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Full text of "Authority and the individual"


To strike the right balance between ends and
means is both difficult and important. If you are
concerned to emphasize means, you may point out
that the difference between a civilized man and a
savage, between an adult and a child, between a man
and an animal, consists largely in a difference as to
the weight attached to ends and means in conduct. A
civilized man insures his life, a savage does not ; an
adult brushes his teeth to prevent decay, a child does
not except under compulsion; men labour in the
fields to provide food for the winter, animals do not.
Forethought, which involves doing unpleasant things
now for the sake of pleasant things in the future, is
one of the most essential marks of mental develop-
ment. Since forethought is difficult and requires
control of impulse, moralists stress its necessity, and
lay more stress on the virtue of present sacrifice than
on the pleasantness of the subsequent reward. You
must do right because it is right, and not,i$cause it
to heaven. You must save because
and not because you may

ultimately secure an income that will enable you to
enjoy life. And so on.
But the man who wishes to emphasize ends rather
than means may advance contrary arguments with
equal truth. It is pathetic to see an elderly rich
business man, who from work and worry in youth
has become dyspeptic, so that he can eat only dry
toast and drink only water while his careless guests
feast ; the joys of wealth, which he had anticipated