(Read November 20, 1943, in Symposium on the Organization, Direction, and Support of Research)
Lord Acton has outlined the historical background of modern freedom essential to the social sciences. The lesson of Athenian experience taught that “government by the whole people, being the government of the most numerous and powerful class is an evil of the same nature as unmixed monarchy and requires for nearly the same reasons institutions that shall protect it against arbitrary revolutions of opinion.”1 In Rome “the vice of the classic state was that it was both church and state in one. Morality was undistinguished from religion, and politics from morals and in religion, morality and politics there was only one legislator and one authority.”2 “The ancient writers saw very clearly that each principle of government standing alone is carried to excesses and provokes a reaction. Monarchy hardens into despotism, aristocracy contracts into oligarchy, democracy expands into the supremacy of numbers.”3 While the necessity of checks as essential to liberty was thus recognized, classical civilization never achieved “representative government, the emancipation of the slaves, and liberty of conscience.”4 These achievements became possible with the rigid discipline under the Hebraic scriptures and the contribution of Christianity.
When Christ said “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” those words gave . . . to the civil power, under the protection of conscience, a sacredness it had never enjoyed, and bounds it had never acknowledged; and they were the repudiation of absolutism and the inauguration of freedom. For our Lord not only delivered the precept but created the force to execute it. To maintain the necessary immunity in one supreme sphere; to reduce all political authority within defined limits ceased to be an aspiration of patient reasoners and was made the perpetual charge and care of the most energetic institution and the most universal association in the world. The new law, the new spirit, the new authority gave to liberty a meaning and a value it had not possessed in the philosophy or in the constitution of Greece or Rome before the knowledge of the Truth that makes us free.5
The state was circumscribed in its authority by a force external to its own.
The downfall of the Roman empire was followed by the rise of the Roman church. Hobbes wrote: “If a man consider the original of this great ecclesiastical dominion he will easily perceive that the papacy is none other than the ghost of the deceased Roman empire sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.”6 In the words of Locke. Christianity made “the one invisible true God known to the world; and that with such evidence and energy, that polytheism and idolatry have nowhere been able to withstand it.”7 Its centralizing tendencies were followed after the invention of printing by the protests of Martin Luther, reinforced by the opposition of political states. He was compelled to take up the position that authority was more dependent on divine revelation and less on ecclesiasticism. His position and the translation and printing of the Bible opened the way, on the one hand, to the growth of the Calvinistic state, as in Switzerland and in Scotland, and on the other, to the growth of Puritanism as it flourished among the sects in Holland and in England. “The substitution of the Book for the Church was the essence of Protestant revolt” (Morley). Calvin evaded the dangers of the Reformation in ecclesiasticism under Luther by enforcing two cardinal laws of human society, self-control as the condition foundation of virtue, self-sacrifice of the common weal, and created a new centre of union for Puritanism.8 The first English Baptist Church published a declaration of faith in 1611 which stated that “no church ought to challenge any prerogative over any other” and that “the magistrate is not to meddle with religion or matters of conscience nor compel men to this or that form of religion,” statements constituting “the first known expression of absolute liberty of conscience.”9
The divorce of Henry VIII brought the emergence of ecclesiastical power in England as distinct from Rome and the concentration of power under the Tudors in the Crown, Parliament, and the Anglican Church which came into conflict with Puritanism under the Stuarts. The opening of the New World and the expansion of trade across the Atlantic and to the Mediterranean and to India brought vigorous complaints against trading monopolies, the Crown, and the established church. Commercialism, Puritanism, and Parliament reinforced each other. Richard Baxter wrote: “Freeholders and tradesmen are the strength of religion and civility in the Land; and gentleman and beggars and servile tenants are the strength of iniquity.”‘10 In the late sixteenth and the early seventeenth centuries Parliament began to reflect the influence of Puritanism.
The problem11 of religious and civil liberty reached a crisis toward the middle of the seventeenth century. Among the Puritans there emerged the “dogma of the two orders. Man as man belongs to the order of nature. . . . God is the creator and ruler of both orders; but they have different economies and are ruled by different laws.”12 Roger Williams insisted on the one hand “on the natural rights of spiritual men.” Separation of the two orders enabled the Puritan to adopt “radical and naturalistic ideas, the sovereignty of the people, and government by consent in the natural field, and to remain dogmatic in the spiritual field. The principle of segregation of the spiritual and the natural, the church and the state, became the basis for the doctrine of toleration on the one hand and the secularization of the state on the other.” Moreover, “ideas of liberty, of equality, of democratic organization, of government by the consent of the governed, of truth and agreement reached through free and equal discussion” within the order of grace were carried over to politics and the secular field.13 Harrington wrote: “Where civil liberty is entire, it includes liberty of conscience; where liberty of conscience is entire, it includes civil liberty.”‘14 Puritanism therefore had its impact on politics in its insistence on agreement through discussion,15 the separation of church and state, a free state composed of equals paralleling a free church with a democratic form of government. In the struggle between Puritanism and Charles I, the issues were sharply drawn and the king lost his head.
The Puritan revolution strengthened the position of Parliament, but Charles I was an unconscionable time a-dying. His spirit lived on in the restoration under Charles II and nearly a century after the glorious revolution of 1688 was reflected in George III. But the free press of the Netherlands and the writings of Milton and Baxter and of Locke gradually prevailed in limiting the authority of the state and in extending religious liberty. To quote Lord Acton again:
By arresting the preponderance of France, the Revolution of 1688 struck the first real blow at continental despotism. At home it relieved dissent, purified justice, developed the national energies and resources, and ultimately by the Act of Settlement, placed the Crown in the gift of the people.16
Encroachments on civil liberty under George III led to the outbursts of Junius and Wilkes in the interests of a free press, and with the success of the American Revolution17 shifted the responsibility of Parliament to the people rather than to the Crown. Parliament in its earlier struggle with the Crown overreached itself and, becoming adaptable to control by George III, contributed to the break-up of the Empire.
In New England the Puritan element developed a theocracy comparable to that of Switzerland and Scotland. “Theocrats of all kinds must be persecutors” (Leslie Stephen). Its harshness led to the expulsion of Roger Williams and to the settlement of Rhode Island. The struggle between Crown and Parliament in England accentuated the separatist tendencies of the intensely commercialistic Colonies of New England.18 The insistence of Crown and Parliament on supremacy in the reign of George III brought a variety of protests in England and in the Colonies. Lord Camden stated that “taxation and representation are inseparably united. God hath joined them. No British parliament can separate them.” Otis in the Colonies followed Coke and influenced Adams in arguing that “in many cases the Common law will control acts of parliament and adjudge them to be utterly void; for where an act of parliament is against common right and reason or repugnant or impossible to perform, the common law will control it.”19 The common law occupied an important place in the speculations which preceded the Revolution. Coke, with his reverence for the common law, supported Parliament against Charles I and was used to support the Colonies against Parliament. The Assembly of Massachusetts expressed a willingness of compromise by recognizing the Crown but not Parliament. It stated on March 2, 1773: “Our ancestors received the lands, by grant from the king; and at the same time compacted with him, and promised him homage and allegiance; not in his public or politic, but natural capacity only.” Feudalism and the Crown were based on land and territorial rights. Parliament emerged with the influence of primogeniture and the importance of maritime trade. Settlement on the North American continent brought conflict with the authority of Crown and Parliament.
The revolt of the Colonies against the centralizing tendencies of Crown and Parliament brought them face to face with the problem of framing an acceptable central organization in the Constitution. The influence of Milton and Locke, though weakened in England under Walpole and later George III, was reflected in the work20 of Frederick the Great and Voltaire and carried forward in the philosophy of Jefferson. It favored decentralization. Hamilton and the federalists favored centralization. The Declaration of Independence stood in sharp contrast to the Constitution. The compromise of balances21 in the Crown, Courts, Lords, and Commons in Great Britain emphasized by Blackstone and Montesquieu provided the pattern for checks between sources of power in the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court, and the necessity for appeal to the people.
The position of learning in the struggle for civil and religious liberty was precarious. “Greatly as the Calvanistic churches have served the cause of political liberty they have contributed nothing to the progress of knowledge.”22
Banished from the roman empire in the sixth century, or earlier, the classical conception of beauty of form re-entered the circle of ideas again in the fifteenth century, after nearly a thousand years of oblivion and abeyance. Cicero and Vergil, Livius and Ovid, had been there all along, but the idea of composite harmony, on which their works were constructed, was wanting. The restored conception, as if to recoup itself for its long suppression, took entire possession of the mind of educated Europe. The first period of the renaissance passed in adoration of the awakened beauty and in efforts to copy and multiply it.
But in the fifteenth century, “educated Europe” is but a synonym for Italy. What literature there was outside the Alps was a derivative from, or dependent of, the italian movement. The fact that the movement originated in the latin peninsula, was decisive of the character of the first age of classical learning (1400-1550). It was a revival of latin, as opposed to greek, literature. It is now well understood that the fall of Constantinople, though an influential incident of the movement, ranks for nothing among the causes of the renaissance. What was revived in Italy of the fifteenth century was the taste of the schools of the early empire—of the second and third century. There were, no doubt, differing characteristics, for nothing in history ever exactly repeats itself. But in one decisive feature the literary sentiment of the fifteenth century was a reproduction of that of the empire. It was rhetorical, not scientific. Latin literature as a whole is rhetorical. There are exceptional books, such as the “Natural history” of Plinius, but, on the whole, the idea of science was greek, and is alien to latin. To turn phrases, and polish sentences, was the one aim of the litterateur of the empire. . . . This divorce of the literature of knowledge, and the literature of form, which characterised the epoch of decay under the early empire, characterised equally the epoch of revival in the Italy of the popes. The refinements of literary composition in verse and prose, and a tact of emendation founded on this refined sense, this was the ideal of the scholar of the italian renaissance.
