Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
By John J. Lalor
NEITHER American nor English literature has hitherto possessed a Cyclopædia of Political Science and Political Economy. The want of a work of reference on these important branches of knowledge has long been felt, especially by lawyers, journalists, members of our state and national legislatures, and the large and intelligent class of capitalists and business men who give serious thought to the political and social questions of the day. The present work, which will be completed in three volumes, is the first to supply that want. It is also the first Political History of the United States in encyclopædic form—the first to which the reader can refer for an account of the important events or facts in our political history, as he would to a dictionary for the precise meaning of a word. The French, the Germans and even the Italians are richer in works of reference on political science and political economy than the Americans or the English. The Germans have Rotteck and Welcker’s
Staatslexikon, and Bluntschli and Brater’s
Staatswörterbuch; the French, Block’s
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, and the celebrated
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, edited by Guillaumin and Coquelin.The “Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States” is intended to be to the American and English reader what the above-named works are to French and German students of political science and political economy. The articles by foreigners in our work are largely translations from the
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, the
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, the
Staatswörterbuch, and original articles by Mr. T. E. Cliffe Leslie, the eminent English economist; while the American articles are by the best American and Canadian writers on political economy and political science. The task of writing the articles on the political history of the United States was confided to one person, Mr. Alexander Johnston, of Norwalk, Connecticut, thoroughness, conciseness and the absence of repetition and of redundancy being thus secured…. [From the Preface]
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Originally printed in 3 volumes. Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
The text of this edition is in the public domain.
- V.1, Entry 1, ABDICATION
- V.1, Entry 2, ABOLITION AND ABOLITIONISTS
- V.1, Entry 3, ABSENTEEISM
- V.1, Entry 4, ABSOLUTE POWER
- V.1, Entry 5, ABSOLUTISM
- V.1, Entry 6, ABSTENTION
- V.1, Entry 7, ABUSES IN POLITICS
- V.1, Entry 8, ABYSSINIA
- V.1, Entry 9, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 10, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 11, ACCLAMATION
- V.1, Entry 12, ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH
- V.1, Entry 13, ACT
- V.1, Entry 14, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 15, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 16, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 17, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 18, ADJOURNMENT
- V.1, Entry 19, ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 20, ADMINISTRATIONS
- V.1, Entry 21, AFRICA
- V.1, Entry 22, AGE
- V.1, Entry 23, AGENT
- V.1, Entry 24, AGENTS
- V.1, Entry 25, AGIO
- V.1, Entry 26, AGIOTAGE
- V.1, Entry 27, AGRICULTURE
- V.1, Entry 28, ALABAMA
- V.1, Entry 29, ALABAMA CLAIMS
- V.1, Entry 30, ALASKA
- V.1, Entry 31, ALBANY PLAN OF UNION
- V.1, Entry 32, ALBANY REGENCY
- V.1, Entry 33, ALCALDE
- V.1, Entry 34, ALCOHOL
- V.1, Entry 35, ALGERIA
- V.1, Entry 36, ALGERINE WAR
- V.1, Entry 37, ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS
- V.1, Entry 38, ALIENS
- V.1, Entry 39, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 40, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 41, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 42, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 43, ALLOYAGE
- V.1, Entry 44, ALMANACH DE GOTHA
- V.1, Entry 45, ALSACE-LORRAINE
- V.1, Entry 46, AMBASSADOR
- V.1, Entry 47, AMBITION
- V.1, Entry 48, AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- V.1, Entry 49, AMERICA
- V.1, Entry 50, AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE
- V.1, Entry 51, AMERICAN PARTY
- V.1, Entry 52, AMERICAN WHIGS
- V.1, Entry 53, AMES
- V.1, Entry 54, AMISTAD CASE
- V.1, Entry 55, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 56, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 57, ANAM
- V.1, Entry 58, ANARCHY
- V.1, Entry 59, ANCIEN RÉGIME
- V.1, Entry 60, ANDORRA
- V.1, Entry 61, ANHALT
- V.1, Entry 62, ANNEXATION
- V.1, Entry 63, ANNEXATIONS
- V.1, Entry 64, ANTI-FEDERAL PARTY
- V.1, Entry 65, ANTI-MASONRY
- V.1, Entry 66, ANTI-NEBRASKA MEN
- V.1, Entry 67, ANTI-RENTERS
- V.1, Entry 68, ANTI-SLAVERY.
