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PARTIES, Political - John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, vol. 3 Oath - Zollverein 
Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors, ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). Vol 3 Oath - Zollverein
Part of: Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, 3 vols.
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PARTIES, Political. I. Idea of Parties; Government Party; Opposition. Throughout all history we find that, wherever an active life of the people and of the state has been developed, political parties have sprung into existence. An absence of political parties is observed only where there prevails a passive indifference to all public concerns, or where tyrannical oppression by the ruling powers prevents all common manifestation of opinion and aspirations by whole groups of the population. In such cases, however the power and tendency of the people to form parties exist, if they are at all capable of political life; but this power and tendency at one time lie dormant, while at another they lack the air and light necessary to their growth, and the room they require for action. At times the impulse to form political parties, when suppressed in political life, is directed into other channels; it passes into the religious or ecclesiastical domain, and makes existing scientific, artistic and social differences more marked. Between such parties and political parties there exists a certain kind of elective affinity. Thus, a reactionary party in the church will, as a rule, in matters political, sympathize with a party of absolutism, the old traditional theological school with a conservative party, and the critical theological school or party, by way of preference, with the liberal parties in politics. In this work we have to do exclusively with political parties, and we can notice non-political parties only in so far as they are attracted to or repulsed by political parties.
—The most gifted and freest nations politically are precisely those that have the most sharply defined parties; for the most important phenomena in the life of the state are conditioned by party struggles. It is only through the struggle and interaction of opposing forces that all the hidden wealth of a people's powers is made clearly manifest. This proves the necessity and utility of the formation of parties. Parties are not a serious evil to the state, as many narrow and over-anxious minds are inclined to think. It reflects no glory on a statesman to stand aloof from his party, and it is no commendable virtue in the citizen of a state to belong to no party. For parties are, in the very nature of the case, the necessary manifestations of the innermost impulses of the public heart of the nation.
—Parties, as implied by the term itself, are always only a part of the nation. A party, accordingly, can possess only the consciousness of one part of the nation, and must not identify itself with the whole, the people, the state. Hence, one party may combat other parties, but it must not ignore them, nor wish to destroy them. One party can not subsist alone; it owes its existence and development only to the opposing party.
—Precisely because the prince in a monarchical country represents in his own person the unity of the state, and hence of all persons in the state, it is exacted of him, and almost exclusively of him, that he shall not espouse the cause of any party, and that he shall tolerate and respect all parties, each according to its character and rights. He may, indeed, choose to rely on any one party, because the latter, at a given time, seems particularly fitted to determine the policy of the state, and he may also have just cause for sharply watching the doings of parties that seem to endanger the public well-being. He may also, without sacrificing that impartiality (and impartiality is always his duty), declare himself in favor of one or as opposed to another party, according to the attitude of such party to the state, and according to that party's importance to the well-being of the state. But he incurs the risk of loading himself with the ugly appearance of being partial when he does this in a manner not perfectly warranted, and when his declaration of preference can be attributed to his personal inclination toward a party or to his personal aversion to the opposing party. A premature declaration of preference will, moreover, expose him to the danger of being compelled to disavow himself if, contrary to his expectation, the party hated or dreaded by him should become so powerful that it could not be refused the exercise of a decisive influence in the government, or if the party which he had approved or recommended at the elections had been rejected by the electors, so that he would be finally compelled to drop it. It is, accordingly, a political principle with wise princes to avoid declaring for or against any party in the state without the most urgent motives.
—This, however, does not apply to the case of ministers, nor to any of the other officers of the state, and just as little does it apply to the government of a republic. Still, whenever these latter act in their official capacity, they should not act as mere party men, for the office is essentially instinct with the spirit of the whole state, and any official act is at the same time an act of the state. But public law, with its powers and duties, knows nothing of parties, the regular law of the state is the common law fixed for all, the law which imposes a limit to the agitation and struggles of parties. The judge and the administrative officer should disregard all parties, and not perform their duties with the view of helping or hindering any party. Parties play an important rôle only when the stir of fresh, new life is felt; in other words, when political life begins. But the official duty of impartiality does not exclude an official from sharing freely in political life with those who are of the same mind with himself, or from taking whatever side he prefers. Unlike the prince, he is not the personification of the whole. He is, on the one hand, as an official, an organ and a representative of the state; and on the other hand, as a private individual invested with all the political rights of a citizen, he enjoys a position as to party by virtue of which he is entitled to seek his party fellows and to league himself with them. The greatest statesmen of Rome and England were always both impartial magistrates and acknowledged party leaders. Only, as a matter of course, their political action should be limited, conditioned and moderated by the inviolability of the impartial position of the official. As it is incumbent on-the historian to be impartial, that he should truthfully describe the condition of all parties, and judge them with fairness, but not that he should be a member of no party, or be a purely passive mirror reflecting with indifference the pictures of a nation's life; so it is incumbent on the statesman and the official, and in a still higher degree, that they should be impartial, but not that they should be non-party men.
—For these reasons a so-called government party does not deserve the favor which it has frequently received from the ruling powers. Every party, when its leaders have been called into office, becomes, in a certain sense, the government party, for a time at least, and as long as its leaders remain in harmony with the principles and tendencies of the party. Yet, in such a case, the term government party implies no party principle, but only indicates that the party has actually attained to power and influence. The very same party, however, without any change of principles or aims, may become a party of opposition, when its leaders again lose the chief offices of government, or when, remaining in office, they adopt a tendency hostile to, or when they eventually assume an unsatisfactory attitude toward, the party to which they had hitherto adhered.
—But by the government party is sometimes understood a party whose principle consists in adhering at all times to the government, and in supporting the government, of whatever persons it may consist and whatever tendency it may follow; a party which adheres to the government when the latter enacts reactionary measures, and still stands by it when any reformatory change of its system happens to take place. A government party in this sense consists mostly of men whose personal interests make them dependent mainly on the good will of the government, and who support it in the hope of emolument and preferment through the favor of government, while from its disfavor they have a motive to fear for their positions or economical well-being. Under certain circumstances a party of this kind may prove useful to a government, because its votes always possess a certain weight; but woe to the government that in critical moments relies on a government party of this kind, and seeks in it its last and only support. As in such a party there is no inward strength, it can give no support, and as it receives its impulses from the existing government, it must waver when that government itself is shaken; and as, above all, it is always resolved to serve the ministers of the government, who have, it may be, only recently stepped into office, it prepares for a change when there is any prospect of a change, and deserts the banner of its old, defeated leaders, to follow the fife and drum of the new victors. Such a party, accordingly, enjoys no genuine respect, neither that of the ministers, who use it, nor that of the people, who expect nothing good from it. It scarcely deserves the name of political party at all, because it has no political convictions, and no political aspirations. It is merely an appendage to the ruling power, without moral worth or political dignity. It is generally accessible to and inclined to corruption, and usually ready to bargain away its fidelity and its services. Such a party, therefore, is unable to maintain itself in a manly nation, with a highly developed political party life; it is fated to be broken up and thrust aside by other and genuine parties. Yet, in the old monarchies of the European continent, such parties have still a certain importance, sometimes in connection with other old established court parties.
—As a contrast to what is known as the government party in this objectionable sense, we have what is known as the party of opposition; but by this term we do not mean that other no less objectionable party, whose vital principle consists in opposition to the government, and which does not combat the policy of the government because it regards that policy as unsound or its success as dangerous, but solely because it is the policy of the government. The government party may be simply submissive, and blindly devoted to the government; a party of opposition such as we have here described, on the other hand, is to an excess obstinate and odious. The former always tamely follows in the wake of government, while the latter, at every step, thwarts it by distrust and antagonism. Both, accordingly, are unhealthy phenomena in the public life of a people. At times such a party of opposition may find favor with the people, just as the government party does with the powerful. But its negative qualities have only the appearance of utility to the commonwealth or of care for the interests of the people. The moving principle in it is certainly not egotism, as in the government party, but obstinacy, defiant aggressiveness, obstruction to all political authority; in a word, anarchy. It does not deserve the favor of any nation, any more than a purely government party deserves that of the government. When, between the years 1820 and 1830, the German chambers witnessed such opposition parties at work by the side of government parties, and courting popular favor, it was only the sign of a still unripe and sickly political life, for then the belief was still widely spread among the people, that only the man who opposed the government, and only as long as he opposed it, could be a patriot, and would devote himself heart and soul to the people. From the mere possibility of so dangerous an error, we may readily infer the existing moral rottenness of those governments.
—After this brief explanation, we may define political parties as follows: They are the free, social groups within the state, held together for common action by the ties of the same or closely related fundamental political principles, ideas and aspirations.
—II. Political Parties and Factions. We distinguish parties from factions. Factions are but the caricature of parties. Parties are necessary to the life of the state, and in so far useful; factions are unnecessary and always injurious. In healthy political life parties must be developed, while factions gain in power under unhealthy conditions. Real development is promoted by parties; corruption and the decay of states show the effects of faction.
—On what does this distinction depend? Language here is not as safe and steadfast in its distinguishing powers as science would wish. We speak properly of a political party, when that party represents a political principle, or pursues a political tendency; political, that is, compatible with the existence of the state, and directed to the well-being of society. A political party may, indeed, exhibit great defects of character; it may employ wrong means, and pursue foolish aims. But it should never attack the existence of the state, or consciously pursue tendencies injurious to it. When it does this, it debases itself into a faction. Factions never serve the state; they are above all mindful of self; they pursue egotistic, and not political, aims. In the conflict between the well-being of the state and private interests, they unhesitatingly prefer the latter and sacrifice the former.
—A faction can not easily rise to the noble position of a political party, although this may not altogether be impossible; but a political party may easily degenerate into a faction. As soon as self-seeking has become its ruling passion throughout all its actions, as soon as it becomes heedless of its duties toward the country, and refuses to acknowledge its submission to the whole, it has entered the paths of faction, and we must deny it the honorable name of a political party. As every man is at the same time an individual apart, and a member of a community, of his nation, and, finally, of humanity, so also the various social groups possess this same kind of dualistic existence. They are associations with particular interests, and they are also parts of a larger whole. Political parties are animated and determined by this common spirit, although their egotistic self-love and party interest never become wholly extinct. Factions, on the contrary, are associations in which this self-seeking side has grown so powerful that it aims at subjecting to it the public well-being, and to sacrifice the state to its particular interests; although, as a matter of fact, even in factions the public well-being is seldom completely lost sight of. The contrast between a political party and a faction is, therefore, of a nature such that it manifestly suggests a certain affinity between them. They only follow opposite currents. Accordingly, as public spirit or private interest prevails in either of these groups of men, it may at one time be a political party, and at another a faction. When a party holds its meetings, chooses its leaders, comes to an agreement and passes resolutions; when it founds and supports organs to give expression to its opinions, and combats its adversaries; or when any individual member of the party, as far as is possible without violating higher duties, submits his individual opinion and inclination to his party, and follows the leaders of his party as soldiers follow their general: in all this there is nothing that can be called factious. If the party is to possess power and influence, it must organize itself, and display its activity in public life, at elections and in deliberative councils, as a closely compact body. But when party zeal and party passion preponderate to such a point as to prefer to tear the country to pieces rather than join hands for the sake of the common weal; when one party, upon gaining power, directs public affairs as a party government, using its power in the oppression and persecution of all who profess different opinions; when parties league themselves with the enemies of the state, and deliver the country over to their power: all proceedings of this kind exclude the true idea of a political party, and faction has usurped its place.
—III. Names and Kinds of Parties. Different names do not always indicate different kinds of parties, and the names as well as the objects concerning which parties contend may frequently be simply accidental. People may quarrel and divide themselves into parties about a garter, or the shape of a hat; and in the case of more than one historical party division it is difficult to tell what was the cause that divided the nation. Even a mere whim, or difference of taste, the partiality to green or red, or vice versa, has parted society into hostile groups. Yet parties, in the earnest consciousness of their differences, often select colors only as party symbols, and in such case become known by their colors, as, for instance, the green and blue parties in the old Byzantine empire, the red and white rose in mediæval England, and the red (ultra-revolutionary) and black (clerical) parties of modern times. Parties in general, and factions still more so, love to distinguish themselves from each other and from the indifferent multitude by symbolical badges. Hence, they have their banners, cockades, colored caps, ribbons, and their peculiar costumes.
—The more futile the causes that separate parties, or the less any political principles and aims determine their formation, the less also can they be called political parties in the proper sense of the term, and the more readily will such associations degenerate into factions. Political science does not concern itself with these non-political parties; and just as little can it pay any attention to purely accidental parties. Although at times they may assert their influence on practical politics, political science is unable to fix them, because they are not determined by political principles. On the other hand, the following kinds of parties deserve mention: 1. Religio-political parties. Denominational parties, as such, do not belong to these; but, when starting from different religious or ecclesiastical opinions or tendencies, they divide politically, and seek to influence the life of the state, they in a certain respect become political parties. This species of party division in the middle ages, as, for instance, that between Christians and Mohammedans, had a decided influence on public life, and this party division is even still sufficiently felt. Even in modern European parliaments we still hear of catholic and orthodox Lutheran parties, of ultramontanes and pietists. But these are spurious kinds of party, and, therefore, wherever political life is developed, they are banished from the arena of political parties to their own sphere, to wit, the domain of religious and ecclesiastical life. As the cause of the formation of this kind of parties has nothing to do with the state, and as their aims are not political, it must always be considered an abuse, when, in the modern state, they demean themselves as political parties. Religion seldom gains by such demeanor on its part, and politics is always injured by them.
—2. Parties may also, in a temporal, but not purely political sense, be divided according to nations, which, however, does not by any means constitute a normal division (such as Neo-Latins and Germans in the ancient German-Roman states, English, Scots and Irish in Great Britain, and Germans and Czecks in Bohemia; or according to tribes, as Franks, Old-Bavarians, in Bavaria; or according to the social order, as patricians, plebeians, clergy and nobility, nobility and bourgeoisie). Nations, tribes and estates, such as the third estate, possess in fact an importance which is not exclusively political, but above all civil and social. They also form firmly established wholes, and would form a too solid basis for political parties, which must never cease to feel themselves parts subordinate to the state. When, accordingly, parties are based upon nationalities, or when they are divided into tribes, there is danger that they may destroy the unity of the state. But if the unity of the state is to be preserved, the parties in the state should cross and unite the different nations, tribes and estates that exist within the political body, thus welding the parts into unity. When parties and estates are coincident this danger is not so great, for the estates know that they are only a part of the people, and that they can not form a state of themselves alone. Yet even here, party differences, allied with such mighty constituents of the state organism, differences thus powerful, lasting and bold, may by such alliance seriously threaten the internal peace of the state and public order.
—3. In the middle ages parties had still, for the most part, either a religious, national or an estate character. It is a sign of political progress when parties begin to divide according to definite constitutional principles, for then political ideas, and not merely the tradition of a race or of a particular class or calling, begin to unite those together who are of the same mind, and to separate them from their opponents. Parties of this nature are aristocrats and democrats, royalists and republicans, constitutionalists and feudalists, unionists and federalists, nationalists and particularists, etc. Sometimes these parties continue to rest in part upon a difference of estate or class: thus, the aristocratic and feudal party in Europe usually derives its main support from the nobility, the constitutional party from the third estate, and the democrats from the lower classes. But they are no longer confined within the narrow limits of an estate; the political opinion of one class or estate invades the others, and draws toward it those who are of the same way of thinking.
—Yet these are only transitory political parties, which happen to arise during constitutional struggles for the transformation of the existing constitution, and which disappear when that struggle has been brought to a close and a new constitution is introduced and generally acknowledged. The task of the constitution consists in realizing and giving effect to its principles, and there is after this no need of constitutional parties, because all views that could possibly claim any political importance are supposed to have found their expression in the organs of the constitutional system itself, as for instance, the aristocratic elements in an upper house, and the constitutional and democratic elements in a lower house. Such political parties, accordingly, work toward their own destruction, because they invariably perish after obtaining the victory; they desire to die as political parties, that they may rise again as political powers; they desire to become members of the body politic itself. Hence, their principles are not party principles, but constitutional principles.
—4. The highest and purest form of political parties is incontestably that of those which are determined by exclusively political and not religious or social contrasts or differences, and which at the same time permanently accompany the public life.
—Wachsmuth, in his Geschichte der politischen Parteiungen, 1832, advanced the opinion that, "in the history of the human race it must be accepted as a fundamental law of the universe, that, on the whole, there certainly is a progress toward the better, but it must also be admitted that the history of political parties has no share in that progress. Whether good or bad, such as they were from time out of mind, they remain to this very day." I also believe that a "progress toward the better" is perceptible in the history of political parties; although what is fundamental in human nature, on which parties depend, has remained the same, and when human passions have once been aroused, the man of to-day is as far from being exempt from the risk of relapsing into extreme brutality and barbarity as was the man of a thousand or two thousand years ago. The French nation in the eighteenth century claimed to stand at the head of European civilization, and yet this did not save it from the horrors of the reign of terror during the French revolution. Yet as in war, so also have the contentions of parties become, on the whole, less cruel and brutal. In spite of all the horrors that still disgrace our age, civilization has at least somewhat moderated the savage hatred of parties.
—Yet I regard these as most manifest symptoms of improvement: that an ever higher form of party seems to have replaced the old one, that parties by degrees have laid aside other differences belonging to the domain of nature and social culture, and that they are more and more determined by purely political principles. The contrasts and differences of liberals and conservatives, of radicals and absolutists, are purely political, pervade all classes of the population, and are in every instance determined by different fundamental political ideas. These parties, and parties of this nature, although they often bear different names, are markedly the fruit of the political culture of modern times.
—IV. Rohmer's Doctrine of Parties. Friedrich Rohmer's doctrine of parties, which was first announced theoretically and put into practice in 1842, during the party contest in Zürich, was in 1844 expounded by Rohmer in a work, the thoughtful contents and splendor of style of which were acknowledged even by its bitterest enemies. Rohmer's work has unquestionably exercised a great influence in the elucidation of political ideas; many of the thoughts which it contains have since become the common property of men of political culture throughout Europe, and many of its sentences have been plagiarized by well-known writers. Yet the effect of the book was below what might have been expected from the high merits of its principles and style of exposition. There was an obstacle in the way of the unprejudiced examination and acceptance of the new doctrine of parties, in the suspicion, entertained by a large portion of the party of progress, that the book was not the exposition of a scientific conviction, but a party document, written to divide the party of progress by an artificial and skillfully contrived confusion of ideas, to humble the radicals, and to support the power of the Swiss liberal conservatives. This suspicion was wholly unfounded; his doctrine is, on the whole, rather a necessary consequence of Rohmer's psychological views, and it is decidedly favorable to the formation of liberal states. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the circumstances under which the doctrine originated might have suggested a suspicion of this kind, and that at the first formulation of the doctrine the passionate party struggles in which the author was involved, in certain particular points, may have exerted an unfavorable influence in some places. A no smaller hindrance than this wrong suspicion lay in the as yet undeveloped condition of political party life in Germany, people being still unaccustomed there to look at the political spirit from a psychological point of view. If the book had been written in 1849 instead of in 1844, it would have been more easily intelligible to the bulk of the German nation.