The decay and extinction of the artistic enthusiasm of the Italians was gradual, but may be said to have been consummated soon after the middle of the sixteenth century.23
As the eye, captivated at first by charms of person, learns in time to see the graces of the soul that underly and shape them, so the classics, which had attracted by their beauty, gradually revealed to the modern world the rich wisdom which that beauty enshrined. The first scholars of the renaissance enjoyed, without labour, the harmonies of language, the perfection of finish, which the great masters of latin style had known how to give to their work. Just when imitation had degenerated into feebleness, mannerism, and affectation, the discovery was made that these exterior beauties covered a world of valuable knowledge, even in the latin writers. And underlying the latin literature, it was perceived, was one more valuable still, the greek. The interest of the educated world was transferred from the form to the matter of ancient literature. Masses of useful knowledge, natural or political, the social experience of many generations, were found to have lain unnoticed in books which had been all the while in everyone’s hands. The knowledge and wisdom thus buried in the greek writers presented a striking contrast to the barren sophistic, which formed the curriculum of the schools.
It became the task of the scholars of the second period of the classical revival to disinter this knowledge. The classics, which had been the object of taste became the object of science.24
The first period of humanism in which the words of the ancient authors had been studied, was thus the preparatory school for the humanism of the second period, in which the matter was the object of attention. . . . The first period in the history of classical learning may be styled the italian. The second period coincides with the french school. If we ask why Italy did not continue to be the centre of the humanist movement, which she had so brilliantly inaugurated, the answer is that the intelligence was crushed by the reviviscence of ecclesiastical ideas. Learning is research; research must be free, and cannot coexist with the claim of the catholic clergy to be superior to enquiry. The french school, it will be observed, is wholly in fact, or in intention, protestant. As soon as it was decided, as it was before 1600, that France was to be a catholic country, and the university of Paris a catholic university, learning was extinguished in France. France, “noverca ingeniorum” saw her unrivalled scholars, expatriate themselves without regret, and without repentance. With Scaliger and Saumaise the seat of learning was transferred from France to Holland. The third period of classical learning thus coincides with the dutch school. From 1593, the date of Scaliger’s removal to Leyden, the supremacy in the republic of learning was possessed by the Dutch.25
With the assassination of Henry IV, Casaubon migrated from France to England.
The struggle in England was disastrous to its universities.
When twenty years of tranquillity and order had restored the possibility of intellectual life, we find two results. First, that taste, poetry, and literature, were the first intellectual fruit to revive after the moral pestilence which had desolated the nation. The reign of Elizabeth produced accordingly a rich harvest of poetry and general literature, but it was not till the beginning of the next century that speculative thought and the severer studies again raised their heads. Secondly, that the movement of the national mind is carried on no longer within the Universities, but without them. From that time to the present, the Universities have ceased to originate, to rule, even to respond to, or be affected by such intellectual activity as the nation has possessed. The whole of that sphere of thought in which a liberal training consists, or by which it can be accomplished, has been abandoned by them. So far as it has gone on at all, it has gone on without them. Ever since Henry VIII’s first interference with opinion here, the Universities have been kept in dependence by the States; under Elizabeth, and under James and Charles, the fetters were drawn tighter and tighter, and education, starved by its severance from the living current of thought and opinion, gradually died out.26
The measures then taken in the cause of order, security, and permanence, had the effect of drying up the very springs of our life, and cut us off from giving or receiving from the nation at large a healthy intellectual impulse. Then was laid the foundation of that fatal divorce between the Universities and the national mind, which has lasted ever since. This alienation reached its acme, politically, about the middle of the last century, when Oxford had become indentified with the sullen and anti-national Jacobite faction; morally and intellectually, about the close of the century, when it can scarcely be said that the University gave any education at all. We sustained our very existence by means of our political connexion and our landed property, and had altogether lost our hold on the national mind. Speaking only of Oxford, and omitting exceptional instances, such as the prelections of Sanderson on Moral Philosophy in 1643, or those of Blackstone on English Law in 1754, we may say, that from the Laudian Statutes of 1636, till the First Examination Statute of 1801, the University curriculum became more and more narrow, the efficiency of what remained, less and less.27
The results have been described by Adam Smith, Gibbon, and others in the late eighteenth century. Sydney Smith28 wrote, “The only consequences of a university education are the growth of vice and the waste of money.”29 Advances in philosophy came from the Continent and particularly Holland. Advances in astronomy and mathematics after Galileo and the discovery of circulation of the blood by Harvey early in the seventeenth century provided the background for the philosophy of Descartes and Spinoza and the writings of Hobbes. Bacon gave an impetus to the study of science particularly by his attack on the dialectics of the school men. Locke toward the end of the century stimulated an interest in psychology, and Newton made notable advances in mathematics and astronomy. While England made its contributions, Pattison has written:
If we take the philosophical and religious literature of England for the earlier half of the eighteenth century, we shall find upon it the stamp of a second-hand and derivative character. The writings of the English Deists—Shaftesbury, Chubb, Toland, and Woolston—have that sort of originality which proceeds from ignorance of what has been thought or written. The speculative impulse came from the Continent: from two or three leading minds—from Descartes, Spinosa, and Bayle. In England it obtained notoriety, publicity, and diffusion.30
While the vigorous struggle for civil and religious liberties in England was being prosecuted in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and their position in the United States was being strengthened and consolidated, the principles of economic liberty were being formulated and advanced in Scotland, “the only kingdom in which the Reformation triumphed over the resistance of the state.” Union with England in 1707 provided the background for an escape from the intolerance of religious tyranny in the expansion of trade31 from Glasgow and in the attractions of law32 and literature in Edinburgh, “that garret of the earth,—that knuckle-end of England—that land of Calvin, oatcakes and sulphur.”33
The universities of Scotland escaped from the heavy hand of the state, and while the church attempted to excommunicate Hume, it was possible for him and for Hutcheson and Adam Smith to strengthen the extension of civil liberties in the direction of economic freedom. Adam Smith presented a systematic extension of principles first in the spiritual and then in the natural field. His Theory of Moral Sentiments, published in 1759, gave a “system of ethics on the basis of a harmonious order in nature guided by God, and in an incidental manner applies his general doctrine with strict consistency to the economic order.”34
Smith’s doctrine that economic phenomena were manifestations of an underlying order in nature governed by natural forces, gave to English economics for the first time a definite trend toward logically consistent synthesis of economic relationships, toward “system building.” Smith’s further that this doctrine underlying natural order required for its most beneficent operation a system of natural liberty, and that in the main public regulation and private monopoly were corruptions of that natural order, at once gave to economics a bond of union with the prevailing philosophy and theology and to economists and statesmen a program of practical reform.35
While the virtues of self-reliance and self-denial were in the New Testament, they were not fully recognized until they had been made the foundation of political economy in the Wealth of Nations.36 Scotland became “the land of porridge and political economy.”
Professor Hollander has traced the influence of the master’s work in the establishment of the classical school of political economy. The lectures of Dugald Stewart, in which the doctrines of the Wealth of Nations were expounded, were attended by James Mill, the father of John Stuart Mill, Sydney Smith, John Ramsay McCulloch, and Henry Brougham. “The ‘gospel of mammon’ according to some entered the university curriculum.” “The word corn sounded strangely in the moral class and drawbacks seemed a profanation of Stewart’s voice.”37
The Edinburgh Review, which first appeared in October, 1802, gave an important place38 to economic criticism. Malthus, Say,39 and Ricardo and later John Stuart Mill came under the influence of the Wealth of Nations and devoted their energies to its extension, its simplification, and the widening of its influence. Marshall described the period 1770-1820 as the classical epoch in which the author “by the form or the matter of his words or deeds. . . has stated or indicated architectonic ideas in thought or sentiment which are in some degree his own and which once created can never die but are an existing yeast ceaselessly working in the cosmos.”40
In his attempt to elaborate the natural order as understood by Adam Smith and immediately to combat the notions of Godwin as to the perfectibility of human nature, Malthus wrote his Essay on Population and its extensive later revisions. His thesis that population tended to outrun the food supply was a profound contribution to the subject of political economy, as a branch of biology, and to the subject of biology. Both Wallace and Darwin, who developed the theory of evolution independently, have paid tribute to the crucial position of his work. In a letter to Wallace dated April 6, 1839, Darwin wrote: “I came to the conclusion that selection was the principle of change from the study of domesticated production; and then reading Malthus (October 1838) I saw at once how to apply the principle.”41 Both Malthus and Darwin were exposed to bitter attacks, but their contributions to the science of biology, including economics, cannot be denied. Herbert Spencer elaborated the significance of Darwin’s contributions to the social sciences. His influence ranged from the academic work of Thorstein Veblen in the United States to the important political achievements of John Morley in Great Britian.
The influence of Adam Smith and the political economists was strengthened by the outcome of the struggle for civil and religious liberty. In the last half of the eighteenth century deism declined. Newman has remarked that the Roman Catholic church suppresses reason and the Anglican church feeling, and that consequently Anglicans become Methodists and Roman Catholics infidels. The religious influence of Wesley, and the humanitarianism of Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect brought an interest in reform and the end of the slave trade. The American and French Revolutions on the one hand tightened the bonds of the aristocracy42 and on the other accentuated the demands for release. Burke wrote in favor of the American Revolution and against the French Revolution. Wordsworth was sympathetic to the French Revolution but turned to hostility. Coleridge adapted Kantian philosophy to the demands of the Conservative position. Godwin, Shelley, the Hunts, and Hazlitt sponsored an interest in revolution. The energies of Cobbett and Place and the radicalism of James and John Stuart Mill, Bentham, and writers for the Westminster Review stiffened the influence of the Whigs for reform. Sydney Smith and writers in the Edinburgh Review and Albany Fonblanque in the Examiner were effective in securing Catholic emancipation, the reform acts, the reduction of taxes on knowledge, and eventually the destruction of the mercantilist system.
