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which will help to sustain or facilitate their credit abroad; the manufacturers will sustain it, because it will afford a pretext for the imposition of high duties on foreign imports; the operative and the farmer must sustain it, because the first depends on the manufacturer and trader for employment, and the last for the sale of his produce; against these the planters will hardly be able to sustain themselves, especially when several of the planting States are themselves to be directly relieved by assumption from the embarrassments which now cripple their energies. Where, then, is the power to defeat the measure? Yet we go on lauding the virtue and intelligence of the people!
Let us return for a moment what is called "the protective policy." The Lynn shoemaker clamors for protection, for high duties to diminish foreign imports and to secure to him the monopoly of the home market. If he can only exclude French shoes, he shall then have this monopoly. Very well. Where does he, and where must he find the principal market for his shoes? South and West. The value of that market to him, then, will depend on the ability of the South and West to buy shoes. Whence this ability? It depends, of course, on the ability of the South and West to sell their own productions. The principal market for western produce is at the South. The ability of the West to buy Lynn shoes depends, then, on its ability to sell its productions to the South. Whence, then, we must ask again, the ability of the South to buy western produce and Lynn shoes? In its ability to sell its rice, cotton, and tobacco to the foreigner. Whence the ability of the foreigner to buy the rice, cotton, and tobacco of the South? In his ability to sell his own productions or manufactures to us. If we will not buy of him, he cannot buy of us. Consequently, just in proportion as the Lynn shoemaker places an impediment in the way of the foreigner selling to us, does he place an impediment in the way of his elling his shoes to the South and West. In proportion as he secures, by prohibitory duties, the monopoly of the home market, he diminishes its value, by diminishing the ability of the people to consume. Here,
at best, he loses on the one hand all he gains on the other. Yet we boast of the intelligence of the Lynn shoemaker, and his intelligence, by the by, is above the average intelligence of the country.
But, absurd as the protective policy would be under any state of things,
implying that industry can more energetic and efficient if bound than when left to the free use of its limbs,-it is doubly so when coupled, as we have coupled it, with the paper money system-a system which, though somewhat shaken, the mass of the people are still attached to, and the abolition of which scarcely a public man who values his reputation dare even propose. Very few of the people have ever thought of inquiring into the operations of the two systems when combined. In the first place, the paper money system, by depreciating our currency below that of foreign nations, operates as a direct premium, to the percentage of the depreciation, in favor of the foreign manufacturer; because the foreigner sells to us at the high prices produced by our depreciated currency, but buys of us always, according to his own appreciated currency. This, for years in our trade with England, very nearly neutralized the tariff intended to protect our own manufactures.
In the next place, the tariff operating with the banking system tends to increase instead of diminishing the advantage of the foreign manufacturer. The first effect of a protective tariff, if it have any effect at all, is no doubt to diminish the imports, and to bring them, in fact, below the exports; which throws the balance of trade in our own favor. This cuts off all foreign demand for specie, and sends specie into the country, if needed. This, freeing the banks from all fear of a demand for specie to settle up foreign balances, and rendering it easy for them to obtain specie from abroad, if necessary, enables them to employ their capital in discounting freely to business men, even to speculators, and to throw out their paper to an almost unlimited extent. This expands, that is, depreciates the currency; prices rise; and the foreign manufacturer is able to come in over our own tariff, sell his goods at our
enhanced prices, pay the duties, and pocket a profit. This, in turn, swells the revenue, which, if deposited in the banks, becomes the basis of additional discounts, which expand still more the currency, enhance prices still more, till the whole land is flooded with foreign imports, which shall, as we have seen in our own case, notwithstanding our agricultural resources, extend even to corn, barley, oats, and potatoes; thus crushing not only our home manufactures, but the interests of every branch of industry but that of trade; and at length even that by destroying its very basis. This is no theory, it is fact; it is our own bitter experience as a people, from the terrible effects of which we are not yet recovered; and still we hold on to the policy, and the majority of the American people, even to-day, after all their experience, believe in the wisdom of continuing both systems!
