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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

SOCIAL   COHESION    AND    GOVERNMENT
are  to  be  answered will be brought forward in
subsequent lectures.
I have spoken of a two-fold movement in past
history, but I do not consider that there is anything
either certain or inevitable about such laws of
historical development as we can discover. New
knowledge may make the course of events completely
different from what it would otherwise have been;
this was, for instance, a result of the discovery of
America. New institutions also may have effects
that could not have been foreseen: I do not see how
any Roman at the time of Julius Caesar could have
predicted anything at all like the Catholic Church,
And no one in the nineteenth century, not even
Marx, foresaw the Soviet Union. F<tr such reasons,
all prophecies as to the future of mankind should be
treated only as hypotheses which may deserve con-
sideration.
I think that, while all definite prophecy is rash,
there are certain tmdesirable possibilities which it
is wise to bear in mind. On the one hand, prolonged'
and destructive war may cause a breakdown of
industry in all civilized States, leading to a condition
of small-scale anarchy such as prevailed in Western
Europe after the fall of Rome. This would involve
an immense diminution of the population, and, for
a time at least, a cessation of many of the activities
that we consider characteristic of a civilized way of
life. But it would seem reasonable to hope that, as
happened in the middle ages, a sufficient .
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