The State

Nature And Forms Of Government

Author:      Wilson, Woodrow

 

Nature And Forms Of Government

  

 

     1387. Government rests upon Authority and Force. - The essential

characteristic of all government, whatever its form, is authority.  There must

in every instance be, on the one hand, governors, and, on the other, those who

are governed.  And the authority of governors, directly or indirectly, rests

in all cases ultimately on force.  Government, in its last analysis, is

organized force.  Not necessarily or invariably organized armed force, but the

will of a few men, of many men, or of a community prepared by organization to

realize its own purposes with reference to the common affairs of the

community.  Organized, that is, to rule, to dominate. The machinery of

government necessary to such an organization consists of instrumentalities

fitted to enforce in the conduct of the common affairs of a community the will

of the sovereign men: the sovereign minority, or the sovereign majority.

 

     1388. Not necessarily upon Obvious Force. - This is not, however, to be

interpreted too literally, or too narrowly.  The force behind authority must

not be looked for as if it were always to be seen or were always being

exercised.  That there is authority lodged with ruler or magistrate is in

every case evident enough; but that that authority rests upon force is not

always a fact upon the surface, and is therefore in one sense not always

practically significant.  In the case of any particular government, the force

upon which the authority of its officers rests may never once for generations

together take the shape of armed force.  Happily there are in our own day many

governments, and those among the most prominent, which seldom coerce their

subjects, seeming in their tranquil, noiseless operations to run of

themselves.  They in a sense operate without the exercise of force.  But there

is force behind them none the less because it never shows itself.  The better

governments of our day, - those which rest, not upon the armed strength of

governors, but upon the free consent of the governed, - are founded upon

constitutions and laws whose source and sanction are the habit of communities.

The force which they embody is not the force of a dominant dynasty or of a

prevalent minority, but the force of an agreeing majority.  And the

overwhelming nature of this force is evident in the fact that the minority

very seldom challenge its exercise. It is latent just because it is understood

to be omnipotent.  There is force behind the authority of the elected

magistrate, no less than behind that of the usurping despot, a much greater

force behind the President of the United States than behind the Czar of

Russia.  The difference lies in the display of coercive power.  Physical force

is the prop of both, though in the one it is the last, while in the other it

is the first, resort.

 

     1389. The Governing Force in Ancient and in Modern Society. - These

elements of authority and force in government are quite plain to be seen in

modern society, even when the constitution of that society is democratic; but

they are not so easily discoverable upon a first view in primitive society.

It is common nowadays when referring to the affairs of the most progressive

nations to speak of 'government by public opinion,' 'government by the popular

voice'; and such phrases possibly describe sufficiently well the full-grown

democratic systems.  But no one intends such expressions to conceal the fact

that the majority, which utters 'public opinion,' does not prevail because the

minority are convinced, but because they are outnumbered and have against them

not the 'popular voice' only, but the 'popular power' as well, - that it is

the potential might rather than the wisdom of the majority which gives it its

right to rule.  When once majorities have learned to have opinions and to

organize themselves for enforcing them, they rule by virtue of power no less

than do despots with standing armies or concerting minorities dominating

unorganized majorities. But, though it was clearly opinion which ruled in

primitive societies, this conception of the might of majorities hardly seems

to fit our ideas of primitive systems of government.  What shall we say of

them in connection with our present analysis of government?  They were neither

democracies in which the will of majorities chose the ways of government, nor

despotisms, in which the will of an individual controlled, nor oligarchies, in

which the purposes of a minority prevailed.  Where shall we place the force

which lay behind the authority exercised under them?  Was the power of the

father in the patriarchal family power of arm, mere domineering strength of

will? What was the force that sustained the authority of the tribal chieftain

or of that chief of chiefs, the king?  That authority was not independent of

the consent of those over whom it was exercised; and yet it was not formulated

by that consent.  That consent may be said to have been involuntary, inbred.

It was born of the habit of the race.  It was congenital.  It consisted of a

custom and tradition, moreover, which bound the chief no less than it bound

his subjects.  He might no more transgress the unwritten law of the race than

might the humblest of his fellow- tribesmen.  He was governed scarcely less

than they were.  All were under bondage to strictly prescribed ways of life.

Where, then, lay the force which sanctioned the authority of chief and

sub-chief and father in this society?  Not in the will of the ruler: that was

bound by the prescriptions of custom.  Not in the popular choice: over that

too the law of custom reigned.

