Writing in a France torn by class warfare and ideological conflict, Dupont-White assumes that with the evolution of society the selfishness of individuals and classes becomes sharper and more pervasive, and that a powerful centralized government is needed to control the manifestations of friction and conflict. Without it, society is likely to be dismembered by bitter hatreds. The state, as the chief instrument of stability and progress, is obligated to protect the weak from the strong, a task that grows ever larger and more complex with an expanding industrial society. State interference in economic life, far from being an evil, is an unavoidable result of social progress and a requisite for continued progress.
Your lordship goes on: ‘And although many arguments may be used to prove, that a man is not the same, because life, which depends upon the course of the blood, and the manner of respiration and nutrition, is so different in both states; yet that man would be thought ridiculous, that should seriously affirm, that it was not the same man. And your lordship says, I grant that the variation of great parcels of matter in plants, alters not the identity; and that the organization of the parts in one coherent body, partaking of one common life, makes the identity of a plant.’ Answer. My lord, I think the question is not about the same man, but the same body. For though I do say, (somewhat differently from what your lordship sets down as my words here) ‘That that which has such an organization, as is fit to receive and distribute nourishment, so as to continue and frame the wood, bark, and leaves, &c. of a plant, in which consists the vegetable life, continues to be the same plant, as long as it partakes of the same life, though that life be communicated to new particles of matter, vitally united to the living plant:’ yet I do not remember, that I any where say, that a plant, which was once no bigger than an oaten straw, and afterwards grows to be above a fathom about, is the same body, though it be still the same plant.
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But your lordship goes on with consequence upon consequence, though I have not eyes acute enough every where to see the connexion, till you bring it to the resurrection of the same body. The connexion of your lordship’s words is as followeth; ‘And thus the alteration of the parts of the body at the resurrection is consistent with its identity, if its organization and life be the same; and this is a real identity of the body, which depends not upon consciousness. From whence it follows, that to make the same body, no more is required, but restoring life to the organized parts of it.’ If the question were about raising the same plant, I do not say but there might be some appearance for making such an inference from my words as this, ‘Whence it follows, that to make the same plant, no more is required, but to restore life to the organized parts of it.’ But this deduction, wherein, from those words of mine that speak only of the identity of a plant, your lordship infers, there is no more required to make the same body, than to make the same plant, being too subtle for me, I leave to my reader to find out.