Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

324                              POLITICAL  SCIENCE.
cient for a respectable support. If it were too small to sup-
ply rational wants, many of the best men in the land would be
obliged to refuse the position, and others might accept it with
corrupt ends in view.
Mr. Mill remarks (Repres. govt.) that "if, as in some of
the [British] colonies, there are scarcely any fit persons who
can afford to attend to an unpaid occupation, the payment
should be an indemnity for loss of time or money, and not a
salary." And he adds that if an adequate remuneration
were attached to this post, the occupation of a member of
parliament would become an occupation in itself, carried on,
like other professions, with a view chiefly to its pecuniary re-
turns—and would become an object of desire to adventurers
of a low class, of such as would be incessantly bidding to
attract or retain the suffrages of electors by promising all
things honest or dishonest, possible or impossible ; and rival-
ling each other in pandering to the meanest feelings and most
ignorant prejudices of the vulgarest part of the crowd. And
he cites Prof. Lorimer of Edinburgh as remarking that, " by
creating a" pecuniary inducement to persons of the lowest
class to devote themselves to public affairs, the calling of the
demagogue would be formally inaugurated."
There is truth in these statements, but they are somewhat
extreme. The growth of demagogues is not principally due
in this country to salaries, nor did the want of salaries at
Athens keep down such men as Cleon and Hyperbolus.
The salaries in the United States are too small to breed dema-*
gogues upon, of themselves ; the motives for places attained
by election are complex, and they fasten especially on the love
of distinction. If there were no compensation, many useful
men would be unable to serve, and it is quite doubtful
whether the men of the meaner sort would be prevented from
seeking office. Every country must be judged in these re-
spects according to its own social and political conditions.