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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70


page 17


Men cannot resist Democracy, but they can direct it, and their wisdom is to unite and make peace and order too valuable to the masses for them to jeopardise them with disturbance; to make such happy conditions in life as the masses will wish and labour to preserve. That can be done by securing for labour its proper reward. It cannot be done by land nationalisation, Socialism, and State regulation of everything; and its efforts to effect economic reforms which may tend to the welfare of the Colony, entitle the National Association to goodwill and a fair trial.

But it must not be expected that it will aim at equalising men's condition in life, for that is absolutely impossible. The drunkard, dunce, spendthrift, loafer, and habitual criminal cannot expect to have sober, studious, economical, industrious, and law-abiding citizens levelled down to their level. But we can secure equal opportunities for all, that is, so far as human wisdom can do it, in spite of natural differences. That is all men can expect and will get—fair play to all alike; and as a private member of the National Association, I believe that it honestly intends justice for all. That is true Liberalism.