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preparation of a meal, because it has not been commenced in time. Let institutions grow, and sow them at once.

We see, then, how unphilosophical were the words of the present emperor of the French to the assembled bodies of state in February, 1853, when he said: "Liberty has never aided in founding a durable edifice; liberty crowns it when it has been consolidated by time."

History denies it; political philosophy gainsays it; common sense contradicts it. Liberty may be planted where despotism has reigned, but it can be done only by much undoing, and breaking down; by a great deal of rough ploughing. You cannot prepare for liberty by centralized despotism, any more than you can prepare for light by darkness and destroying the means of light or vision.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

DANGERS AND INCONVENIENCES OF INSTITUTIONAL SELF-GOVERNMENT.

INSTITUTIONAL self-government has its dangers and inconveniences, as all human things have, and its success requires the three elements necessary for all true success of human action-common sense, virtue and wisdom; but its danger is not that alone which warns us from the ancient saying: Divide and rule. Divide et impera is true indeed, but it is equally true: Concentrate and rule, as history and our own times abundantly prove.

It has been stated that nothing is more common than governments, which, fearing the united action of the nation, yet being obliged to yield in some manner to the demand for liberty, try to evade the demand and to deceive the people by granting provincial representations or estates. In these cases division is indeed resorted to for the greater chance of ruling the people, partly because separate, they are weak, and one may be played off against the other, as the marines and sailors neutralize one another on board the men-of-war. In no period probably has this conduct of continental governments

more strikingly shown itself than in that which began with the downfall of Napoleon, and ended with the year 1848. But it must not be forgotten that by institutional self-government a polity has been designated that comprehends institutions of selfgovernment for all the regions of the political actions of a society, and it includes the general and national self-government as well as the minute local selfgovernment.

The self-government of a society, be this a township or a nation, must always be adequate to its highest executive; and when any branch is national, all the three branches must be national. The very nature of civil liberty, as we have found it, demands it. They must work abreast, like the horses of the Grecian chariot, public opinion being the charioteer. Had England, as she has now, a general executive, but not, as now, a general parliament, the self-government of the shires and towns, of courts and companies, would soon be extinguished. Had we a president of the United States and no national legislature, it is evident that either the president would be useless, and there would be no united country, or if the executive had power, there would be an end to the state self-governments, even if the president were to remain elective. Liberty requires union of the whole, whatever this whole, or Koinon as the Greeks styled it, may be, as has been already mentioned. Wisdom, practice, political forbearance and manly independence can alone decide the proper degree of union, and the necessary balance.

One of the dangers of a strongly institutional

self-government is that the tendency of localizing may prevail over the equally necessary principle of union, and that thus a disintegrating sejunction may take place, which history shows as a warning example in the United States of the Netherlands. I do not allude to their Pact of Utrecht, which furnished an inadequate government for the confederacy, and upon which the framers of our federal constitution so signally improved, after having tried a copy of it in the articles of the confederation. I rather speak of the Netherlandish principle, according to which every limited circle and even most towns did not only enjoy self-government, but were sovereign, and to each of which the stadtholder was obliged to take a separate oath of fidelity. The Netherlands presented the very opposite extreme of French centralism. The consequence has been that the real Netherlandish greatness lasted but a century, and in this respect may almost be compared to the brevity of Portuguese grandeur, though it resulted from the opposite cause.

The former constitution of Hungary, according to which each comitate had the right to vote, whether it would accept or not the law passed by the diet,' is an instance of the ruinous effect of purely partial self-government. The nation, as nation, must participate in the self-government; and Hungary lost her liberty as Spain and all countries have done, which have disregarded this part of self-government.

1 The author of the famous Oceana proposed a similar measure for England, as St. Just, "the most advanced" follower of Robespierre, did for France.

Another danger is that with reference to the domestic government, the local self-government may impede measures of a general character. Instances and periods of long duration occur, which serve as serious and sometimes as alarming commentaries on the universal adage, that that which is everybody's business is no one's business. The roads, considered by the Romans so important that the road-law found a place on the twelve tables, and sanitary regulations frequently suffer in this way. The governments of some of our largest cities furnish us with partial yet striking illustrations.

It might be added that one of the dangers of this government lies in this, that the importance of the institutional character may be forgotten, that their limitations may be considered as fetters, and that thus the people may come to forget that part of selfgovernment which relates to the being governed, and only remember that part which consists in their governing. If this takes place, popular absolutism begins, and one part rules supreme over the other.

We reply to these objections that it is a characteristic of absolutism that it believes men can be happily ruled by formulas and systems alone. The scholar of liberty knows that important as systems and institutions, principles and bills of rights are, they still demand rational and moral beings, for which they are intended, like the revelation itself, which is for conscious man alone. Everything in this world has its dangers. In this lies the fearful responsibility of demagogues. "Take power, bear

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