The effects of the contributions of Puritanism to political liberty evident in the revolt of the American Colonies, and to economic liberty in the publication of the Wealth of Nations, have been described at great length. They compelled the shift from centralization to decentralization in the British Empire.43 The clearing away of the vast accumulations of mercantilism44 in the introduction of free trade and in the repeal of the navigation acts, the escape from vested interests centering about staple products under mercantilism, the improvement of the conditions of the working classes in England, the contributions of Bentham and Brougham in the improvement of legal machinery—all of these far-reaching changes were a part of the achievements of the early nineteenth century.
The reform movements had their significance for education not only in the attention of the state to popular education45 and in voluntary organizations such as the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge, but in the universities. The establishment of the University of London brought competition with the old universities, and the intrusion of the state particularly in education in Ireland led to the Anglo-Catholic movement under Newman and the decline of interest in theological controversy.
The railway mania of 1847 and King Hudson was the first material that rushed in to fill up the vacuum. G. V. Cox says “Instead of High, Low, and Broad Church, they talked of high embankments, broad gauge, and low dividends. Brunel and Stephenson were in men’s mouths instead of Dr. Pusey or Mr. Golightly; and speculative theology gave way to speculation in railway shares” (Recollection, p. 238). The truth is that this movement, which swept the leader of the Tractarians, with most of his followers, out of the place, was an epoch in the history of the university. It was a deliverance from the nightmare which had oppressed Oxford for fifteen years. For so long we had been given over to discussions unprofitable in themselves, and which had entirely diverted our thoughts from the true business of the place. Probably there was no period of our history during which, I do not say science and learning, but the ordinary study of the classics was so profitless or at so low an ebb as during the period of the Tractarian controversy. By the secessions of 1845 this was extinguished in a moment, and from that moment dates the regeneration of the University. Our thoughts reverted to their proper channel, that of the work we had to do. . . . More than this, the abject deference fostered by theological discussion for authority, whether of the Fathers, or the Church, or the Primitive Ages, was incompatible with the free play of intellect which enlarges knowledge, creates science, and makes progress possible. In a word, the period of Tractarianism had been a period of obscurantism, which had cut us off from the general movement; an eclipse which had shut out the light of the sun in heaven. Whereas other reactions accomplished themselves by imperceptible degrees, in 1845 the darkness was dissipated, and the light was let in in an instant, as by the opening of the shutters in the chamber of a sick man who has slept till midday. Hence the flood of reform, which broke over Oxford in the next few years following 1845, which did not spend itself till it had produced two Government commissions, until we had ourselves enlarged and remodelled all our institutions.46
Scholarship47 at last emerged to a foremost place. In Cambridge mathematics had checked the growth of obscurantism and provided the environment in which Marshall wrote his Principles of Economics. In Oxford political economy found a place. The historical school was gradually adapted to new demands.
Indeed, the desuetude and even direct discouragement of the academical study of the Roman law during the last two centuries has been a concurrent cause with the neglect of philosophy, of that contracted habit of the national mind to which this country owes at once its success and its littleness; its success in the practical employments of commerce, its incapacity for enlarged views either of national- welfare, or of foreign policy. The same superstition of Puritanism, which in the seventeenth century proscribed the speculative theology and philosophy as being popish, operated too against the imperial constitutions, which were tainted by their Roman origin.
For the general student in the History School, however, a more valuable scientific element even than the civil code is offered by political economy. Indeed, history, unless combined with a study of the positive laws of human welfare, is little better than a portion of elegant literature. It is void of any instructive power, and sinks into an amusement, into curious research, or at best becomes so much information for conversational purposes. This subject we may hope to see grow upon this School. It should not be treated as a special subject, which, like Roman law, may or may not be known. It should be understood to be the theoretical science of history, and should be required of all candidates, except the law students, who have not time for it. Besides the vital connexion of this subject with history, this science is especially the home growth of Britain. It is the only science of which it can be said that the principles have been discovered and extended chiefly by Englishmen; the best books on it are written in the English language, and the very facts themselves on which its inductions are based have been supplied by the mercantile and industrial development of Great Britain. The treatise of Ricardo is almost the perfection of a logically reasoned science applied to an adequate collection of carefully examined phenomena.48
The economic expansion of England in the nineteenth century gave it a peculiar place.
In one department of progress the English development has indeed been complete, regular, and from within. In commerce and manufactures, England may be said to have conducted on behalf of the world, but at her own risks and perils, the one great commercial experiment that has yet been made. Our practice has been so extended and diversified, that from it alone, with but little reference to that of the other trading nations of antiquity, or of modern times, the laws of economics have been inferred, and a new science constructed on a solid and indisputable basis.49
These far-reaching changes based on economic expansion increased the divergence with the continent.
“It has often been remarked with regret [writes Sir Henry Maine] that while the learned in the exacter sciences abroad and in England have the most perfect sympathy with each other,—while the physician or the mathematician in London is completely at home in the writings of the physician or the mathematician in Berlin and Paris, there is a sensible, though invisible, barrier, which separates the jurists, the moral philosophers, the politicians, and the historians of the Continent, from those who follow the same pursuits in England.” This divergence—a divergence not of opinion, but in our mode of thinking—is even more manifested in our Theology, than in the moral and political sciences.50
Political economy never flourished in competition with law in the universities of France and Germany. The imperial system of Rome was too strongly entrenched. Europe began to specialize, and with, specialization came the dangers of division.
In quite modern times it would seem as if the burden and labour of human progress were pretty evenly shared between the three nations of Europe who have any liberty of action at all. The French have had hitherto the working out of the political problem. To the share of the English has fallen the social and industrial difficulty. Speculative Germany has claimed for her own the problems of thought, the abstract matters of Philosophy and Theology. To each of these separate tasks is attached its own burden, its own peculiar danger.51
Dangers were accentuated in England by the growth of the press and the importance of public opinion.
These causes are to be found in the general levelling tendency exerted by the advancing tide of civilization. In its superficial aspect, this tendency shows itself in that spectre of the Tory party which they call “democracy.” Its deeper forces are found in the increasing influence exercised over Government by a certain dead level of “public opinion.” Our national Church has happily escaped political revolution which is leavening society. The tyranny of opinion has been making steady advances in Western Europe; nowhere more rapidly than in England. At one time it was worth the Church’s while to ally itself with the State, i.e. with the Government. But it is now understood that Government has a master, and it is found to be better policy to contract the alliance directly with that master. This master is the public opinion of the majority. He who has a good understanding with this can afford to quarrel with power, even though it be the power of a Napoleon. Whatever other merit the opinion of the majority may have, it is, in the present condition of our population, an unenlightened
opinion. It must be founded on passion rather than on reason; on prejudice, not on knowledge; it will prefer the interests of its class to those of the whole, and its own immediate to its remote interest. The numbers of the wise who think are little capable of increase at any time; but the numbers of the public who are influenced by opinion become yearly greater. Knowledge has less and less influence on affairs, and opinion more and more. This is not only the case in secular politics, but in religion also. Theology has absolutely no weight in this country, where there is not even any faculty of canonists. But religious opinion operates over a larger area than any other opinion whatever.52
In an essay on “intellectual responsibility and the political spirit” Morley wrote:
Practically and as a matter of history, a society is seldom at the same time successfully energetic both in temporals and spirituals; seldom prosperous alike in seeking abstract truths and nursing the political spirit. There is a decisive preponderance in one direction or the other, and the equal balance between free and active thihking and coherent practical energy in a community seems too hard to sustain.53
These conclusions were supported by his observations on English life in the latter part of the last century. Earlier in the same essay he wrote:
The political spirit has grown to be the strongest element in our national life; the dominant force, extending its influence over all our ways of thinking in matters that have least to do with politics, or even nothing at all to do with them. There has thus been engendered among us the real sense of political responsibility. In a corresponding degree has been discouraged . . . the sense of intellectual responsibility.54
The undisputed predominance of the political spirit has a plain tendency to limit the subjects in which the men animated by it can take a real interest. All matters fall out of sight, or at least fall into a secondary place, which do not bear more or less directly and patently upon the material and structural welfare of the community. In this way the members of the community miss the most bracing, widening and elevated of the whole range of influences that create great characters. First, they lose sincere concern about the larger questions which the human mind has raised up for itself; second they lose a fearless desire to reach the true answers to them.55
This impoverishment of aims and depravation of principles by the triumph of the political spirit outside its proper sphere cannot unfortunately be restricted to any one set of people in the state. It is something in the very atmosphere which no sanitary cordon can limit.56
On the North American continent opinion has occupied an even stronger position. Precisely because of the character of its commercial civilization the Anglo-Saxon community, especially in North America, has linked trade to opinion. Advertising has become an integral part of the activities of the press with vital implications to opinion. Political activity and trade are facets of this civilization. This background implies a distinct and possibly unbridgeable gap between Anglo-Saxon and other European communities.
