23 | MP introduction

For, within certain limits, it is true to say that we can
fully exercise our social instincts[27] only in small groups.
Fellow feeling evaporates when it has to travel a long distance
to reach its object, say from Lanarck to Devonshire. The sub-
structure of small social groups - village communities, clans,
and even the family - is steadily being eaten away by industrial

The people whose activities have to be co-ordinated in a
modern nation state are not only numerous, but separated from
each other by considerable inequalities. The wealthy live apart
from the poor, and between them the barriers of manners, cust-
oms, and language are impenetrable. The educated shun the uneduc-
ated. In periods of common danger and stress the sacrifices are
distributed very unequally. Were it for the propagandist, there
be no sense of solidarity in this unequal mass. Propaganda im-
poses a 'synthetic' brotherhood upon this social chaos, and
helps to render innocuous the dilution of the social sense which
results from the size of the group and the inequality of its

Social conditions in a modern industrial country are, indeed,
unfavourable to the development of the social virtues. They are
directly opposed to the formation of 'social cells', or to the
kind of grouping which brings out the social instincts, gives
them full scope, and is the condition for man's dignity. The
'social cell' is a small group[28] which allows for physical con-
tact among its members. Physical contact may seem unimportant
to the spiritually minded. It is vital for the simple reason