—The fundamental idea of the doctrine is this: "As the state must be understood in the light of human nature and receive its explanation from the facts of human nature, so also must political parties in their natural causes be explained by the facts of human life. To understand the state as a political body, I must first understand the elements of the human mind: to understand the life of the state, I must investigate the laws of its development." (§ 17.) "This development manifests itself in the age stages of the life of man. The development of the state itself constitutes its history; but parties are the independent groupings of the different age stages of human life, by themselves and side by side with each other." (§ 217.) "As we distinguish four stages in the life of man—the boy, the young man (adolescens), the tried man (juvenis), and the old man (senex)—so may we distinguish four fundamental types of party. At the height of virile life stand the young man and the tried man. In these the active powers of mind hold the supremacy; in the former the generative and creative forces of character and mind, and in the latter the preserving and purifying forces. Liberal principles accord with the mind of the young man, and conservative principles commend themselves to the mind of the tried man. In boyhood and in old age, on the contrary, the passive forces of mind are found in the foreground, in the boy in an ascending, but in the old man in a descending, direction. The boy has a vivid intuitive power and imagination, and a sensitive heart, but creative energy is still undeveloped in him. The old man has, in common with woman, susceptibility and impressionableness of nature, dexterity in action, certainty and coolness in calculation, rapidity and clearness of comprehension. The boy is a radical; the old man, absolute.
—As in the organic course of nature every man passes through the different age stages, and experiences this change of strength and of impulse, so also does nature impress on individuals, irrespective of their age, as individuals, this diversity of the leading and determining forces of mind. There are men who as individuals are born boys, and who remain boys in mind and character through life. Others have as individuals youthful natures, others are endowed with the spirit and character of the tried man, while still others are as individuals old from childhood. Thus, Pericles was of a youthful nature, Cæsar naturally a man, Alcibiades a boy, and Augustus by nature an old man. Most men in their individual nature are not complete and well balanced, but mixed and defective. Many, for instance, are boyish or old at heart, but manly in spirit; or old in mind, but young at heart. As regards politics, mind is the decisive element. The mass of men do not individually belong to the higher stages. There are but few really liberal or truly conservative individuals. The bulk of men are by nature born old or boyish." (§ 35.) "That is, only in few men, considered as individuals, is the reason that discerns and regulates, or the creative power of speech, the prevailing power of the mind; most men have certainly a sensitive or receptive mind, are eager to learn, have rather a passive than an active mind, with the mental constitution of boys or older people. Parties, accordingly, are not to be compared with the age stages themselves. The differences of their inclinations and faculties are rather traceable to the natural difference of individual disposition, in which the difference of the age stages is permanently stamped and expressed. And because parties thus have their foundation in human nature, they also all have a natural right. Some correspond to the higher, and others to the lower, development of life; and from this correspondence their natural order and sub-order result. Their explanation is their judgment. Only the manly parties, the liberals and conservatives, are called to the government of the state, but not the two extreme parties, the radicals and absolutists. Their doctrine combats the illusion that radicalism should be considered as the only resolute and logical form of liberalism, as also the supposition that conservatism, in its highest power, becomes absolutism. Their doctrine insists, rather, on the distinction between the two parties in the ascending line of development, boyish radicalism, and youthful, manly liberalism, and between the two parties, in the descending line of development, conservatism and absolutism; and it demands the subordination of radicals to liberals, of absolutists to conservatives. Only when liberals and conservatives are at the helm does mind prevail over matter, and force of character over excitability. The struggles of parties are the following: of liberalism against conservatism, e.g., plebeians and patricians in the palmy days of Rome; of radicalism against liberalism, e.g., the English radicals against the whigs; of absolutism against conservatism, e.g., Carlists and moderantists in Spain, high tories and moderates in England; of conservatism against radicalism, e.g., the European struggle of the tories under Pitt against the French revolution; of liberalism against absolutism, e.g., Luther against the popes of his time, and O'Connell against orangemen; of radicalism against absolutism, e.g., the struggle of the French revolution against the monarchies of the last century." (§ 16.)
—The alliances of parties are also manifold. The most dangerous to the healthy life of the state is the alliance of both the extreme parties, of radicals and absolutists. The alliance of liberals and conservatives is the most favorable to its normal development. If the development of the state requires new institutions, the liberals naturally step to the front, and the alliance will be a conservative liberal one; if there be question of preserving the threatened order of things, the conservative element must needs preponderate, and the alliance assumes a liberal conservative character.
—When Rohmer's doctrine of parties first originated at Zürich in 1842, the preservation of the existing order of things seems to have been the task on hand; a liberal conservative policy was proclaimed, and the attempt was made to found a liberal conservative party. Ideas were at that time expressed with great distinctness and clearness, and these ideas had an influence that can not be denied. But the first attempt at the formation of a party was made under very unfavorable conditions, and attained only an incomplete development. The liberal elements chanced to be too weakly represented, and the young party was unable to keep pace with the stronger movement of the epoch, in which liberal and radical elements had become indissolubly mingled together. Its principle, however, was able to tide over the revolution, and thus passed to a part of its former adversaries, but the party itself, which first had recognized that principle, was dissolved. While Germany at first took but little notice of it, English and French statesmen, on the contrary, took up the principle, yet without altogether understanding the full depth of its significance; they were, moreover, affected by the same false tendency from which the Swiss liberal conservative party had suffered. Guizot attempted to found in France a liberal conservative party, but he ignored the liberal aspirations of the times, and insisted in a doctrinarian manner on preserving the untenable. In England, however, Sir Robert Peel was more fortunate in organizing a liberal conservative policy. Since that time, however, this idea has entered into the party movements of almost all continental states, and without it modern party contentions can nowhere be rightly understood. If the differences of political parties depend on the difference of natural individual disposition, the necessity of parties, and, further still, their legitimateness, follows as a consequence; for anything that has the roots of its existence in nature, has a right to have its existence respected. All laws and public measures, accordingly, that aim at the control of parties, or at the suppression of particular, even of extreme, parties, violate the natural law of creation, which has produced this multiplicity, and which, even through the conflict of differences, creates the highest phenomena of human life.
—The choice of a definite party, accordingly, is only in a secondary sense the work of personal insight, and of free will; for every individual in the first place feels the impulse and attraction of nature. The man who is by nature a radical will feel himself drawn toward the radical party. The man who is naturally old will be drawn rather toward the party of absolutists. But, as in all human things, the force of natural instinct is not endowed with an absolutely compulsory power, man possesses a power of mind and character over himself; he is able to overcome his own impulses, when he believes them to be foolish or injurious. Other motives and interests modify the differences which distinguish the natural individual disposition, and sometimes impel those who are naturally radical to submit to the direction of the conservatives, or drive them into the camp of the absolutists. Education, with the power of ideas and habits which it gives, has frequently the most decided influence on the choice of a party. Experience and study may also induce an individual to profess different principles and tendencies, and hence to adhere to a party different from that which we should have expected, from his individual nature, he would ally himself to.
—Nature herself has taken care that the dangerous one-sidedness of parties should not completely isolate men from one another, by compelling every individual man in his lifetime to pass through all the different age stages, and thus to experience in himself and in his own near kindred and acquaintances the nature of other parties than the party to which he belongs by his own individual nature. Any attentive and thinking man will hence judge more broadly and fairly of others when he has an eye to the many-sided teachings of nature. Nature has a healing remedy for the arrogance of extreme parties, and gives a warning to individuals to join rather the more manly central parties; and it directs all parties always to submit to the whole by manifesting, as in the organization of the human body, complete human nature, and all the faculties of the soul in the proper relation of order and subordination. It hardly needs to be recalled to mind, that the following characteristics of the four parties are merely typical. Real life scarcely ever expresses altogether completely and purely the typical, fundamental idea, but only approaches it more or less closely. But when science in grand outlines sketches the natural types, it in so doing elucidates and arranges the otherwise unfathomable, chaotic variety of phenomena.
—1. Radicalism. Radicalism is illustrated and explained by the nature of the boy. Although the delineation is made with great skill, and is true in the main, the picture is not free from a certain exaggeration, or from polemical bitterness, which can be explained only by the time in which it was drawn. Hence its dark sides have manifestly been painted with greater relish and more nervous strokes than its bright sides. The author, Theodore Rohmer, in his later years himself admitted this.
—He introduces his description by a reference to "the spirit of contradiction, which begins to stir within every man, after the development of consciousness. This spirit, this opposition for the sake of opposition, in faith, science, church and state, is the main trait of radicalism." (§ 45.) "Radicalism is very well adapted to oppose when, from the sphere of an inferior criticism, it pursues the sins of absolutism, when it hastens the march of conservatism, and clears the road for liberalism; ever blaming, hurrying, agitating, but incapable of ruling; productive of misfortune and of terrible disturbances as soon as it seizes the reins of government. Hence, it is a frequent occurrence in parliamentary states, that the most brilliant leaders of the opposition betray a complete incapacity when they are called into power. Government and childhood exclude each other." (§§50-52.)
—"The mobility of the boy is unbounded. Quiet, rest and self-containment are impossible to him. He loves change and variety to a passionate degree, and his ardent nature is continually in search of novelty. To this must be added his unhealthy longing to become a grown man. He sees the adult people around him, and his most powerful wish is to be like them. He imitates them, and plays the man. 'Novelty and progress' are the watch-words of radicalism. But 'novelty' is not reform; it proceeds from the impulse to change, and, like the latter, it is variable in itself, and 'progress' is only the impulse toward progress. He wants to reap before he has well sown; he is given to excess, as was the French revolution, or he is compelled to give himself up, as Joseph II had to give himself up. Radicalism borrows from liberalism, and imitates it. Radicalism everywhere in Europe, through organic self-deception, regards itself as liberalism." (§ 46.)
