The Personalist Project

Society and discord

All the members of human society stand in need of each other’s assistance, and are likewise exposed to mutual injuries.  Where the necessary assistance is reciprocally afforded from love, from gratitude, from friendship, and esteem, the society flourishes and is happy…Society, however cannot subsist among those who are at all times ready to hurt and injure one another.  The moment that injury begins, the moment that mutual resentment and animosity take place, all the bands of it are broke asunder, and the different members of which it consisted are, as it were, dissipated and scattered abroad by the violence and opposition of their discordant affections.

Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments