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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

towards a Corinthian, or a Florentine towards a
Venetian. But in spite of the difficulties, I think that
this problem of giving importance to localities will
have to be tackled if human life is not to become
increasingly drab and monotonous.
The savage, in spite of his membership of a small
community, lived a life in which his initiative was
not too much hampered by the community. The
things that he wanted to do, usually hunting and war,
were also the things that his neighbours wanted to do,
and if he felt an inclination to become a medicine
man he only had to ingratiate himself with some
individual already eminent in that profession, and so,
in due course, to succeed to his powers of magic. If
he was a man of exceptional talent, he might invent
some improvement in weapons, or a new skill in
hunting. These would not put him into any opposi-
tion to the community, but, on the contrary, would
be welcomed. The modern man lives a very different
life. If he sings in the street he will be thought to be
drunk, and if he dances a policeman will reprove
him for impeding,the traffic. His working day, unless
he is exceptionally fortunate, is occupied in a com-
pletely monotonous manner in producing something
which is valued, not, like the shield of Achilles, as a
beautiful piece of work, but mainly for its utility.
When his work is over, he cannot, like Milton's
Shepherd, "tell his tale under the hawthorn in the
dale," because there is often no dale anywhere near
where he lives, or, if there is, it is full of tins. And