 

     1390. The Force of the Common Will in Ancient Society. - The real

residence of force in such societies as these can be most easily discovered if

we look at them under other circumstances.  Nations still under the dominion

of customary law have within historical times been conquered by alien

conquerors; but in no such case did the will of the conqueror have free scope

in regulating the affairs of the conquered.  Seldom did it have any scope at

all.  The alien throne was maintained by force of arms, and taxes were

mercilessly wrung from the subject populations; but never did the despot

venture to change the customs of the conquered land.  Its native laws he no

more dared to touch than would a prince of the dynasty which he had displaced.

He dared not play with the forces latent in the prejudices, the fanaticism of

his subjects.  He knew that those forces were volcanic, and that no prop of

armed men could save his throne from overthrow and destruction should they

once break forth.  He really had no authority to govern, but only a power to

despoil, - for the idea of government is inseparable from the conception of

legal regulation.  If, therefore, in the light of such cases, we conceive the

throne of such a society as occupied by some native prince whose authority

rested upon the laws of his country, it is plain to see that the real force

upon which authority rests under a government so constituted is after all the

force of public opinion, in a sense hardly less vividly real than if we spoke

of a modern democracy.  The law inheres in the common will: and it is that law

upon which the authority of the prince is founded.  He rules according to the

common will: for that will is, that immemorial custom be inviolably observed.

The force latent in that common will both backs and limits his authority.

 

     1391. Public Opinion, Ancient and Modern. - The fact that the public

opinion of such societies made no deliberate choice of laws or constitutions

need not confuse the analogy between that public opinion and our own.  Our own

approval of the government under which we live, though doubtless conscious and

in a way voluntary, is largely hereditary, - is largely an inbred and

inculcated approbation.  There is a large amount of mere drift in it.

Conformity to what is established is much the easiest habit in opinion.  Our

constructive choice even in our own governments, under which there is no

divine canon against change, is limited to modifications.  The generation that

saw our federal system established may have imagined themselves out-of-hand

creators, originators of government; but we of this generation have taken what

was given us, and are not controlled by laws altogether of our own making.

Our constitutional life was made for us long ago.  We are like primitive men

in the public opinion which preserves; though unlike them in the public

opinion which alters our institutions.  Their stationary common thought

contained the generic forces of government no less than does our own

progressive public thought.

 

     1392. The True Nature of Government. - What, then, in the last analysis,

is the nature of government?  If it rests upon authority and force, but upon

authority which depends upon the acquiescence of the general will and upon

force suppressed, latent, withheld except under extraordinary circumstances,

what principle lies behind these phenomena, at the heart of government?  The

answer is hidden in the nature of Society itself.  Society is in no sense

artificial; it is as truly natural and organic as the individual man himself.

As Aristotle said, man is by nature a social animal; his social function is as

normal with him as is his individual function.  Since the family was formed,

he has not been without politics, without political association.  Society,

therefore, is compounded of the common habit and is an evolution of

experience, an interlaced growth of tenacious relationships, a compact,

living, organic whole, structural, not mechanical.

 

     1393. Society an Organism, Government an Organ. - Government is merely

the executive organ of society, the organ through which its habit acts,

through which its will becomes operative, through which it adapts itself to

its environment and works out for itself a more effective life.  There is

clear reason, therefore, why the disciplinary action of society upon the

individual is exceptional; clear reason also why the power of the despot must

recognize certain ultimate limits and bounds; and clear reason why sudden or

violent changes of government lead to equally violent and often fatal

reactions and revolutions.  It is only the exceptional individual who is not

held fast to the common habit of social duty and comity.  The despot's power,

like the potter's, is limited by the characteristics of the materials in which

he works, of the society which he manipulates; and change which roughly breaks

with the common thought will lack the sympathy of that thought, will provoke

its opposition, and will inevitably be crushed by that opposition.  Society,

like other organisms, can be changed only by evolution, and revolution is the

antipode of evolution.  The public order is preserved because order inheres in

the character of society.

 

     1394. The Forms of Government: their Significance. - The forms of

government do not affect the essence of government: the bayonets of the

tyrant, the quick concert and superior force of an organized minority, the

latent force of a self-governed majority, - all these depend upon the organic

character and development of the community.  "The obedience of the subject to

the sovereign has its root not in contract but in force, - the force of the

sovereign to punish disobedience"; ^1 but that force must be backed by the

general habit (secs. 1435-1442).  The forms of government are, nevertheless,

in every way most important to be observed, for the very reason that they

express the character of government, and indicate its history.  They exhibit

the stages of political development, and make clear the necessary constituents

and ordinary purposes of government, historically considered.  They

illustrate, too, the sanctions upon which it rests.