—"If the boy were not altogether by nature incapable of ruling, and relegated to obedience, he certainly would be thus incapable and relegated to a very high degree by his complete lack of experience. Experience can not be learned, but must be acquired in the school of life. The inability to learn from experience accompanies boyish natures through life. It was precisely this inability which so deeply embittered Napoleon against the radical ideologists, and for very good reason. So destitute of meaning and experience is radicalism. When Cola Rienzi believed that he could resuscitate the power of Rome by means of the mere name of the tribunate, and the forms of ancient Rome; or when the German Burschenschaft thought to restore the spirit of the empire by restoring the title of German empire, they dreamt like inexperienced boys. If Joseph II. in Austria, Pombal in Portugal, and Struensee in Denmark, had taken counsel of experience, they would have understood that it is impossible by any number of decrees to suddenly extirpate the deeply rooted past." (§§ 53, 54.)
—"As the boy is complete neither in his mind, which is in process of development, nor in his sensitive faculties, which can be ripened only through life, it follows that he must learn. To learn is not to know, but only a preparation for knowledge. But the boy, although desirous of learning, at every step which he takes in learning from others, believes himself to be in possession of real knowledge. On the other hand, we all know how difficult it is to overcome the aversion of a boy for methodical learning. His wild disposition carries him away from it, while his instinct demands culture and schooling; between the two he remains in a wavering state. In this manner radicalism has ever displayed either barbaric ignorance or an exaggerated craving for formal culture, schooling and enlightenment. Rousseau, the father of modern radicalism, instead of culture wished to see men in the rude state of nature; our modern radicals, radical in their demand for culture, cry loudly for education and popular culture as only boys cry for schooling." (§§ 56, 57.)
—"The powers of the boy are naturally adapted to mental appropriation. His susceptibility is marvelous, his imagination indefatigable; but reason, will-power and all deeper insight are absent. The boy, in a word, is brimful of talent not of mind. Talent is the characteristic mark of radicals; but talent has no standing in any court for depth of intellect. History affords us a very powerful example of this truth. In the three parliaments of the French revolution, in the constituent assembly, in the legislative assembly and convention, there was a galaxy of men of talent, partly of the most remarkable kind, and of such variety and number combined as the world had but seldom witnessed. The names, which at that time followed one another in rapid succession on the scene, still remain the pride of the French nation. And what became of all these men of talent, when a great spirit, when Napoleon, put in his appearance? It seemed as if the one great mind alone sufficed to fill the vast field which a hundred men of talent had divided among themselves. How even the most renowned among them shrank into insignificance before Napoleon: men like Sieyès, Talleyrand, Cambaceres, and even Carnot! Yet Mirabeau maintained himself; in the midst of all these radical men of talent he was the only intellect." (§§ 59,60.)
—"The boy, like the poet, lives in a world of ideals; he knows the real world only in miniature, and even in miniature he has no thorough knowledge of it. It is perfectly natural that he should build himself a world of poetical and fantastic day-dreams, of castles in the air. Radicalism has also created a world of ideals; it, too, is clothed with a charm which has misled whole nations. A world, full of freedom, happiness and bliss; a world, in which all men embrace one another, and live together like brothers, in which everlasting peace reigns, and in which an everlasting community of all spiritual and corporeal possessions obtains: a world of this kind, such as was proclaimed by the religious visionaries of the middle ages, and by the political dreamers of the nineteenth century—how charming it always appears to the senses and to the heart, in spite of the fact that experience and reason have so often told us that it crumbles away in the presence of reality. The attempts of radical world-improvers belong as little to real politics as poetry itself belongs to politics; but for life they possess a truth similar to that of poetry. In fact, what happiness the boy dreams of as in store for him in his manhood; of the freedom that he will one day enjoy, and the pleasure of a thousand circumstances in life! If he reaches manhood, and if fate favors him, he certainly may find happiness and freedom, yet it will be a kind different from what he had dreamed of; he will then smile at the dreams of his boyhood, and instead of these he will try to enjoy the sober reality of the present." (§§ 63, 64.)
—"The boy's understanding leads him to the formal branches of knowledge. Even his imagination, when he applies it to scientific questions, guides him into the field of abstraction. All radicalism is at all times formal, mathematical and abstract, when it invades the domain of manhood. Its culture and legislation are full of formalism: its conception of life and history are abstract; the radical state is mechanical without a suspicion even of organism; it is constructed, as Aristotle expresses it, instead of for it adds, subtracts, compounds and distributes men and affairs as if they were only arithmetical quantities." (§§ 65, 66.)
—"Culture and education, as means substitutive of nature, are the one great idea which has become with modern radicals the most predominant idiosyncrasy. That idea proceeds from the boy's capacity for education. The boy sees in education a substitute for innate gifts, and even considers it the creator of individual nature. He believes that education can make fools clever, and the stupid intelligent; that it is in the power of education to make all men equally learned, equally intelligent; that through the same means of education all classes can be raised to the same height, and that the crowd can be extirpated forever. Of all radical ideas, none has been more widely spread in Germany than this, and partly for the reason that the Germans, of all nations, are endowed with great capacity for comprehensive and genuine culture, and because they love education even too much not to easily over-estimate it. Instead of adapting culture to different natures, character is indiscriminately made to adapt itself to one and the same form of education. Happy age, when all Germans shall be educated and geistreich. Stupidity, which hitherto, at times, has been modestly silent, would then reign supreme, while mediocrity has already begun to rule in consequence of that very idiosyncrasy." (§ 71.)
—"As in the case of women, the boy only knows one reason for everything. The understanding, which is not as yet developed in the boy, superordinates and subordinates intuition, which he possesses, and conceives objects, notwithstanding their variety, as a complete and undivided whole. How radicalism everywhere, both in the material and the intellectual spheres, is urged by the impulse toward 'leveling,' needs no further examples.
—The boy moves with originality on the field of speculation. Man, in childhood, indulges in a number of questions, which he is unable to answer as a man. He thinks about the origin of the world, about the reasons of being. But he does not investigate for the sake of a higher purpose, but merely because investigation is a pleasure to him. Abstraction, as abstraction merely, satisfies him. The two characteristic marks of all radical speculation are: an ideally mingling the reason of the world's existence with the world itself (pantheism), practically, the supremacy of abstraction over life." (§ 74.)
—"Radicalism, like childhood, is good and rich in blessings, and when in its right place its effects are unequaled: but it degenerates and becomes worthless when it swerves from the right path, and when placed at the helm becomes a prey to demoniacal powers. From what evils it frees us, from what abuses, from what an oppressive load it unburdens Europe, by its ever-living, stimulating power and active foresight; how much of evil it does away with, how much of what is useless it removes, and how much of what is now it has encouraged—all this is well known in recent times. If it had been able to keep within the bounds of the opposition, if it had surrendered the direction of affairs to liberalism, instead of thwarting it, its effects would surely have been a blessing. The country may be considered fortunate in which radicalism keeps up an opposition without encroaching in public affairs, but keeps its energetic action within the bounds of modesty. Woe to the country in which it rules supreme. Waste of mind and emptiness of heart, the ruin of the past and the decay in the present, are the signs that accompany it." (§ 77.)
—"The boy believes that he shows courage when he displays only impudence, and energy when he makes a manifestation of obstinacy. He indeed possesses courage to do many things which the grown man can not attain to, because to such courage belongs a barbaric recklessness toward all existing rights, relations and institutions, or an unparalleled degree of levity. Yet these are precisely the qualities by which radicalism has been able to impart an occasional bold forward movement to the wheels of history, which in certain cases it would have been beyond the power of even the most advanced liberalism to impart. They are also the qualities of which Providence frequently avails itself for the attainment of its designs. Radicalism not only vents itself against old institutions, when they have become rotten; it attacks the past and pulls down everything with relish; the radicalism of the better kind does this, because it carries within it the organic delusion that it can create a new world from the wreck of the old, and the worse kind of radicalism, because it is impelled thereto by its love of destruction. A tabula rasa is what both want." (§ 85.)
—"Although far from cruel, the boy commits many cruel acts. His anger when irritated, his revengefulness when offended, his fury when controlled, are simply barbaric. But he nevertheless combines all this with a tenderness, or rather a weakness, of feeling, which easily passes into pusillanimity and exaggeration. The source of these opposite qualities is sentimentality, which is as cruel as it is easily aroused, as easily inclined to evil as it is capable of good. This sentimentality consists in an excessive degree of sensitiveness." (§ 87)
—"By nature the boy has only an abstract sensual conception of the world. He is able to conceive only unity or multiplicity; and these opposites coexist in him as unreconciled with one another as were Judaism and Greek polytheism in the ancient world." (§ 88.)
—"Abstraction makes things equal. Thus, the boy looks upon men as equal except in as far as they do not exist outside his own sphere. Boys among themselves are democrats. Their whole mind and heart demand equality. Take a school of thirty or forty boys the moment before the teacher enters. An absolute freedom and equality prevail among them. The instant the teacher appears, all are just as equal in obedience as they were before in anarchy. Boys are fit only for a democratic or a despotic government. To the boy freedom means only following his caprice, and doing what he pleases. His idea of equality is, that nobody should be allowed to enjoy higher privileges than himself. What has been said describes, as we believe, sufficiently the main traits of radicalism, considered as the submission of the organic life of man to the unlimited power of abstraction." (§ 92.)