- V.1, Entry 69, APPORTIONMENT
- V.1, Entry 70, APPROPRIATION.
- V.1, Entry 71, APPROPRIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 72, ARBITRAGE
- V.1, Entry 73, ARBITRARY ARRESTS
- V.1, Entry 74, ARBITRARY POWER
- V.1, Entry 75, ARBITRATION
- V.1, Entry 76, ARCHONS
- V.1, Entry 77, AREOPAGUS.
- V.1, Entry 78, ARGENTINE CONFEDERATION
- V.1, Entry 79, ARISTOCRACY.
- V.1, Entry 80, ARISTOCRATIC AND DEMOCRATIC IDEAS.
- V.1, Entry 81, ARITHMETIC
- V.1, Entry 82, ARIZONA
- V.1, Entry 83, ARKANSAS
- V.1, Entry 84, ARMISTICE
- V.1, Entry 85, ARMIES
- V.1, Entry 86, ARMY
- V.1, Entry 87, ARTHUR
- V.1, Entry 88, ARTISANS
- V.1, Entry 89, ARYAN RACES.
- V.1, Entry 90, ASIA
- V.1, Entry 91, ASSEMBLY (IN U. S. HISTORY)
- V.1, Entry 92, ASSESSMENTS
- V.1, Entry 93, ASSIGNATS
- V.1, Entry 94, ASSOCIATION AND ASSOCIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 95, ASYLUM
- V.1, Entry 96, ATELIERS NATIONAUX
- V.1, Entry 97, ATTAINDER
- V.1, Entry 98, ATTORNEYS GENERAL
- V.1, Entry 99, AUSTRALIA
- V.1, Entry 100, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY
- V.1, Entry 101, AUTHORITY
- V.1, Entry 102, AUTHORS
- V.1, Entry 103, AUTOCRAT
- V.1, Entry 104, AUTONOMY.
- V.1, Entry 105, AYES AND NOES
- V.1, Entry 106, BADEN
- V.1, Entry 107, BALANCE OF POWER
- V.1, Entry 108, BALANCE OF TRADE
- V.1, Entry 109, BALLOT
- V.1, Entry 110, BANK CONTROVERSIES
- V.1, Entry 111, BANKING
- V.1, Entry 112, BANK NOTES.
- V.1, Entry 113, BANKRUPTCY.
- V.1, Entry 114, BANKRUPTCY, National.
- V.1, Entry 115, BANKS.
- V.1, Entry 116, BANKS, Functions of.
- V.1, Entry 117, BANKS OF ISSUE
- V.1, Entry 118, BANKS, Advantages of Savings.
- V.1, Entry 119, BANKS, History and Management of Savings,
- V.1, Entry 120, BAR
- V.1, Entry 121, BARNBURNERS
- V.1, Entry 122, BARRICADE
- V.1, Entry 123, BARTER.
- V.1, Entry 124, BASTILLE
- V.1, Entry 125, BAVARIA
- V.1, Entry 126, BELGIUM
- V.1, Entry 127, BELL
- V.1, Entry 128, BELLIGERENTS
- V.1, Entry 129, BENTON
- V.1, Entry 130, BERLIN DECREE
- V.1, Entry 131, BILL
- V.1, Entry 132, BILL OF EXCHANGE
- V.1, Entry 133, BILL OF RIGHTS
- V.1, Entry 134, BILLION
- V.1, Entry 135, BILLS
- V.1, Entry 136, BI-METALLISM.
- V.1, Entry 137, BIRNEY
- V.1, Entry 138, BLACK COCKADE
- V.1, Entry 139, BLACK CODE.
- V.1, Entry 140, BLACK REPUBLICAN.
- V.1, Entry 141, BLAINE
- V.1, Entry 142, BLAIR
- V.1, Entry 143, BLOCKADE
- V.1, Entry 144, BLOODY BILL
- V.1, Entry 145, BLUE LAWS
- V.1, Entry 146, BLUE LIGHT
- V.1, Entry 147, BOARD OF TRADE.