 

[Footnote 1: John Morley, Rousseau, Vol. II., p. 184.]

 

     1395. Aristotle's Analysis of the Forms of Government. - It has been

common for writers on politics in speaking of the several forms of government

to rewrite Aristotle, and it is not easy to depart from the practice.  For,

although Aristotle's enumeration was not quite exhaustive, and although his

descriptions will not quite fit modern types of government, his enumeration

still serves as a most excellent frame on which to hang an exposition of the

forms of government, and his descriptions at least furnish points of contrast

between ancient and modern governments by observing which we can the more

clearly understand the latter.

 

     1396. Aristotle considered Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy

(Ochlocracy) the three standard forms of government.  The first he defined as

the rule of One, the second as the rule of the Few, the third as the rule of

the Many. ^2 Off against these standard and, so to say, healthful forms he set

their degenerate shapes.  Tyranny he conceived to be the degenerate shape of

Monarchy, Oligarchy the degenerate shape of Aristocracy, and Anarchy (or

mob-rule) the degenerate shape of Democracy. His observation of the political

world about him led him to believe that there was in every case a strong, an

almost inevitable, tendency for the pure forms to sink into the degenerate.

 

[Footnote 2: Not of the absolute majority, as we shall see presently when

contrasting ancient and modern democracy (secs. 1403, 1406).]

 

     1397. The Cycle of Degeneracy and Revolution. - He outlined a cycle of

degeneracies and revolutions through which, as he conceived, every State of

long life was apt to pass.  His idea was this.  The natural first form of

government for every state would be the rule of a monarch, of the single

strong man with sovereign power.  This monarch would usually hand on his

kingdom to his children.  They might confidently be expected to forget those

pledges and those views of the public good which had bound and guided him.

Their sovereignty would sink into tyranny.  At length their tyranny would meet

its decisive check at some Runnymede.  There would be revolt; and the princely

leaders of revolt, taking government into their own hands, would set up an

Aristocracy.  But aristocracies, though often public- spirited and just in

their youth, always decline, in their later years, into a dotage of selfish

oligarchy.  Oligarchy is even more hateful to civil liberty, is even a graver

hindrance to healthful civil life than tyranny.  A class bent upon subserving

only their own interests can devise injustice in greater variety than can a

single despot: and their insolence is always quick to goad the many to hot

revolution.  To this revolution succeeds Democracy.  But Democracy too has its

old age of degeneracy, - an old age in which it loses its early respect for

law, its first amiability of mutual concession.  It breaks out into license

and Anarchy, and none but a Caesar can bring it back to reason and order.  The

cycle is completed. The throne is set up again, and a new series of

deteriorations and revolutions begins.

 

     1398. Modern Contrasts to the Aristotelian Forms of Government. - The

confirmations of this view furnished by the history of Europe since the time

of Aristotle have been striking and numerous enough to render it still

oftentimes convenient as a scheme by which to observe the course of political

history even in our own days.  But it is still more instructive to contrast

the later facts of political development with this ancient exposition of the

laws of politics.  Observe, then, the differences between modern and ancient

types of government, and the likelihood that the historian of the future, if

not of the present and the immediate past, will have to record more

divergencies from the cycle of Aristotle than correspondences with it.

 

     1399. The Modern Absolute Monarchy. - Taking the Russian government of

to-day as a type of the vast absolute Monarchies which have grown up in Europe

since the death of Aristotle, it is evident that the modern monarch, if he be

indeed monarch, has a much deeper and wider reach of power than had the

ancient monarch.  The monarch of our day is a Legislator; the ancient monarch

was not.  Antique society may be said hardly to have known what legislation

was.  Custom was for it the law of public as well as of private life: and

custom could not be enacted.  At any rate ancient monarchies were not

legislative.  The despot issued edicts, - imperative commands covering

particular cases or affecting particular individuals: the Roman emperors were

among the first to promulgate 'constitutions,' - general rules of law to be

applied universally.  The modern despot can do more even than that.  He can

regulate by his command public affairs not only but private as well, - can

even upset local custom and bring all his subjects under uniform legislative

control.  Nor is he in the least bound to observe his own laws.  A word, - and

that his own word, - will set them aside: a word will abolish, a word restore,

them.  He is absolute over his subjects not only, - ancient despots were that,

- but over all laws also, - which no ancient despot was.

