Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

POLITICAL  CHANGES.              •                573
order, and that an opposite set of principles must bring into
the soul disharmony, unrest, and commotion, we cannot avoid
applying the rule which is true of the individual to the state :
if no state can thrive by the play of the selfish interests and
the kindly feelings of society only, then the undermining of
faith must be the undermining of the state itself. But the
decay of faith cannot be stayed by argument or by forms of
religion ; it must meet and grapple with convictions more
powerful than those negations on which it rests—society it-
self must be revivified.
There is yet another prop afforded by religion to the state.
It is the feeling of unity which we find in the ancient city-
states, where protecting divinities bound the community
together as faith in family gods cemented family unions,1
which in larger societies, as under Iranism, was the strongest
fortress of national feeling ; which was the very life of the
Jews, so that, to the pious Jew, Jehovah and the common-
wealth were inseparable ; and which in many Christian lands
has shown its great force in resisting enemies belonging to
another religion. The entire separation of state and church
does not destroy this feeling of unity altogether, for there
are many who, although differing among themselves, look on
Christian institutions in the general, as the groundwork of a
true and the only true civilization ; and there are many more
who within their own pale cling to this uniting principle,
common to them and a multitude of others, as being vitally
dependent for its prosperity on civil order and its chief
support. The decay of faith causes all these props to tumble
But far more obvious, as a source of change, are the accu-
mulations of capital by the use of industry in a country
where personal property had before been small in amount.
In almost all nations where labor is but little divided, the
land will be owned for the most part in large parcels by a
few persons, who form the upper class, the military or eques-
trian order, the legislators of the country. The land is culti-
vated by slaves or serfs, or by poor freemen. The wants of