study of human nature, have tried to establish, as the fundamental doctrine of their improved morality, the systematic domination of the passions!
As a necessary and direct result of such disorder in the intellectual region, we see corruption erected into a recognized and indispensable means of carrying on government. So powerless have general ideas become, into such discredit have they fallen, that they no longer avail to prompt any course of action; and governments find themselves, therefore, without any other resource for securing such union of individuals as is necessary to the maintenance of a rude material order, than an almost open appeal to purely personal interests. But, were men animated by profound convictions, such a means of influence would never have to be resorted to. Even in characters of the least elevation, human nature seldom debases itself so far as to follow out a line of conduct in direct opposition to any set of convictions. We see this proved in the case of men of science: in politics, where the reign of law is not yet established, they frequently exhibit the most shameful tergiversation; while they stand firm against all temptation to abandon their anti-theological opinions for which they believe they have a scientific warrant. We thus see that the prevalent intellectual confusion not only allows the development of political corruption, but absolutely renders it necessary as a means of government, which of course can not be carried on unless a certain number of individuals can be brought to act in harmony. This fact, however, does not excuse the governments of our time for showing such a preference as they do for this particular means of influence; nor for using it, as they do, almost exclusively in their own personal interests. Bad as the instrument is, it might be used to better ends than is commonly the case, if the "practical politicians," instead of casting scorn on all attempts to establish a science of politics, were to lend such aid as they could to its elaboration. They could lend some aid by a mere change of attitude.
The political corruption of our day is not confined, however, to the direct offer by governments of material inducements for political support. We see a form of it in the awarding of distinctions and titles; and, taking a wider view, we see that all our institutions work together to call into activity the selfish ambition of all the more energetic members of the community. In this most important respect, the existing condition of society itself may be said to be eminently corrupting. At the same time that the prevalent intellectual anarchy has dissolved any public prejudices that stood in the way of unlimited individual self-assertion, the inevitable decomposition of the ancient social classification has likewise thrown down the barriers to private ambition, which is now, in the name of progress, invited to take the very highest flights. Carried along by an irresistible current, governments have had to try and meet the new demands of the time by an extravagant