LIBRARY To replace copy worn out.

(Scanner dund)

(z vrtij


Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1902. Reprinted July, 1908.

[merged small][ocr errors]

To My Father

M. O.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The problem of Government raised by the advent of demo-
cracy in face of the severance of the old social ties and the
supremacy accorded to numbers in the State. Attempt at
solution offered by extra-constitutional organization of the
electoral masses. Scientific and practical importance of
the study of this attempt. Why England is the best start-
ing-point for that study. General plan of the work . .




THE OLD UNITY . . . . . . . . . .

I. A single ruling class. The sources of its power. The landed

property of the squires, the influence which they derive from

it, and the public authority which they exercise. United by

the feelings summed up in the idea of gentleman, they alone
constitute society. Although exclusive, it is not closed to
outsiders. Subject to this limitation it holds undivided
sway, and meets with no opposition in the middle class,
sunk in a dull life and unconscious of its strength; nor
among the lawyers, confined to the exercise of their pro-
fession, which is kept alive by aristocratic clients ; nor in
local self-government, which is devoid of vitality; nor
among the clergy, who, by their origin, aspirations and

tastes constitute only a branch of the ruling class . .
II. The structure of the body politic exhibits the same unity under

another aspect. The whole hierarchy of institutions and func-
tions is built up in such manner that local administration, as
well as the central government and even the government of the
Church, are exercised by the same men. The spirit and the
mode of working of the various public institutions emphasize
the character of unity which runs through the political and
social sphere. Monarchy, Parliament, supreme government,
local administration, and the Church, in the variety of their



prerogatives and powers, each and all represent the one and

indivisible State blended with society into a single existence. 11

III. The lot of the individual in this State and society. He is in-

variably only an anonymous fraction of the whole, a humble

servant of the community, whether it is a question of civic

honours or duties, of the exercise of private or public rights.

What has become of the “ natural liberties” of primitive

humanity saved from the deluge in the ark of England.

How the human personality is kept down in the regular

manifestations of the individual's existence and crushed in

others. The individual is still less able to "be himself"

in social life than in the legal sphere

IV. Nevertheless the institutions afford the individual opportunities

for displaying his powers, and they develop a social current
by means of the civic co-operation which they imply or en-
force. Freed from legal restraint, this current permeates
the English community, and to a certain extent succeeds,
even without a complete moral unity of the various elements
of English society, in making them rally round leaders and
admit, as a consequence, their authority in the State. Cul-
minating, as they both do, in the leadership, society and the

State are once more reunited in it . . . . . 17

V. How this situation facilitates the working of parliamentary

government. The leadership of the aristocracy is empha-

sized by the fact that it disposes, in one way or another,

of the great majority of the seats in the House of Com-

mons, and that the members belong to the same society

of gentlemen, so that social discipline ensures parliamentary

discipline. The division into parties only countenances it.

Outside influences being still too feeble to upset them,

parties remain homogeneous and steadfast, to the greater

stability of the government . . . . . . . 19

« ElőzőTovább »