(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Authority and the individual"

THE    ROLE    OF   INDIVIDUALITY
of such individuals to be unduly hampered, but on
the other hand, if the community exercises no con-
trol, the same kind of individual initiative which may
produce a valuable innovator may also produce a
criminal. The problem, like all those with which we
are concerned, is one of balance; too little liberty
brings stagnation, and too much brings chaos.
There are many ways in which an individual may
differ from most of the other members of his herd, He
may be exceptionally anarchic or criminal; he may
have rare artistic talent; he may have what comes in
time to be recognized as a new wisdom in matters of
religion and morals, and he may have exceptional
intellectual powers. It would seem that from a very
early period in human history there must have been
some differentiation of function. The pictures in the
caves in the Pyrenees which were made by Paleo-
lithic men have a very high degree of artistic merit,
and one can hardly suppose that all the men of that
time were capable of such admirable work. It seems
far more probable that those who were found to have
artistic talent were sometimes allowed to stay at
home making pictures while the rest of the tribe
hunted. The chief and the priest must have begun
from a very early time to be chosen for real or sup-
posed peculiar excellences: medicine men could
work magic, and the tribal spirit was in some sense
incarnate in the chief. But from the earliest time
there has been a tendency for every activity of this
kind to become institutionalized. The chieftain
47