But enough of this. We have heard so much said about the wisdom and intelligence of the people, that we perhaps are a little sore on the subject, and may therefore be disposed to exaggerate their folly and wickedness. But we have seen enough to satisfy us, that if we mean by Democracy the form of government that rests for its wisdom and justice on the intelligence and virtue of the people alone, it is a great humbug. The facts we have brought forward prove it so; nay more, that in destroying all guaranties, and in relying solely on the wisdom and virtue of the people, we are destroying the very condition of good govern
are Federalists and Whigs? Are they not people just as much as are the Democrats? Is not what is done by them as much done by the people, as what is done by us? In speaking of the people we must include all parties, for we are, as we have seen, in this country, all people, and the most numerous party is always the most popular. The Ame rican people are as responsible for what the Whigs do, as they are for what the Democrats do. So we cannot throw off from the people the responsibility of any of the systems of policy the government adopts, by saying it was adopted by this or that party.
We may be told, as we doubtless shall be, by our democratic friends, that the errors we have pointed out, were not, and are not the errors of the people. Of whom then? "Of the peo'ple's masters; of bankers, stockjobbers, corporators, selfish politicians, &c." And who are these? Are they not people? And how came they to be the people's masters? And why do the people, if they are so wise and virtuous, submit to be controlled by them? We shall be told, and truly, that the principal measures or acts we have condemned, have been supported, not by the Democratic party, but by the Federalists and Whigs. But who pray
We of course shall not be understood in these remarks to intend anything against the general wisdom and justice of the aims and measures of the Democratic party. As we understand its aims and measures, they are wise and patriotic, just and philanthropic. The Democratic party, at heart, is opposed to paper money, to a high protective tariff, to the growing system of corporate or associated wealth, and to a consolidated republic; and is in favor of the constitutional currency, free trade, State Rights, strict construction of the Constitution, low taxes, an economical administration of the government, and the general melioration in the speediest manner possible of the moral, intellectual, and physical condition of the poorest and most numerous class. Taking this view of its aims and its measures, we must needs hold it to be the Party of the Country and of Humanity. As such we are with it and of it, and no earthly power shall prevent us from laboring to advance it. But the doctrines which some of its members put forth on the foundation and authority of government, and which threaten to become popular in the party, nay, its leading doctrines, we own we do not embrace, and cannot contemplate without lively apprehensions for the fate of liberty, civil and personal.
The great end with all men in their า religious, their political, and their individual actions, is FREEDOM. The perfection of our nature is in being able "to look into the perfect law of Liberty," for Liberty is only another name for power. The measure of my ability is always the exact measure of my
proportion to its freedom. Hence, humanity always applauds him who labors in right down earnest to advance the cause of freedom. There is some thing intoxicating to every young and enthusiastic heart in this applause always something intoxicating, too, in standing up for freedom, in opposing authority, in warring against fixed order, in throwing off the restraints of old and rigid customs, and enabling the soul and the body to develope themselves freely and in the natural proportions. Liberty is a soul-stirring word. It kindles all that is noble, generous and heroic within us. Whoso speaks out for it can always be eloquent, and always sure of his audience. One loves so to speak if he be of a warm and generous temper, and we love him who dares so to speak.
freedom. The glory of humanity is in their own minds, they will find that they are yet virtually understanding Liberty as we did when the great work to be done was to free the mass of the people from the dominion of kings and nobilities. They will find, we fear, that they have not thought, that in order to secure freedom anything more was necessary, than to establish universal suffrage and eligibility, and to leave the people free to follow their own will, uncontrolled, unchecked. Hence, Liberty with them is merely political. Where all are free to vote and to be voted for, there is all the freedom they contemplate.
In consequence of this, we find our young men-brave spirits they are too -full of a deep, ardent love of Liberty, and ready to do battle for her at all times, and against any odds. They, in this, address themselves to what is strongest in our nature, and to what is noblest; and so doing become our masters, and carry us away with them. Here is the danger we apprehend. We fear no attacks on Liberty but those made in the name of Liberty; we fear no measures but such as shall be put forth and supported by those whose love of freedom, and whose impatience of restraint, are altogether superior to their practical wisdom. These substitute passion for judgment, enthusiasm for wisdom, and carry us away in a sort of divine madness whither we know not, and whither, in our cooler moments, we would not. It is in the name of Liberty that Satan wars successfully against Liberty.
