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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

THE   ROLE    OF   INDIVIDUALITY"
always, in our highly regularized way of life, he is
obsessed by thoughts of the  morrow.  Of all the
precepts  in the  Gospels,   the  one  that  Christians
have most neglected is the commandment to take no
thought for the morrow. If he is prudent, thought
for the morrow will lead him to save; if he is im-
prudent,  it will make him apprehensive of being
unable to pay his debts. In either case the moment
loses its savour. Everything is organized, nothing is
spontaneous. The Nazis organized "Strength Through
Joy," but joy prescribed by the government is likely
to be not very joyful. In those who might otherwise
have worthy ambitions, the effect of centralization is
to bring them into competition with too large a
number of rivals, and into subjection to an unduly
uniform standard of taste. If you wish to be a painter
you will not be content to pit yourself against the
men with similar desires in your own town; you will
go to some school of painting in a metropolis where
you will probably conclude that you are mediocre,
and having come to this conclusion you may be so
discouraged that you are tempted to throw away
your paint-brushes and take to money-making or to
drink, for a certain degree of self-confidence is essen-
tial to achievement. In Renaissance Italy you might
have hoped to be the best painter in Siena, and this
r- position would have been quite sufficiently honour-
able. But you would not now be content to acquire
all your training in one small town and pit yourself
against your neighbours. We know too much and feel
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