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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 2


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"The Gods have appointed it so; no Pitt nor body of Pitts, or mortal creatures, can appoint it otherwise. Democracy, sure enough, is here: the tramp of its million feet is on all streets and thoroughfares, the sound of its bewildered thousandfold voice is heard in all meetings and speakings, in all thinkings and modes and activities of men."

These words of Mr. Carlyle's, published about

The United Kingdom has become, to a very great extent, a crowned Democracy.

a generation ago, were recognised as true by many at that time, and will now find few gainsayers. There are still, as all may see, powerful monarchical and powerful aristocratic influences in our society, which may continue to work for long ages, but to a very great extent the United Kingdom has become a crowned democracy.
To some political philosophers this forms a

Attitude of politicians in relation to this fact.

subject of rejoicing, to others of regret. The politician, as such, neither regrets it nor rejoices at it. His business is to use the facts and forces page 6 around him, as best he can, to promote the happiness, first of the community of which he finds himself a member, and secondly of the world.

Two charges made against democracies.

There are persons who say that a democracy crowned, or not crowned, however successful it may be in the management of internal affairs, is incapable of governing distant dependencies or of carrying on international relations without disaster.

Only one of them relevant to the present subject.

To discuss the first of these allegations lies beside my present purpose, but to the second I will endeavour to reply.

How the relevant charge is to be met.

It is certainly true that if international affairs are to be successfully managed by a democracy, care must be taken to adapt new means to old ends; the methods which were perfectly appropriate to a pure monarchy or a crowned oligarchy will not be necessarily the methods which are most appropriate to the altered circumstances.

The defects which are supposed to incapacitate a democracy for the management of international affairs are its fickleness, its ignorance, its liability to be carried away by gusts of passion. Now the whole of these defects have frequently been found, and found together, in the management of international affairs by a pure despotism; and if the first and last have been less often observed under an oligarchic government, the second has assuredly not been wanting. We must meet the accusation brought against democracy with a frank admission of its truth in the past.

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Democracies, putting aside the case of the United States, the circumstances of which are too unlike ours to make the example of much consequence in the present connection, have usually been fickle in the management of international affairs, have been ignorant, and have been liable to be carried away by gusts of passion.

The remedy lies not in ignoring the fact, but in

The remedy threefold.

guarding against a manifest danger.

In order to do this successfully, three things are requisite.


The democracy must be led by chiefs in whom it confides.


These chiefs must act upon a thoroughly well considered system of policy.


They must not only be fully informed themselves, but must have the art of making the people see that they are so and of taking it with them.