—2. Liberalism. Liberalism is the representation of the young man. "The youth enters into the world free. He is no longer hampered by discipline; life and fate henceforth educate him. His first act is to examine the ground on which he stands, the inner and the outer world. His criticism spares nothing; he is bold enough to doubt everything; yet not merely for the sake of doubting. He doubts, in order by his own power to attain to truth. He seeks, in order to find. Intellectual and moral criticism is a main trait of all liberalism. But there is no trace in liberalism of the opposition which is made by the man who is not free. If I were to draw an historical picture of the character of liberalism, and point out wherein it differs from radicalism, I should recall the life of Luther in the religious sphere, and Lessing's labors in the scientific world." (§§ 93, 94.)
—"The young man is man in his highest bloom. Replete with life and movement, and at the same time full of sense and consciousness; his mind developed in every direction, at the height of creative power, high-minded and energetic, still undisturbed about fate; the entire man in the fullness of all his impulses, ardently desirous of the future, and yet even now master of the present, unhindered by obstacles, inventive of plans, full of sense in the choice of means, and of genius in execution; a constitution of this kind, or none, is adapted to reform, or rather, born to create and organize, just as the boy is fitted for revolution." (§ 95.)
—"Because it alone unites activity with genuine strength, liberalism is the formative principle of all existence, in science and in faith, in the church and in the state; and only that which contains within itself creative germs with a positive core, deserves the name of liberal. Everywhere, under all conditions, and even where it carries destruction before it, liberalism acts as an organizing power, and where it does not directly distribute blessing it is infusive of new life. In German history we have a refreshing picture of an organizing liberal in King Henry I." (§ 96.)
—"The opinions of the young man are full of ardor, his assertions are full of acuteness, but he is naturally too modest and too humane not to honor all outside aspirations if nobly harbored. Where the boy is exclusive in his opinions the young man investigates, and where the former is narrow-minded the latter preserves his intellectual sight free and undimmed. He is free from prejudice, and takes things as they are; and this freedom is the mother of the highest kind of toleration, a toleration, however, which never ignobly vacillates between what is good and what is evil, or which meanly wavers between opposite tendencies, but honors what is worthy of honor, even in its bitterest enemy, and from its own steady point of view judges, with impartiality, the points of view of others." (§ 97.)
—"As independence is the nerve of manhood, it follows that the man can never find the reasons of his actions in authority; he can find them only in the truth which authority can lay before him. A liberal government will never pay homage to public opinion as such, nor to the spirit of the age, the Zeitgeist as such; yet it will always respect the spirit of the age, combat its falsities, and take its truths to heart. A liberal opposition will never despise the authority of the throne, nor accept any proposal merely because it comes from the throne, nor, like the radicals, reject it only because it emanates from the throne." (§ 109.)
—"The age period of the young man is the highest expression of man. The mightiest ideas and passions, the highest power of his intellect, the richest fullness of his sensitive faculties, and his most perfect bodily development, belong to this age. In this age stage man becomes man complete. In this sense liberalism is humane, it and humanity become one. The greatest and only perfect liberal known to history is Christ. And through what did Christ exert his most powerful influence, and so powerfully that no one among us who knows anything of his individuality can well help loving and revering him? Why has his image been stamped so deeply on the heart of humanity? Not because of the sublimity of his mind, or simply because of the miracles of his life alone; not because of the supernatural in his nature, but because of his humanity." (§ 100)
—"If it be true that liberalism expresses human nature in that which is most peculiar to it, then of the four parties referred to above, supremacy belongs to it; for only man should rule over men. But as nature tarries long and in a thousand ways in its lower phases; and as it only seldom, and but for a short time, gives us glimpses of its summits; thus also liberalism, in all nations, has ruled only during their most flourishing epochs, and only for a short period." (§ 102.)
—"The education of the young man is the school of life. His teaching goes to the root of things. His culture is the development of pure humanity in its widest sense. Where radicalism only looks at schooling, liberalism looks at the nature of man; the one has an eye only to what has been learned, the other to what is inborn; the former gives us only state-servants, the latter statesmen. To liberalism also the teaching of the people is sacred. It desires that every one should be brought up a man. But, instead of applying the standard of the highest stages to the lower ones, it aims at an organization of public instruction that may afford the possibility of the highest culture to any one capable of receiving it, even those of the lowest classes, yet without over-educating them." (§§ 102, 103.)
—"The direct, fresh-springing creative power that distinguishes the young man, as compared with the talent of the boy, and the calculating wisdom of advanced age, is called genius. Genius knows, where talent only learns; it creates, where talent plays; and thinks where the latter dreams. The true man knows himself, and carries his measure within him. To know himself is the fundamental condition, and to measure accurately the highest quality of genius. The boy overrates his own powers, and allows them to disport themselves without control; the man knows them, and uses them with circumspection. Radicalism, in its policy and in the administration of the state, herein acts like the boy, liberalism, like the man. When liberalism is at the helm, all the parts of the state are called into activity proportionately to their importance, but none are overrated, none overstrained. Ancient Rome and England are still patterns in regard to the knowledge of state measures, and in the observation of the proper measure. Liberalism does not perfect anything before maturity, or before the times command it. But then it acts quickly, thoroughly and with energy. Of this nature was the regeneration of Prussia at the time of French supremacy. Even under the administration of Stein decree followed decree; but the national spirit advanced step by step with these decrees. While Stein was laying the foundations of civil freedom, and Scharnhorst those of public defense, the intelligence and heart of the German people had been raised to the level of this freedom, and its active energy had begun to long for the armament of the nation." (§§ 104-110.)
—"Clearness of understanding, grandeur and abundance of ideas, logical penetration, perfection of language and power of speech, characterize the period of bloom of the human mind. His entire organization impels the young man into the fields of intellect, in search of organic knowledge, to the study of philosophy and psychology, of the sciences of the state, and of politics. The philosophy of the schools, or mere scholasticism, call it as we may, formulas and technical terms, may suit the boy, but the philosophy of truth and of life belong to the man. Liberalism, above all, thinks with the natural understanding. Its human character tells it that true philosophy, like true religion, must be universally human, and therefore intelligible. Greek philosophy was liberal, so far as its results affected the education, the constitution and the politics of the Greeks; the practical philosophy of the English was also liberal, although only to a limited extent, and the philosophy of the great German thinkers, of Leibnitz, Lessing, Herder, Muller and Frederick the Great, was liberal in a still higher degree. But the German systematic philosophy as such, is not liberal, because the manner and method according to which it seeks truth are formal, and the tendency which it keeps in view is not that of life, but of thought as a business. But, to liberalism, thought and action, theory and practice, are one and the same thing." (§§ 112, 113.)
—"The boy applies to the world an abstract, speculative or mathematical, and the young man a psychological, measure. The one seeks and acts according to formulas, the other according to organic laws; the one sets up categories, the other principles. The young man is full of ideals, but his ideals are rooted in ideas. A policy, if it be grand and human, must pursue an ideal; and it only ceases to be a manly policy, when, instead of pursuing this end with a cool, considerate sense of the practical, it pursues it in an idealistic manner. In the highest stage of liberalism the ideal and real become one. Every liberal ideal, even when a failure in the present, leaves seeds behind it in history, from which subsequently either its corporeal form springs, or some other blessing is harvested." (§§ 115-117.)
—"The eye of the young man is turned mainly forward into the present and the future. His relation to history is not an immediate one, and yet it is none the less a deep and sacred one. Life leads him into history. Every institution which history has sanctified, is sacred to him, not because that which was or that which is of long duration compels his respect, but because he understands its foundation in human nature, its effects on the head and heart, in a word, its psychological character. The liberal knows that no power in history can be destroyed unless the psychical roots which it has shot out are destroyed, or unless a greater power can be put in motion against it. In other words, no historical institution should be tampered with unless there be substituted for its hitherto psychical efficacy a psychical efficacy equally great." (§ 118.)
—"There is a distinctive trait which infallibly distinguishes the character of the young man from that of the boy. The boy is vain, the man has only a quiet pride. Let us compare Lafayette with Washington. Although the two were near enough to each other in views and circumstances, the simple and quiet demeanor of Washington contrasts widely enough with Lafayette's vanity, to warrant us in characterizing the latter as a radical, and Washington as a liberal." (§§ 121, 122.)
—"The young man as quickly subordinates himself to another whom he recognizes as his superior, as he classes himself above those whom he feels to be his inferiors. While the boy says: There is no higher right than mine,' all the man wishes is that 'every one should have what belongs to him.' The main trait of the young man's character is hatred of all oppression and want of equity and uprightness of mind. When this side of his character is touched, he forthwith reveals all the full life of his soul, and the indomitable energy of his mind. But, as he constantly keeps in view the moral natural law, and sees the contradiction of positive material law with the essential order of things to be more frequent as he grows older, he is liable to abandon or neglect, in disgust, traditional forms, and thus to afford his adversary a weapon, by the skillful handling of which, many a liberal has succumbed in the fight against hypocritical legality the legality of the scribes and pharisees. In his Götz von Berlichingen. Goethe has described a character of this kind." (§ 124.)
—"The position of liberalism toward religion may be described by recalling Bacon's well-known principle, that true philosophy should doubt everything; but that through doubt it should return to God. Liberalism, at the start, is always criticism; its end is the taking of a position. The religion of liberalism is free and cheerful, and even its doubts are calm and respectful." (§§ 129-131.)
—"The young man sees everywhere the law of superordination and subordination, an immense gradation of forces succeeding one another, not side by side with one another; a gradation of forces different in kind and essence; and he soon perceives that the machinery of creation rests on this diversity. Liberalism knows no measure of primordial rights except that which nature has implanted in each individual; that is, the gradation of freedom or independence is to him the same as the gradation of God-given power. By divine decree all have equal rights, but not the sum of rights. Humanity is, he says, by virtue of its organization, that is, by virtue of divine right, a great aggregate individual, endowed with supremacy over the earth. Every member of this aggregate has a share in its rights. This share is greater the more it gives expression to the character of the whole, and smaller the further it is removed from it. Not an equal share for all, but to each one his own, is here also the great principle of liberalism. To liberalism it seems to be the highest problem of science, the foremost task of statesmanship, the fundamental condition of all human well-being, to assign to every capacity its proper sphere, to every virtue its corresponding field of activity, to every individuality its right place." (§§ 132-136.)
