Imágenes de páginas

political animal.” He is born into a it and substitute a new government in its government as he is born into a family. place, because they have an absolute, He has no more to do with the choice of inherent, and indefeasible right to be the one than with the choice of the other. protected in their persons, property, repuHe is a subject of parents whom he did tation, family, and liberty. not choose; he is similarly a subject of The mere fact that the form of governa government which he did not choose. ment does not suit the protestants is no As his hand or his foot is a part of his just ground for revolution. The justice body, so he in turn is a part of the politi- of a government does not depend upon its cal organism, and he cannot dissociate form—although some forms are more apt himself therefrom. He is born, not iso to do equal justice than other forms; it lated, but to be sharer in obligations and depends upon the fidelity with which it responsibilities from which he is power- fulfills the function of government-that is, less to escape. They belong to him by with which it safeguards the rights of reason of his manhood. He does not man and promotes his prosperity. The form them, though he may participate in resort to force is justified only by the changing their form. Government is a extremest exigency. A mere distaste for growth, not a manufacture. Even if it one form of government or desire for seems to be newly created, as in the case another form of government is not such of the American and French Republics, an exigency as justifies resort to force to it is not really the government, it is only overthrow the government. the form of the government, which is The mere fact that the government newly created. The American Republic declines to permit the protestants to share grew out of previous English and colonial in the administration of government is governments; the French Republic grew not an adequate reason for revolution. out of previous imperial and revolutionary No man has a natural right to share in governments. But, as we have seen, gov- the administration of the government ernment is founded on and grows out of the under which he lives. He has a right to instinct of self-preservation. Its primary be protected in his person, property, repufunction is to protect the rights of men; tation, family, and liberties; but if the its authority is derived from the right of government of which he is a subject the strong to protect the weak. If the affords him such protection, adequately government into which any man is born and effectively, he has no ground on which violates this fundamental principle upon to demand of the government, as his which all government is based, if it uses right, permission to participate in it. its strength, not to protect the weak, but That he has no such natural right is evito oppress the weak, it no longer has dent from a consideration of the nature of authority. It may still have power, but government. Government is, as we have it has by its own act destroyed its author- seen, the control of one man's will by ity. It may still be able to rule, but it another man's will. No man has any has no right to rule. The same principle ground for claiming that it is his natural of self-preservation, which is the founda- right to control the will, or dominate the tion of government, then becomes the personality, or direct the life-action of justification of revolution. Man has an another man. This right, wherever it inherent right to protect himself; if the exists, is not natural and inherent; it is government founded on this right of acquired, and rests upon some other funmutual protection does not protect, espe- damental and essential right. We have cially if, instead of protecting, it oppresses seen what that fundamental right is; it is its subjects, the same right of self-protec- the right of self-protection. The only tion justifies them in overturning the gov- reason why one man may claim the right ernment, if they have power to do so. In to control another man against his will, if other words, when injustice in any gov- he be of full age and mentally and morally ernment becomes so great, so radical, so of sane character,' is in order to secure habitual, that the government ceases to be a mutually protective organization,

' The right of a parent, or one standing in loro parentis,

to control the child, and the right of the sane to control then the people have a right to overturn the insane, need not here be considered. We are con

sidering the control of sane men of adult age by other "Aristotle's " Politics," Book I., Chapter II.

sane men of adult age.

the protection of himself and others from and who shall share that responsibility are injury and wrong-doing. If that pro- to be determined by the existing governtection is sufficiently afforded by govern- ment, whatever that government may be. ment, he has no ground for insisting on This is, in point of fact, the practice of all his right to participate in the government, governments, including our own ; and it that is, to share in that control over the is a practice abundantly justified both by wills and lives of other men. The only philosophy and history. How extensive ground on which such a claim can be the suffrage ought to be in any given combased is that such participation of all in munity is dependent wholly upon the the government is necessary in order to question what conditions of suffrage, first, make the government an adequate protec- will secure the best protection of person, tion of all. Suffrage, or participation in property, reputation, family, and liberty,

. the government, is not an end, it is only a and, second, will best promote the general means to an end; it is not a right, it is life of the community, material and spir. only one means to the preservation of itual. rights.

