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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

he does not abstract or destroy any portion of the taxable property of the State; the aggregate of values remains the same."—Opinion of Justice McKinstry.

Suppose, "were such a thing possible, that the entire tax rolls exhibited nothing but indebtedness. Taxation under such circumstances would, of course, be wholly fanciful, as having no actual basis for its exercise."—Opinion of Chief-Justice Wallace.

AN APOSTATE DEMOCRACY.
By FRANKLIN SMITH.

WERE the founders of the American Republic to return to the scene of their memorable achievements, that which would surprise them most would not be the railroad or telegraph; it would be the change in the principles and practice of government that has taken place since their day. I do not mean to say that the marvelous discoveries of science would not arrest their attention. By no means were they without appreciation of the things that make for industrial progress. But to them the thing of most importance in the affairs of life was government. They felt that all was lacking where a people lacked the guarantee of freedom and justice. Where these were had, all else was possible. Sooner or later it would come as the triumph of individual thought and effort. Not so now. The government that insures freedom and justice, leaving the citizen to work out his own destiny, moral and industrial, is not the ideal of the statesman and philanthropist of to-day. Reverting to the ideal of feudalism, one that took the Anglo-Saxon four centuries to get away from, they conceive the government to be best that governs most. But in the eyes of the founders of the republic such a government was intolerable; for it was to escape despotism that they fought the Revolution.

These patriots were under as little delusion about the nature of democracy as a political power as they were about the nature of autocracy. What the history of the ancient and mediæval republics had taught them of its capacity for corruption and despotism their own experience had in no way tended to revise and correct. It had accepted bribes; it had exercised a religious intolerance that rivaled the Inquisition; it had sought to fill its exchequer by means as repugnant to honesty and freedom as those of any Valois despot. As ardent a democrat as Jefferson had no more taste for the tyranny of the majority than for any other tyranny. Upon his first inauguration, he seized the occasion to warn his countrymen