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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

THE    ROLE    OF   INDIVIDUALITY
of history, and therefore a man of overweening
ambition will choose some other career if it is open
to him.
The rise of men of science to great eminence in
the State is a modern phenomenon. Scientists, like
other innovators, had to fight for recognition: some
were banished; some were burnt; some were kept in
dungeons; others merely had their books burnt. But
gradually it came to be realized that they could put
power into the hands of the State. The French revo-
lutionaries, after mistakenly guillotining Lavoisier,
employed his surviving colleagues in the manufacture
of explosives. In modern war the scientists are recog-
nized by all civilized governments as the most useful
citizens, provided they can be tamed and induced to
place their services at the disposal of a single govern-
ment rather than of mankind.
Both for good and evil almost everything that
distinguishes our age from its predecessors is due to
science. In daily life we have electric light, and the
radio, and the cinema. In industry we employ
machinery and power which we owe to science.
Because of the increased productivity of labour we
are able to devote a far greater proportion of our
energies to wars and preparations for wars than was
formerly possible, and we are able to keep the young
in school very much longer than we formerly could.
Owing to science we are able to disseminate infor-
mation and misinformation through the Press and the
radio to practically everybody. Owing to science we