The fact that a particular government That we do not believe in this country is dependent upon another government that suffrage is a natural right is evident does not of itself justify a revolution. from our practice. The people who live Independence is not synonymous with in the District of Columbia cannot vote, liberty. The two are often confounded, but they are not denied their natural but they are quite distinct. A governrights. The newly arrived immigrants ment is independent when it has no organic not yet naturalized cannot vote, but they relation of subjection to another govern. are not denied their natural rights. The ment; it is free when the members of the young man of nineteen or twenty, whose community subject to the government are education makes him much more compe- protected in their persons, property, reputent to vote than many men who do vote, tation, family, and liberties. It is clear is not denied his natural rights. The that a government may be independent man whose business interests are in New and not furnish such protection, and, on York City, but whose residence is in the other hand, that it may be dependent Westchester County, and who pays large and furnish such protection all the better taxes in New York City but is not allowed because of its dependence. Spain in the to vote there, is not denied his natural sixteenth century was independent; but rights. So in those States in which women her people were not free. Canada in the are not allowed to vote they are not denied nineteenth century is not independent, but any natural right. Those whose persons, her people are free. No State in the property, reputation, family, and liberties Union is independent, but the freedom of are adequately secured under the govern- the citizens of the various States is ment as it is now org inized have no right better secured because they are dependent to claim anything more.

A claim by any

on each other and on the Federal Governpersons, whether men or women, to the ment. This fact, that dependence may be suffrage as a right must be founded on a means of securing liberty, is distinctly the assumption that their natural rights affirmed in the preamble to the Constitucannot be protected in any other way ; a tion of the United States: “We, the claim to the suffrage as politic must be people of the United States, in order to founded on the assumption that the rights form a more perfect union, establish jusof the individual and the welfare of the tice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide community will be best promoted by the for the common defense, promote the genextension of the suffrage. A man has no eral welfare, and secure the blessings of more a natural right to vote in a general liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do election than he has to vote in the legis- ordain and establish this Constitution for lature. In both cases the conditions of the United States of America.” These, the vote are determined by the existing not independence, are the ends of governgovernment, whatever it may be. Prop ment. When they are secured, the mere erly speaking, suffrage is not a right at fact that the government under which they all; it is a prerogative and a responsibility; are secured is dependent for them in part and who shall exercise that prerogative on another government is no reason for a

revolution. Our own history affords a They, too, have been deaf to the voice of striking illustration of the fact that inde- justice and of consanguinity. We must, therependence and liberty are not only not

fore, acquiesce in the necessity which de

nounces our separation, and hold them, as synonymous, but may be antagonistic. we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, The Civil War was a war between inde- in peace friends. We, therefore, the Reprependence and liberty. The South fought sentatives of the United States of America, that the Confederate States might be inde

in General Congress assembled, appealing to

the Supreme Judge of the world for the recpendent, and if they had won their inde titude of our intentions, do, in the name and pendence they would unquestionably have by the authority of the good people of these established slavery for a large proportion colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That of their people. The North fought to

these United Colonies are, and of right ought

to be, Free and Independent States. prevent their independence, and, winning the battle, gave freedom to the slaves. Why ought they to be independent Liberty was won by the overthrow of inde- States ? Not because they are denied pendence. There are two questions in participation in the government and repthe Philippines to-day. Ought they to resentation in the Parliament; nor because be independent? ought they to be free? they prefer a republic to a monarchy, or These are not different forms of the same independence to dependency. These are question. Those who believe that the not the reasons assigned. They affirm Philippines ought not to be independent that they ought to be free and independbelieve that if they become independent ent because the government to which they they will not be free, and if they become are subject “evinces a design to reduce dependent on the United States their them under absolute despotism”-that is, freedom will be assured.

