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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE   INDIVIDUAL
can make it enormously more difficult than it used
to be for people whom the government dislikes to
escape. The whole of our daily life and our social
organization is what it is because of science. The
whole of this vast development is supported nowa-
days by the State, but it grew up originally in opposi-
tion to the State, and where, as in Russia, the State
has reverted to an earlier pattern, the old opposition
would again appear if the State were not omnipotent
to a degree undreamt of by the tyrants of former ages.
The opposition to science in the past was by no
means surprising. Men of science affirmed things that
were contrary to what everybody had believed; they
upset preconceived ideas and were thought to be
destitute of reverence. Anaxagoras taught that the sun
was a red-hot stone and that the moon was made of
earth. For this impiety he was banished from Athens,
for was it not well known that the sun was a god and
the moon a goddess? It was only the power over
natural forces conferred by science that led bit by
bit to a toleration of scientists, and even this was a
very slow process, because their powers were at
first attributed to magic.
It would not be surprising if, in the present day, a
powerful anti-scientific movement were to arise as a
result of the dangers to human life that are resulting
from atom bombs and may result from bacteriological
warfare. But whatever people may feel about these
horrors, they ,dare not turn against the men of
science so long as war is at all probable, because if
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