In England we have been less affected than other nations by the two main sources of interference, viz. the authority of government and the influence of foreigners. . . . In Germany we see an unhealthy tripartite division: (1) the Governments; (2) the Intellectual Class; (3) the People. The governments exclusive, narrow-minded, inquisitorial, meddlesome; the small intellectual class, possessing a compass of knowledge, and a breadth of thought, which make it lead the speculative intellect of the world; the people more superstitious, more really unfit for political power, than the inhabitants of England. This divergence of interests between classes is due to the fact, that the intellectual stimulus of Germany was a stimulus administered from without. They received their impulse from their contact with French intellect imported wholesale by the Great Frederick. Hence the highest intellects in Germany have so far outstripped the progress of the mass of their fellow-countrymen, that they have absolutely no influence upon them. . . . The stock of American knowledge is small, but it is the common property of the whole nation; the stock of German knowledge is immense, but it is in very few hands. Thus Germany is unfitted for our purpose by a serious failure in the diffusion of knowledge; American by a deficiency in its amount.57
In Anglo-Saxon countries the spread of democracy has accompanied the penetration of politics. An American pertinently asked, “Why is it that when Canadians meet they always talk politics?”; but the vice is not peculiar to Canadians. The implications of opinion to institutions of learning in Anglo-Saxon communities have been evident on every hand. The tyranny of opinion can be read in the speeches of university presidents and in the degree lists of most universities. A highly respected university in my native country has the distinction of giving the same honorary degree twice to the same premier of a province. The effects of the tyranny of opinion have been evident in the commercialization of universities. One might cite the neglect of an interest in Russia and the Orient and the unseemly haste to repair the damage and the tenuous position of labor in university curricula.
The University must be the intellectual capital of the country, to itself, not all the talent, but attracting all the speculative intellect. It should be an independent body, fenced round by its own privileges—prescriptive rights too sacred to be easily invaded—with its own annals and code of laws. But political independence is of less consequence to it than social. It should have sufficient social status for its honours and dignities to be in themselves rewards, and that its members should not be under the temptation to secure for themselves other positions, political or ecclesiastical, to which their academical place would then rank as subordinate. If there be not some proportion between the prizes which public life, or the professions, and those which the University itself, offer, the former will always draw off the highest talent, and leave only the second-rate and mediocre for academic labours.58
The significance of political influence has been striking in the social sciences since the depression and the war. The demands of parties have compelled a liquidation of the prestige of learning in the social sciences, universities have become reserve pools of labor to supply political parties during periods of crisis. Government as an art has been largely free of academic traditions in democracies, but the crises of the depression and the war have led to a demand on all sides for men bringing prestige. Unfortunately the social sciences have created an impression of scientific finality and the use of the word sciences suggests the power of the fallacy. The intensive cultivation of mathematics has enhanced the impression. We have definitely emerged from the happy state described in the last century.
This is true of all science, but it is more particularly true of History and Economy. Here, more than in any other field, do we feel that theory exists for the sake of the facts, and not facts for the sake of the theory. In these practical sciences we are less liable to that science-worship which infests the more theoretical, in which the more abstract and general the expression the better. The economists and statisticians have not yet learnt this fanaticism.59
We have learned fanaticism. Research, like Mesopotamia, has become a blessed word.
The gap between research and teaching has widened perceptibly with the result that the practicability of the conclusions of research have not been constantly exposed to the tests of teaching experience and of their adaptability to communication to students and even more to a democratic community. The divorce between research and education has been evident in the establishment of specialized institutes60 attached or not attached to universities, manned by a staff which does no teaching, part-time teaching where they are attached to universities, or full-time teaching when members of the staff are on leave of absence in such institutes. Specialization has meant the emergence of institutes unconnected or loosely connected with teaching and the creation of organizations which may easily be drawn upon by political parties in times of crises. Such organizations may serve as buffers between the universities and political parties, but the advantage is offset by their inefficiency as buffers and by the decline in efficiency of teaching. The conclusions presented by specialized institutions become less assimilable to students61 and more suitable to the demands of bureaucratic exhibitionism. The prevailing trend toward education of larger numbers of students and the establishment of institutes have made it impossible for university administrators to adapt themselves to new developments in the field of knowledge.
The necessary tendency of advancing civilization is to divide and subdivide the applications
as of labour, so of thought. The professions tend to split up into branches; and skill in one becomes more and more incompatible with skill in another. The more a subject has been explored, the more time does it take each succeeding student to follow the steps of his predecessors. To prevent the disabling effects of this speciality of pursuit, it becomes the more requisite to secure at starting a breadth of cultivation, a scientific formation of mind, a concert of the intellectual faculties. There is an organization of thought as well as of labour. What is wanted is to get this recognized as the proper remedy; and to have it understood that this commanding superiority, this enlargement of mind, this grasp of things as they are, this clear-sightedness, sagacity, philosophical reach of mind, is to a great degree communicable by training. We, indeed, are far from estimating this power by its applicability. Mental enlargement we know to be self-valuable, not useful; but if it can be introduced to notice under colour of being useful in life, so be it, so only that it is introduced. The difficulty is to get the thing recognized at all by those who have it not. Cleverness, talent, skill, fluency, memory, all these are understood and rated in the market. A cultivated mind, just because it is above all price, is apt to be overlooked altogether.62
The results have been evident in a rapid deterioration of public opinion. A few years ago we had in Canada a premier who occasioned much jeering by a political programme which offered $25 a month to the electors, and I am told that you have had similar phenomena. With the aid of the social sciences we have far outstripped this proposal in our offers to provide full employment or, more modestly, reasonable employment. Research has made us perhaps very learned but not necessarily very wise. One is always impressed by the contrast between the ripe judgments of men with long experience in business and in politics and the parade of intensive research. Learning is overloaded with preciosities. The importance of the obvious has been overlooked by research. The rapid growth of bureaucracies recruited from highly specialized social sciences has brought the rapid growth of ecclesiasticism and the rapid decline of scepticism. Democracies are becoming people who cannot understand, run by people buttressed and protected by the ramparts of research. In my country I am told it is customary for members of the bureaucracy to prod members of the opposition in Parliament to follow a line of policy which will compel members of the government to yield to their wishes. Well might they accept the words of Locke63 as their motto: “The greater part cannot learn and therefore they must believe.” “Truth” has superseded the search for truth, and little respect is paid to Professor Knight’s claim:
Only on . . . the subject matter of price theory economics can it be said that any great headway toward satisfactory treatment has been made and that is but a limited aspect of the total problem of action. Without an adequate ethics and sociology in the broad sense, economics has little to say about policy.64
The direct effects of “preaching” about economic relations and obligations are in general bad; and the kind of legislation which results from the clamour of idealistic preachers—and from the public attitude which such preaching at once expresses and tends to venerate or aggravate—is especially bad. All this is the natural consequence of exhortation without knowledge or understanding—of well meaning people attempting to meddle with the workings of extremely complicated and sensitive machinery which they do not understand. . . . Christianity affords no concrete guidance for social action, beyond an urge to do “good and avoid evil.”65
The rise of political economy reflected the growth of economic liberty. In the attempt to discover a natural order it emphasized the position of the individual. Marshall with Jevons, Walras, and Pareto and Pigou extended the principles of equilibrium and widened the possibilities of mathematics. The phrases, “Natura non facit saltum” (Nature never proceeds by leaps), “the one in the many, the many in the one,” of Marshall’s Principles of Economics and Industry and Trade reflect the philosophy. The combination of the mathematical and the biological fallacies has been challenged by the insistence that civilization is an art. “In art, as in life, the chief problem is a right choice in sacrifices. Civilization is the organization of values.”66 Toynbee and students of civilization insist that while “nature never proceeds by leaps,” civilization proceeds in precisely that fashion.
Economic liberty followed civil and religious liberty and was less firmly rooted in Western civilization. As the most tender plant it has suffered first from the disappearance of civil liberty. Economic liberty as supported by the classical school assumed an economy of resources in the policies of government and was effective in the destruction of the wasteful policies of the mercantile systems. It pointed to policies by which large organizations were allowed to grind each other down and to make way for smaller organizations.67 The state intervened as a policeman concerned with more or less fair play68 between organizations and in the interests of the operation of competition. But the very success of political economy of the classical school evident in the efficiency of industrialism and free trade implied limitations. The advance of Western civilization provided the prosperity which enabled large-scale organizations to extend their activities and compelled the state to restrain them. “Vexatious interference . . . the ordinary treatment of commerce by power” (Pattison) became an obligation. The overpowering demands of administration have been reflected in the decline in emphasis on philosophy in the study of political economy. The curricula of universities are concerned to an increasing extent with the routine and details of administration,69 and students are taught more and more about less and less. Larger numbers of poorer students can be trained in the details of routine, and routine demands larger numbers of poorer students. We have all the answers and none of the questions.