to set at naught that protection of human The principle here laid down, that only rights which is the fundamental function injustice in the existing government jus- of government, and all appeals to the tifies a revolution for the purpose of over- conscience of the governor for justice throwing it, finds expression in our own have been made in vain. Declaration of Independence. The war But, although man does not make govof 1776 is called not inaptly the War ernment, but is born a subject of governof Independence. It was; our fathers ment, and although he is justified in fought for independence; but they fought resorting to violence to overthrow the for independence only because they became government of which he is a subject only convinced by long experience that they in case it abdicates its rightful authority could not secure justice in any other by failing to fulfill its fundamental funcway. Independence was not an end, but tion—that is, the protection of human a means to an end. This is very explicitly rights—yet he may and does modify the declared by them in the document by form of government, and, in fact, there which they justify to the world their action. are many forms existing in the world. Let the reader reflect upon both the pre- Which is the best form ? amble and the conclusion of this Decla- Aristotle's division of governments into ration:

four forms may be accepted as adequate, When a long train of abuses and usurpa

subject to a modification to be hereafter tions, pursuing invariably the same object, suggested. These forms are: government evinces a design to reduce them (the people) by one, i.l., monarchy; government by under absolute despotism, it is their right, it a few, i.e., oligarchy; government by the is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. by the many, i.e.

, democracy. The Napo

best, i.e., aristocracy; and government Nor have we been wanting in attention to leonic Empire may be taken as a type our British brethren. We have warned them of the first ; Venice as a type of the from time to time of attempts by their legisla- second; England, in the eighteenth centure to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circum- tury, as a type of the third ; America as stances of our emigration and settlement here. a type of the fourth. There is, however, We have appealed to their native justice and a fifth form of government which Aristotle magnanimity, and we have conjured them

does not mention, perhaps because it did by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably

not exist in his time, perhaps because it interrupt our connections and correspondence. is a bastard which does not deserve classification with legitimate governments. Whatever government does these two This bastard is bureaucracy—a govern- things in the best manner is the best govment by the office-holders. The most ernment. For, as we have seen, no man complete form of bureaucracy on a large has a right to participate in the governscale is that furnished by Russia ; but all ment, or has any ground of complaint bemodern governments, not excluding Amer- cause he is not allowed to participate in ica, are more or less corrupted by it. It it, provided it fulfills these two functions is the only form of government for which of government adequately—the first a a philosopher can find no defense. definite and fundamental function, the

In considering these four forms of gov- second an indefinite and subsidiary, though ernment it must be remembered that the perhaps not less important, function. distinction between them is marked more We have already seen that there is no sharply in philosophy than in fact. Thus one form of government which is absomonarchy in its modern forms is rarely lutely right, making all others absolutely government by one. The power of the wrong. There is no divine right of either one is generally limited, as in Turkey, by kings, oligarchs, aristocrats, or majorities; a hierarchy, or, as in Russia, by a bureau. the only divine right which government cracy, or, as in France in the eighteenth must recognize is the right to be protected century, by the nobles, or, as in England in person, property, reputation, family, in the nineteenth century, by the common and liberty. It is also true that there is people. So, again, the power of the oli- no one form of government which is absogarchy, which, as Aristotle has also shown, lutely best, making all other forms inferior. is necessarily a plutocracy or rule of the That is the best government which, at the rich, is limited by the necessity of pro- time, under the circumstances, and in moting the commercial interests of the consideration of the intellectual and moral community in order to promote the inter- development of the people, is best adapted ests of the rich. So, again, the aristocrats to protect their rights and promote their are by no possible method of selection welfare; and the same form of governyet devised wholly composed of the best ; ment does not best accomplish these ends from them are excluded some of the best ; under all circumstances, in all epochs, and into them creep some of the worst. Fi- with all peoples. This is not, perhaps, a nally, democracy is not a government of very popular opinion in America, but it all the people, but only of a large minority may be true nevertheless. of the people. In the recent Presidential It is interesting to note that of the clection, out of a population of over sev- forms of government mentioned by Arisenty millions, only about fourteen million totle we have at least three in successful votes were cast—that is, one in five of the operation in the United States in the population determined the questions at present time, and it is doubtful whether issue. And of this fourteen millions Mr. any considerable number of persons would McKinley's majority was only seven hun- 'wish to change radically either one of the dred thousand, so that in fact those ques- three. The family is autocratic. The tions were determined by only about one father is not, indeed, an absolute despot, one hundredth of the population. The but a constitutional monarch; and in case villue of this fact as a protection against of extreme violation of the rights or disthe perils of democracy I shall consider in regard of the interests of his children an a future paper.

