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speaks of slavery without repugnance save in Greeks, and serfdom was incorporated in the northern tribes as soon as they began to be socially organized. Some have alleged that religious equality was an Oriental idea, and borrowed from the relation of subjects to an Asiatic despot, which paved the way for it; some attribute civil equality to the Roman law; some find the germ of both in Stoical morals. But so great an idea as the equality of man reaches down into the past by a thousand roots. The state of nature of the savage in the woods, which our fathers once thought a pattern, bore some outward resemblance to a freeman's life; but such a condition is rather one of private independence than of the grounded social right that democracy contemplates. How the ideas involved came into historical existence is a minor matter. Democracy has its great career, for the first time, in our national being, and exhibits here most purely its formative powers, and unfolds destiny on the grand scale. Nothing is more incumbent on us than to study it, to turn it this way and that, to handle it as often and in as many phases as possible with lively curiosity, and not to betray ourselves by an easy assumption that so elementary a thing is comprehended because it seems simple. Fundamental ideas are precisely those with which we should be most familiar.

Democracy is not merely a political experiment; and its governmental theory, though so characteristic of it as not to be dissociated from it, is a result of underlying principles. There is always an ideality of the human spirit in all its works, if one will search them, which is the main thing. The States, as a social aggregate with a joint life which constitutes it a nation, is dynamically an embodiment of human conviction, desire, and tend

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ency, with a common basis of wisdom and energy of action, seeking to realize life in accordance with its ideal, whether traditional or novel, of what life should be; and government is no more than the mode of administration under which it achieves its results both in national life and in the lives of its citizens. All society is a means of escape from personality, and its limitations of power and wisdom, into this larger communal life; the individual, in so far, loses his particularity, and at the same time intensifies and strengthens that portion of his life which is thus made one with the general life of men — that universal and typical life which they have in common and which molds them with similar characteristics. It is by this fusion of the individual with the mass, this identification of himself with mankind in a joint activity, this reënforcement of himself by what is himself in others, that a man becomes a social being. The process is the same, whether in clubs, societies of all kinds, sects, political parties, or the all-embracing body of the State. It is by making himself one with human nature in America, its faith, its methods, and the controlling purposes in our life among nations, and not by birth merely, that a man becomes an American.

The life of society, however, includes various affairs, and man deals with them by different means; thus property is a mode of dealing with things. Democracy is a mode of dealing with souls. Men commonly speak as if the soul were something they expect to possess in another world; men are souls, and this is a fundamental conception of democracy. This spiritual element is the substance of democracy, in the large sense; and the special governmental theory which it has developed and organized, and in which its ideas are partially included, is, like other such systems, a mode of administration under which it seeks to realize its ideal of what life ought to be, with most speed and certainty, and on the largest scale. What characterizes that ideal is that it takes the soul into account in a way hitherto unknown; not that other governments have not had regard to the soul, but, in democracy, it is spirituality that gives the law and rules the issue. Hence, a great preparation was needed before democracy could come into effective control of society. Christianity mainly afforded this, in respect to the ideas of equality and fraternity, which were clarified and illustrated in the life of the Church for ages, before they entered practically into politics and the general secular arrangements of state organization; the nations of progress, of which freedom is a condition, developed more definitely the idea of liberty, and made it familiar to the thoughts of men. Democracy belongs to a comparatively late age of the world, and to advanced nations, because such ideas could come into action only after the crude material necessities of human progress illustrated in the warfare of nations, in military organizations for the extension of a common rule and culture among mankind, and in despotic impositions of order, justice, and the general ideas of civilization laxed, and a free course, by comparison at least, was opened for the higher nature of man in both private and public action. A conception of the soul and its destiny, not previously applicable in society, underlies democracy; this is why it is the most spiritual government known to man, and therefore the highest reach of man's evolution; it is, in fact, the spiritual element in society expressing itself now in politics with an unsuspected and incalculable force.

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Democracy is contained in the triple statement that men are born free, equal, and in brotherhood; and in this formula it is the middle term that is cardinal, and the root of all. Yet it is the doctrine of the equality of man, by virtue of the human nature with which he is clothed entire at birth, that is most attacked, as an obvious absurdity, and provocative more of laughter than of argument. What, then, is this equality which democracy affirms as the true state of all men among themselves? It is our common human nature, that identity of the soul in all men, which was first inculcated by the preaching of Christ's death for all equally, whence it followed that every human soul was of equal value in the eyes of God, its Creator, and had the same title to the rites of the Christian Church, and the same blessedness of an infinite immortality in the world to come; thence we derived it from the very fountain of our faith, and the first true democracy was that which leveled king and peasant, barbarian and Roman, in the communion of our Lord. Yet nature laughs at us, and ordains such inequalities at birth itself as make our peremptory charter of the value of men's souls seem a play of fancy. There are men of almost divine intelligence, men of almost devilish instincts, men of more or less clouded mind; and they are such at birth, so deeply has nature stamped into them heredity, circumstance, and the physical conditions of sanity, morality and wholesomeness, in the body which is her work. Such differences do exist, and conditions vary the world over, whence nature, which accumulates inequalities in the struggle for life, "with ravin shrieks against our creed." But we have not now to learn for the first time that nature, though not the enemy of the human spirit, is indifferent to all the soul

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has erected in man's own realm, peculiar to humanity. What has nature contributed to the doctrine of freedom or of fraternity ? Man's life to her is all one, tyrant or

, slave, friend or foe, wise or foolish, virtuous or vicious, holy or profane, so long as her imperative physical conditions of life, the mortal thing, are conformed to; society itself is not her care, nor civilization, nor anything that belongs to man above the brute. Her word, consequently, need not disturb us; she is not our oracle. It rather belongs to us to win further victory over her, if it may be, by our intelligence, and control her vital, as we are now coming to control her material, powers and their operation.

This equality which democracy affirms — the identity of the soul, the sameness of its capacities of energy, knowledge, and enjoyment — draws after it as a consequence the soul's right to opportunity for self-development by virtue of which it may possess itself of what shall be its own fullness of life. In the inscrutable mystery of this world, the soul at birth enters on an unequal struggle, made such both by inherent conditions and by external limitations, in individuals, classes, and races; but the determination of democracy is that, so far as may be, it will secure equality of opportunity to every soul born within its dominion, in the expectation that much in human conditions which has hitherto fed and heightened inequality, in both heredity and circumstance, may be lessened if not eradicated; and life after birth is subject to great control. This is the meaning of the first axiom of democracy, that all have a right to the pursuit of happiness, and its early cries — "an open career,"

and "the tools to him who can use them.” In this effort society seems almost as recalcitrant as nature; for in

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