Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

substitution of will for law, and thus all constitutional limita-
tions are so many curbs to its hasty action. uut the will of
the individual cannot be made the rule for others, unless he
persuade them that he knows what is for their interest better
than they do. This is the office of the demagogue, who is
as necessary in extreme democracy as tyrants are in the de-
generacy of states or where the people are all ignorant. The
demagogue may be patriotic, he may have broad views ; but
his essential character is to possess the 'art of pleasino- and
imposing on the people. He has no necessary hatred of bet-
ter citizens than himself, nor of the rich, but he will sacrifice
them if they stand in his way. The temptation under which
he lies is to be jealous of other influences ; in this spirit he
will seize on any expedient which can serve him for an imme-
diate end, will involve his country in war, or oppress the rich,
or seek to change the laws or overthrow the constitution. In
general, however, his plans arc of a lower kind: he is the
manager of political clubs or factions ; he originates compro-
mises ; selects candidates for the people's votes—who thus
obey him in their most responsible act of free citizenship;
makes platforms calculated to secure the greatest number of
votes, containing principles that perhaps arc to be forgotten
as soon as they have secured party success ; spreads false re-
ports of opposing parties or candidates; makes promises of
inferior offices to his subordinates, and expects a reward for
himself. In the end he will commit some mistake and lose
his place ; but the system requires that some one else shall fill
it—some one, perhaps, who has ruined his influence. The
demuS) it was said of old, nourished such men in the pnyx on
purpose, like public victims, and when it had no meat for
supper killed one of them who had been well fattened, and
made its meal upon him.
The extreme democracy of ancient city-states showed it-
Marks of tendency self in various ways, such as in the resort to the
to extreme democ-   ,                              .                                    «*/«,,-
racy-                lot m appointments to office (although that, as
we have seen, may have had other reasons for its existence),
in calling the demus in large detachments into the courts, in