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and is finally crushed out by that undemocratic doctrine of the “divine right of kings.”

Very early in the development of tribal society, limitations began to be put upon democracy. The first of these limitations was that of the prestige of age. We have already seen in Greek society and in Hebrew society a council of elders. The same council existed among the Indian tribes. At the beginning it was not undemocratic. It was merely democracy under the leadership of age, which was supposed to give wisdom. In a stationary society, however, like that of the Hebrew or Chinese, age tends to encroach upon democracy.

Another limitation upon democracy arose out of war. Among the German tribes described by Tacitus military chiefs were elected by the people on the basis of their valor. With the further development of war, however, and the growth of military power the military chieftain tends to become the hereditary king, governing by “divine right.” When that happens, the ancient democracy ceases to be even a memory.

Still another limitation upon ancient democracy was the prestige of the medicine man and his successors, priests, sorcerers, and prophets. These men, dealing in the occult, came to exercise a power that in many cases entirely overtopped the votes of the people. In some cases, however, a compromise was effected by which the interests of the people and the interests of the medicine man were harmonized.

Still later in the development of ancient society, wealth in cattle, or lands, or slaves gave pre-eminence to one individual and put a limitation upon the democracy of tribal society.

Democracy was finally crushed out in the development of society only when war and superstition and wealth combined to give a prestige to one person that made him absolutely the dominant figure in society. This occurred in the Western world under that peculiar concourse of circumstances which we call the Middle Ages. Unsettled conditions gave the opportunity for constant warfare. The invasion of the barbarians brought on the period of dense ignorance which we know as the Dark Ages. A growing church going out to convert the barbarians and adapting her


message and her requirements to their mental and moral capacities supplied the supernatural element. The building of states out of the numerous principalities and dukedoms, under the leadership of a successful warrior, concentrated power and wealth in certain hands and brought the church under the dominion of the military class. The church took control of the ignorant layman through his fear of the more learned and supposedly more powerful cleric. The military state finally captured the cleric. The concentration of power in an autocracy was complete. Democracy had all but perished. The voice of the people had ceased to be the voice of God.



How then did democracy, born in tribal society and throttled in the nation-making stage of human development, ever rise again ? Paradoxical as it may seem, its roots are to be found in the struggle between classes with opposing interests. Whether it be in France or in Britain, the barons became the first champions of liberty and the harbingers of modern democracy. That, however, is only the beginning. Step by step from Runnymede to the present the conflicts of interests of different classes have worked for the development of the enfranchisement of the people. Now one class hasextended the franchise to a class from whom they hope to get help in their conflict with their political enemy. In England it was on one side a party working for the franchise for the agricultural workers because it was to their advantage to do so, and on the other hand the other party checkmated this move by extending the franchise to the inhabitants of towns. In America the Republicans obtained the upper hand by giving the franchise to the negroes; and the Democrats, by extending it to foreigners. Within the next few years we shall see one party or the other give women the franchise for the same noble reason.

What I have just said refers of course to political democracy. The same thing is partly true also of industrial democracy. Out of the conflict of parties the downtrodden and the oppressed do get some help. Another condition of the rise of the spirit that lies back of democracy is an abundance of free land. Without a doubt


the democracy of America of a hundred years ago was partly the result of the independence and untrammeled conditions surrounding the settlers in a new country. With the disappearance of free land and the growth of social and economic classes, doubtless that root of modern democracy will cease to function.

Similarity of blood also makes for democracy. The first sign of the disappearance of early American democracy followed the coming of vast numbers of alien peoples to our shores. Class distinctions grew up. The “Dago,” the “Sheeny,” the “Bohunk,” the “Polack,” and the "Hun” were terms of opprobrium by which the American showed his consciousness of unlikeness to these strange peoples. While the politicians extended the benefits of political democracy to these new arrivals through the naturalization laws, society inevitably became less democratic. The American with Anglo-Saxon ideals felt his superiority. The foreigner no less keenly felt the assumed superiority of the native. Prejudices were engendered; feelings that often led to conflict were generated, and the simplicity of our early American democratic life disappeared.