We mean not here to say that we can have too much Liberty, or that there is danger that any portion of our fellow citizens will become too much in earnest for the advancement and security of Liberty. What we fear is, on the one hand, the misinterpretation of Liberty; and, on the other, the adoption of wrong or inadequate measures to establish or guaranty it. We fear that a large portion of the younger members of the Democratic party do misinterpret Liberty. If they analyse
Perhaps this is stated too positively. Perhaps it would be truer to say, that they do not see that anything more is necessary, in order to render every man practically free, than the establishment of a perfectly democratic government. Where all the people take part in the government, are equally possessed of the right of suffrage and that of eligibility, and where the people are free to take any direction, at any time, that the majority may determine, they suppose that there perfect freedom is as a matter of course. But this we have seen is not the fact, and cannot be the fact till the virtue and intelligence of the people are perfect, instead of being, as they now are, altogether imperfect, and, in reference to what they should be, in order to render certain the end contemplated, as good as no virtue and intelligence at all. But ignorant of this fact, confiding in the virtue and intelligence of the people, feeling that all the obstacles Liberty encounters are owing to the fact that the will of the people is not clearly and distinctly expressed, they labor to remove whatever tends in their judgment to restrain the action of the people, or the authori tative expression of the will of the majority. But when they have removed all these restraints, broken down all barriers, and obtained an open field and fair play for the will of the people, what is there to guaranty us the enjoyment of Liberty?
This question leads us to the point to which all that we have thus far said has been directed. We solemnly protest against construing one word we have said into hostility to the largest freedom for all men; but we put it to our young friends, in sober earnest, too,
whether with them freedom is something positive; or whether they are in the habit of regarding it as merely negative? Do they not look upon liberty merely as freedom from certain restraints or obstacles, rather than as positive ability possessed by those who are free? They assume that we have the ability, the power, both individually and collectively,-when once the external restraints are taken off,-to be and to do all that is requisite for our highest individual and social weal. Is this assumption warrantable? Is man individually or socially sufficient for himself? Should not our politics, as well as our religion, teach us that it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps, and that he can work out his own salvation, only as a higher power, through grace, works in him to will and to do?
from no-government? But do we not need government?
This brings us back to the old question, Are the people competent to govern themselves? What we have said concerning the virtue and intelligence of the people, has been said for the express purpose of proving that they are not competent to govern themselves. We confess here to what we know in the eyes of our countrymen is a "damnable" political heresy; but, an' they should burn us at the stake, we must tell them this notion of theirs about self-government is all moonshine; nay, a very Jack o' Lantern, and can serve no better purpose, if followed, than to lead them from the high road, and plunge them in the mire or the swamp from which to extricate themselves will be no easy matter. The very word itself implies a contradiction. There is government only where there is that which governs, and that which is governed. In what is called selfgovernment, the governor and the governed are one and the same, and therefore no government. That which governs is that which is governed; but how can the governor be the governed, or the governed the governor? We assure our readers, we are not playing on terms, nor quibbling about words. In this doctrine of self-government, the people as the governed, are absolutely indistinguishable from the people as governors. Tell us, then, in what consists the government? Tell us wherein this doctrine of self-government differs
"But, you mistake the question. The question is not, Are the people competent to govern themselves? but, are they able, of themselves, to institute and maintain wise and just civil government?" They who put the question in this form, admit that government is necessary; but they contend that the people, seeing this, will institute government, and voluntarily put a restraint on their own power. This is what we have done in this country. The people here are sovereign, but they have drawn up and ordained certain constitutions or fundamental laws, which limit their sovereignty and prescribe the mode in which it shall be exercised.
