and homogeneous system, is a thing of such various phases and forms that it is scarcely possible to compare two cases of it, or that such a definition can be made that two commentators can understand each other.
Democracy is atomistic. It breaks the society up into individuals who are political units. The peril of such a system is that it is at the mercy of any organization formed inside of it which gives coherence and order to its disintegrated elements. Such an organization will begin to move the whole. To understand the significance of this, let us here bring another set of observations into the scope of our study.
Status holds down individual energy and power. If a black man is told that the only status allowed by social institutions to him is that of a slave, no black man can work out into realization the powers which he may possess. If the status of women is fixed by custom and law, no woman can show her power to do anything outside of the limits. The social arrangement which sets free individual energy is liberty; for under this each one may prove what he is by what he does, and the society profits by the expansion and evolution of all the power there is in it. Now democracy and liberty are not the same thing by any means; but, in the latest history, they have been closely allied with each other, and democracy as a political form has helped and been helped by liberty in the social order. The product of liberty and democracy is individualism. Under it men have been emancipated from tradition, authority, caste, superstition, and to a certain extent from prejudices and delusions; if we could maintain liberty and democracy long enough, we might perhaps produce individualistic results so great that men would be emancipated from delusions and from phrases.