The increasing power of the state has involved the subordination of political economy in the classical sense if not its disappearance. Art has been displaced by science. “Not poetry, but science, not sentiment but calculation is now the misguiding influence.”70 The advances in political economy have been concentrated on mathematical analysis and a narrowing of the subject to a small number of experts and a consequent decline in interest in the philosophical and political background. Lip service is paid to the plea that free trade is better than dominion.71 “When goods cease to move across boundaries armies will begin” (Cordell Hull). But since 1914 the modern state has drawn more heavily on the social sciences and thought has been paralyzed. The extension of government boards and innumerable royal commissions have in one way or another drawn the social scientist into the service of the state. Social scientists in the service of the state necessitate the appointment of social scientists in the service of private enterprise to combat their encroachment. There are few economists who will say, and none who will say so well, as Adam Smith: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment or diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” In these times an economist72 will be among them. If the social scientist is drawn into the civil service, royal commissions, or industry, or even if he is not, he is attracted to the problem of politics and power. Within limits an “economist”73 is something to conjure with and in the hands of the politician he has been used to foster the interests of the party and the state. The economist becomes a political economist. He has enlisted with pressure groups in the struggle against other pressure groups or he has enlisted with the state as centralized power. The decline in communicability in the social sciences has made the social scientist an ally of the modern state as the great pickpocket. Absorption of the social scientist in bureaucracy in the present crisis has left the community exposed to a flood of arrant nonsense.74
In North America westward expansion after the war of 1812 made enormous demands on the energies of the people. The importance of agriculture was evident in the strength of Jeffersonianism, the emergence of Jacksonian democracy, and the abolition of the national bank. Penetration to the interior of the continent and increasing distances brought demands for free land and precipitated the clash with the representatives of the cotton kingdom of the South. The desert of the southern great plains brought the expansion of cotton-growing to an end and led to the struggle over slave-holding in the territories which ended in Civil War. The highly organized aristocratic society based on cotton and slave-owning effectively resisted over a long period the loosely knit democratic society of the North. With the eventual success of the North and the collapse of the South, northern policies prevailed. Industrialism forged ahead with the production of iron, coal, and oil and the construction of railways. It had the support of financial technique worked out by such pioneers as Jay Cooke during the Civil War. Lack of resistance was apparent in the domination of the Republican Party and the limitation of Democratic presidents since the Civil War to Cleveland, Wilson, and F. D. Roosevelt. The Democratic Party strengthened its position in the South and in urban centres such as New York. The Supreme Court,75 built upon foundations laid down by Marshall, survived the critical period of the Civil War and strengthened the position of industrialism. The increasing strength of the Democratic Party in the South and the urbanization of population eventually brought a demand for new types of control in economic life. The diversities of a vast region and a constitutional system with its emphasis on appeals to the voting public and on checks on power have enabled a republic to sustain a civil war and to support adjustments over a long period. Absence of a large army, an established church, and a landholding class and the adoption of a constitution emphasizing balance hastened economic development and facilitated strategic control over natural resources by relatively small numbers.
In Canada severance of political relations with France after the fall of Quebec enhanced the power of the Church along the lower St. Lawrence. The American Revolution was followed by the migration of loyalist elements particularly to regions in the Maritimes and in the region which became Upper Canada. Small colonies were organized on a militaristic basis as a means of resisting the United States. Settlement and land policy reflected the centralizing effects of military demands. Immigrants from Great Britain especially Scotland and from the United States and French Canadians opposed these centralizing tendencies to the point of rebellion in 1837. William Lyon Mackenzie was thoroughly steeped in Scottish life and tradition.76 In Nova Scotia the traditions of the New England colonies in the Assembly survived, and responsible government was achieved under the leadership of Joseph Howe without the bloodshed of the St. Lawrence.
The dominance of Scottish influence in the Strachans, the Galts, the Macdonalds, and the Mackenzies provided the solution to religious, political, and constitutional problems in the development of governments in the interests of capital expansion through canals and railways. The Act of Union and the British North America Act were instruments designed to secure capital funds, and the skill of Macdonald dominated political and religious groups. Confederation provided no basis for the balancing of powers which characterized the constitutions of Great Britain and the United States. The influence of the Senate was nullified by control of the House of Commons and of the Supreme Court by subordination to the Privy Council. The influence of the Crown was steadily reduced by the House of Commons. Resistance to centralization in the House of Commons was limited to the brief opposition of the administration of Alexander Mackenzie. The complexity of the task of controlling religious groups, evident after the execution of Louis Riel, and conscription, reduced the power of one centralizing group and shifted it to the other. But each was concerned with the major task of capital expansion chiefly in the improvement of transportation—railways and canals—the one favoring private enterprise, the other public ownership. The dominance of the church, neglect of the army, and absence of an aristocratic landholding class facilitated concentration on control over railways and natural resources. Outside the House of Commons, the Privy Council alone served as an effective bulwark in resisting the powers of the federal government and supporting the powers of the provinces. Resistance by the provinces was effective through the influence of language, religion, race, and control over natural resources. The governmental machinery of the provinces has been strengthened in struggles with the federal government by the gradual extinction of legislative councils. Freedom in Canada rests on the tenuous support of the Privy Council and on continued struggle between the provinces and the Dominion. The weakening of Parliament with the dictatorship of the Cabinet or of a small group of the Cabinet or of a small group of civil servants who control the small groups of the Cabinet, and the present unanimity of all parties on expansion of state control weaken the prospect of continued freedom. The lack of unity which has preserved Canadian unity threatens to disappear. The necessity of continuous compromise in the interests of religion, regionalism, and race explains the paucity of political thinking and the importance of pretence in mediocrity to political leaders.
Defeat of the Southern States in the Civil War which brought to an end the compromise arrangements, including the Reciprocity Treaty from 1854 to 1866, was followed by railway construction, occupation of free land, and tariffs. The United Canadas on the St. Lawrence were compelled to improve and extend the system of canals and railways, and to develop a federal structure. After Confederation the federal government built the Intercolonial from Halifax and St. John to connect with the Grand Trunk Railway and generously supported construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway to the Pacific Coast. The government and the railway entered into energetic competition with the railways of the United States for settlers and capital. After the turn of the century two additional transcontinental lines were built to the north of the Canadian Pacific Railway. During the World War these railways and the Grand Trunk and the Intercolonial came into the hands of the federal government. Centralization in Canada was hastened by the defeat of the Southern States and the necessity of competing with an aggressive and successful North. The return in influence of the South in the success of the Democratic Party under President F. D. Roosevelt facilitated co-operation with Canada.
The phenomenal economic expansion of Great Britain and North America followed political, religious, and economic liberty. The century of achievement in the Western world has been traced in Professor Clapham’s monumental work on the economic history of Great Britain, France, and Germany, and in Professor Wright’s Economic History of the United States.77 The enormous increase and redistribution of population, the unprecedented extension of capital equipment and production, the phenomenal rise in the standard of living (expenditure as some would call it), and the prosecution of major wars were a result of increasing efficiency of machine industry, especially through inventions affecting communication and transportation and the utilization of vast natural resources, including two new sources of power, petroleum and hydroelectric power, and the increasing effectiveness of the price system.78 In the production and distribution of goods the assistance of the state has been enlisted on an extensive scale. In the last sentence of his three volumes, Professor Clapham issues a warning that while
almost the least propertied of their countrymen was already a privileged member of the human race; that the talk of a world of plenty which needed only to be organized, a way of speech then coming into fashion among social experimentalists, was not yet relevant to a world some two-thirds of whose inhabitants had not, by western standards, decent clothing for their backs or plain food enough to eat; and that the privileged position of Britain and indeed of the white races though much less insecure than some pessimists maintained, was not quite certainly a part of the permanent divine order of things.
These achievements were attained with the collapse of mercantilism and the rise of economic liberty. But from the high point at the middle of the last century with the Reciprocity Treaty between Canada and the United States from 1854 to 1866 and the Cobden treaty between England and France, free trade has rapidly receded. Rising tariffs reflected the growth of nationalism, the decline of economic liberty. Professor MacIver has listed the fall of the birthrate, which it has in some, and which the decline of dogmatic religion, the dominance of finance over industry, the spread of economic consolidations, the growth of urbanization, and the establishment of a mechanical basis for modern society as characteristic of the period.
Wordsworth in a letter dated June 22, 1817, wrote: “There is, in fact, an unconquerable tendency in all power, save that of knowledge, acting by and through knowledge, to injure the mind of him by whom that power is exercised.”79 The supreme and paramount principle of every corporation that has ever existed, whether spiritual or temporal, is to maintain power.80 Lord Acton summarized the view in his memorable sentence: “All power is corrupt and absolute power is absolutely corrupt.” “Power tends to expand indefinitely and will transcend all barriers abroad and at home until met by superior forces.” This “produces the rhythmic movement of history.” “The passion for power over others can never cease to threaten mankind, and is always sure of findinig new and unforeseen allies.”81 “It is by the combined efforts of the weak made under compulsion to resist the reign of force and constant wrong that in the rapid change but slow progress of four hundred years, liberty has been preserved and secured and extended and finally understood.”82
Power is a machine, but it is one of which the moving force is passion, much oftener than knowledge. This is the agent with whose effects and consequences history has to occupy itself. This is the force which moves the world, small and great, from the intrigue that turns out a minister, to the revolution that changes the face of a continent: passion, creating and animating power, degrading knowledge to be the skilled artificer that forges chains for its subjects. Power, once constituted, has a tendency to perpetuate itself: it is at the discretion of power how much, or how little, intellectual progress its subjects shall be permitted to make. For though knowledge be itself a power, yet as it grows up and finds passion already seated on the throne, it cannot raise its head, except so far as the monarch in possession licenses it. Power, however, though excessively jealous, is not clear-sighted. It has always entertained suspicions of knowledge, and has usually set its face against it, and kept it under. But it has not done so in all countries with the same thoroughgoing consistency which it has in some, and which it always could show. Hence, in these countries, as in England, the classes in possession of knowledge were able to wrest a considerable share of power from the classes in possession of the landed property, i.e. capitalized power. And as knowledge, the moment it is at all free, has an irresistible tendency to increase, it has, in England, made those encroachments on property, and shows that disposition to encroach more and more on the prerogatives of property, which theorists mistake for a uniform law of progress, and ascribe to the inherent vitality and expansiveness of knowledge. The history of Europe teaches quite another lesson. In it we see written, in characters of blood, the weakness of intellect when separate from force and passion—its utter powerlessness when against them.83
Professor F. H. Knight has written that
civilized life under mundane conditions simply cannot be pictured without quite extensive power relations between human beings in addition to power over nature. A defensible ethic doubtless condemns over-emphasis on power; but it must include both the right use of power and the quest of power—by right methods—for right uses.84
The growth of nationalism and the enormous extension of power in the modern state which has overwhelmed the social sciences have meant that power is regarded as an end rather than a means, and that the checks to centralization of power which strengthened the position of the individual have declined in importance. The effectiveness of the price system and of technological advance which strengthened the position of the individual also provided support through which the state increased its powers. Militarism and the civil service have encroached on liberty. Economic liberty has provided the basis for encroachment on civil liberty.
