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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/750

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ing power of the organization formed of officials. Take a pair of scales with many shot in the one and a few in the other. Lift shot after shot out of the loaded scale and put it into the unloaded scale. Presently you will produce a balance, and, if you go on, the position of the scales will be reversed. Suppose the beam to be unequally divided, and let the lightly loaded scale be at the end of a very long arm; then the transfer of each shot, producing a much greater effect, will far sooner bring about a change of position. I use the figure to illustrate what results from transferring one individual after another from the regulated mass of the community to the regulating structures. The transfer weakens the one and strengthens the other in a far greater degree than is implied by the relative change of numbers. A comparatively small body of officials, coherent, having common interests, and acting under central authority, has an immense advantage over an incoherent public which has no settled policy, and can be brought to act unitedly only under strong provocation. Hence an organization of officials, once passing a certain stage of growth, becomes less and less resistible; as we see in the bureaucracies of the Continent.

Not only does the power of resistance of the regulated part decrease in a geometrical ratio as the regulating part increases, but the private interests of many in the regulated part itself make the change of ratio still more rapid. In every circle conversations show that now, when the passing of competitive examinations renders them eligible for the public service, youths are being educated in such ways that they may pass them and get employment under Government. One consequence is, that men who might otherwise reprobate some further growth of officialism are led to look on it with tolerance, if not favorably, as offering possible careers for those dependent on them and those related to them. Any one who remembers the numbers of upper-class and middle-class families anxious to place their children will see that no small encouragement to the spread of legislative control is now coming from those who, but for the personal interests thus arising, would be hostile to it.

This pressing desire for careers is enforced by the preference for careers which are thought respectable. "Even if his salary is small, his occupation will be that of a gentleman," thinks the father, who wants to get a Government-clerkship for his son. And this relative dignity of state-servants, as compared with those occupied in business, increases as the administrative organization becomes a larger and more powerful element in society, and tends more and more to fix the standard of honor. The prevalent ambition with a young Frenchman is to get some small official post in his locality, to rise thence to a place in the local center of government, and finally to reach some head office in Paris. And in Russia, where that universality of state-regulation which characterizes the militant type of society has been carried farthest, we see this ambition pushed to its extreme. Says Mr. Wallace,