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school of history is a conservative school, and its lessons are our great defense against cranks, faddists, and dem. agogues.
2. Government. - Politics is both a science and an art. It is the science and the art of government. As a science it investigates the facts and principles of government; as an art it deals with the practical applications of these facts and principles to the government of the state.
Now it is manifest that the art of politics, or practical government, directly concerns everybody. Few indeed are the subjects in which men, and particularly men living in great and progressive societies, are so deeply interested as in good government. The government of the state is charged with maintaining public order, securing justice between man and man, and the promotion of the great positive ends of society. For these purposes it collects and expends great revenues, which are ultimately paid from the proceeds of the labor of the people. Furthermore, in republican states, such as the American Union and the forty-five individual States that make up the Union, government is carried on by the people through their representatives chosen at popular elections. The voters of the United States are a great and rapidly growing body. In the presidential election of 1888, 11,388,007 citizens participated; in the presidential election of 1896, 14,071,097 -a growth of more than 2,680,000 in eight years. Moreover, these voters are felt in many other ways and places; they vote for National representatives, for State legislatures, executives, and judges, for county, township, and city offices, for the supervisors of the roads and the directors of the public schools. There is not a point in the whole round of National, State, and Local government that the popular will, as expressed at elections,
does not touch. Every man is, therefore, directly concerned to understand the nature and operations of these governments, and almost equally concerned to have his neighbors also understand them.
We have been dealing with practical politics exclusively. But the art of government depends upon the science of government. The government of a great country like our own, at least if a good one, is a complicated and delicate machine. Such a government is one of the greatest triumphs of the human mind. It is the result of a long process of political experience, and in its elements at least it runs far back into past history. It is, therefore, a most interesting study considered in itself. All this is peculiarly true of our own government, as will be explained hereafter.
However, this complicated and delicate machine is not an end, but only a means or instrument; as means or instrument it is ordained, as the Declaration of Independence says, to secure to those living under it their rights-such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and the extent to which it secures these rights is at once the measure of its character, whether good or bad.
It is also to be observed that a government which is good for one people is not of necessity good for another people. We Americans would not tolerate a government like that of Russia, while Russians could hardly carry on our government a single year. A good government must first recognize the general facts of human nature, then the special character, needs, habits, and traditions of the people for whom it exists. It roots in the national life and history. It grows out of the national culture. Since government is based on the facts of human nature and human society, it is not a mere crea.
ture of accident, chance, or management. In other words, there is such a thing as the science of government or politics. Moreover, to effect and to maintain a good working adjustment between government and a progressive society, is at once an important and difficult matter. This is the work of the practical statesman. And thus we are brought back again to the fact that the science of government is one of the most useful of studies.
Mention has been made of rights, and of the duty of government to maintain them. But rights always imply duties. For example: A may have a right to money that is now in B's posssession, but A cannot enjoy this right unless B performs the duty of paying the money over to him. If no duties are performed, no rights will be enjoyed. Again, the possession of rights imposes duties upon him who possesses them. For example: The individual owes duties to the society or the government that protects him in the enjoyment of his rights. Rights and duties cannot be separated. Either implies the other. Accordingly, the practical study of government should include, not only rights, but also duties as well. The future citizen should learn both lessons; for the man who is unwilling to do his duty has no moral claim upon others to do theirs.
The foregoing remarks are particularly pertinent to a republican government, because under such a government the citizen's measure of rights, and so of duties, is the largest. Here we must observe the important distinction between civil and political rights. The first relate to civil society, the second to civil government. Life, liberty of person, freedom of movement, ownership of property, use of the highways and public institutions, are civil rights. The suffrage, the right to hold
office under the government, and general participation in public affairs are political rights. These two classes of rights do not necessarily exist together; civil rights are sometimes secured where men do not vote, while men sometimes vote where civil rights are not secured; moreover, both kinds of rights may be forfeited by the oitizen through his own bad conduct. Evidently political rights are subordinate to civil rights. Men participate in govermental affairs as a means of securing the great ends for which civil society exists. But the great point is this—republican government can be carried on successfully only when the mass of the citizens make their power felt in political affairs; in other words, perform their political duties. To vote in the interest of good government, is an important political duty that the citizen owes to the state. Still other political duties are to give the legally constituted authorities one's moral support, and to serve the body politic when called upon to do so. These duties grow out of the corresponding rights, and to teach them is an essential part of sound education.
It has been remarked that good government rests upon the facts of human nature and society, that such a government is a complicated machine, and that it is an interesting subject of study. It is also to be observed that the successful operation of such a government calls for high intellectual and moral qualities, first on the part of statesmen and public men, and secondly on the part of the citizens themselves. There are examples of an ignorant and corrupt people enjoying measurable pros. perity under a wise and good monarch; but there is no example of a democratic or republican state long prospering unless there is a good standard of intelligence and virtue. This is one of the lessons that Washington
impressed in his Farewell Address: “In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion shall be intelligent."
Government deals with man in his general or social relations. Robinson Crusoe living on his island neither had, nor could have had, a government. Man is born for society; or, as Aristotle said, “man has a social instinct implanted in him by nature." Again, man is political as well as social; or, as Aristotle says, “man is more of a political animal than bees, or any other gregarious animal.” Hence the same writer's famous maxim, “Man is born to be a citizen."
These last remarks bring before the mind, as a subject of study, man in his relations to his fellow
The study of man in these relations has both practical and disciplinary value. At first man is thoroughly individual and egotistical. The human baby is as selfish as the cub of the bear or of the fox. There is no more exacting tyrant in the world. No matter at what cost, his wants must be supplied. Such is his primary nature. But this selfish creature is endowed with a higher, an ideal nature. At first he knows only rights, and these he greatly magnifies; but progressively he learns, what no mere animal can learn, to curb his appetites, desires, and feelings, and to regard the rights, interests, and feelings of others. To promote this process, as we have already explained, government exists. In other words, the human being is capable of learning his relations to the great social body of which he is a member. Mere individualism, mere egotism, is compelled to recognize the force and value of altruistic conviction and sentiment. And this lesson, save alone his relations to the Supreme Being, is the greatest lesson