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never forgave him for being a gentleman. They hated him instinctively. That he was never a democrat in the modern depraved sense of that much-abused term will have to be admitted. No more was Washington. Both wanted representative government; neither wanted a degenerate democracy. Bolívar did not seek to conceal his distrust of the policy of frequent elections by unrestricted suffrage; and he particularly distrusted it in his own country, where the masses were without previous political training or experience. He believed in perfect equality of civic rights, but not in equality of the right to govern.
Democracy! There are few words in the English language that have become so perverted and meaningless. In Greece, whence the term is derived, it meant a commonwealth so constituted that the political power was exercised by the body of citizens, as contradistinguished from government by a single individual or by a dominant caste. It by no means implied absolute equality of right in all citizens to exercise political power, but quite the reverse. In the Greek republic, this right was not extended to all citizens indiscriminately, but was wisely limited to those who, by education and personal responsibility, were qualified to exercise it without detriment to the general welfare. And subsequently, when the gradual extinction of inequalities of political rights culminated in the transference of power to the mass of citizens without distinction, Aristotle characterized it as “ degenerated democracy," which soon ended in the hopeless collapse of free government.
Now a true democracy is just as antagonistic to ochlocracy or mobocracy as it is to aristocracy or hierarchy. A democratic form of government requires the removal of all class privileges which destroy the unity and homogeneity of the state or nation. It therefore implies the establishment of complete personal and social liberty, and the equality of all before the law; but with respect to political rights or direct participation in the affairs of government, it requires only such a form of constitution as will exclude no class of citizens, as such. The making of the exercise of political functions dependent on certain guarantees in the case of each individual is certainly not undemocratic; while to admit the whole body of citizens to share in the government at once, quite regardless of personal qualification, is not only undemocratic but anarchical. It is only in proportion as intelligence and culture increase that a wider circle are capable of such functions, or that suffrage may be extended with safety to the state. Hence restricted or qualified suffrage, so far from being incompatible with democratic principles, is in reality essential to the perpetuity of a democratic form of government
That Bolívar should have shown less confidence in the ability of the masses to govern than did Washington, was only natural; he had a very different kind of people to deal with. He believed that form of government best which was best adapted to the condition of those who were to live under it. He tried to impress this upon the minds of his countrymen as early as 1815. His plan of government, as then formulated, was an elective chief magistrate or President, whose term of office should be for life or during good behavior; a national legislature or Congress, composed of two branches or Houses, - one, the Senate, to be an hereditary body or else elected for long terms; the members of the House to be elected every two years by the vote of the people; and an independent judiciary, the terms of the judges being for life or during good behavior.
This was quite as far in the direction of democratic government as he thought a people who had just emerged from a long night of slavery and ignorance were prepared to go with safety; and time has abundantly shown that his apprehensions were well-founded. For scarcely at any time since the disruption of the old Colombian Union has there been in either of the three countries of which it was formed, and perhaps never in all of them at the same time, a government that was democratic in anything but name. To adopt the language of a distinguished Colombian statesman, Dr. Rafael Nuñez, for many years President of the Republic, “their normal condition has been disorder and civil war;” and even during their exceptional periods of complete tranquillity the “ President has been generally more of an autocrat or a military dictator, than a civil magistrate responsible to the people.”
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED
N the ruins of the old Colombian Union there soon arose the three independent states of
Venezuela, New Granada (new Colombia), and Ecuador. Each of these had its written constitution of government, which, however, as construed by the courts and politicians of each, was little more than a compact between a number of small provinces, or prefectures, dignified by the name of “sovereign states." All power not "expressly delegated" to the general government was reserved to these so-called "sovereign states."
“ The ultimate allegiance of the citizen was due, not to the federal or national government, but to the particular province or state wherein he resided. He owed no allegiance to the national government except such as he owed incidentally by reason of his citizenship of the particular state. In other words, the confederation was a nation in name only. It had neither citizens nor subjects. It was a government with nothing to govern. It had none of the attributes of real sovereignty. True, the treaty-making power and the administration of foreign affairs had been expressly delegated to it; but it had no power to enforce treaty obligations as against any one of the constituent states, nor any power to enforce its own mandates within the territory of a particular state! In short, a fuller and more complete realization of the dream of Thomas Jefferson and his