Jation, of the size of governmental units, and of the
intensity of governmental control. Gradually, in the
new more or less anarchic conditions, vigour returns,
and a new cycle begins.
But in addition to this periodic movement there is
another. At the apex of each cycle, the area governed
by one State is larger than at any former time, and
the degree of control exercised by authority over the
individual is more intense than in any previous
culmination. The Roman Empire was larger than the
Babylonian and Egyptian empires, and the empires of
the present clay are larger than that of Rome. There
has never in past history been any large State that
controlled its citizens as completely as they are con-
trolled in the Soviet Republic, or even in the
countries of Western Europe.
Since the earth is of finite size, this tendency, if
unchecked, must end in the creation of a single
world State. But as there will then be no external
enemy to promote cohesion through fear, the old
psychological mechanisms will no longer be adequate..
There will be no scope for patriotism in the affairs
of the world government * the driving force will have
to be found in self-interest'and benevolence, without
the potent incentives of hate and fear. Can such a
society persist? And if it persists, can it be capable
of progress? These are difficult questions. Some
considerations that must be borne in mind if they
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