But who or what guaranties the constitution? In other words, assuming the constitution to be adopted, what is there back of the constitution that compels its observance, or prevents its violation? In short, what is the basis, the support of the constitution? A constitution, which is merely a written constitution, is only so much waste paper. There is always needed a power that shall make the written constitution the real, the living constitution of the people. Where in your Democracy is this power? In the people unquestionably. The people make the constitution, and they will have respect unto the work of their hands, and will therefore protect the constitution." Admirable! The people voluntarily adopt a constitution, which constitution when adopted has no power to govern them, but what they voluntarily concede to it! Pray, wherein does this differ from no constitution at all? If the people are competent to frame the constitution and to maintain it, they are competent to gov ern themselves without the constitution, which we have already seen is not the fact. The constitution, if entrusted to the voluntary support of the people themselves, is worth nothing; for if the people will voluntarily abstain from doing what the constitution forbids, they would voluntarily abstain from doing it even were there no constitution. The constitution in this case can give no additional security, for it
gives nothing that we should not have without it.
What we insist on here is, that the constitution, if it emanate from the people, and rest for its support on their will, is absolutely indistinguishable from no constitution at all. What we want is something which shall gov ern. This, we are told, is the constitution. But the constitution, if it emanate from the people, and have no support but their will, is the people; and whatever power it may have, is after all only the power of the people. But it was the people, and not the people as individuals, but the people as the State or body politic, that needed to be governed; and we have, even with the constitution, only the people with which to govern the people. They who tell us that the people will voluntarily impose and maintain the necessary restraints on their own will, do then by no means relieve us of our difficulties; for the will imposing the restraints, is identically the will to be restrained; and, therefore, they give us in the State but one will, and that will, since it imposes all restraints that are imposed, is really itself unrestrained. If the people are to be governed at all, there must be a power distinct from them and above them, sufficient to govern them. Now, can the people create this power? Will they voluntarily place a power above them, which can govern them; and therefore to which they must submit, whether they choose to submit or not? If so, we must cease, when they have so done, to talk of self-government, or of government by consent of the governed; for this power, whatever it be, wherever lodged, must be, when constituted, distinct from the people, and their sovereign. If the people have a sovereign, they cannot be themselves sovereign.
In all their speculations, they who differ from us, overlook the important fact that government is needed for the people as the State, as well as for the people as individuals. They assume, consciously or unconsciously, that people, as the body politic, need no governing, and that, so viewed, they have in themselves a sort of inherent wisdom and virtue, which will lead hem always to will and ordain what
is wise and just, and only what is wise and just. They therefore seek government, not for the people as the body politic, but for the people as individuals. That is to say, they seek not to restrain the power of the sovereign, but are willing to leave it absolute. Hence they proclaim the absolute sovereignty of the people, never ceasing to repeat, in season and out of season, that all legitimate power emanates from the people, and that the chief glory of the statesman is to find out and conform to the will of the people. We do not err in declaring that this is that theory of Democracy which is becoming the dominant theory of all parties in the country. But, when we have reduced this theory to practice, when we have made the people supreme in the sense, and to the extent, here implied, where is the practical guaranty for freedom? On what can we rely to protect our rights as men? Nay, what are we all in this case, as individuals, but the veriest slaves of the body politic? We have talked of certain inalienable rights, that is, rights which we possess by virtue of the fact that we are men, which we cannot ourselves surrender up, and which cannot be taken from us; but what is the use of talking about rights when we have no power to maintain them? My rights are worth nothing beyond my might to assert and maintain them against whosoever or whatsoever would usurp them.
Democracy is construed with us to mean the sovereignty of the people as the body politic; and the sovereignty of the people again is so construed that it becomes almost impossible to draw any line of distinction between the action of the people legally organized as the State, and the action of the peo-. ple as a mob. The people in a legal or political sense, properly speaking, have no existence, no entity, therefore no rights, no sovereignty, save when organized into the body politic; and then their action is legitimate only when done through the forms which the body itself has prescribed. Yet we have seen it contended, and to au alarming extent, that the people, even outside and independent of the organism, exist as much as in it, and are as sovereign; and that a majority-aye, a bare majority counted by themselves—