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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

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mand of one of the greatest of States. And this
command was not like that of Xerxes or Caesar,
merely the power to enjoy luxury and adulation,
which but for him some other man would have been
enjoying. It was the power to mould a vast country
according to a pattern conceived in his own mind, to
alter the life of every worker, every peasant, and
every middle-class person; to introduce a totally new
kind of organization, and to become throughout the
world the symbol of a new order, admired by some,
execrated by many, but ignored by none. No megalo-
maniac's dream could have been more terrific.
Napoleon had asserted that you can do everything
with bayonets except sit upon them; Lenin disproved
the exception.
The great men who stand out in history have been
partly benefactors of mankind and partly quite the
reverse. Some, like the great religious and moral
innovators, have done what lay in their power to
make men less cruel towards each other, and less
limited in their sympathies; some, like the men of
science, have given us a knowledge and understand-
ing of natural processes which, however it may be
misused, must be regarded as in itself a splendid
thing. Some, like the great poets and composers
and painters, have put into the world beauties and
splendours which, in moments of discouragement, do
much to make the spectacle of human destiny en-
durable. But others, equally able, equally effective in
their way, have done quite the opposite. I cannot