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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

INSTITUTIONS,  LOCAL AND SELF GOVERNMENTS.     369
tribunal. There must be no absolute control over the army
except in the field, no power of taxation vested in the govern-
ment, nor of raising loans without the consent of the legisla-
ture. The checks which have been elaborated by the English
race, not theoretically, but in the course of a long experience,
are consistent (as M. De Tocqueville admits when he says that,
" in England the centralization of government has been car-
ried to a great perfection ") with a vigorous and steady man-
agement of affairs, and they prevent many of the evils of
which centralization is, if not the procuring, yet the helping
cause.
We pass on to what the French have called " central ad-
ministration," which may be defined the control of the cen-
tral government, or the executive, over every interest, local
as well as general, through a whole country, so that no indi-
vidual or community may go out of a beaten track without
being reined in by an agent of the central power. It is as if a
parent could be ever present with his children so that they
might do or say nothing for which they could not be rebuked
at the moment, or for which leave must not at the time be
asked. There must be no general rules which they are to fol-
low or disobey at their own risk. Carried out in a nation, it
would make government the only banker, road-builder, for-
warder ; as well as the overseer, by its agents, of all the inter-
ests in all the communities of a country. That thus all in-
dustrial as well 'as political freedom would run the risk of
being extinguished, is apparent
But it is with the management of local affairs that we are
now concerned. Of this administrative centralization, M. de
Tocqueville gives us a picture in his Old Regime and the Revo-
lution, published not long after Louis Napoleon became em-
peror. It was no new acquisition of the revolution, but grew
tip out of the powers accumulated in the royal council, as the
kings usurped the powers of the great feudal lords of the land.
The council came to have, as the king's adviser, judicial, ad-
ministrative, and even, in a certain sense, legislative powers in
its hands; it levied and distributed taxes, it controlled other
VOL. II.24