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LIBERTY AND RESPONSIBILITY

tion whether we make our social phenomena or our social phenomena make us, whether the man is a function of the state or the state is a function of the man, is the question whether social science can throw off the thraldom of metaphysics or not. At present we have to note that our studies of liberty, in all its phases and applications, have forced us again and again to observe that there is no real liberty but that which is an affair of history, law, and institutions. It is therefore positive, and so is capable of historical study and scientific analysis.

The dream of liberty has taken possession of men's minds within the last century to the exclusion of other dreams except that of equality—and with good reason, for if the dream of emancipation from the heavy weight of the struggle for existence were realizable it would supersede all other dreams. Then, again, there has been an unprecedented opening of new chances to mankind, which chances have permitted the human race at the same time to increase in numbers and to advance in comfort of living. Political institutions have advanced at the same time and have been assumed to be the cause of the advance in average comfort. This claim has been almost universally admitted, and has produced the natural inference that political devices can do all for us that we can possibly desire. This is the latest Utopianism, and it surpasses all previous phases of Utopianism in pure silliness. Then, again, any period of advancing comfort is sure to be one of advancing sentimentalism; men who are struggling each for himself, under the pressure of dire necessity, will spare little sympathy on each other—it is when they are at ease that they have sympathy to spare. Distress dissolves the social bond; comfort strengthens