Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, May 02, 1890, Page 6, Image 6

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bath, ami open infidelity to social law. Radicalism would
put up the bars of limitation as a mcasuic of protection tootir
free institutions endangered by the horde of corrupt and ig
norant classes who arc concentrating in all the large centres,
to control them. Conservatism fights against the Australian
ballot system, and fears it cannot steal another election. Rad
icalism, trembling for the maintenance of a pure civil
government, calls loudly for its adoption by every state in the
union. Conservatism believes that if, for any reason, husband
and wife shall not desire to continue their relations, a bill of
divorcement may be granted them, that they may go out and
befoul society, and each despoil some other life. Radicalism,
alarmed by the shameful statistics that tell of its rapid in
crease, makes solemn appeal to public conscience fur arousal
on this subject. Here, then, arc the two conflicting forces
traced out like a thread of gold and silver through all the
warp and woof of human history. Doth are in the loom today,
and both, under the guiding hand of-an all-wise Providence,
unite to weave the majestic robe that wraps society about
with protection and progress. When these grand conceptions
of the radical clement shall be realized in human conscious
ness and they will be; when the dull comprehension of the
conservative clement shall be more reconciled to advance
ment and it will be; then may we expect the growth of so
ciety to be like that of nature. Revolutions will no longer call
for the sacrifice of human blood; if a dogma shall become ob
solete, it will pass away; if a constitution ceases to express the
will of the people, the transition will come like that which
created the Brazilian republic. The change forced by radi
calism will no longer mean the marshaling of armies on the
field of battle; it will no longer mean the carnage of Hastings,
Waterloo, and Bunker Hill; it will no longer mean the be
heading of Charles T, or the assassination of Abraham Liu
coin. But the old will be merged into the new, as quietly as
a summer night breaks into dawn; as peacefully as "the sud
den blooming of the flowers, or the sudden softening of the
air." Conservatism and radicalism will join hands, and,
calling on the author ot all truth to sanctify the union, will
purify science, philosophy, and art, religion, politics, and eth
ics, and with laces bright with hope and hearts quickening
with emotion, they will inarch out into the refulgent light
made glorious by the gloamings of the millenial dawn.
Robert Tucker, Buchtel College, Akron, O.
The slow movement of the masses has made the epochs in
the story of the nations; to kings a problem; to the world a
blessing; on mankind it has ever been the source of power.
To it ambition has bowed and despotism paid allegiance.
Leaders of all lands formulated their plans in harmony with
the spirit of the people. From the battlefields of France;
from the charter-making halls of England comes the prevail
ing, dominant'idea of democracy.
Democracy U a fact and in the evolutions of nations the
governments have conformed to that idea. True, in Russia
the autocrat sits upon the throne, but nihilism is abroad in the
land. In Germany there is socialism. The relations which
have existed between the governing and governed have been
reversed. In the Eighteenth century Louis XIV said I am
the state," but in the Nineteenth century Herbert Spencer
declared that there was more legislation done outside of par
liament than there was in it. The power which was central
ized in the ruler has become diffused throughout the social
organism; the ruler is not so much the leader as he is the
follower of the people. He no longer acts in accordance with
personal feelings but adjusts the exercise of his power to the
ways of the masses, as slowly the elimination of the differ
ences between prince and peasant has gone along.
Governments of necessity have conlormed to this new or
der of human relations and exist to execute the will of the
Institutions shaped in accordance yith the revolution idea
of the divine right of kings have gradually been supplanted
by social structures reared on the dominant idea of democ
racy. Where lies the cause? Is it to be found in the mere
accidents which fill the history of human affairs? Do we dis
cover it in the fact that rulers have been despots and human
ity thereby suffered, orjn the fact that humanity rebelled and
tyrants were thereby dethroned? Not so. The cause lies beyond
these results. It is to be found in the necessity of humanity
to pass from a stale of simple actions and relations
into a state of complex actions and varied relations.
Along u ith the growth of thought and knowledge ol persons
with the right of citizenship there has gone the development
of the democratic idea. In the progress of the individual
from that condition when he was his own warrior, his own
priest and his own law giver, to that condition when he be
came the recognized leader of the government, comes the
recognition of that idea. The idea of democracy, then, exists
in the land. The idea that the individual is a governing as
well as a governed factor, is a growth which is commensurable
with and inseparable from the history of the world. The his
tory of the ideal is the history of humanity struggling to as
sert the worth and dignity of a single life. The growth of
democracy lias been manifested in history by icsults. All the
lines along which the Greek spirit acted and which termina
ted in a democracy at Athens, cannot be traced, but are lost
in mystery ami multiplicity of social relations. Yet the re
suit becomes the initiative bond from which sprang the great
ness of the Athenian state. The genius of Socrates was con
lined by the same fotcc; their force was one and the same, the
Greek nature. The spirit which lifted the man to the true
level of human dignity is the saint spirit which animates the
philosopher, Socrates. The one makes possible the other.
The Athenian democracy is the foundation of the philosophy
which had -as no otherout of which that intelligence must
proceed can have that mind must be conscious of the noblest
relations of life, must hold the highest institutions of man
kind, of the soul, must be free. This philosophy is a whole
democracy the law of sell.
Likewise the genius of Michael Angelo lived while the
spirit of democracy directed, and when the human soul can
grow in culture, in art, in commerce all life grows. Marble
is fashioned into the poetry of lorm. Art is not soulless, but
immortal; the product of brain and hands is carried by the
winds of the heavens and the clouds of the earth. Through
out history, governments have been founded with kings the
nation with its ruler, institutions stand as the expression of
the will of the individual and not as the embodiment of the
national character, but whatever the form of government,
whether monaichial, theociatic or democratic, it is still the
expression of the social view; it still marks a point iu the
national advancement or degeneration, for social forms, the
common environments of man in any age, are simply results
built upon the opinions of those affected by those conditions.
Is there an upheaval and a shifting of the steady stream of
human affairs w ith its civilization and customs? If so, the in
stitutions which are founded upon these must conform to tin
level to which they have risen or fallen. Is there a i evolution
in the thought? The social structure is modified. Are their
ideas broadened as the legitimate changes appear? Then the
giving yields a thought. Is there a strong despotism in the
state? Its days are numbered. In short, the institutions ol
government must grow as the social organism grows. When
governments no matter what their forms, have their sources
in the people, it becomes clear that with a progressive nation
the idea that the king is the personification of power must be
gradually supplanted by the idea that the people are the
sources of power. The one must sink to the level of the many
as the many rise to the level of the one. It becomes the law
as the masses gain in strength and intelligence, the ruler loses
in power and prerogative. Witness the history of England.
The people pass the act of settlement and name their own
ruler; the people make the cabinet responsible 'for the ad
ministration of government and effect a democratic revolution.
The people pass the habeas corpus act and thereby declare
that a civil growth shall be secured before the law. 1 he ag
nosticism of England may make these many stages in its evo
lution. They neglect that inevitable law that the character
of the people and the character of the government must con
form. Witness, too, the history of France. That, likewise,
proves the state to be the formulated idea of the people. It
aroused the people into ungovcrnmenlal. action and plunged
them into revolution. With the reform and revolution of the
people the idea advanced to the dignity of a truth. Out of
all chaos, out of all the terror and peril, there arose a Robes
pierre, a monstrosity of revolution, but the spirit of democ
racy brought forth also a Rosseau, who fought each custom,
a Martineau who sang, and a Hugo who consecrated his
genius to the public, and a Romolean who was the soul of
man, going forth strong and free.
Witness also our own country, a democracy of the highest
j type, it stands as the most pcrlect illustration ot the spirit and
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