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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

INDIVIDUAL   AND   SOCIAL   ETHICS
throughout long laborious years, elude him, and his
only pleasure is the use of financial power to compel
his sons to submit in their turn to a similar futile
drudgery. Misers, whose absorption in means is
pathological, are generally recognized to be unwise,
but minor forms of the same malady are apt to
receive undue commendation. Without some con-
sciousness of ends, life becomes dismal and colour-
less; ultimately the need for excitement too often
finds a worse outlet than it would otherwise have
done, in war or cruelty or intrigue or some other
destructive activity.
Men who boast of being what is called 'practical"
are JQtJdie^ Bjost part_ exclusively preoccupied^with
means. But theirs is only one-half of wisdom. When
we take account of the other half, which is concerned
with ends, the economic process and the whole of
human life take on an entirely new aspect. We ask
no longer: what have the producers produced, and
what has  consumption  enabled  the  consumers  in
their turn to produce? We ask instead: what has
there been in the lives of consumers and producers
to make them glad to be alive? What have they felt
or known or done that could justify their creation?
Have they experienced the glory of new knowledge?
Have they known love and friendship? Have they
rejoiced in sunshine and the spring and the smell of
flowers? Have they felt the joy of life that simple
communities express in dance and song? Once to
ios Angeles I vsfas taken to see the Mexican