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of which three foolish men are entitled to bind and overpower two wise men, or three weak men two strong men.'
“Nor is this the testimony only of abstract reasoning: it is the practical conclusion of even the most ardent supporters of the most democratic theories. In the famous ' Declaration of the Rights of Man, Robespierre declares : Aucune portion du peuple ne peut exercer la puissance du peuple entier.' And in a speech before the Convention, on the 28th of December, 1792, he broke forth with the words : · La vertu fut toujours en minorité sur la terre.'
“It was the act of the majority which doomed Socrates to death, and Aristides to banishment. It was the act of the majority which has established the present arbitrary ruler in France. Of all tyranny, that of the majority has been the most fearful.
"And, in truth, the rule of a majority in a state can be tolerable only when the people has reached such a degree of intelligence and selfcontrol that it is guided in its decisions by a sense of justice, and recognizes its responsibilities to be commensurate with its authority. Otherwise, all good is left to chance, while much evil is certain.
6. The conclusions, then, upon which we must rest, are, that no form of government possesses any inherent virtue; that liberty may be developed under one, as under another ; that that government is to be preferred which best secures to its subjects the means of progress in liberty ; that these means may be secured under any form, but would be for the most part absent from a universal republic.” pp. 43 - 48.
Before quitting these chapters we must add a few words on Liberty.
The dream and aspiration of the ardent and generous spirits of our time is for a certain royal road to human happiness. Disappointed a thousand times, they still persist in their exalted creed that there must and will be here on earth, if not now, in some future and approaching time, a state of social arrangements in which the spontaneous action and free development of each individual constituent member will combine to form "a vast and solemn harmony," the ultimate perfect movement of collective humanity. There beautiful thoughts will distil as the dew, and fair actions spring up as the green herb; there, without constraint, we shall all be good, and without trouble, happy; there, what in its imperfect form is vice, shall gently and naturally flower out into virtue; there contention and contest, control and commandment, will be the obsolete
terms of a dead language, with no modern equivalents to ex-
"Ante etiam sceptrum Dictæi regis, et ante
Aureus hanc vitam in terris Saturnus agebat." O blessed ages of pure, spontaneous, unconscious, unthinking, unreasoning life and action, to you, either in the past or the future, the human heart is still fain to recur— still must dream, even though it be but a dream, of how sweet it were to grow as the green herb, and bloom as the spring flowers, to be good because we cannot be otherwise, and happy because we cannot help it. O blessed ages, indeed! But have such, since men were men, ever been ? Or are such, while men are men, ever likely to come ? Alas, the rude earth itself affords us admonition,
“Pater ipse colendi
Nec torpere gravi passus sua regna veterno." And, strange as it may seem, - how charming soever be spontaneity, still those who have endured coercion find a good deal also to say in favor of it.
"O Life! without thy chequered scene
Of right and wrong, of weal and woe,
Or whence could virtue flow?" There are many, surely, who, looking back into their past lives, feel most thankful for those acts which came least from their own mere natural volition — can see that what did them most good was what they themselves would least have
chosen; that things which, in fact, they were forced to, were, after all, the best things that ever happened to them. There are some, surely, who have had reason to bless a wholesome compulsion; there are some who prefer doing right under a master to doing nothing but enjoy themselves as their own masters; who, rather than be left to their own unaided feebleness, hesitation, and indolence, would voluntarily, for their own and the common good, enter a condition of what thenceforth would be “involuntary servitude." The mature free will of the grown man looks back, undoubtedly, with some little regret, but also with no little scorn, upon the bygone puerile spontaneities of the time when he did as he liked.
There are periods, it is true, in the life of the individual human being, and perhaps of the collective human race, when expansion is the first of necessities. Such, it is possible, may be the present. But because we would be rid of existing restrictions, it does not follow that restriction of all kinds is an evil;— because our present house is too small for us, it is not to be inferred that we shall live henceforth in the open air.
