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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE    INDIVIDUAL
of social cohesion would in time be restored, and the
lost ground would gradually be recovered.
There is, however, another danger, perhaps more
likely to be realized. Modern techniques have made
possible a new intensity of governmental control,
and this possibility has been exploited very fully in
totalitarian States. It may be that under the stress of
war, or the fear of war, or as a result of totalitarian
conquest, the parts of the world where some degree
of individual liberty survives may grow fewer, and
even in them liberty may come to be more and more
restricted. There is not much reason to suppose that
the resulting system would be unstable, but it would
almost certainly be static and un-progressive. And it
would bring with it a recrudescence of ancient evils:
slavery, bigotry, intolerance, and abject misery for
the majority of mankind. This is, to my mind, a
misfortune against which it is of the utmost impor-
tance to be on our guard. For this reason, emphasis
upon the value of the individual is even more
necessary now than at any former time.
There is another fallacy which it is important to
avoid. I think it is true, as I have been arguing, that
what is congenital in human nature has probably
changed little during hundreds of thousands of years,
but what is congenital is only a small part of the
mental structure of a modern human being. From
what I have been saying I should not wish anyone to
draw the inference that in a world without war
there would necessarily be a sense of instinctive
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