(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

DEMOCRACY AND DEMOCRACIES.        103

It may be asked again whether that be a democracy where
restrictions on the right of suffrage or the right of holding
office confine the actual control of affairs to a few hands.
Here we refer to political restrictions, because there may bc;
there always is, a very great majority of citizens who have no
chance in their whole life of holding office. In regard to suf-
frage, it may be said that the more it excludes from office or
from the power of choosing others, the more it approaches to
aristocracy ; but so long as the qualification for active citizen-
ship can be overcome by thrift or intelligence, and actually ex-
cludes a few of the whole only, so long the democracy is un-
affected either in its form or its spirit : in its form, because no
permanent line of birth or of any other personal property is
drawn ; in its spirit, because the intelligent class of society
can and must perceive that what is best for all is best for
them, while a great mass of voters without property or intel-
ligence can only be led by demagogues who regard the true
interests of neither portion of the community.

And hence, among the variety of forms that may bo con-
ceived of, we may doubt whether certain ones belong to
aristocracies or to democracies ; we may call a polity a very
mild type of aristocracy, or a democracy with aristocratic
leanings. But this is inevitable, for while in the material
world nature has definite, almost unchangeable species, in the
moral and political spheres there is no such fixity.

The size of a democratic state has nothing to do with its
Small and brge nature ; and yet,  in order that a large one may
democratic states.    be true ^ the i(jea> the principle of representa-
tion must be introduced into it, and thus a most important
difference arises between two types of this polity, The early
states being small, and those around the Mediterranean being
gathered chiefly within wails for the purposes of defence, the
democracies, when their era came, had no need of a repre-
sentative system. Their size made the meeting of the citi-
zens in assemblies an easy thing, and the political habits thus