The problem of power has become more complex with the marked increase in the size of technological units. Physics and chemistry have dominated biology.85 The state has increased in strength, by fostering and attempting to control the growth of such concentrations of power with their implications to the problems of war and peace. While the state is, as Professor George Unwin has said, a large number of bald-headed men in offices, the civil service has been greatly extended and has become much more inflexible and powerful.
Great as is my admiration for many of the qualities of our civil service, I am afraid that they are becoming a heavy handicap in our struggle with the totalitarian states, and in making ourselves safe from them. They cramp our energy and spoil or discard our ideas.86
In Canada the powers of Parliament have been usurped by the Cabinet and the extension of government by orders in council. Responsible government perished in Newfoundland with scarcely an audible protest. In the United States there is a third term and in Great Britain, national government.
In our concern with the problems of modern scholarship we are faced with the prospect of a new Dark Ages. The recovery of France, Germany, and Italy will be necessarily slow. Nor will Great Britain be able to recapture a position achieved in her universities within the last fifty years without enormous efforts. Nor can we see the possibility of an immediate flowering in North America. It has been said that “of all the practical arts that of education seems most cumbersome in its method, and to be productive of the smallest results with the most lavish expenditure of means.”87 What can be done to foster the growth of the tender plant of scholarship? Hume argued that “it is impossible for the arts and sciences to arise, at first, among any people unless that people enjoy the blessing of a free government.”88 “From law arises security, from security, curiosity, and from curiosity knowledge.”89 “All these causes render free governments the only proper nursery for the arts and sciences. Nothing is more favourable to the rise of politeness and learning, than a number of neighbouring and independent states connected together by commerce and policy. Limited territories give a stop to both power and authority.”90 “The divisions into small states are favourable to learning, by stopping the progress of authority as well as that of power.”91 “A strong genius succeeds best in republics, a refined taste in monarchies. And consequently the sciences are the more natural growth of the one and the polite arts of the other.”92 “When the arts and sciences come to perfection in any state, from that moment, they naturally or rather necessarily decline and seldom or never revive in that nation where they formerly flourished.”93 “Here then is the chief triumph of art and philosophy. It insensibly refines the temper and it points out to us those dispositions we should endeavour to attain by a constant bent of mind, and by repeated habit.”94 “The same age which produces great philosophers and politicians, renowned generals and poets, usually abounds with skilful weavers and shipcarpenters.” “Industry, knowledge and humanity are linked together by an indissoluble chain and are found from experience as well as from reason to be peculiar to the more polished and what are commonly denominated the more luxurious ages.”95
We have attempted to indicate the circumstances which have been favorable to the growth of freedom and the spread of learning. The collapse of the political power of the Roman Empire was followed by the rise of the spiritual power of the Roman church. The shift from political power to spiritual power was favorable to the growth of learning, but the organization of spiritual power led to the break of Luther and Calvin, to the reformation and the counter reformation, and to the migration of learning to Holland.
Enthusiasm being founded on strong spirits, and a presumptuous boldness of character, it naturally begets the most extreme resolutions, especially after it rises to that height as to inspire the deluded fanatic with the opinion of divine illuminations and with a contempt for the common rules of reason, morality and prudence.96
The Church ceased at the Reformation to do that which it had done ever since the first promulgation of Christianity. The education of mankind was from that time forward handed over to the impersonal and irresponsible moralists of the press. That education went on, but outside the Church, under its ban. On the other hand, looking to the temporal and selfish interests of the Church as a corporation, it was the wise choice. It was the wise instinct of the Italian statesmen that led them to choose ignorance and the masses as the solid foundation for the edifice of their ecclesiastical power. An aristocracy of intellect is a very precarious institution. Power always finds its way back to the majority in the long run. The press may be troublesome at times; but the majority can always tie it up when they please to do so.97
The Church having once committed itself to the fatal principle, that what it once sanctions becomes irrevocable, there is no retreat for it from the accumulating arrears of blunders—errors of policy or principle, to which all long-lived societies, even the best managed, are liable. Consequently the Catholic Church has never been able to reenter upon the common line of European progress. All the social ameliorations which European states have made for many centuries have been made outside the Church, and in spite of its most strenuous opposition. It has been the consistent foe of every attempt on the part of the wise and good to employ past experience for the correction of legislative error, or for softening the harsh pressure of political institutions. Since the sixteenth century its power has declined, its consistency has never yielded. The consequence is, that the sum total of our intellectual and political gains has accumulated itself outside of the pale, if not of Christianity, yet of the historically legitimate and venerable fabric of the Western Church. The Church’s position, with feeble pertinacity anathematizing in the name of religion all the triumphs of human reason and genius, has often provoked the sarcasm of the scorner and the satirist. It is beginning now to awaken other thoughts among us. We are now disposed to mourn over the invincible barrier which the attitude of the Church opposes to that reunion of the intelligence of the West to its religious traditions, which must be regarded as a preliminary condition to the final organization of society on a basis which shall preclude crises and revolutions. Instead of sneering at the impotence of the papal pretensions, we stand in dismay before the impregnable strength of the position in which human Unreason has entrenched itself.
The Reformation, so far as it was an intellectual movement, was an attempt to restore the equilibrium of science and religion, which had been disturbed by the gradual growth of human knowledge.98
Learning retreated to the fringes of power regions. Religious freedom emerged in Holland and economic freedom in Scotland and the American Colonies. The achievements of the nineteenth century included the revival of learning in England and the United States, but the end of the century saw the clouds which became the tyranny of opinion. Political economy flourished with political, economic, and religious freedom. It withered with subordination to mathematical abstractions and science, and became the handmaid of centralized power in the modern state. The problem of the social sciences is the problem of the arts in Western civilization.
It may be sufficient at present to have pointed to the general fact of the sequence—science, speculation, educational impulse—in the history of civilization, which, indeed, is that of education; for education is only the natural result of the instinct to communicate our culture; an instinct active in proportion as the culture is vigorous and enlarged. An accomplishment, or a skill, its possessor desires to monopolize; talent excites admiration, not sympathy. Enlargement of mind, as of character, seeks to propagate itself; the more that share it, the greater our gain. Intellect attracts intellect in proportion to its capacity: there is a freemasonry of intelligence, as such; even while we are young, we are conscious of this before we can comprehend it. . . . Turning to history, we may mark two great periods at which this annihilation of mental activity by itself, and the consequent loss of the higher education, has occurred. One such epoch may be found in contrasting the fifth with the middle and close of the fourth century of the Christian era, though in this instance the case is so complicated with other conditions, that we cannot stay to disentangle our point of illustration. The second is more generally known, the silencing of the Latin philosophy by itself, and the consequent decay of University life which had arisen with it, till it was a second time re-invigorated at the classical revival, or the restoration to the world of a new material for thought and observation.99
We may ask whether we are at the beginning of a third period of intellectual torpor.
The place of the social sciences in Western civilization must be seen in relation to the role of universities. The university has played its greatest role in serving as a stabilizing factor. However inadequately it has played this role in various periods in the history of civilization, it has served as a repository of the reasoning of the ablest minds attracted to it. It has preferred reason to emotion, Voltaire to Rousseau, persuasion to power, ballots to bullets. Rashdall has described the influence of the University of Paris in checking in France the dangerous tendencies of the Church shown in the Inquisition in Spain. It must continue its vital function in checking the dangerous extremes to which all institutions with power are subject. The extreme tendencies of modern civilization shown in the rise of the modern state and in the tyranny of opinion compel universities to resist them. The trend of the social sciences in response to the demands of the new bureaucracy has been toward increasing specialization. And in this it has threatened the influence of universities. The university must deny the finality of any of the conclusions of the social sciences. It must steadfastly resist the tendency to acclaim any single solution of the world’s problems at the risk of failing to play its role as a balancing factor in the growth of civilization. The Marxist solution, the Keynesian solution, or any solution, cannot be accepted as final if the universities are to continue and civilization is to survive. It is the task of the social sciences in the universities to indicate their limitations in their cultural setting. Their contributions to the universities and to Western civilization will depend on their success in that task. If they fail, they will add to confusion. It is possible that an application of demand and supply curves may assist in determining their limitations, but the character of civilizations suggests that the problem is philosophical and perhaps beyond their power to solve.
1First Baron Acton, The History of Freedom and Other Essays (London, 1922): 13. Cf. Shailer Mathews, The Spiritual Interpretation of History (Cambridge, 1916). The latter shows no appreciation of the necessity of securing a balance between centralized organizations as a means to freedom.
2Acton, op. cit.: 17. Sir James Mackintosh described the burning of Hindu widows as a horror generated by “union of law, of morals, and of religion. When they unite they are omnipotent. The course of nature may be stopped and we may recoil from our most exquisite enjoyments. When these forces oppose each other, their power is proportionately diminished.” (Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh (London, 1936) 1: 155.) “So far in history, freedom to think, to observe, to judge men and things severely and dispassionately, has been possible—always be it under-stood, for a few individuals,—only in those societies in which numbers of different religious and political currents have been struggling for dominion” (Pendleton Herring, The Politics of Democracy (New York, -1940) 429).
3Acton, op. cit.: 19-20.