—"But when, from these principles, that seem so simple, and as it were deduced from nature itself, the young man turns his glance toward the positive condition of things, he beholds another world. He finds that the external hierarchy of the classes of society is not true to its origin, and only too often the reverse of the inward dignity which those classes should express. He finds the crowd in the higher, and nobility in the lower, orders; he discovers stupidity ruling, wealth governing, the weak influential, the bad honored, mind the prey of misery and neglect, force sacrificed to inaction, highmindedness to hatred and intrigue. In nature itself he sees causes provocative of contradiction and difficulty. Not only can he find no way by which to determine dignity of character and the value of men's deserts; he finds an organic confusion in the dualism of the measure itself. The worth of the individual is not determined exclusively by his individual organization, but by another standard, by race. Race is not limited to nationality, but extends its spirit to the province, to the tribe and to the family. It is inseparable from the person; it is a matter preliminary to passing judgment on men; it is the cover in which his real nature is enwrapped, it is the canvas from which the characteristic peculiarity of the individual stands out in relief. As it affords the liberal a second measure of human valuation, his task is to place both measures in their right relation to each other, to consider the race as the substratum, and the individual as the quality, so that the latter may prevail, but with due consideration for the former." (§ 139.)
—"From the view of the world above described, it follows that the man considers the state as a direct necessary product of human nature, as the crown of human organization. The man recognizes no public or constitutional law with its origin in contract. Neither does he admit a state of which God, in a mechanical sense, is the originator and governor, except in so far as God has endowed human nature with the instinct to form states, and as he forever remains in close union with man, his creature. The man knows only an organically operating God, a God acting through human freedom. In himself, in his body and in his soul, the man finds the fundamental principles of the organism of the state. Liberalism conceives the state as a body, of which no member is without a connection with the whole, and of which no member is without a share in the whole. But in this organism it conceives each state power in its place freely acting within its sphere, no power so separated from another as to disturb the living connection between them, no one opposed to another, but one all-embracing power at the head of all. The law he considers as the aggregate product of the national will. Hence it wishes that not the head exclusively, but the members also, should share, in due proportion, in the legislative power. It considers every state as the embodiment of a nation, and every nation as a particular individual with indestructible features. The state of the party of liberalism is a state which respects the rights of the mind, as the highest criterion of class, so that the poorest peasant may rise to the highest order of nobility, and the scion of nobility sink to the lowest condition, as complete worth or worthlessness characterizes them: a constitution which in everything prefers man to external circumstances, nature to culture, insight to acquired learning, and which affords to mind and virtue the best opportunity to assert their power." (§§ 141-147.)
—If, accordingly, we are asked to define the fundamental character of liberalism, as contrasted with radicalism, we must say that the real distinction between them consists in the supremacy of abstraction in the latter, and the supremacy of the individual in the former.
—3. Conservatism. Conservatism is explained by the nature of the "older man." The term "older man" is evidently inappropriately applied to the age of man from thirty-two to forty-eight, as Rohmer applied it, because it suggests a still more advanced age. Even the term "tried man" is generally applied to men in the forties, not to those in the thirties. In the absence of an expression corresponding to the Latin juvenis, we prefer to use the term "complete," "mature," or simply "the man," because he has reached life's zenith, toward which the young man, striving upward, is still pressing.
—"The perfect man has already reached the vantage ground which the young man is still struggling to attain. His affairs are regulated, his home is established, and he has found a field for action. His concern is not coveting anything new, but holding fast to what he has; not acquisition, but increase; not the conquering of an unknown world, but the regulation of the world he knows. He is self-reliant and free, like the young man; to a much higher degree, in so far as the ripeness of age lifts him above the necessity of assistance, but to a lesser degree, in so far as the circumstances of life fetter him. He is fettered by circumstances, surroundings, duties, and a number of considerations of which the young man, generally single, has no idea. His wife and children, his position and property, equally impose on him the duty of preservation; instinct and consciousness impel him to it. Nature has summed up the conditions of all life in two fundamental laws, the law of generation and the law of preservation. Thus, also, the two fundamental tendencies of humanity are characterized by these laws, liberalism by the former, and conservatism by the latter, law." (§ 153.)
—"The mature man, of all men, has alone an 'unconditional' claim to govern. The young man, through the earlier half of his career, combines skill and force, but he lacks experience. When we say that liberalism usually guides the world, that conservatism rules it, while radicalism opposes and absolutism intrigues, we briefly characterize the relations of parties to one another as the condition of mankind generally creates them." (§ 154.)
—"The man has formed his opinions. His views are fixed, his faith is a definite one. The young man had to acquire truth through doubt; he must through investigation preserve and elevate the truth. The young man criticises in order to acquire; the man, to increase what has been acquired. An inclination to preserve, and skill in improving: such are the man's preponderating traits. Being the master of a household, and settled in all his relations, he avoids all disturbance, and changes nothing, when a pressing need does not render the change necessary. But it is equally natural to him to give an ever firmer foundation to his home and family, and to perfect his condition more and more. His position not only does not prevent him from making, but it impels him to make, all such improvements in his situation on the largest possible scale, and by all means in his power.
—In this he is just as indefatigable and active as the young man in his endeavor to acquire a fortune. Without being indifferent or narrow minded, he takes the world as it is, with its perfections and defects; and his way of making it more endurable consists rather in developing the good elements that are in it, and in preserving them, than in building new creations from them, creations the success of which he does not feel certain of. As the young man not only feels himself impelled to positive, new creations, but at the same time to the removal of abuses, and of that which has been outlived, so also the conservative man, besides increasing present stores, feels always inclined to the restoration of those institutions which a thankless or a narrow-minded age had unjustly allowed to decay. From the first of these dispositions reform proceeds; from the latter, restoration." (§ 158.)
—"The supremacy of the mature man depends on the esteem which he commands, on the confidence which he inspires, and on the firmness of his whole nature. His education, in point of genuine solidity, comprehensiveness of knowledge and command of details, is as superior to the education of the young man as it is inferior to it in ideal human nature. The ideal force of liberalism may prove wholesome in opposition to the state: the life experience of conservatism belongs directly to affairs" (§ 161.)
—"We have summed up the intellectual constitution of the perfect man in the term wisdom. Wisdom can not vie with genius in productiveness, but it is equal to the latter in wealth of conception, and superior to it in elaboration. Wisdom is inferior to genius in penetration, but surpasses it in circumspection; wisdom, by its fullness of knowledge, makes up for the advantage genius has over it in keenness of perception, and it supplies, by its comprehension of details, the ease with which genius grasps the whole; experience imparts to wisdom a solidity and knowledge of men which for substance may well compete with splendor of ideas. If genius carries measure within it because it watches over itself, the having such measure within one's self is to wisdom a second nature: to keep within measure and to be wise are one. The young man is genius in motion, the mature man is genius at rest. The former may be called active, the latter passive, genius. If, in poetry, we compare Shakespeare and Goethe, we have an approximate picture of this latter difference." (§ 162.)
—"Wisdom investigates and forecasts: it tracks out what is hidden, it understands the past, and preserves the germs of the future; sagacity and power of memory are inborn in the perfect man. As we regard language as the highest power of the young man, so we may consider intellectual discernment as the faculty most peculiar to the mature man. In these, language and intellectual discernment the highest faculties of man, lies the difference between liberal and conservative politics, when once intelligence rules. The science of mind here becomes the science of the conditions into which the mind has settled, the law of nature becomes historic right, and psychology becomes history. Hence, what conservatism produces is not essentially new; it is only the same truth, the same creation that liberalism already had created, only in another light." (§ 163.)
—"Liberalism struggles for principles, and it only is able to give birth to the highest principle. Yet if it lights on a false principle, it falls into errors, which the mature man can never share, because he never opposes principles to positive life, but always moderates them through law and history. He also desires that external law should be a mirror of the inner law, but he never sacrifices it for the sake of the latter, because experience makes him recoil from the danger of such attempts. The inviolability of property, and of private rights in general, is hence one of the principal features of conservatism." (§ 165.)
—"The power of resistance preserves man externally, and inwardly he is guided by the principle of fidelity. This fidelity has given rise to the German proverb: Ein wort, ein mann; the keeping of one's word is so peculiarly the mark of conservative minds." (§ 167.)
—"Practical life is the natural field of the mature man. The government of the family, marriage, the relation of master and servant, are best understood and managed by the mature man. The young, as well as the mature, man, founds marriage on the divine sanction, that is, on the divine natural law, which has willed the duality of the sexes, and therewith the organic union of two individuals fitted for each other; but while the young man founds the mutual supplementing of the two sexes on the psychical similarity of their natures, the latter measures it by similarity of their situation in actual life, and of the conditions necessary to the secure existence of a family. Both views, however, are misused, the former by radicalism, the latter by absolutism. In the former, the inner inclination degenerates into a weakly, fickle feeling, and we have modern marriage, which has rightly been called sentimental marriage. Absolutism, on the other hand, makes marriage merely a matter of convenience, inasmuch as, without any regard to nature, it pays attention only to the external circumstances, such as birth, money, etc." (§ 168.)