- V.1, Entry 148, BOLIVIA
- V.1, Entry 149, BOOTY
- V.1, Entry 150, BORDER RUFFIANS
- V.1, Entry 151, BORDER STATES
- V.1, Entry 152, BOURGEOISIE
- V.1, Entry 153, BOUTWELL
- V.1, Entry 154, BRAHMANISM.
- V.1, Entry 155, BRAZIL
- V.1, Entry 156, BRECKENRIDGE
- V.1, Entry 157, BROAD SEAL WAR
- V.1, Entry 158, BROKERS
- V.1, Entry 159, BROOKS
- V.1, Entry 160, BROWN
- V.1, Entry 161, BUCHANAN
- V.1, Entry 162, BUCKSHOT WAR
- V.1, Entry 163, BUCKTAILS
- V.1, Entry 164, BUDDHISM
- V.1, Entry 165, BUDGET
- V.1, Entry 166, BULL
- V.1, Entry 167, BUNDESRATH
- V.1, Entry 168, BUREAUCRACY
- V.1, Entry 169, BURGESSES
- V.1, Entry 170, BURLINGAME
- V.1, Entry 171, BURR
- V.1, Entry 172, BUTLER, Benj. F.
- V.1, Entry 173, BUTLER, William Orlando
- V.1, Entry 174, CACHET
- V.1, Entry 175, CÆSARISM
- V.1, Entry 176, CALENDAR
- V.1, Entry 177, CALHOUN
- V.1, Entry 178, CALIFORNIA
- V.1, Entry 179, CANADA
- V.1, Entry 180, CANALS
- V.1, Entry 181, CANON LAW
- V.1, Entry 182, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 183, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 184, CAPITULATION
- V.1, Entry 185, CARICATURE
- V.1, Entry 186, CARPET BAGGERS
- V.1, Entry 187, CARTEL
- V.1, Entry 188, CASS
- V.1, Entry 189, CASUS BELLI
- V.1, Entry 190, CAUCUS
- V.1, Entry 191, CAUCUS SYSTEM
- V.1, Entry 192, CAUSE AND EFFECT IN POLITICS.
- V.1, Entry 193, CELIBACY, Clerical
- V.1, Entry 194, CELIBACY, Political Aspects of.
- V.1, Entry 195, CELTS.
- V.1, Entry 196, CENSURE.
- V.1, Entry 197, CENSURE OF MORALS.
- V.1, Entry 198, CENSURES
- V.1, Entry 199, CENSUS.
- V.1, Entry 200, CENTRALIZATION and DECENTRALIZATION.
- V.1, Entry 201, CEREMONIAL
- V.1, Entry 202, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 203, CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES.
- V.1, Entry 204, CHARITY, Private.
- V.1, Entry 205, CHARITY, Public.
- V.1, Entry 206, CHARITY, State.
- V.1, Entry 207, CHASE
- V.1, Entry 208, CHECKS AND BALANCES.
- V.1, Entry 209, CHEROKEE CASE
- V.1, Entry 210, CHESAPEAKE CASE.
- V.1, Entry 211, CHILI.
- V.1, Entry 212, CHINA
- V.1, Entry 213, CHINESE IMMIGRATION.
- V.1, Entry 214, CHIVALRY.
- V.1, Entry 215, CHRISTIANITY.
- V.1, Entry 216, CHURCH AND STATE
- V.1, Entry 217, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 218, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 219, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 220, CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS
- V.1, Entry 221, CHURCHES
- V.1, Entry 222, CINCINNATI
- V.1, Entry 223, CIPHER DISPATCHES AND DECIPHERMENT
- V.1, Entry 224, CIRCULATION OF WEALTH.
- V.1, Entry 225, CITIES
- V.1, Entry 226, CITIES AND TOWNS.
- V.1, Entry 227, CIVIL ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 228, CIVIL LIST.