It was early seen that one of the great agencies of democracy is universal education. Give people equal training and the prestige of the learned is gone. Consequently the public school system of this country has done much to generate a spirit of democracy in our hybrid population. It has overcome the lack of homogeneity of blood to a considerable extent, and could new floods of immigrants be shut out, in the course of a short time our public schools and playgrounds and business associations would mold to a common type the great variety of races and people within our borders.

Democracy can rise in society only when there is a similarity of ideals-political, economic, and social. The educational system just mentioned does much to generate such ideals. Newspapers and the public forum have also contributed much. Their contributions, however, have been most important when they have set up ideals that could be assimilated by all.

While democracy is realized sometimes in the clash of castes and classes, especially if they be somewhat equally balanced in power, a condition that more readily promotes the rise of democracy in all its phases is the absence of classes and castes. All the agencies already mentioned tend in the direction of leveling the differences between groups. Thus the conflict of economic classes -especially in a rapidly changing economic order, or in the changing conditions incident to immigration and settlement in a new country —the spread of universal education, and the likeness of blood and race all tend to wipe out the natural and acquired differences between classes whose interests are hostile. We have already seen in primitive society that either real or assumed relationship in the tribal groups made for democracy. These, however, were simple societies and small in number of individuals. In our highly complex civilized society conditions are quite different. In the division of labor industrially, the interests of working classes clash with those of employing classes. The interests of officeholders collide with the interests of taxpayers. The interests of one sect sometimes are in opposition to those of the other. The interests of the young sometimes suffer because they do not coincide with those of the aged. The learned sometimes assume to themselves a superiority which was made possible only by the education they received. And on the other hand, the unlearned sometimes assume a superiority of rugged honesty and a disdain for culture which set them at variance with the learned and the cultured.

What, then, are the conditions under which democracy can exist in the face of these clashes of interests, of purpose, and of cultural reactions ?

These oppositions can be reconciled only in that conception of social solidarity which we find expressed in the slogan that William Stead gave to the world as a definition of the Kingdom of God: “The union of all who love in the service of all who suffer." In other words, so long as men do not see the social obligations which their wealth imposes upon them, the clash of interests will be perpetual. So long as men are unable to believe that-to use the terms of a man who had great force in human society long ago “God hath made of one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,” and until men see that cultural differences are accidents that impose obligations as well as rights upon those of differing cultures, democracy will have a precarious history. Only as the conception of the responsibility that wealth, education, and ability impose upon one becomes a real possession of each one of us can this clash of interests be reconciled in the interests of real democracy. Then the struggle for the enfranchisement of disfranchised classes will soon be settled. The denial of the rights of childhood will cease. The bitterness that marks the dealings of employers and laborers on each side will disappear. The prejudices—and the superstitions that give them force-between different sects and parties will lose some of their power. Democracy will then become a thing born, not out of the struggle of opposing interests and clashing prejudices, but out of the body of common opinion and mutual feelings that will enable us to conceive of a common task, common privileges, and common responsibilities.

You will ask me, “Is not this a dream that can never be realized ?” I reply that it seems to me that the forces are at work in the world that will ultimately make real this conception. From the standpoint of homogeneity of race, certainly not only America but the world is gradually becoming a great melting-pot in a sense in which it has never been before. Admixture of races there has always been, but until recently it was chiefly under the influence of war and as an incident of conquest. That, we know all too painfully, is still the practice in the present war. The racial prejudices which have separated men are gradually yielding as they come to know each other better. Travel and means of communication are reducing the provincialism of mankind. Education is breaking down the middle wall of partition between rich and poor, learned and ignorant, cultured and boorish. Even the present war has created a sense of kinship between the various classes in our country such as we have never seen before. Under the impulse of the common ideal petty differences are swept aside.

If we could shut out the great horde of immigrants from oppressed nations in Europe this process of building a unified American nation would be very much hastened. If we could make our school system such that all boys and girls should have that degree of training necessary to make them effective workers and that degree of culture that would enable them to hold up their heads with others, much of the cultural differences would be done away with. Finally, if war can be abolished—war, that matrix

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