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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

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it is of the utmost importance to seek out ways of
approaching economic equality by improving the
position of the less fortunate parts of the world, not
only because there is an immense sum of unhappiness
to be relieved, but also because the world cannot be
stable or secure against great wars while glaring
inequalities persist. But an attempt to bring about
economic equality between Western nations and
South-east Asia, by any but gradual methods, would
drag the more prosperous nations down to the level
of the less prosperous, without any appreciable
advantage to the latter.
Justice, like security, but to an even greater degree,
4 is a principle which is subject to limitations. There is
justice where all are equally poor as well as where all
are equally rich, but it would seem fruitless to make
the rich poorer if this was not going to make the
poor richer. The case against justice is even stronger
if, in the pursuit of equality, it is going to make even,
the poor poorer than before. And this might well
happen if a general lowering of education and a
diminution of fruitful research were involved. If
there had not been economic injustice in Egypt and
Babylon, the art of writing would never have been
invented. There is, however, no necessity, with modern
methods of production, to perpetuate economic in-
justice in industrially developed nations in order to
promote progress in the arts of civilization. There is
only a danger to be borne in mind, not, as in the
past, a technical impossibility.