chapter  XIV
2 Pages

PUBLIC SPIRIT AND THE STATE

A Governmental system which tolerates the growth of private prejudice or hatred is not genuinely discharging its duty, or at least not sufficiently. Apart from indifference, there are two possible motives for the failure of Governments to exert more pressure against manifestations of hatred and of socially harmful prejudices. One motive will be, at least to some extent, consciously in the minds of some people with political power. Their argument runs as follows: "Let the people have their bit of aggressive pleasure; let them enjoy their hatred and even a moderate exploitation of a certain group or stratum of the population; in exchange for this they will be all the more ready to bear the burdens of public duties and political restrictions." This was once so in Egypt, where, according to the Bible 1 and to subsequent historical research, a new dynasty, being anxious about the consolidation of its freshly conquered supremacy, had created a special class of rightless people, on whom all the others could proudly look down as inferiors. By this method of ' abreaction ' -as psychologists call the process of finding satisfying substitutes for repressed tendencies-the hatred of the people was turned from the new dynasty and its followers against others, the ' Sons of Israel '.