Do you know the proper way to spell out numbers
Now let me ask, is there any solid reality in this view of the social entity, or must we treat it as a mere literary creation? When we oppose the social entity to the individual, are we not tricking ourselves with words; are we not simply opposing some individuals to other individuals? If the individual is molded and formed by the social entity, it can only mean that he is molded and formed by other individuals. If John Smith's thoughts are formed for him, it is as the result of what other John Smiths have spoken or written. If you like to christen all these other John Smiths by the rather fine name of “social entity,” there is no great objection, perhaps, provided only you keep the simple truth in view that it is the individuals who act on each other; and (setting aside the action of the forces of nature and the existence of higher beings than man) that in no conceivable way can we think of influence as passing except from individuals to individuals. So also with our material debt to each other. If in an expanding community A. X. grows rich, because, as a doctor, he has more patients to look after, or as a tradesman, because he has more customers to serve, or as a landowner, because he has more persons to whom to sell his land, it is in every such case the result of the actions of some definite individuals affecting other definite individuals. If the individuals who come to reside in a place increase the prosperity of (a) the lawyer, (b) the doctor, (c) the tradesman, and (d) the landowner, so in return do these four persons increase the prosperity of those for whose wants they provide in their different ways. It is the exchange of services and useful commodities by which each benefits the other, and each in turn is benefited. The increase of prosperity simply results from the interaction of the individuals amongst themselves. It seems cruel to break butterflies on logical wheels and to deal harshly with Mr. Hobson's poetical creation, but outside and beyond this action of the individuals there is no place left of any kind for the action of the social entity. Like so many other things of imposing pretensions, it fades into nothingness at the touch of simple analysis. Again, even if Mr. Hobson could make good the existence of his social entity, as distinct from the action of individuals, would he be any nearer the object that he has in view—the investment of the social entity with supreme importance, and the reduction of the individual to insignificance? If the social entity—supposing that such a thing existed apart from the individuals—acts upon the individual, so beyond dispute must the individual in his turn, as regards the work that he does and the thoughts that he thinks, act upon the social entity. What therefore might be claimed for the one must also be claimed for the other. The two factors, being placed in opposition to each other, would then simply cancel each other—would “go out,” as schoolboys say about opposed factors in a sum of arithmetic. What then is left of the supremacy of the one, and the insignificance of the other? The truth is that the contrast that it is attempted to draw between the individual and the social entity is a wholly unreal one. You might as usefully contrast pence and pounds. The social entity really means: some individuals; nothing less and nothing more.
"The Rules for Writing Numbers."
Let us, however, for the present leave the 2,000,000 voters to their fate. They are, as we have seen, only a subject race; and subject races must be duly reasonable, and not expect too great a share in the privileges of conquering races. Now let us turn to the case of the happy triumphant 3,000,000 voters, who hold in subjection the 2,000,000 voters. Are they themselves represented in any true sense? Let us see what happens to them—the majority, who are good enough for a time to take charge of all of us. Unlimited power means that our lords and masters of the moment may deal, that they will probably try to deal, with every, or almost every field of human activity. If there are, say, ten great state departments, such as trade, foreign affairs, local government, home government, and the rest; and if we suppose with due moderation that there are ten great questions connected with each of these departments, that may at any moment occupy the attention of our presiding majority, then we have a grand total of a hundred questions, upon which the opinions of the 3,000,000 electors will have to be represented. But alas! for our unfortunate and inconvenient human differences; how can the victorious 3,000,000 be represented on these hundred questions, when, if they think at all, they will all think more or less differently from each other? To express fully their many differences, they ought to have nearly 3,000,000 representatives; but we will not ask for perfection; so let us divide the number by a hundred and say 30,000 representatives—an arrangement which, if the representatives met and talked for twenty hours every day in the year, would give, let us say, something over eight seconds of talking time for each representatives during the course of the year as regards each of the hundred questions. When they had each talked their eight or nine seconds, how much real agreement should you expect to find among our 30,000 representatives on their hundred questions?
But, under aristocratic governments, public men are swayed by the interest of their order, which, if it is sometimes blended with the interests of the majority, is frequently distinct from them. This interest is a common and lasting bond which unites them together. It induces them to coalesce, and combine their efforts towards attaining an end which is not always the happiness of the greatest number; and it not only connects the persons in authority with each other, but links them also to a considerable portion of the governed, since a numerous body of citizens belongs to the aristocracy, without being invested with official functions. The aristocratic magistrate, therefore, finds himself supported in his own natural tendencies by a portion of society itself, as well as by the government of which he is a member.