6Leslie Stephen, Hobbes (London, 1928): 230.
7Thomas Fowler, Locke (London, 1883): 158.
8Essays by the Late Mark Pattison, collected and arranged by Henry Nettleship (Oxford, 1889), 2, ch. xii.
9N. H. Marshall, “Baptists,” Encyc. Brit., ed. 14.
10“Puritanism,” Encyc. Social Sciences.
11A. S. P. Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty (London, 1938).
12A. S. P. Woodhouse, “Puritanism and Democracy,” Canadian Jour. Econtomics and Polit. Sci. 4 (1): 9 ff., 1938.
13Ibid.: 11. “The fact to recognize is the tremendous force of the doctrine of Christian liberty itself, and its fundamental position in the struggle for religious toleration.”
14Ibid.: 13. Rainborough’s statement expresses the fullest implications: “The poorest he that is in England has a life to live, as the greatest he” (ibid.: 19).
15On the significance of discussion, see Walter Bagehot, Physics and Politics (The Works of Walter Bagehot (Hartford, 1889) 4: 569)—especially the answer to critics of discussion such as Carlyle. For a contrast with France, see J. U. Nef, Industry and Government in France and England, 1540-1640 (Philadelphia, 1940).
16Acton, op. cit.: 54-55.
17John Viscount Morley, Burke (London, 1921), ch. iv.
18See W. P. M. Kennedy, Essays in Constitutional Law (London, 1934): 3-23.
19See A. C. McLaughlin, The Foundation of American Constitutionalism (New York, 1932): 125-126; also R. G. Green, Political Ideas of the American Revolution (Durham, 1932): 124 ff.; C. H. McIlwain, The American Revolution: A Constitutional Interpretation (New York, 1923): 152 ff.; C. H. Van Tyne, The Causes of the War of Independence (Boston, 1922) 1, ch. ix.
20“The conditions of the order which was established after the confusion of the fall of the Roman power before the inroads of the barbarians; and which constituted the Europe of the early and middle ages, are now tolerably well understood, and the historic continuity or identity of that order is typified in two institutions, which by the middle of the eighteenth century had reached very different stages of decay and possessed very different powers of resisting attack. One was the German Empire, and the other was the Holy Catholic Church. Frederick dealt a definite blow to the first, and Voltaire did the same to the second.” (John Viscount Morley, Voltaire (London, 1921): 134.)
21See Goldwin Smith, Essays in Questions of the Day (n.p., 1893): 95-97; also James Bryce, The American Commonwealth (New York, 1915) 1, chs. i-iii; C. A. Beard Economic Originis of Jeffersonian Democracy (New York, 1915); V. L. Parrington, The Colonial Mind 1620-1800 (New York, 1927).
22Essays by the Late Mark Pattison 2: 41.
23Mark Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 1559-1614 (London, 1875): 507-508.
26Essays by the Late Mark Pattison, 1: 449.
28See The Works of the Rev. Sydney Smith (London, 1848) 1: 383-393.
29G. W. E. Russell, Sydney Smith (London, 1905): 12.
30Essays by the Late Mark Pattison 2: 402403.
31W. R. Scott, Adam Smith as Student and Professor (Glasgow, 1937).
32“Every youth, of every temper and almost every description of character, is sent either to study for the bar, or to a writer’s office as an apprentice. . . Is a lad stupid, the law will sharpen him;—is he too mercurial the law will make him sedate;—has he an estate, he may get a sheriffdom; is he poor, the richest lawyers have emerged from poverty;—is he a Tory, he may become a depute-advocate;—is he a Whig, he may with far better hope expect to become.” (The Journal of Sir Walter Scott (Edinburgh, 1890): 36.)
33G. W. E. Russell, Sydney Smith (London, 1905) : 28.
34Jacob Viner in Adam Smith 1776-1926 (Chicago, 1928): 119. See also G. R. Morrow ibid., ch. vi.
36Acton, op. cit.: 28.
37Adam Smith 1776-1926: 33. “When an University has been doing useless things for a long time, it appears at first degrading to them to be useful. A set of lectures upon Political Economy would be discouraged in Oxford, possibly despised, probably not permitted. To discuss the Enclosure of Commons, and to dwell upon imports and exports—to come so near to common life, would seem to be undignified and contemptible. In the same manner, the Parr or the Bentley of his day would be scandalized to be put on a level with the discoverer of a neutral salt; and yet what other measure is there of dignity in intellectual labour, but usefulness and difficulty? And what ought the term University to mean, but a place where every science is taught which is liberal, and at the same time useful to mankind? Nothing would so much tend to bring classical literature within proper bounds as a steady and invariable appeal to these tests in our appreciation of all human knowledge. The puffed-up pedant would collapse into his proper size, and the maker of verses and the rememberer of words would soon assume that station which is the lot of those who go up unbidden to the upper places of the feast.” (G. W. E. Russell, Sydney Smith (London, 1905): 11.)
38Francis Jeffrey, who became editor, made an abstract of the Wealth of Nations in 1792 and in the winter of 1800-01 attended a course of lectures in political economy by Dugald Stewart (Lord Cockburn, Life of Lord Jeffrey (Edinburgh, 1852) 1: 64). Francis Horner wrongly argued that Turgot’s Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth was “a work . . . truly denominated, by Condorcet, the germ of Adam Smith’s Inquiry” (Memoirs and Correspondence of Francis Horner, M.P. (London, 1853) 1: p. 68). “The perusal of this beautiful chapter of Smith on the corn trade has suggested to me the propriety of studying his work as a model of argumentative composition. I should imagine, that his style of reasoning, so artificial and yet so perspicuous, so ingeniously minute and yet so broad and comprehensive, would be admirably adapted to the subjects of law.” (P. 117.) Smith’s system is “evidently imperfect; and yet it has so much the air of a system, . . . that we are apt to adopt erroneous opinions because they figure in the same fabric with approved and important truths.” Smith might have “contributed more powerfully to the progress of political science, had he developed his opinions in detached essays.” (Pp. 126-127.) Later he wrote: “We owe much at present to the superstitious worship of Smith’s name; and we must not impair that feeling, till the victory is more complete. There are few practical errors in the ‘Wealth of Nations,’ at least of any great consequence.” (P. 237.) Horner as well as Lauderdale and Dugald Stewart found the fifth chapter extremely difficult if not unintelligible (pp. 164-165, 244-245). Nor did Horner and Lauderdale find Quesnay’s Economic Table intelligible (pp. 204-205). Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiments was “the most scientific and acute description . . . in any branch of . . . the natural history of the mind” (pp. 328-329).
39Adam Smith 1776-1926, ch. vii.
41More letters of Charles Darwin (London, 1903) 1: 118. See also Geoffrey West, Charles Darwin (New Haven, 1938): 167; and H. Ward, Charles Darwin (Indianapolis, 1927): 288.
42Anthony Lincoln, Some Political and Social Ideas of British Dissent 1763-1800 (Cambridge, 1938).
43See The Cambridge History of the British Empire 2, The Growth of the New Empire 1783-1870 (Cambridge, 1940), ch. iv.
44“That great juggle of the ‘English Constitution’—a thing of monopolies, and Church-craft, and sinecures, armorial hocus-pocus, primogeniture, and pageantry” (John Morley, The Life of Richard Cobden (London, 1881) 1: 130).
45“The schoolmaster is abroad. And I trust more to him, armed with his primer, than I do to the soldier in full military array, for upholding and extending the liberties of his country.” (Brougham, in speech, January 29, 1828.)
46Mark Pattison, Memoirs (London, 1885): 235-239.
47“Dorat [died 1588] represents that moment in French literature—a moment which has never recurred—when Greek learning was in alliance with public taste and polite letters. In England this phase of accomplishment, which survived till within the present century, monopolised the name of scholarship. The English word ‘scholar’ has no equivalent in any living language. In Germany the word ‘Gelehrte’ is characteristic of a country which has learning without a literature. France, which has a literature pauperised by the absence of knowledge, has no word which can represent ‘scholar,’ as for nearly three centuries it has not known the class.” (Essays by the Late Mark Pattison 1: 20.)
49Ibid. 2: 400-401.
52Ibid.: 298-299. “We are not sure that the amount of illiberality pervading public opinion in England is not more powerful for evil, than the amount of repression exerted over public opinion in France” (ibid.: 402).
53On Compromise (London, 1921): 61.
57Essays by the Late Mark Pattison 2: 398-399.
58Ibid. 1: 419.
59Ibid. 2: 424. “The Civil Wars which may be expected, I think, (judging from certain fashions which have come in of late) to spread through many countries—together with the malignity of sects which have crept into the place of solid erudition—seem to portend for literature and the sciences a tempest not less fatal, and one against which the Printing office will be no effectual security. And no doubt but that fair-weather learning which is nursed by leisure blossoms under reward and praise, which cannot withstand the shock of opinion, and is liable to be abused by tricks and quackery, will sink under such impediments as these. Far otherwise is it with that knowledge whose dignity is maintained by works of utility and power.” (R. W. Church, Bacon (London, 1910): 72.)
60The “present-mindedness” described in the paper by Professor Schuyler (Proc. Am. Philos. Soc. 87 (4): 342-351, 1944) has dominated research in the social sciences in the period between the two wars. The interest in the organization of research on a large scale, beginning in the last war, gained momentum in the upswing of business cycle during the twenties and was given elaborate support by governments during the depression. The handicraft was steadily displaced by the machine. As in other industries, large-scale capital equipment brought, if not monopoly, a substantial oligopoly. Research became concentrated with special reference to its own peculiar regard for location theory, of which the details need not be enumerated here. The adaptability of the monetary system with its mathematical bias to the calculating machine has done much to validate the predictions of Veblen in his emphasis on the pecuniary and industrial bifurcation of western civilization. See Thorstein Veblen, “Economic Theory in the Calculable Future” (Am. Econ. Rev. 15 (1), suppl.: 48-55, 1925).