—"In the case of the mature man the government of a family is closely connected with the direction of his household and the management of his property. To possess is a craving of his nature. From being thus bound to property and family, it follows that conservatism, as a party, is more difficult to organize and direct than other parties. The conservative party is usually inactive and phlegmatic; everybody attends to his own business; matters are allowed to go, and men are aroused only when there is actual danger; in England, for instance, it is not the party of moderation, but the high tories, who keep alive the violent agitation of parties." (§ 169.)
—"Experience, and the wants that necessarily accompany it, lead the mature man more directly to religion than does criticism the young man. If the mature man is preponderantly religious, he may be severe, and to a certain degree anxious; but never unfree or unfriendly disposed toward manly criticism. He will accordingly treat the church with sincere regard and love. But he is the most pronounced enemy of any falling off in the discipline of the church, of worldliness in the members of the church, of abuse of its sacred character." (§§ 171-173.)
—"As in mature age, there is substituted a sense of obligation for the extreme freedom in which youth delighted, so the sense of order is found in the man, side by side with the notion of liberty; and it governs. Freedom desires that every one should attain the highest of which he is capable; order, that no one should aspire higher than becomes him.
—Race, to which youth only pays secondary consideration, has for the father of a family an entirely new importance. An unintentional, irrepressible instinct impels the mature man to attribute to it a higher importance, and only to give it up when the individual is completely useless. Liberalism and conservatism value the organic powers of man; liberalism with a preponderating appreciation of the organically peculiar, and conservatism of the organically inherited. The "peculiar" powers build up society; the "hereditary" preserve it. In the former lies the prototype, without which nothing can come into existence; in the latter, tradition, without which nothing can endure. As greatness of individuality, combined with a corresponding exterior, confers precedence on the person who is possessed of both, a precedence which men are wont unconsciously, and by virtue of an original instinct, to acknowledge, so also a superior race, in combination with wealth of material and intellectual possessions, commands a consideration which nobody thinks of withholding from it. Heredity is accordingly immediately founded in conservatism, while liberalism knows it only in as far as it respects race as the foil, so to speak. But there is not only a congenital transmission, in which race consists, there is also an acquired one, a second, more spiritual transmission, which has the former for a foundation. The first is the inheritance of blood, which man receives at his entrance into the world; the second, the inheritance of all that which in the course of his life has to such a degree become naturally assimilated with his character that it becomes his second nature, the sum total of all the impressions which circumstances and intercourse with men and fortune have left upon him, permanently and with determining power." (§§ 174-177.)
—"In the liberal state, persons with their substratum of lineage, rule; in the conservative state, lineage, brought out into relief by persons, rules. In the former, ideas prevail, in connection with the existing state of things; in the latter, tradition, with the continuing influence of ideas. 'In the liberal state,' as Montesquieu expresses it, 'virtue' rules, and 'moderation' in the conservative state. In the former, public law is more developed; in the latter, private. In the former, political freedom prevails, on the basis of personal freedom; in the latter, personal freedom, with the corresponding addition of political freedom. Liberalism considers the object of the state to be preponderantly active, and that it consists in the highest development of man as man; conservatism looks upon it as preponderantly passive, and that it consists in securing to the furthest extent the existing legal order of things." (§ 180.)
—4. Absolutism. In order correctly to understand the comparison of absolutism with the "old man," we must again call to mind that the age stages of human life seem fixed in parties, that is, that the different energies of the soul, which alternately appear and disappear in the life of the individual man, determine in a permanent manner the nature of parties. The individual who is by nature liberal or conservative, will continue liberal or conservative in his advanced years; the individual who is by nature old inclines even in boyhood toward absolutism. Not the qualities that have been developed at an early age, and which have attained to complete maturity, but only the qualities which appear for the first time in later years, and which nobody, not even the old man himself, considers better than the instincts and powers of youth and ripe manhood, determine the spirit of absolutism. The absolutist party, therefore, is compared to a man who is only old, and who is not, at the same time, a man in the sense of liberalism or conservatism.
—"The old man has left the greater part of his years behind him. He enjoys the past in reminiscences; the future, in his children; the present no longer belongs to him. The sum of his experiences is fixed. The convictions which he has derived from them are unchangeable. This result, bought with the toil and labor of a life, with its roots in his head and heart, a result to which the sweat of his brow and the blood of his hand still cling—this result, and this only, must be the true one. In old age we have no conditional, no relative views (?); near to the end we crave the absolute. The age stage, which has had more experience than the others, has no peer among the other stages. It withdraws into itself, and the world goes on, while old age believes it is overlooking it. This isolation, this inclination toward the absolute, combined with the weakness of nature, deprives old age of the ruling position to which by its very nature it seemed to be called preferably to all others. Age possesses a great fund of experience, but its experience is at an end. For only the man who without prejudice comes in contact with the world learns anything from the world. The organic position of absolutism, that in which the state (as nature requires) makes use of the experience of age, without sacrificing itself to its exclusiveness, is the consultative one." (§ 182.)
—"The old man hates novelty in the same degree as the boy loves it. Old age fetters his elasticity; his whole being revolts against it; for with every innovation a new portion of the edifice that it had reared with such immense toil is shattered. The world is changing about him; other opinions, other institutions, other customs, arise. Every day, so to speak, declares war against him. He is overcome with grief and disgust. Self-love, man's foremost quality, manifests reaction. The old man has passed through all the stages of life; he can understand them all, he exacts obedience from all. But while he lifts himself above them, while he makes his own phase of life the last product of all the others, and considers it the only true one, without, however, taking any part in the process of life either in the way of production or transformation, life slips from his grasp at the moment he believes he has finally grasped it. He is beset, on the one hand, by the indestructible instinct of old age to assert its importance, and on the other, by the impossibility of harmonizing with other men. Reaction is unavoidable. It lies in the innermost nature of absolutism." (§ 183.)
—"Intolerance and despotism are the natural consequences of this position. The principle of absolutism is the principle outside the adhesion to which there is no salvation. With it doubt is a sin, and resistance a crime. The narrowness of absolutism is less a lack of understanding than an instinctive unwillingness to understand anything in nature. It is this which imparts to the despotism of absolutism a much harsher, more injurious, character than to radical despotism. Absolutism frequently understands the demands of the peoples whom it maltreats; but it will not yield to these demands. When want comes, it knows how to appeal to higher ideas; it then accommodates itself to the times, it yields, capitulates—a clear proof that it can understand—yet only to go back to its old ways as soon as possible." (§ 184.)
—"As the boy plays the young man, so does the old man assume the demeanor of the mature man: in other words, as the radical takes upon himself the ways of the liberal, so does the absolutist desire to pass for a conservative. Radicalism rides heedlessly over old established rights, when they are an obstruction to innovation; reaction, regardless of consequences, destroys all the hardearned results of a grand present, that it may rule again. Both are equally ignorant of the laws of intellectual, and of the limits of historical, rights; both equally trample history and private rights under foot; both believe themselves able, by their 'fiat' of omnipotence, and by decrees on paper, to establish institutions in conflict with the spirit of the times, of nations and of the soil; both are equally destructive. 'The world is growing worse, the world was better in the past,' has, since Nestor's time, been the motto of the old man; as radicalism by its optimistic dreams, and the old man by his passiveness, undermine the quietude of nations." (§ 185.)
—"Reaction is naturally fixed in its retrogression, just as naturally as revolution raises its progress into law, and repels all contradiction. Reaction goes back only to a certain stage of the past but not as the restoration goes back to the past, as an intellectual development. This constitutes the essential difference between reaction and restoration. * *"—"The boy approaches the world with intuition and imagination, but the old man with reflection and combination. * * The one abounds in whims and ideals, the other with aperçus and rules; and at last the old man reaches the point the child had reached—at abstraction on the one hand, and at sensuous perception on the other. The deductive rules on which the old man relies without intellectually mastering them, inspire him with that infallible confidence, that strange self-deception, by which absolutism runs toward ruin, without perceiving the abyss, until the ground begins to quake under its feet. In this manner age collapses into a spiritless empiricism, which ignores all higher points of view, and at last degenerates into a materialism, which drags what is highest and holiest down into the dust." (§ 192.)
—"Where combination is so preponderantly developed as in the old man, the principle of numbers very naturally asserts itself. Mathematics and the entire series of the exact sciences are the field on which the mind of the old man finds its highest satisfaction. The boy applies himself to mathematics because its abstract generality satisfies his mind and sharpens his faculties, and the old man seeks refuge in it because it alone affords him that absolute yet sensibly real certainty in which his mind finds rest. But it seems rather strange that this empirical certainty should tempt him into shallows, from which even ideal contemplation remains exempt. In its train follow cabala, alchemy, magic and necromancy. The sober clearness of mathematical laws seems irreconcilable with the enigmatical plays of the cabala; and so does it seem incredible to reflecting reason, that dry rationalism, for which everything is too high which can not be made as plainly evident as that twice two makes four, should still pair itself with the nebulous mysticism of the theurgic and magic arts; and yet both are to be found united in absolutism." (§ 193.)
—"Old age is thus formal in history. If the boy is formal because he is unable to see through form, the old man resolves essence into form to shape it as he wants. Right sinks into a treaty. Loyalty becomes a narrow legalism, and the more the idea of right contracts, the more obstinately does the old man cling to separate provisions. The most sacred interests are sacrificed to the letter of an agreement, and the application of the law, under the veil of the summum jus, becomes a permanent exercise of the summa injuria. From the point of view of such legalism the condemnation of Christ was not judicial murder, but an act of justice. In legislation, also, absolutism applies this mechanical, arithmetical measure. History, with free-thinking absolutists, becomes a collection of maxims, aperçus, remarks and analogies, as it was with the men of the world trained in the French school of the last century; to the absolutists of a positive opinion, history is but the treasure house of his own opinions. The 'historical basis,' the 'deep ideas of the past,' the 'organic articulation of the state,' the 'good old law': absolutism frequently employs all these conservative phrases, just as its counterpart (radicalism) uses the words freedom and equality, and ignores them with the same ease." (§ 194.)