- V.1, Entry 229, CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
- V.1, Entry 230, CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
- V.1, Entry 231, CIVILIZATION
- V.1, Entry 232, CLAY
- V.1, Entry 233, CLEARING, AND CLEARING HOUSES
- V.1, Entry 234, CLERICALISM
- V.1, Entry 235, CLIENTÈLE AND CUSTOM
- V.1, Entry 236, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 237, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 238, CLINTON
- V.1, Entry 239, CLINTON, George
- V.1, Entry 240, CL�TURE
- V.1, Entry 241, COASTING TRADE
- V.1, Entry 242, COCHIN CHINA
- V.1, Entry 243, COINAGE
- V.1, Entry 244, COLFAX
- V.1, Entry 245, COLONIZATION SOCIETY
- V.1, Entry 246, COLORADO
- V.1, Entry 247, COLOMBIA
- V.1, Entry 248, COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 249, COMMERCIAL CRISES
- V.1, Entry 250, COMMISSION
- V.1, Entry 251, COMMITTEES
- V.1, Entry 252, COMMON LAW
- V.1, Entry 253, COMMONS
- V.1, Entry 254, COMMUNE
- V.1, Entry 255, COMMUNISM
- V.1, Entry 256, COMPETITION.
- V.1, Entry 257, COMPROMISES
- V.1, Entry 258, COMPULSORY CIRCULATION
- V.1, Entry 259, COMPULSORY EDUCATION
- V.1, Entry 260, CONCESSION
- V.1, Entry 261, CONCLAVE.
- V.1, Entry 262, CONCLUSUM
- V.1, Entry 284, CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
- V.1, Entry 301, CONVENTION
- V.1, Entry 375, DISTILLED SPIRITS
- V.1, Entry 384, DOMINION OF CANADA
- V.2, Entry 7, EDUCATION
- V.2, Entry 18, EMBARGO
- V.2, Entry 33, EXCHANGE
- V.2, Entry 35, EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS
- V.2, Entry 37, EXCHANGE OF WEALTH
- V.2, Entry 121, GREAT BRITAIN
- V.2, Entry 130, HABEAS CORPUS
- V.2, Entry 180, INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION
- V.2, Entry 225, JUSTICE, Department of
- V.2, Entry 246, LAW
- V.2, Entry 364, NEW GRANADA
- V.2, Entry 379, NULLIFICATION
- V.3, Entry 4, OCEANICA
- V.3, Entry 29, PARIS MONETARY CONFERENCE
- V.3, Entry 32, PARLIAMENTARY LAW.
- V.3, Entry 116, RACES OF MANKIND
- V.3, Entry 137, REPUBLICAN PARTY
- V.3, Entry 155, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
- V.3, Entry 195, SLAVERY
- V.3, Entry 278, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- V. 2, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of American Writers
AUTHORITY. Wherever society exists there is a struggle between authority and liberty. The fundamental laws of a body are nothing but treaties of peace between these two principles or forces. In political society such laws are called a constitution. In religious societies they are called a creed. Authority seems so necessary to all society, and liberty so necessary to human nature, that we find the reflex of authority even in philosophy where it would seem there ought to be unbounded freedom, and a demand for liberty even in the family, which is the narrowest kind of society and the only one in which absolute power would seem legitimate.
