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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Domination of the Dead
By Auguste Comte (1798–1857)
 
From the ‘Positive Polity’

ALWAYS and everywhere, the living are more and more dominated by the dead. This irresistible domination represents the unmodifiable element in all social existence, and regulates the total human movement.  1
  When the “Grand Être” shall occupy the whole planet, each city will live more and more under the weight of preceding generations, not only of its defunct citizens but of the total sum of terrestrial ancestors.  2
  This ascendency was long ignored, and a dominating principle was sought elsewhere, by transporting the human type to external beings, first real, then fictitious. So long as the search for Causes predominated over the study of Law, it was impossible to recognize the true Providence of the race, owing to thus diverting the attention to chimerical influences. At the same time continuous conflicts and discordance made the conception of a collective being impossible. When these fictitious struggles exhausted themselves, Humanity, prepared during their domination, became aroused, and founded on peace and truth the advent of the new religion.  3
 
 
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