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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

TECHNIQUE    AND   HUMAN    NATURE
ment, is giving them their coup de grace. The result
is that those who can no longer make a living by
exercising their craft are compelled to leave the
islands and Highlands to live in cities or even to
emigrate.
Against the short-term economic gain of a purchase
tax which brings in from £1,000,000 to £1,500,000
a year must be placed long-term losses which are
hardly calculable.
First, there is the loss, added to those we have
already suffered in the blind and greedy heyday of
the Industrial Revolution, of one more local and
traditional skill, which has brought to those who
exercised it the joy of craftsmanship and a way of life
which, though hard, gave pride and self-respect and
the joy of achievement, through ingenuity and effort,
in circumstances of difficulty and risk.
Secondly, there is the diminution in the intrinsic
excellence of the product, both aesthetic and utili-
tarian.
Thirdly, this murder of a local industry aggravates
the tendency to uncontrollable growth of cities,
which we are attempting in our national town
planning to avoid. The independent weavers become
units in a vast, hideous and unhealthy human ant-hill.
Their economic security is no longer dependent on
their own skill and upon the forces of nature. It is
lost in a few large organizations, in which if one fails
all fail, and the causes of failure cannot be understood.
Two factors make this process—a microcosm, of