appeal lies to the government of which he Recognizing these qualifications in the is a subject. But in all the ordinary actually existing governments, the ques- matters of the household his power is little tion presents itself as a practical and less than absolute. So also the organizaimportant one, Which of these four forms of tion of the secondary school is largely government government by the one, by autocratic. In some instances the princithe few, by the best, or by the many-consti- pal is very strictly limited in his powers tutes the best form of government; that is, by a school board, in which case the govwhich of these forms of government gives ernment approximates the oligarchic, but the best promise of, first, securing pro- whether with any real benefit to the pupils lection to the rights of man, and, second, is very doubtful. But in the best private of promoting the general welfare of man? schools the government is very nearly absolutely autocratic, the remedy for any form of government necessarily depends real or fancied injustice being the remedy in large measure upon the nature of the of emigration already referred to; that is, organism, the function it has to perform, the pupil may go to another school. But the capacity of the people who constitute as long as he remains in the school he it, and she circumstances of its existence. has no participation in its government; It is true that in most of the organizaor, if he does, it is only by sufferance of tions mentioned above the government the principal. Political rights as such is not an end, but only a means to an enc. he has none. In the college the govern- That is, the organism does not exist merely ment is oligarchic. It is administered to govern, but also to perform other funcalmost exclusively by the faculty, who are tions—as to teach, to perform music, to under no political responsibility whatever conduct trade, and the like. But it is to the pupils, and under none directly to clear that it would be possible in some of the parents of the pupils. This oligarchy these organizations to differentiate these might be described as a limited or con- functions. Thus, it would be conceivable stitutional oligarchy; that is, its powers that the boys in a school or college should are limited generally by a written consti- make all the rules, elect all governing tution, and in many cases an appeal lies officers, and administer all discipline, leavto the board of trustees, and in all cases ing the faculty simply to teach. But it is to that public opinion on which the college not conceivable that any considerable depends for its prosperous life. But the number of either teachers, parents, or students rarely have any political power in pupils would desire such a change. the administration of the college, or, if they My readers may now, perhaps, be predo, it is a power conferred by the favor of pared to consider, if not to accept, the next the faculty, and liable to be taken away proposition--namely, that one controlfrom them again. As a political organism ling element in determining the question the college is oligarchic, and probably few what is the best form of government is would wish to see it made more demo- the mental and moral development of the cratic than it is. The government of the people who constitute the governed comcountry, the State, and the Nation is that munity. In other words, government, as of a Representative Republic-that is, of one of the products of social evolution, a government administered, not by the necessarily depends on the degree of social people directly, but by representatives evolution attained by the governed comelected by the people, and really by a munity. The political history of the world minority, though a large minority, of the indicates the true order of political develentire population. Finally, we have in opment. the Town Meeting in some States, and in The family is the first and oldest govthe District School meeting in others, an ernment. It is and ought to be autoillustration of a pure democracy, in which cratic. The tribe comes next. The head the people assemble to debate questions of the tribe is, like the father of the and determine policies as well as to elect family, an autocrat, though his autocratic officials to carry those policies out. The powers are somewhat limited by the power same divergences in form of government of resistance possessed by members of the are to be seen in other organizations : tribe, if the autocracy becomes oppressive, thus, the chorus choir and the orchestra and by customs which have grown up in are necessarily autocratic; the great cor- the tribe and have all the binding force poration is generally in reality oligarchic, of constitutional law. In other words, he though it may be and generally is in form is a constitutional monarch. It is exceedrepresentative ; and the trades-union is a ingly doubtful whether any form of govcurious combination of the oligarchic and ernment could be devised better adapted the democratic. Similar differences are to the Indian tribe, so long as it remains to be seen in our ecclesiastical organiza- a nomadic tribe, than that which it postions: the Roman Catholic Church being sesses. We have given our indorsement at least in form autocratic ; the Episcopal, to this autocratic method of government semi-aristocratic; the Presbyterian, repre. for the Indian by appointing over the tribe sentative; and the Congregational, demo- on the Reservation a white autocrat whom cratic. These facts make it evident that the we call Agent. In many cases the Agency

« AnteriorContinuar »