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In addition to the historical doctrines justifying government irresponsibility, already discussed, it seems proper to review the more modern doctrines and theories advanced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries either to deny or to support the responsibility of the State or other public corporation for the torts of its officers. The recognition of governmental responsibility for the torts of officers required certain political and social conditions which, until comparatively modern times, hardly prevailed in the western world. It was necessary for political theory to mature to a position according the individual a large measure of recognition for his personal rights, even against the group-a condition possible only in a highly developed political and legal system. Both state and official responsibility advanced with the growth of individualism, demanding protection against invasion of private rights by public officials. On the other hand, a well developed social sense is required to realize that exceptional losses, due to the imperfections of governmental machinery or the torts of officers, should not be permitted to rest where they happen to fall, but should be distributed over the group as a whole.
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torts, privacy, public utilities, constitution