(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)
See other formats

Full text of "Authority and the individual"

one side were equipped with scientists and the other
not, the scientific side would almost certainly win.
Science, in so far as it consists of knowledge, must
be regarded as having value, but in so far as it con-
sists of technique the question whether it is to be
praised or blamed depends upon the use that is made
of the technique. In itself it is neutral, neither good
nor bad, and any ultimate views that we may have
about what gives value to this or that must come
from some other source than science.
The men of science, in spite of their profound
influence upon modern life, are in some ways less
powerful than the politicians. Politicians in our day
are far more influential than they were at any former
period in human history. Their relation to the men
of science is like that of a magician in the Arabian
Nights to a djinn who obeys his orders. The djinn does
astounding things which the magician, without his
help, could not do, but he does them only because
he is told to do them, not because of any impulse in
himself. So it is with the atomic scientists in our
day; some government captures them in their homes
or on the high seas, and they are set to work, accord-
ing to the luck of their capture, to slave for the one
side or for the other. The politician, when he is
successful, is subject to no such coercion. The most
astounding career of our times was that of Lenin.
After his brother had been put to death by the
Czarist Government^ he spent years in poverty and
exile, and then tose within a few months to coin-