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Full text of "Authority and the individual"

AUTHORITY   AND   THE    INDIVIDUAL
you are one of a very small number of powerful
individuals, you are likely to feel that you cannot do
much about these great issues. But in relation to
smaller problems—those of your town, or your
trade union, or the local branch of your political
party, for example—you can hope to have a successful
influence. This will engender a hopeful spirit, and a
hopeful spirit is what is most needed if a way is to be
found of dealing successfully with the larger problems.
War and shortages • and financial stringency have
caused almost universal fatigue, and have made
hopefulness seem shallow and insincere. Success, even
if, at first, it is on a small scale, is the best cure for
this mood of pessimistic weariness. And success, for
most people, means breaking up our problems, and
being free to concentrate on those that are not too
desperately large.
The world has become the victim of dogmatic
political creeds, of which, in our 'day, the most
powerful are capitalism and communism. I do not
believe that either, in a dogmatic and unmitigated
form, offers a cure for preventible evils. Capitalism
gives opportunity of initiative to a few; communism
could (though it does not in fact) provide a servile
kind of security for all. But if people can rid them-
selves of the influence of unduly simple theories and
strife that they engender, it will be possible, by
use of scientific technique, to provide both
morenity for all and security for all. Unfortunately
theories are less intelligent than our
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