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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/206

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

but little else than barbarism. The object of the law, in punishment, benefits no one, and makes the patient more incurable—destroying all possibility of recovery and return to health again. Inebriety in any form may be no excuse for crime in a legal sense, but it is still less an excuse for punishment, which destroys the victim, or makes him more helpless and hopeless. A vast army of inebriates, hovering along these border-lands of disease and crime, who are unknown and unrecognized, except "as vicious and desperately wicked," are a perpetual menace to all progress and civilization, unless they can be reached and checked by rational, effective methods. A revolution of sentiment and practice is demanded, in which the inebriate and the conditions which developed his malady shall be understood; then the means for prevention, restoration, and recovery can be applied along the line of nature's laws.

 

THE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE.
By ALFRED FOUILLÉE.

THERE are three principal theories of suffrage. It may be regarded, first, as the final shape assumed by the struggle for existence among mankind. Since it is necessary, sooner or later, to come to a treaty of peace, let us make it before the battle, instead of afterward; let us put ballots in the place of gun-shots. We can thus gain an economy of men and strength, and a reserve of living power. Universal suffrage may be defined, from this point of view, as a device of modern society to make a canvass of its forces, and learn what proportion of them is arrayed on the one side or on the other.

The second theory is based on considerations of utility and common welfare. Modern nations, in their advancing freedom, are happy only as they do definitively what they wish, as they recognize in their present condition the result of their present will, while they reserve the power of modifying their situation on changing their wish. Though the opinion of all may not be the best possible, it is at least the most fit to satisfy everybody, and experience will teach wherein it may need amending. But what if it is too late to amend? Some experiments may lead to the loss of a province, or to the ruin of the nation, Mr, Spencer, indeed, tells us that as the vote of each individual is the expression of the wants that he feels, so the votes of the nation are the product of a generally felt want. But we reply that individuals can not feel or account for general wants, especially when they concern international affairs. Even in the internal affairs of a nation, a general want is not the simple sum of particular wants. There are superior interests, not intellectual, esthetic, and moral only, but economical and political ones also, of which individuals as a mass can have neither