 

     1400. Of course these statements are meant to be taken with certain

important limitations.  The modern despot as well as the ancient is bound by

the habit of his people.  He may change laws, but he may not change life as

easily; and the national traditions and national character, the rural and

commercial habit of his kingdom, bind him very absolutely.  The limitation is

not often felt by the monarch, simply because he has himself been bred in the

atmosphere of the national life and unconsciously conforms to it (secs.

1435-1442).

 

     1401. The Modern Monarchy usually 'Limited.' - But the present government

of Russia is abnormal in the Europe of to-day, as abnormal as that of the

Turk, - a belated example of those crude forms of politics which the rest of

Europe has outgrown.  Turning to the other monarchies of to-day, it is at once

plain that they present the strongest contrast possible to any absolute

monarchy ancient or modern.  Almost without exception in Europe, they are

'limited' by the resolutions of a popular parliament.  The people have a

distinct and often an imperative voice in the conduct of public affairs.

 

     1402. Is Monarchy now succeeded by Aristocracy? - And what is to be said

of Aristotle's cycle in connection with modern monarchies?  Does any one

suppose it possible that when the despotism of the Czar falls it will be

succeeded by an aristocracy; or that when the modified authority of the

emperors of Austria and Germany or the king of Italy still further exchanges

substance for shadow, a limited class will succeed to the reality of power?

Is there any longer any place between Monarchy and Democracy for Aristocracy?

Has it not been crowded out?

 

     1403. English and Ancient Aristocracy contrasted. - Indeed, since the

extension of the franchise in England to the working classes, no example of a

real Aristocracy is left in the modern world.  At the beginning of this

century the government of England, called a 'limited monarchy,' was in reality

an Aristocracy.  Parliament and the entire administration of the kingdom were

in the hands of the classes having wealth or nobility.  The members of the

House of Lords and the Crown together controlled a majority of the seats in

the House of Commons.  England was 'represented' by her upper classes almost

exclusively.  That Aristocracy has been set aside by the Reform Bills of 1832,

1867, and 1885; but it is worth while to look back to it, in order to contrast

a modern type of Aristocracy with those ancient aristocracies which were

present to the mind of Aristotle.  An ancient Aristocracy constituted the

State; the English aristocracy merely controlled the State.  Under the widest

citizenship known even to ancient democracy less than half the adult male

subjects of the State shared the franchise.  The ancient Democracy itself was

a government by a minority. The ancient Aristocracy was a government by a

still narrower minority; and this narrow minority monopolized office and power

not only, but citizenship as well.  There were no citizens but they.  They

were the State.  Every one else existed for the State, only they were part of

it.  In England the case was very different.  There the franchise was not

confined to the aristocrats; it was only controlled by them.  Nor did the

aristocrats of England consider themselves the whole of the State.  They were

quite conscious, - and quite content, - that they had the State virtually in

their possession; but they looked upon themselves as holding it in trust for

the people of Great Britain.  Their legislation was in fact class legislation,

oftentimes of a very narrow sort; but they did not think that it was.  They

regarded their rule as eminently advantageous to the kingdom; and they

unquestionably had, or tried to have, the real interests of the kingdom at

heart.  They led the State, but did not constitute it.

 

     1404. Present and Future Prevalence of Democracy. - If Aristocracy seems

about to disappear, Democracy seems about universally to prevail. Ever since

the rise of popular education in the last century and its vast development

since have assured a thinking weight to the masses of the people everywhere,

the advance of democratic opinion and the spread of democratic institutions

have been most marked and most significant.  They have destroyed almost all

pure forms of Monarchy and Aristocracy by introducing into them imperative

forces of popular thought and the concrete institutions of popular

representation; and they promise to reduce politics to a single form by

excluding all other governing forces and institutions but those of a wide

suffrage and a democratic representation, - by reducing all forms of

government to Democracy.

 

     1405. Differences of Form between Ancient and Modern Democracies. - The

differences of form to be observed between ancient and modern Democracies are

wide and important.  Ancient Democracies were 'immediate,' while ours are

'mediate,' that is to say, representative.  Every citizen of the Athenian

State, - to take that as a type, - had a right to appear and vote in proper

person in the popular assembly, and in those committees of that assembly which

acted as criminal courts; the modern voter votes for a representative who is

to sit for him in the popular chamber, - he himself has not even the right of

entrance there.  This idea of representation, - even the idea of a vote by

proxy, - was hardly known to the ancients; but among us it is all-pervading.