—The history of human society, from whatever point of view considered, is the history of authority and liberty. These two principles being intended to limit each other, but unequally according to the degree of civilization, there is always a boundary line between them varying with social conditions, which neither of them should pass; and political events are nothing but the wanderings of liberty or authority beyond this necessary limit. When authority steps beyond this line, humanity is oppressed and suffers: when liberty, society is endangered. It is natural that, in the first case, public spirit should reassert liberty with emphasis, and in the second, re-establish authority on a firm basis. The constant reaction of opinion against success, which is more or less immediate and rapid, is the cause of the mobility of society. This law of the development of humanity has been observed and accepted only very lately. And it was only when it was observed and accepted that men, understanding the impossibility of preventing revolutions, tried to replace violent by pacific or legal revolutions, through the revision of constitutions. Ancient nations which had tradition as a foundation and immobility as their rule, believed in an absolute limit between authority and liberty. Authority according to this doctrine derived its force and its rights from itself. It was essentially the right, and if it made concessions to liberty, these concessions were mere acts of grace and consequently revocable. Modern nations, on the contrary, are their own masters, that is, social interests being now the source of the right, no member of society can have rights as against society. Authority is simply a trust from the nation, limited in duration and extent by the interests of the nation. Now society which is always in need of direction, has all the more need of it the less enlightened it is. In proportion as it becomes enlightened and civilized it receives all the liberty it can enjoy without danger to itself. Authority then retreats step by step, not as a master who yields to force, or who makes a gift from pure kindness, but as a delegate who resigns his office, hands in his account and confines himself within the limits of his new powers. In one word, the source of political right or sovereignty which amounts to the same thing, is changed. It resided in authority, now it resides in the people. Authority is now only a power delegated by the governed. The sovereignty of the ancient régime, inherent in the person of the monarch, and possessed by virtue of divine right, continued legitimate with all the plenitude of its powers, even in opposition to the unanimous will of the people. Modern sovereignty, essentially power delegated, is legitimate only within the limits of the grant.
—It is very clear that, from the moment sovereignty belongs to the people, who delegate only its exercise, the extent of the trust, as well as the trust itself, depends on the popular will. But it is asked what the people ought to wish in their own interests, which in this instance is their only rule. Should they desire to confer an absolute trust, a large trust or a very limited one? The doctrine of absolute trust has its partisans. This is like a piece of metaphysical jugglery which first makes a pompous award of sovereignty to the people, and immediately deprives them of it under pretext of a trust, which they have created, thus leaving themselves more bare and naked than before. Royalty by divine right, even the most absolute in character, being founded on tradition, is bound, through respect for its own principle, to uphold all other tradition. In this way royalty is both based upon and limited by tradition. Thus it was that under the ancient régime, the kings of France were unable to shake the Catholic religion, to abolish the nobility, or to do without their parliaments in the passage of laws and the administration of justice. They could not alter the form of the states general, and had no resource against them except not to convoke them. A dictator, on the contrary, representing popular omnipotence can be restrained in the exercise of his sovereignty neither by law nor by tradition. Such a representative of absolute omnipotence can meet with limitation neither in the history, manners, nor laws of a people. It is clear that authority
understood in this way absorbs and destroys liberty. Between such a delegation of power and monarchy by divine right, there is scarcely more than a formal difference; but if there is a difference of degree, it is in favor of monarchy by divine right.
—The essence of delegated authority then is in limitation and revocability, for it can not be absolute and irrevocable without being false to its own principle. A liberty which exists only in principle, and is delegated in its entirety, is no liberty at all. It is nothing; it is the emptiest and most deceitful of abstractions. In one word, there is no social condition in which authority and liberty do not exist together, and where authority is not a concession made by liberty. The real political problem consists in fixing the boundary between authority and liberty, in the manner most advantageous to liberty rightly understood. Certain minds are naturally inclined to strengthen authority beyond measure, others liberty. Whenever men cease to stand on the basis of divine right, and admit the dogma of popular sovereignty, the drawing of this line of demarcation is no longer a question of right, but of fact, a matter of skill and temperament.
—Those who favor an immoderate development of authority adduce three arguments in its behalf: first, that it produces order; second, that it is the parent of progress; third, it does enough for liberty if it governs always in the sense of the majority.
—It is true that authority produces order. It is for this very end that it has been established; and it is because authority is necessary to order, and order to liberty that no political society can ever do without authority. But because the proper function of authority is to produce order, it is not to be inferred that, the more authority there is in a state, the more order there is. Order is rather the result of a just equilibrium between authority and liberty; for if a people have not the liberty to which they are entitled, that is to say, the whole sum of liberty which they can enjoy without peril to themselves, they are ill at case and impatient of the yoke, the result of which is that authority and the foundations of society itself are weakened. All excess is the cause of trouble in politics. Furthermore, authority, in order to be solid, has need not only of material but of moral force. It owes its moral force, in modern states, to the delegation of power by the people. That authority is a delegation of power by the people, is evident to every eye, so long as authority is beneficial in its effects; but authority appears decrepit and an abuse when, by its encroachment, instead of being a cause of order and well-being to the body social, it becomes a danger and a source of suffering. We may conclude that authority produces order only in proportion as it is needed.
