Skip to main content

Full text of "Authority and the individual"

See other formats

To inhabitants of Western countries in the present
day, a more interesting kind of security is security
against attacks by hostile States. This is more inter-
esting because it has not been secured, and because
it becomes more important year by year as methods
of warfare develop. This kind of security will only
become possible when there is a single world
government with a monopoly of all the major
weapons of war. I shall not enlarge upon this subject,
since it is somewhat remote from my theme. I will
only say, with all possible emphasis, that unless and
until mankind have achieved the security of a single
government for the world, everything else of value,
of no matter what kind, is precarious, and may at
any moment be destroyed by war.
Economic security has been one of the most im-
portant aims of modern British legislation. Insurance
against unemployment, sickness, and destitution in
old age, has removed from the lives of wage-earners
a great deal of painful uncertainty as to their future.
Medical security has been promoted by measures
which have greatly increased the average length of
life and diminished the amount of illness. Altogether,
life in Western countries, apart from war, is very
much less dangerous than it was in the eighteenth
century, and this change is mainly due to various
kinds of governmental control.
Security, though undoubtedly a good thing, may
be sought excessively and become a fetish. A secure
life is not necessarily a happy life; it may be rendered