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POLITICAL  CHANGES.                           571
movements having this in view have come from the sense of
human rights acting on the humane or the fanatical freeman.
We need only refer to the emancipation of the slaves in the
British West Indies, with pecuniary compensation to their
masters ; to the late war, which, but for the cry of " abolition/'
would never have broken out, and to the extinction of serfdom
in Russia.
Another theory or doctrine, which is now uniting men all
over the Christian world, is that of the socialists, which looks
forward to a revolution in society greater than any that has
been known since the foundation of the world, and would
have, if it could be realized, greater effects for a time, than
those to which it looks forward. We have already spoken
of communism in its earlier form, and of the social theory
(§§ i°3> IO4)> and incidentally of the socialistic doctrine con-
cerning property in the soil. We need only refer to its prin-
ciples in regard to wages and to the position of the capitalist
towards the manual laborer, to its doctrine of inheritance,
and to that extensively held by its leaders concerning Car-
riage, religion, and God, as indicating an opposition to the
whole framework of existing society—an opposition as entire
as that between materialism and atheism on the one hand,
and God and providence on the other. There can be no
terms between such a plan of society for the future and the
existing one. But there is danger that the feeling condemn-
ing most of its doctrines may keep men from condemning
whatever social evils have helped socialism forward. There
is reason to believe that it derived its origin from abuses in
the social system co-operating with an abstract and partly
false theory of the rights of man. Neither cause could pro-
duce permanent results, but let not evil in society be defended
by the argument that the socialists complain of it.           ^
We turn next towards some of the causes which act indi-
rectly on political forms, chiefly through opinion, and in part
by raising up new powers in society which insist on having
their rightful and proportionate influence. The first of these
is religion, whether it appears in the shape of a new faith or