—The second proposition of the zealous partisans of authority is partly true and partly false. There are kinds of progress which can be realized only through a central authority clothed with the most ample powers. Of the two motives which determine most of the actions of men,
i.e., private and public interest, it is natural that the first should act almost exclusively on the minds of individuals, and the second dominate in the councils of the representatives of the body politic. It is not less natural that individuals should take in only the sphere in which their life moves, and remain strangers or indifferent to whatever has no direct relation to their persons. Even if we, instead of considering individuals, suppose limited corporations of the state, such, for example, as cities, is it not evident that the administration of a city would be concerned only for the interests of its own territory? And is it not evident, on the other hand, that there are national enterprises whose success is more important for the prosperity of each individual city than anything they could do themselves within their own territorial limits? No matter how enlightened local administrators may be, they are like travelers at the bottom of a valley whose horizon is necessarily restricted; but the chiefs of a state, like men stationed on the summit of a mountain, take in a wide sweep of country in their view, and judge points of detail better because they know them both in themselves and in their relations. The superiority of their view arises partly from their position, and partly, perhaps, from an increase of capacity due to the importance of the part they play. Man, like every other created thing, is made up of that which is essential to him,
plus the modifications for good or ill which are added to his essential being by external circumstances. The history of every human life is the record of what has been produced in the man by virtue of that centre of action called the will, together with all the circumstances that have excited, developed, modified or paralyzed that will, or which have restrained or increased its effects. Save some too poorly gifted natures, whom chance has placed in high position, and who, in a certain fashion, are sometimes perverted by the disproportion of their faculties to their missions, it may be said that the capacity of men increases with their responsibility and authority.
—And again, on the other hand, liberty has its own power and efficacy which it is impossible to ignore.
—In the first place, liberty is a right. Man has a right to liberty only on condition of being capable of enjoying it. It results from this, that whenever a person does not enjoy the sum even of liberty which he is able to use without injury to the liberty of others, justice is violated in him. This right which is absolute should not be sacrificed to the requirements of progress, even if it could be shown that progress is impossible except through the action of authority; but it must be added that justice is never violated with impunity, and that a force intended by nature to act freely decreases, and produces imperfect effects when it is transformed by social convention, and, from being autonomous, as it should be, becomes dependent and subordinate. It is not the violation of right alone which belittles the man, but baseness of motive
as well. A person under command acts from obedience which generally means that he acts through fear, the independent man is inspired by hope. Which is the more powerful of these motives is doubtful to no one. The man governed by others never moves except from some impulse from without; from which it follows that he neither anticipates the impulse, nor goes beyond the point to which it carries him, and that his power is quiescent whenever it is not called into requisition. The free man seeks action as water does its level; for the tendency to repose would be in him a weakness, and, if chronic, a disease. Not only does he execute better, but he seeks and he finds. Material and intellectual force developed by constant exercise, and the habit of relying on himself, make of him an incomparably superior agent in the rare cases when he needs to subordinate his action to the commands of authority. Two equal forces being given and composed of an equal number of forces, the collective force which is directed by a single will produces the more powerful effect; but the collective force of a people composed of forces which are always directed and obedient, is considerably inferior to what the collective force of the same people would be, if the simple forces composing it were developed under the influence of the strengthening breath of liberty. Now the true wealth of nations is the increase of force and the increase of action. Let us admit that unity is absolutely indispensable to certain deeds, but, in this very case, the forces united to form a collective force, are more powerful in proportion as they have been previously accustomed to liberty. Authority and liberty are consequently both parents of progress. Progress can dispense with neither; but still it is liberty which has the higher place.