—"The heart of man feels the effect of years as heavily as his mind. Old age is as far removed from the equanimity of mature age. Its rest is but the quietism of exhaustion. The great passions have subsided; only the little ones remain. The old man is irritable in the highest degree, his moods are whimsical and changeable. His passive sensibility sometimes causes his mind to accept indiscriminately all impressions, and sometimes to display that dull indifference (laisser aller) which characterizes the staid man (philister), that inferior embodiment of absolutism." (§ 195.)
—"The boy, to become powerful, must remain under training; old age, on the contrary, must have pupils, and wishes to be surrounded by persons who obey. The old man may be mild, gentle, and careful of his pupils; but he wants no free man around him. An absolute government may be well meaning and paternal, but the air of freedom, the highest good of life, is never breathed under it." (§ 197.)
—"The weakness of old age reveals itself in a remarkable manner in this, that its virtue, like that of the boy, needs support from without. In the case of the boy this support is the law; in the case of the old man it is tradition, convention, maxims, reflective virtue, the morals of principles. If we wish to get a notion of the conventional morality of absolutism, we should read Kotzebue's plays. It was this morality that prevailed in the upper classes in the past century. Here there are no maxims of law and custom, but social considerations." (§ 198.)
—"If we reflect on the above it is obvious that there must enter into the efforts of old age, to attain moral perfection, an artificial element. As what is noble does not spring spontaneously from nature, incapacity calls forth a violent effort, and this again betrays 'the power of weakness.' Hence comes the demand for 'unconditional obedience' in absolute states. When the weakness of nature breaks through the bounds of principle, the vices of old age develop into unnatural tyranny, of which history affords so many instances. Philip II. is the most striking instance of wicked old age: another illustration is the hideous Tiberius, who, more than any other ruler, combined in his nature womanly weakness and diabolical strength, weakness of character and baseness. It is the custom to consider all the Roman emperors as absolutists; but Caligula, Nero and Commodus were only depraved boys; genuine tyrants are found only in old age.
—Modern Machiavelism walks about in a stately garb, gentle, pleasant and winning. It understands the art of appearance, and under paternal mildness conceals machination. It shakes hands with the proletarian, and surrounds itself with the severity of majesty, according to the times. Cruel when cruelty, kind when kindness, leads to its end, it ignores everything but its own aims, and the arithmetical weighing of the means. Such a man was Augustus, a man endowed with the greatest intellectual gifts, and who might well say of himself, that he had cleverly played his part." (§ 200.)
—"Old age is also characterized by weakness in private life, chiefly in the management of its household. As woman, both in childhood and old age, is superior to man, the interference of women in radical and absolute homes or states is almost unavoidable. If the times are favorable, woman becomes permanently preponderant. The government of mistresses in the eighteenth century is well known." (§ 201.)
—"Old age in matters of faith knows either only mechanical obedience or complete dissolution of beliefs, literal orthodoxy or atheism. Voltaire, La Mettrie and Shaftesbury were far from radical; they were profound, logical absolutists." (§ 201.)
—"When a reasoning absolutist wishes to understand the origin of the state, he is, by his very nature, forced to seek refuge in the idea of formal covenant, of an artificial contract. This famous theory, which is nothing but a distortion peculiar to old age, of natural right into arbitrary convention, owes its origin to the absolutist period of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The radicals have adopted it because it is in keeping with their intellectual constitution; but to the provisions of the social contract, following their bent, they have added the doctrine of equality. According to virile notions, public authority has the right in itself, and subjects their rights in themselves. But only the free man can understand this, the man who is not free is compelled to seek the source of his condition, the title to his rights, outside himself. The man who is not free subjects himself to another, because, as the theory itself puts it, he alienates his rights to another, and the latter commands because the former has alienated his rights to him; or, according to orthodox ideas, because God has given the latter command over him." (§ 204.)
—"There is no right in absolute monarchy except that which emanates from the ruler; he alone is what he is by the grace of God; all the others are what they are only through the grace of the absolute monarch. The most perfect embodiment of this system is the constitution of the order of Jesuits, and the Roman caria, according to the Jesuitic conception of it. The company of Jesus subjects body, soul, actions and thoughts to the omnipotence of the general of the society, in whose hands the members are but unconscious tools. According to the curia, the whole church rests in the papal chair." (§ 205.)
—"Old age, however, besides despotism, has also its democratic features. Absolute power may be attributed to the people as well as to the ruler. Europe has witnessed not only a great radical, but also an absolutist, revolution, the English. That revolution was the embodiment of fanatical belief, as the French revolution was of fanatical abstraction. When the radical proletarian rises, he wishes to be put on an equal footing with others; when the lazzarone is aroused, he remains what he is, in order, as a lazzarone, to avenge himself on others." (§ 206.)
—"Because age carries the germ of dissolution in itself, it can only be kept together through the most rigid observance of forms. This is the essence of legitimist monarchy. Its characteristic trait is, that instead of striving to do the state service, it makes such service itself its purpose. In other words, it does not administer except for the sake of administering. Birth, not merit; money, not mind; routine and mannerism, are the conditions of appointment to place. Form becomes essence; essence, form. The external policy of absolutism knows only combinations, not ideas. Without any regard for the inborn tendencies of peoples, but simply to round out the national boundaries, it huddles provinces together at hap-hazard, as they have been acquired through conquest or marriage. Instead of natural equilibrium, it seeks an artificial balance, which may be disturbed by the merest breath; instead of treaties, it is satisfied with agreements for the moment; instead of a proper diplomacy, it pursues a diplomacy of intrigue, with a gorgeous representation, but without statesmanlike substance. Its foreign policy is either strictly orthodox (legitimist), or materialistic. Form everywhere rules.
—5. Mutual Relations of Parties. Liberalism and conservatism, the two virile parties, may combat each other, for although one in aim, their methods are different, but in spite of their differences they should never forget their close relationship. They are indeed nearer to each other than either of them is to any other party, and than the other parties are to each other. They may be opponents, but only opponents who respect each other." (§ 209.)
—"Between liberalism and absolutism, as also between conservatism and radicalism, there is no point of contact. They are even as different in what they do as in how they do it. On the other hand, liberalism and radicalism have a common line of action, while conservatism and absolutism have the feature of preservation in common; but in spirit and character, liberalism and conservatism are superior to the extreme parties. Radicalism and absolutism, finally, have many resemblances in their bearing. Sometimes they act together friendly; more frequently they combat each other, very much as boys refuse to longer submit to the rule of the older. The true relation of parties is found when the extreme parties share in the national struggles only mediately, and are led by their corresponding manly parties. Politics is ruined when the extreme parties obtain supremacy." (§§ 210-212.)
—6. Psychological Contrasts in Polities in General. Since Rohmer's doctrine of parties psychologically determines and describes the fundamental types of parties in accordance with the age stages of man, and thus discovers four types, peculiar both in spirit and character, it goes beyond the task of explaining political parties themselves, and thus, from being a theory of political character and mind in their natural chief kinds and forms, it becomes a new psychological science of politics in general. This theory throws new light on political facts and individual character. Even where there are no political parties, there are still to be found radical, liberal, conservative, absolutist, individuals whose way of thinking and acting finds its explanation in that theory, just as much as if such individuals had formed themselves into a party, and as such, tried to influence public life. Those fundamental types may also more clearly and easily be illustrated in individuals than in parties, for on the formation of parties many things exercise an influence besides the natural disposition of the individuals who unite to form a party. It not unfrequently happens that the leaders of the parties individually belong to another type than the party itself. The liberal Mirabeau was the head of a radical party; the liberal Pitt was the leader of the absolutist conservative tories; in the revolution of the Netherlands, the conservative William the Silent led the radical-liberal party. In Switzerland the absolutist parties, in Germany the ultramontane parties, are often led by radicals; and so, on the other hand, the radical-revolutionary parties confide their cause to the expert skill of absolutist generals.
—Above parties stand the people. But in nations also we often perceive the same chief tendencies that distinguish individuals and parties. In the French national character the absolutist character, and in the French spirit the radical trait, is very prominent; and this explains the violent changes in French political history. On the contrary, in the Russian nation the absolutist spirit seems to be combined with a radical disposition. The English are manifestly liberal in character and conservative in spirit; the ideal of the Germans is a liberal government, maintained and supported by the conservative people.
—From the four fundamental tendencies of humanity, Rohmer derives four general characters of political constitutions, as distinguished from forms of the state. "Radicalism, as the supremacy of abstraction, engenders the idol state; liberalism, as the supremacy of individual personality, the individual state; conservatism, which pays homage above all things to the power of history and the rights of races, the race state; and finally, absolutism, the form state." (§§ 220-226.)
—The history of nations, and, on the whole, in its grand outlines, the history of humanity, follows these changing impulses in their different periods. The period of childhood is devoted to the service of abstraction; in old age, traditional forms obtain a decisive authority. At the height of life the manly tendencies prevail. Humanity has not as yet reached its climax, but it is manifestly approaching it. Its development on the whole is, therefore, liberal; the modern era is intellectually freer and more self-conscious than any previous one. But, within modern times, history, in different ages and phases of development, has already repeatedly made the circuit of the age stages of man, and of their respective tendencies. On this necessary movement rests, in part, the divine education of nations; on this also rests their highest expression, the changing phases of the spirit of the times, the breath of which every one feels, but the correct understanding of which constitutes the art of the statesman.
J. C. BLUNTSCHLI.