Even the elected magistrate of an ancient Democracy was not looked upon as a

representative of his fellow-citizens. He was the State, so far as his

functions went, and so long as his term of office lasted.  He could break

through all law or custom, if he dared.  It was only when his term had expired

and he was again a private citizen that he could be called to account.  There

was no impeachment while in office. To our thought all elected to office, -

whether Presidents, ministers, or legislators, - are representatives.  The

limitations as to the size of the State involved in ancient practices and

conceptions is obvious.  A State in which all citizens are also legislators

must be necessity be small.  The modern representative State has no such

limitation.  It may cover a continent.

 

     1406. Nature of Democracy, Ancient and Modern. - The differences of

nature to be observed between ancient and modern Democracies are no less wide

and important.  The ancient Democracy was a class government.  As already

pointed out, it was only a broader Aristocracy.  Its franchise was at widest

an exclusive privilege, extending only to a minority.  There were slaves under

its heel; there were even freedmen who could never hope to enter its

citizenship.  Class subordination was of the essence of its constitution.

From the modern Democratic State, on the other hand, both slavery and class

subordination are excluded as inconsistent with its theory, not only, but,

more than that, as antagonistic to its very being. Its citizenship is as wide

as its native population; its suffrage as wide as its qualified citizenship, -

it knows no non-citizen class.  And there is still another difference between

the Democracy of Aristotle and the Democracy of Tocqueville and Bentham.  The

citizens of the former lived for the State; the citizen of the latter lives

for himself, and the State is for him.  The modern Democratic State exists for

the sake of the individual; the individual, in Greek conception, lived for the

State.  The ancient State recognized no personal rights, - all rights were

State rights; the modern State recognizes no State rights which are

independent of personal rights.

 

     1407. Growth of the Democratic Idea. - In making the last statement

embrace 'the ancient State' irrespective of kind and 'the modern State,' of

whatever form, I have pointed out what may be taken as the cardinal difference

between all the ancient forms of government and all the modern. It is a

difference which I have already stated in another way.  The democratic idea

has penetrated more or less deeply all the advanced systems of government, and

has penetrated them in consequence of that change of thought which has given

to the individual an importance quite independent of his membership of a

State.  I can here only indicate the historical steps of that change of

thought; I cannot go at any length into its causes.

 

     1408. Subordination of the Individual in the Ancient State. - We have

seen that, in the history of political society, if we have read that history

aright, the rights of government, - the magistracies and subordinations of

kinship, - antedate what we now call the rights of the individual.  A man was

at first nobody in himself; he was only the kinsman of somebody else.  The

father himself, or the chief, commanded only because of priority in kinship:

to that all rights of all men were relative. Society was the unit; the

individual the fraction.  Man existed for society.  He was all his life long

in tutelage; only society was old enough to take charge of itself.  The State

was the only Individual.

 

     1409. Individualism of Christianity and Teutonic Institutions. - There

was no essential change in this idea for centuries.  Through all the

developments of government down to the time of the rise of the Roman Empire

the State continued, in the conception of the western nations at least, to

eclipse the individual.  Private rights had no standing as against the State.

Subsequently many influences combined to break in upon this immemorial

conception.  Chief among these influences were Christianity and the

institutions of the German conquerors of the fifth century. Christianity gave

each man a magistracy over himself by insisting upon his personal, individual

responsibility to God.  For right living, at any rate, each man was to have

only his own conscience as a guide.  In these deepest matters there must be

for the Christian an individuality which no claim of his State upon him could

rightfully be suffered to infringe.  The German nations brought into the

Romanized and partially Christianized world of the fifth century an

individuality of another sort, - the idea of allegiance to individuals (sec.

293).  Perhaps their idea that each man had a money-value which must be paid

by any one who might slay him also contributed to the process of making men

units instead of State fractions; but their idea of personal allegiance played

the more prominent part in the transformation of society which resulted from

their western conquests.  The Roman knew no allegiance save allegiance to his

State.  He swore fealty to his imperator as to an embodiment of that State,

not as to an individual.  The Teuton, on the other hand, bound himself to his

leader by a bond of personal service which the Roman either could not

understand or understood only to despise. There were, therefore, individuals

in the German State: great chiefs or warriors with a following (comitatus) of

devoted volunteers ready to die for them in frays not directed by the State,

but of their own provoking (secs. 291-293).  There was with all German tribes

freedom of individual movement and combination within the ranks, - a wide play

of individual initiative.  When the German settled down as master amongst the

Romanized populations of western and southern Europe, his thought was led

captive by the conceptions of the Roman law, as all subsequent thought that

has known it has been, and his habits were much modified by those of his new

subjects; but this strong element of individualism was not destroyed by the

contact.  It lived to constitute one of the chief features of the Feudal

System.

