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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE    INDIVIDUAL
the Industrial Revolution—inexcusable at this date.
On the one hand, unlike the early industrialists, who
could not see the consequences of their own acts, we
know the resultant evils all too well. On the other
hand, these evils are no longer necessary for the
increase of production, or for the raising of the
material standards of living of the worker. Electricity
and motor-transport have made small units of in-
dustry not only economically permissible but even
desirable, for they obviate immense expenditure on
transportation and organization. Where a rural
industry still flourishes, it should be gradually
mechanized, but be left in situ and in small units.
In those parts of the world in which industrialism
is still young, the possibility of avoiding the horrors
we have experienced still exists. India, for example,
is traditionally a land of village communities. It
would be a tragedy if this traditional way of life with
all its evils were to be suddenly and violently ex-
changed for the greater evils of urban industrialism,
as they would apply to people whose standard of
living is already pitifully low. Gandhi, realizing these
dangers, attempted to put the clock back by reviving
hand-loom weaving throughout the continent. He
was half right, but it is folly to reject the advantages
that science gives us; instead they should be seized
with eagerness and applied to increase the material
wealth and, at the same time, to preserve those
simple privileges of pure air, of status in a small
community, of pride in responsibility and work well
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