As a general rule of life and conduct, we see as yet no reason to believe that liberty, if this be its meaning, is better than service. It does not seem to be established that the system on which the things we live amongst were arranged, is that of spontaneous development, rather than of coercion met by a mixture of resistance and submission. The latter hypothesis seems intrinsically as much more elevating as the other does more agreeable. Meantime, as a matter of language, we should be inclined to reject altogether this modern sense of our old established word Liberty. If the new theory wants a name, let it find a new one. It will but perplex and cheat us by claiming one already otherwise appropriated. When we hear people demanding liberty, we shall consider them to express their desire, not for the golden age, but either for release from some particular form of restriction, or, it may be, for a less degree of restriction in general. Liberty for us will mean either more liberty, just as in the Black Hole of Calcutta, " air” meant “more air," — or distinct emancipation, for example, from personal slavery, or from foreign rule. Liberty in itself is but the power of doing what we please; a power
which, for all human beings, has its natural limits. We may easily, indeed, have too much or too little of it; we can only have it in degree, but without some degree of it we cannot exist.
Our author, we think, would have saved both himself and his readers some embarrassment, by simply using the term in this plain old-fashioned sense, instead of accepting and trying to re-define it in that of the latest political declamation.
From the two following chapters, on Socialism and Cooperation, the most successful perhaps in the volume, the latter of them in particular containing a variety of useful information, we make the following extracts.
“ In an association founded on the principle of equality, there is no possible guarantee that every member shall perform his assigned part of the labor. It has been asserted, that, in the adaptation of the work to the capacity and the inclination of each individual, such a guarantee may be found. But this is to answer an objection by a false assumption. The work best suited to a man's capacities is not always agreeable to him. Nor is there any rule or measure of the capacity for, or the value of, different kinds of labor. Hard work to one is easy to another. A man may be apparently idle, and yet may be doing more than any of his busier associates. In such a society, it must be finally left to the conscience of every one to do his part, and the conscience is often a very unenlightened, and always a very fallible counsellor. Judging from experience, it must happen that an association of this kind would often prove only an encouragement to idleness. The least industrious would reduce their associates to their own level : they would not be raised to the level of their better companions.
“In an admirable little pamphlet published by the Marshal Bugeaud in 1848, when theoretical fancies of this sort were producing most dangerous effects, an account is given of a community established by himself under highly favorable circumstances for its success, on this principle of common interests and fraternity. The experiment was made in Algeria, and was fairly tried. The result was decisive, and he closes his account of it as follows: "Absolute equality does not belong to this world. It is God himself who has determined this, since he has created men so different in power, in intelligence, in activity, in inclinations. The Socialists, afflicted at seeing misery often at the side of ease, and even of riches, pursue the chimera of perfect equality. They believe to have found it in association; they are deceived; they will obtain only an equality of misery.'” pp. 70-72.
After noticing the support given by so thorough a political economist as Mr. J. S. Mill to the principle of association, he thus describes an attempt of the kind in Paris.
“As early as 1834, an association of jewellers was formed in Paris. It was at first a partnership of two individuals ; but the number of as. sociates gradually increased to thirteen. The chief principle of their association was that of mutual confidence, founded on a general conformity of sentiments and similarity of judgment. The members had the same rights, and all were under the authority of a chief elected from among themselves. The salaries or wages were not equal ; and, in the yearly division of the profits, each associate received a share in proportion to the amount of his annual wages. There was an inalienable and indivisible capital contributed by the different members. The number of members was increased by the election of new associates from among the workmen who had been employed for not less than six months in the workshops of the society. They were not chosen until the members had had full experience of their good conduct and character, and were assured that they held the Roman Catholic faith. This association, which, from its long existence and continued prosperity (for it was at a recent period in prosperous existence), has been brought forward by the supporters of the system as a proof of the good results of coöperation, does not seem to differ in any essential respect from a common partnership of numerous partners. There is certainly nothing in it which can be looked to as promising any special advantages to the great body of workmen, even of a single trade; and it may be well to observe, that, although called an association of workmen,' it is rather an association of masters, – the united capital of the associntes enabling them to employ workmen who have no share in the profits of the concern. That an association of this kind, established under favorable circumstances and conducted on equitable and sensible principles, may secure the comfort and independence of its members, does not admit a doubt ; but the limits of its usefulness are very narrow." pp. 87 - 89.
We must add a curious passage quoted by the author in a note.
In the first Report of the Society for promoting Working Men's Associations, published at the close of 1852 in London, occurs the following passage : « The Society has for some time past determined to discourage advances of money to bodies of working-men about to start in association, unless they have first shown some sign of preparedness
change from their old life, and have subscribed some funds of