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“ The question as to what constitutes the State is one of advanced science, aud not of popular decision. . point is that Freedom has not subjective Will for its principle : the process by which Freedom is realised, is the free Development of the successive stages of the Universal (God's) Will. History is the Development of Spirit in time.”—Hegel, on the Philosophy of History, pp. 28, 48, 45.
“ De sorie que toute la suite des hommes pendant le cours de tant de siècles doit être considérée comme un même homme qui subsiste toujours et apprend continuellement.”—Pascal, Pensées.
“ The organisation and establishment of Democracy in Christendom is the great political problem of the time.”--De Tocqueville.
" And though no one now living may be permitted to enter into this land of promise (a perfect system of legislation), yet he who shall contemplate it in its VASTNESS and BEAUTY, may rejoice, as did Moses when on the verge of the desert from the mountain top he saw the length and breadth of that good land, into which he was not permitted to enter and take possession."-Jeremy Bentham, on Influence of Time and Place.
“I need not ramble over earth and sky to discover a wondrous object woven of contrasts of greatness and littleness infinite, of intense gloom and of amazing brightness,-capable at once of exciting pity, admiration, terror and contempt. 1 find that object is myself. MAN springs out of nothing, crosses time, and disappears for ever in the bosom of God. He is seen but for a moment,-staggering on the verge of the two abysses ; and then he is lost!”-De Tocqueville.
The organisation of the national thought concerning Democracy, is a necessary prelude to the peaceful organisation of Democracy itself, and whilst it is necessary to know the genius, nature, and
average preparedness of our national manhood, it is necessary, above all things, to believe in manhood.
Whilst many political writers have pointed out the means whereby manhood will get the victory over privilege, and whilst some have clearly anticipated that result, it is strange that only one (De Tocqueville) has directly asserted that there is in every community a single preponderating power of which the only final and universal issue is Democracy; and, as far as I know, only four, De Tocqueville, Bentham, Coleridge,* and Goldwin Smith, who have ventured to deride that God of English idolatry, “a mixed Government.” “Preponderance” was bad, because it was the preponderance of sections, but arguments against preponderance are confidently and incessantly repeated as against Democracies,—as though the preponderance of the all could be anything else than equality, or as though the material, intellectual, and spiritual progress of nations could result in anything less.
As on the morrow of the new Reform Bill, England will be, not an Aristocratic, but a Democratic Republic, the subject is piquant.
This question of preponderance is indeed a paradox, which has taken in and done for many notable politicians.
The whole recent Reform Debate on the Opposition side, was conducted on the assumption that it is possible to prevent the preponderance of Democracy.
* See "The Friend," v. ii, p. 57. Ed. 1844.
A preponderance, to do harm, must be either a preponderance of interest over right, or of ignorance over knowledge; in other words, a preponderance of a class, or of the uninstructed.
As long as power is in the hands of the one, the few, or the many,--autocrat, oligarch, or middle class, it is a partial and sectional, and, therefore, a sinister power. Such interest not only is, but must be, against right. And doubtless, if power could be shared equally by the uneducated all the result would be that disastrous contradiction,—“the servant ruling."
But as power gets out into the universal, and as the all become educated (without which their puwer were mere anarchy and confusion) the sectional disappears in the process, quality is added to quantity, the mass of individual units, is, as argued fully in the sequel, balanced by individual multiples, or men with material, moral, or intellectual accumulations of power, or by individual varieties, and local or party combinations. Capital and knowledge become multiples of labor, and make a property stake and interest universal, and the universal interest and right, not only are, but must be identical,
I say, then, that though a knowledge of history, tradition, and national genius is necessary to the conservatism of progress, a belief in manhood is essential to both. The tendencies of the whole race are to health and life, whilst those of the parts
may be to disease and death, if not corrected by the universal.
Development, Organisation, Unity, are the gradations of the teaching of the past, and although civilisation may be, as Guizot says, in its infancy, we know that nothing contrary to these can continue.
Judæa gave us Law and Love and Immortality. Greece, liberty of thought,—“reason,
reason, her own starting point and guide.” Rome, unity,—the organisation of municipality, church, and empire. Primitive Germany, the spirit of liberty and of voluntary association. France, feudality, or, “the fusion of property and sovereignty.” Scandinavia, the organisation of monarchy as a confederation, of which the organic germ or unit was the hærad or hundred. Anglo-Saxondom, the folk-mote, courtleet, shire-gemot, and witеnagemot, -the local courts and the council of
peers. What element is there of all these that is not now in our Institutions, and that has not done its part in helping us on even towards the goal of politics,-Equality ?
Peers and Ecclesiastics united with Peasants until English liberties were safe. The local courts administered justice and kept freedom alive when centralisation must have meant tyranny. The hundred and the witenagemot organised our nation till money drew the sovereign into a limited partnership with it. Feudality was a modified sovereignty which organised downwards and defied upwards, when the relations between the individual and the nation were immature. Municipalities, have they not been reorganised by the Corporation Act ? The spirit of liberty and the liberty of thought, our heirlooms from Germany and Greece, have worked, the one within, organising intellect, the other without, organising facts, till thoughts and deeds together, helped on by supernal inducements, and guided by the higher law, have combined in systems which are the net result of all the past.
Thus the great facts of the world conspire with the teaching of its greatest men. Unity and life depend upon organisation, and organisation depends upon the preparedness and education of the Units.
The substance of the boast of the “ New York Times” is widely feared in this country. That paper lately said : “ This is the beginning of an Americanising process in England. The new Democratic ideas are gradually to find embodiment. The separation of Church and State, a complete secularisation of politics, a removal of the Irish Church, the destruction of entail, and the greater freedom given to the transfer of land, the duty of a popular system of education apart from all associations with creed or Church."
However this may be, it is undoubtedly true that one of the primary institutions of Democracy