 

     1410. The Transitional Feudal System. - The Feudal System was made up of

elaborate gradations of personal allegiance.  The only State possible under

that system was a disintegrate state embracing, not a unified people, but a

nation atomized into its individual elements.  A king there might be, but he

was lord, not of his people, but of his barons.  He was himself a baron also,

and as such had many a direct subject pledged to serve him; but as king the

barons were his only direct subjects; and the barons were heedful of their

allegiance to him only when he could make it to their interest to be so, or

their peril not to be.  They were the kings of the people, who owed direct

allegiance to them alone, and to the king only through them.  Kingdoms were

only greater baronies, baronies lesser kingdoms.  One small part of the people

served one baron, another part served another baron.  As a whole they served

no one master.  They were not a whole: they were jarring, disconnected

segments of a nation.  Every man had his own lord, and antagonized every one

who had not the same lord as he (secs. 304-313).

 

     1411. Rise of the Modern State. - Such a system was fatal to peace and

good government, but it cleared the way for the rise of the modern State by

utterly destroying the old conceptions.  The State of the ancients had been an

entity in itself, - an entity to which the entity of the individual was

altogether subordinate.  The Feudal State was merely an aggregation of

individuals, - a loose bundle of separated series of men knowing few common

aims or actions.  It not only had no actual unity: it had no thought of unity.

National unity came at last, - in France, for instance, by the subjugation of

the barons by the king (sec. 323); in England by the joint effort of people

and barons against the throne, - but when it came it was the ancient unity

with a difference.  Men were no longer State fractions; they had become State

integers.  The State seemed less like a natural organism and more like a

deliberately organized association.  Personal allegiance to kings had

everywhere taken the place of native membership of a body politic.  Men were

now subjects, not citizens.

 

     1412. Renaissance and Reformation. - Presently came the thirteenth

century with its wonders of personal adventure and individual enterprise in

discovery, piracy, and trade.  Following hard upon these, the Renaissance woke

men to a philosophical study of their surroundings, - and above all of their

long-time unquestioned systems of thought.  Then arose Luther to reiterate the

almost forgotten truths of the individuality of men's consciences, the right

of individual judgment.  Ere long the new thoughts had penetrated to the

masses of the people.  Reformers had begun to cast aside their scholastic

weapons and come down to the common folk about them, talking their own vulgar

tongue and craving their acquiescence in the new doctrines of deliverance from

mental and spiritual bondage to Pope or Schoolman.  National literatures were

born.  Thought had broken away from its exclusion in cloisters and

universities and had gone out to challenge the people to a use of their own

minds.  By using their minds, the people gradually put away the childish

things of their days of ignorance, and began to claim a part in affairs.

Finally, systematized popular education has completed the story.  Nations are

growing up into manhood.  Peoples are becoming old enough to govern

themselves.

 

     1413. The Modern Force of Majorities. - It is thus no accident, but the

outcome of great permanent causes, that there is no more to be found among the

civilized races of Europe any satisfactory example of Aristotle's Monarchies

and Aristocracies.  The force of modern governments is not now often the force

of minorities.  It is getting to be more and more the force of majorities.

The sanction of every rule not founded upon sheer military despotism is the

consent of a thinking people.  Military despotisms are now seen to be

necessarily ephemeral.  Only monarchs who are revered as seeking to serve

their subjects are any longer safe upon their thrones.  Monarchies exist only

by democratic consent.

 

     1414. New Character of Society. - And, more than that, the result has

been to give to society a new integration.  The common habit is now operative

again, not in acquiescence and submission merely, but in initiative and

progress as well.  Society is not the organism it once was, - its members are

given freer play, fuller opportunity for origination; but its organic

character is again prominent.  It is the Whole which has emerged from the

disintegration of feudalism and the specialization of absolute monarchy.  The

Whole, too, has become self- conscious, and by becoming self-directive has set

out upon a new course of development.

 

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