61F. W. Maitland wrote of Leslie Stephen: “He had not the advantage—the inestimable advantage—of constantly endeavoring to explain his theories to beginners and to construct a highway in which fools cannot err” (The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen (London, 1906): 327).
62Essays by the Late Mark Pattison 1: 460.
63Thomas Fowler, Locke (London, 1883): 158.
64F. H. Knight, “Ethics and Economic Reform,” Economica, n.s., 6 (24): 422, 1939.
65Ibidi: 418-419. “Political Economy, as I venture to think, has, been especially valuable in what I have called the negative aspect. It has been more efficient in dispersing sophistries than in constructing permanent theories. . . But the complexity of the problem is so great,—and the working of industrial forces so essentially bound up with other more inscrutable forces, that I confess to a certain scepticism as to the truly scientific character of their more positive conclusions.” (Leslie Stephen, Life of Henry Fawcett (London, 1886): 449.)
66Geoffrey Scott, The Architecture of Humanism (London, 1926): 163.
67George Unwin’s favorite quotation was from William James: “I am against bigness and greatness in all their forms. . . The bigger the unit you deal with, the hollower, the more brutal, the more mendacious is the life displayed.” (Studies in Economic History (London, 1927): 462.) See “The Passing of Political Economy” (Commerce Jour., March, 1938); W. M. Daniels, “The Passing of the Old Economist” (Harvard Business Rev. 12: 297-303, 1933-34).
68See F. H. Knight, The Ethics of Competition and Other Essays (New York, 1935).
69One is reminded of the comments on Oxford in the last century. “Young M.A.’s of talent abound, but they are all taken up with the conduct of some wheel in the complex machinery of cram, which grinds down all specific tendencies and tastes into one uniform mediocrity. The men of middle age seem, after they reach thirty-five or forty, to be struck with an intellectual palsy, and betake themselves no longer to port, but to the frippery work of attending boards and negotiating some phantom of legislation, with all the importance of a cabinet council—belli simnulacra cientes. Then they give each other dinners, where they assemble again with the comfortable assurance that they have earned their evening relaxation by the fatigues of university, and who give the tone to it—a tone as of a lively municipal borough; all the objects of science and learning, for which a university exists, being put out of sight by the consideration of the material means of endowing them.” (Mark Pattison, Memoirs: 90.)
70See Geoffrey Scott, op. cit.: 92.
71“Warriors and despots are generally bad economists, and . . . instinctively carry their ideas of force and violence into the civil policy of their governments. Free trade is a principle which recognizes the paramount advantage of individual action. Military conquerors on the contrary, trust only to the organized efforts of bodies of men directed by their own personal will.” (John Morley, The Life of Richard Cobden: 460.) “All power is military; but miliatry power requires success to establish it and exercise to preserve it. In such wretched governments therefore peace is a source of anarchy. Military government is beyond all others, subject to personal revolutions, because it requires a degree of vigour and vigilance of character to maintain it, to which no passion less powerful than that of ambition, and no education but that of struggle, can discipline the mind.” (Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh 1: 472.)
72The emphasis on large-scale research between the two wars has brought to a sharp focus the problem of status of the social scientist. Without a tradition of professionalism the social scientist has been the prey of governments and of private enterprise. The results have been scandalous. It would be invidious to point to illustrations, but it may be worth noting that in the United States the great seductions have been made by private enterprise and in Canada by political parties and governments, but exceptions are so obvious that it would be unsafe to make generalizations. Until the social sciences can develop effective deodorants and then disinfectants, the subject must continue at a stage comparable to the age before Lister in medicine. See Stephen Leacock, Canada (Montreal, 1941); David Lewis and Frank Scott, Make This Your Canada (Toronto, 1943) ; Ernest Gruening, The Public Pays, A Study of Power Propagantda (New York, 1931).
73“It is no explanation of the universal regret, that he was a considerable political economist: no real English gentleman, in his secret soul, was ever sorry for the death of a political economist: he is much more likely to be sorry for his life. There is an idea that he has something to do with statistics; or, if that be exploded, that he is a person who writes upon ‘value:’ says that rent is—you cannot very well make out what; talks excruciating currency; he may be useful as drying machines are useful; but the notion of crying about him is absurd. The economical loss might be great, but it will not explain the mourning for Francis Horner.” (Walter Bagehot, Literary Studies (London, 1879): 20.) This description is no longer accurate.
74“Of all things, they love a long and an expensive war, and fear peace; for peace produces order, and gives the Prince leisure to enquire into the abuses of the state; it lets him into a right knowledge of persons in the kingdom, and the dregs which float upwards when the liquor is stirred, must sink to the bottom in quiet times; peace restores liberty of speech, whereas in war all is silenced with the single word necessity; in peace there is no need to court factions, turbulent spirits are not so useful, thrift may be introduced, and such sudden fortunes cannot be raised out of the public. Grievances may be calmly debated, the management of the revenues inspected, the conduct of the ministers may be examined; and good laws may be proposed, without the perpetual objection of, ‘Are you for bringing in the French and “Popery”?’ But war will better answer their designs, who mean to thrive by the loose administration with which war is generally accompanied, and who propose to prosper by the calamities and misery of their country.” (The Political and Commercial Works of Charles Davenant (London, 1771) 2: 311-312.)
75See Brooks Adams, The Theory of Social Revolutions (New York, 1913).
76R. A. Mackay, “The Political Ideas of William Lyon Mackenzie,” Canadian Jour. Economics and Polit. Sci. 3 (1): 1, 1937.
77See also C. W. Wright, “American Nationalism: An Economic Interpretation” (Facts and Factors in Economic History, Cambridge, 1932).
“The pressure and activity of business here [New York] can hardly be conceived. Even London does not give an idea of it; for here all are men of business and all seem to have more to do than they can do.” New York, November 24, 1836. (Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie von Goethe, ed. G. H. Needler (New York, 1939): 66.)
“In England, (says Thicknesse) one may trust the honour of a respectable tradesman; in France and Flanders I never experienced a single instance of it. On the continent merchants and tradesmen were looked upon in a degrading point of view, merely for being of that class; nor would the most honourable or respectable behaviour ever raise them in the ideas or estimates of the nobles or gentry, who are taught to treat them with neglect, and even contempt. Thus being deprived of that great motive to noble and liberal actions, the love of honour, rank, the notice of the great etc. etc., their minds became depressed and degraded.” (Memoirs of the Forty-five First Years of the Life of James Lackington (London, 1827): 294-295.) Primogeniture in England checked the multiplicity of titles which were evident on the continent (Abraham Hayward, Selected Essays (London, 1878) 2: 253). On the other hand, the celibacy of the Catholic clergy saved Europe from a hereditary priesthood, the evils of Brahmanism, and the of the Asiatic system; and made the Church abominations a channel by which ability in governmental administration could be recruited from the people. (See Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh 2: 14.)
78See H. A. Innis, “The Penetrative Powers of the Price System” (Canadian Jour. Economics and Polit. Sci. 4 (3), 1938).
79Baron Acton, Lectures on Modern History (London, 1930): 340.
80H. T. Buckle, Introduction to the History of Civilization in England (London, n. d.): 686.
81Acton, op. cit.: 32.
83Essays by the Late Mark Pattisont 2: 427-428.
84“Ethics and Economic Reform,” Economica, n.s., 6 (24): 421, 1939.
85R. E. Parks, “Physics and Society,” Canadian Jour. Economics and Polit. Sci. 6 (1), 1940.
86J. M. Keynes in the New Statesman and Nation, Jan. 28, 1939. In Canada efforts have been made to strengthen the civil service by conspicuous notification to members of Parliament that petty patronage will not be tolerated. On the other hand, the sudden incursion of large numbers of individuals to the civil service unfamiliar with parliamentary tradition has led to public discussion by civil servants on an unprecedented scale—further disquieting evidence of the shallow soil of Parliament in Canada. Nor have members of the government protested against these violations of convention. Rather than participate in active discussion themselves, they have apparently preferred presentation of policy by civil servants. Announcements of orders in council with mysterious numbers and continuous shuffling of departments and of the personnel of departments are unhealthy signs of intense activity and inefficiency. Even such public pronouncements as have been made by members of the government in and out of Parliament have smacked of the phraseology of the civil servants. The hand is the hand of the government but the voice is the voice. . . . (See “Notes on Politics since 1918,” Acta Victoriana 1941; also R. MacG. Dawson, “Our Bashful Bureaucrats,” Winnipeg Free Press, Dec. 18, 1942.) Extension of government control increases the difficulties of the police and leads to resort to “the system of common informers” described as “clumsy, upon the principle, that what is left to be every man’s business will either become nobody’s, or be assumed by those who had better attend to their own affairs, and who will manage their own so much worse for meddling with this; and it frequently has proved very troublesome and impertinent in England, where corrupt people have tried to make a profit, and conceited fanatics to glorify God, by the revival of penal prosecutions, which the necessities of commerce or more rational manners have sunk into disuse.” (Francis Horner to J. A. Murray, 13th September, 1804, Memoirs and Correspondence of Francis Horner, M.P., 1: 276-277.)
87Mark Pattison, Milton (London, 1932): 45.
88David Hume, Essays Moral, Political and Literary, ed. T. H. Green and T. H. Grose (London, 1875), 1: 177.
97Essays by the Late Mark Pattison 2: 307.
99Ibid. 1: 441-443.