—The third proposition, that liberty is disinterested when authority has a popular origin and popular agents, or more simply when it is always exercised according to the wishes of the majority, is a sophism. If the cause of liberty could ever be lost, it would be by reason of this sophism that it would perish. The government of the majority thus understood is the government of number, that is, the substitution of might for right. It seems indeed, at first sight that popular government and the government of majorities are identical; because in no case can the will of the people be expressed by the minority. It is this idea which makes so many enemies for the dogma of popular sovereignty. The error consists in considering only the rights of majorities, and forgetting those of minorities completely. These two rights are very different but equally sacred and equally necessary to liberty and order. It is self-evident that all the members of a minority have the same rights individually as the members of the majority; and that these rights may be assured, it is necessary, by virtue of the laws themselves, and the formulæ established, to regulate their application, that every citizen should be dependent on the law and the law only. This point settled, it is the right of majorities to make the law, and the right of the minorities to form by means of discussion, a new majority to replace a bad law by a good one. If the rights of the minority are respected, the government of majorities ceases to be one of force for to pretend that the government of majorities is the government of force it would be necessary to maintain that nations are not capable of, and that the human mind was not made for, truth.
—We may thus resume the whole discussion: what is authority without any liberty whatever? It is the absolute immobility of the social fabric, an abnormal belittlement of the collective force of society, and the approval of permanent injustice. What is liberty without any authority whatever? It is the absence of society, a state of war, an hypothesis so absurd that it can not present a precise idea to the mind. In all society, therefore, both liberty and authority are needed. Liberty being the right and the interest of the citizens of whom society is composed, it is the object of society. Authority is only its condition. Liberty exists for its own sake. Authority is established in order that liberty may flourish. Since liberty is less dangerous in proportion as the minds of men are enlightened, liberty must advance and authority retreat as enlightenment becomes more general. Authority, in its relations with liberty, is like a wise tutor who never substitutes himself for the will of his pupil; except when that will is powerless or imbecile, who works unceasingly to render his presence unnecessary, and to retire at the precise moment when the child has grown to be a man. There is not and there can not be a fixed limit between liberty and authority; for the true rôle of authority is gradually to prepare the way for liberty.
—Authority should always be strong, but it should not be extensive save in countries and among people but slightly civilized. The best proof of the civilization of a people is that they are but little governed, and do not suffer from being so governed. This does not mean being feebly governed, for a feeble power is one which can not fulfill its mission.
—Power should not go beyond the limits of its rights, that is, of the necessary; it should also avoid the arbitrary, and always find support in the law.
—It is a fundamental error to suppose that the force of authority consists in its extent. On the contrary, it consists in an exact proportion between its extent and its necessity. It may almost be said that authority is the stronger for having, in the highest degree, the faculty of restricting itself at the proper time. Confined within the limits which the civilization of each epoch assigns it, authority is beneficent and necessary. That it should fulfill its mission without fail is of vital importance both to society and liberty. Liberty itself requires that power be strong, for power is its guarantee and hope. It fears only encroachment and arbitrariness.
—Arbitrariness to which authority too often aspires is as fatal to it as to liberty, and fatal in the same way. Power as soon as it wanders away from the law, no longer represents the will
of majorities but its abdication. Arbitrariness is in the body politic what the useless would be in the system of the universe. It is looked upon as the height of authority of which it is but the shadow. Between it and authority there is a contradiction, since it is of the nature of authority to produce order. Arbitrariness is the very essence of disorder. Under the appearances of centralization and absolutism, it is in reality but one of the forms of anarchy. It is to authority what privilege is to right, and in the domain of psychology what the liberty of indifference is to true liberty. Everything should be subordinate to law, even force.
—The following are a few formulæ in which the whole theory of authority may be expressed.
—The conditions of liberty are: 1, the enjoyment of natural rights; 2, the possibility of vindicating the rights of the minority by discussion; 3, the transformation of a majority into a minority whenever the majority on a question have changed views.
—Authority then should be: 1, the guardian of natural rights; 2, the guardian of the rights of discussion; 3, the guardian of the rights of transformation.
—Consequently it is necessary: 1, that it make everything attainable by legal means, by restricting itself within narrower limits as civilization extends; and 2, that it prevent the employment of illegal means. It should therefore be very strong in so far as it exists.
—Conditions of force are: 1, stability; 2, liberty of action within its own sphere; 3, promptness of action; 4, infallibility of action; 5, sure repression, after clear proof before tribunals equally but necessarily independent of opinion and power.