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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

INSTITUTIONS,  LOCAL AND SELF GOVERNMENTS.   # 389
olence and education. They can pass by-laws and impose
fines. But the law declares the municipal officers to be dele-
gates of the central government, and requires them to aid the
officials of government in the discharge of their duties, which
is certainly a very dangerous relation for the freedom of the
towns. A singular appendage or check on this town govern-
ment is a junta municipal, composed of the councillors and
of citizens three times their number, taken from the rate-
payers, which was created in 1870-71, and was intended to
guard the wealthy class in the towns from oppression. The
local taxation is not equal to the needs, and in the late
troubles of Spain this has prevented the immediate success
of self-governing institutions.*
The landgemeinde or rural commune, in Prussia, has prop-
erly nothing to do with the school, the church,
Prussian system.             ,              -.             _             .....
or the police. Its principal business seems to
be the care of the poor. Its administration of affairs is in the
hands either of a body elected by the .community, or of the
community meeting as an assembly. * Its officers are a schultze
and two or more schoffen, who have police duties and can
perform certain notarial acts in connection with a village
court. The country communes were formerly connected in
great part with an adjoining manor (a gutsherrschaft), and
the lord was responsible for the police. The country com-
mune, under the inspection of superior authorities, has the
power of providing for its expenses by rates levied for that
purpose.t These are most imperfect and defective forms of
self-governing communities. It is to be hoped that a wholly
new system will force its way into Prussia ere long.
The Russian village community—called the mir—is a truly
Russian village patriarchal one, based on community of land,
communities. an(j Descent frOm o, common ancestor. In its
assemblies, consisting of heads of families (women included),
it decides upon redistribution of the common land,—the sys-
tem of private landownership being only an exception—divi-
* Moret y Prendergast, in the essays before cited, p, 347 and
f Morier, in-the essays above cited, pp. 426-430.