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DEMOCRACY AND PLUTOCRACY

of the modern means of communication, which have made it possible for persons having a common interest, although scattered over the earth, if their number is not too great, to form combinations for the exploitation of a natural monopoly. What is gained by uncritical denunciation of these phenomena, or by indiscriminate confusion of definitions? The only effect of such procedure will be to nourish the abuses and destroy the utilities.

The first impulse is, when a social or industrial phenomenon presents itself, which is not considered good or pleasant, to say that we must pass a law against it. If plutocracy is an abuse of legislation and of political institutions, how can legislation do away with it? The trouble is that the political institutions are not strong enough to resist plutocracy; how then can they conquer plutocracy? Democracy especially dreads plutocracy, and with good reason.

There is no form of political power which is so ill-fitted to cope with plutocracy as democracy. Democracy has a whole set of institutions which are extra-legal, but are the most powerful elements in it; they are the party organization, the primary, the convention, etc. All this apparatus is well adapted to the purposes of plutocracy: it has to do with the formative stage of political activity; it is very largely operated in secret; it has a large but undefined field of legitimate, or quasi-legitimate, expenditure, for which there is no audit. As the operations of this apparatus are extra-legal they are irresponsible, yet they reach out to, and control, the public and civil functions. Even on the field of constitutional institutions, plutocracy always comes into the contest with a small body, a strong organization, a powerful motive, a definite purpose, and a strict discipline, while on the other side is a large and unorganized body, without