DEMOCRACY AND DEMOCRACIES.
WE understand by democracy the polity in which the
people or community, as an organized whole, has the chief
power in its hands, and can through its agents manage the
government for what seems to it to be its welfare. The doc-
trine that all power is ultimately derived from the community
may be consistent with the choice of a life-long tyrant or a
hereditary line of kings ; but the transfer of power to an
authority like either of these destroys the democracy itself,
even if the tyrant or the king administers affairs for the gene-
ral good and not for his own separate interests. On the
other hand, when there exists a clearly defined democracy,
the welfare of the lower class, or of a party or of a section of
the country may be aimed at by the government, to the injury
'of the country as a whole, without putting an end to the democ-
racy. The form determines its nature, the spirit its quality.
Again, we may doubt whether a polity deserves the name
of a democracy, when a considerable number of citizens are
excluded from political rights. One case of this kind we
have considered — that where a large body of slaves exists
and the active citizens do not amount to half their number.
The polity would be seriously affected if they should be set
free and receive civic rights. It would then be a democracy
indeed, but would it be such if they remained in servitude ?
The ancients, where slaves were found under every form of
polity, did not count them in at all, as changing the forms of
states, any more than children and women. They were in all
polities a cafut mortuum, and did not affect the differences
between one polity and another.