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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

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Socialism was inspired by the wish to diminish the
gap between rich and poor. In all directions, there
has been a revolt against injustice and inequality, and
an unwillingness to build a brilliant superstructure
on a foundation of suffering and degradation.
This new belief is now so generally taken for
granted that it is not sufficiently realized how revolu-
tionary it is in the long history of mankind. In this
perspective the last hundred and sixty years appear
as a continuous revolution inspired by this idea. Like
all new beliefs that are influential, it is uncomfortable,
and demands difficult adjustments. There is a danger—
as there has been with other gospels—lest means
should be mistaken for ends, with the result that ends
are forgotten. There is a risk that, in the pursuit of
equality, good things which there is difficulty in
distributinpevenly may not be admitted to be good.
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Some of the unjust^ societies of the past gave to a
minority opportunities^hidTT^tTwe"are not careful,
the new society that we seek to build may give to no
one. When I speak of the evils of the present day,
I do so, not to suggest that they are greater than
those of the past, but only to make sure that what
was good in the past should be carried over into the
future, as far as possible unharmed by the transition.
But if this is to be achieved, some things must be
remembered which are apt to be forgotten in blue-
prints of Utopia.
Among the things which are in danger of being
unnecessarily sacrificed to democratic equality, per-