Page images


[November 19, 1910]

NOT in Tilden's time or in Cleveland's time was the Democratic party so united as it is now.

Never before since the Civil War has there been so general an agreement about leaders and issues and opportunities.

We are almost prepared to say that for the first time in fifty years there is a coherent Democratic party which is sobered by victory and responsibility.

Even six months ago Democratic victory seemed to promise nothing better than Republican defeat and a popular rebuke of the party in power. But out of the welter of the campaign has come a new order of things. A new generation of leaders springs into being-Wilson of New Jersey, Dix of New York, Harmon of Ohio, Baldwin of Connecticut, Foss of Massachusetts, Plaisted of Maine. With them must be included Mayor Gaynor, who has pointed the way to the regeneration of municipal gov


These men are not mushroom agitators or political accidents. They belong to the breed of leaders whom men of intelligence can follow. They have already given to the Democratic party new standing, new stability and new character. That they should all have appeared on the scene simultaneously is another proof of the genius of American institutions to produce leadership when leadership becomes imperative.

The way to the complete rehabilitation of the Democratic party is now so simple that it can be lost only by blind stupidity and folly. The trail is so plainly blazed that there can be no excuse for losing it. A Democratic Senator in Maine who represents what Plaisted repre

sents; a Democratic Senator in New York who represents what Gaynor and Dix represent; a Democratic Senator in New Jersey who represents what Wilson represents; a Democratic Senator in Ohio who represents what Harmon represents; Democratic leadership in Congress that is sane, progressive and cautious-and the work of making a new Democratic party is done.

For the first time since Andrew Jackson's Administration the Democratic party is emancipated and master of its own destiny. All the shackles have been struck off. There is no load of sectional issues or dead issues or economic fallacies for it to struggle under. As secession followed slavery to the grave and silver followed secession, so the Bryan socialism has followed silver, and the Democratic slate is wiped clean. The party is back to first principles again, under leadership that is fit to lead.

For fifty years the greatest service of the Democracy has been that of a party of Opposition. At last the opportunity has come, under men like Wilson and Gaynor and Baldwin and Dix and Harmon and Foss and Plaisted, for it to be a party of constructive and progressive statesmanship.

Four years ago The World raised the question, "Shall the Democratic party die?" There is no mistaking the answer of the November elections.


[November 2, 1912]

THERE are two systems of government known to modern civilization. One is based on Roman law, the other is based on English law.

Under Roman law the citizen exists for the benefit of the state. Under English law the State exists for the

benefit of the citizen. Under Roman law the affairs of the people are an active concern of government. Under Eng. lish law the affairs of government are an active concern of the people. Roman law is an institution of imperialism. English law is an institution of democracy.

The best modern example of government under Roman law is Prussia. The best modern example of government under English law is the United States. These two conflicting systems cannot be permanently reconciled.

Twenty years ago, thirty years ago, it would have seemed unbelievable that the issue of Roman law versus English law could ever be presented to the American people in a Presidential election. It would have seemed impossible that the American people would ever give serious consideration to the question of turning to Prussia for a model of government. Yet that is precisely what has happened in the campaign of 1912.

The whole Third-Term programme of government, so far as it departs from the Democratic programme and the regular Republican programme, is grounded in the Roman law and in Prussian theories of paternalism.

Under the Prussian form of government all the activ ities of the citizen are regulated by an all-wise and allpowerful bureaucracy. At every step of his life a highly centralized Government tells him what he may do, what he must do and what he must not do. By the agency of its tariffs and its subsidies the Government decides what industries it will encourage and what industries it will discourage. By means of its cartels it opens or closes the gates of opportunity at will. Production and consumption are alike regulated by its decrees. Competition or monopoly hinges upon the word of the bureaucrat. The Government guarantees the manufacturer his profit and it tells the consumer what he shall contribute toward the enrichment of industry.

Its peasants are supposed to remain peasants and till

the soil dutifully for the landlord classes that own the estates. Its workmen are supposed to remain workmen and assist the employer in conquering the markets of the world. In return for this docile obedience there are certain compensations such as State insurance and old-age pensions which are intended to reconcile the toiler to his caste. It is not for him to have ambition beyond the ambition to do whatever the Government deems for the best interest of the State. And the poor of Berlin are now killing and eating dogs because a benevolent despotism refuses to modify the prohibitive tariff duties on food.

Above all labor and industry is a ruling class that has rights and privileges unknown to English law. For the citizen who has been wronged by an agent of government there is no redress. The bureaucrat acts in the name of the Government, the Government is supreme, and therefore the bureaucrat is supreme, shielded by a great body of privileged law.

This is diametrically opposite to the theory of the English law that there is nobody so high as to be above the law, and that no authority known to government may trespass upon the rights and liberties of even the humblest citizen. This noble principle was never more clearly illuminated than in Pitt's magnificent outburst of eloquence:

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter, the rain may enter-but the King of England may not enter. All his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.

As exemplified in the case of Prussia, government un'der Roman law is necessarily a government of favor and privilege. It is a government under which individual opportunity is inevitably circumscribed and limited. It is a government which rules a nation founded on the military

principle-a few officers and a great army of privates who can never rise from the ranks. It is a government capable of development into a wonderfully organized machine which performs its functions with amazing precision. It is a government under which a whole people may be moulded to suit the purposes of those in authority. It is a government under which one directing mind can shape the destinies of a nation, as a general can shape the destinies of an army; but it is a government which has never been tolerated by a free people, and which no people could tolerate and remain free.

In the name of "social justice" it is now proposed to erect a replica of Prussian institutions upon American soil. It is proposed that a government of bureaucrats shall regulate the activities of 95,000,000 people. It is proposed to make the National Government a priceless prize for Plutocracy to take possession of and administer for its own profit. It is proposed to turn a great Republic into the theatre of a class war, and every election into a battle for wages, dividends and spoils. It is proposed to reduce American institutions to the dollar-mark and make every man's prosperity a matter of governmental wisdom and generosity. At the head of this system is to be a President of the United States clothed with greater power than any other living man except the Czar of Russia, and he is to hold the liberties, the welfare and the progress of the Nation in the hollow of his hand.

We know from long experience with the tariff what happens when great aggregations of capital are at the mercy of government. For more than a generation the protected industries have been united in a common conspiracy to name Presidents, to name Representatives in Congress and to name United States Senators. For more than a generation this conspiracy has been successful. Sometimes protected industry has lost control of the Presi'dency. Sometimes it has lost control of the House of

« PreviousContinue »