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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/608

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

torians like Herodotus, early poets like Pindar, early dramatists like Æschylus, we find a deep sense of the fateful working of the laws of life. The history of colonies is a sermon on the same text. Goodness is speedily rewarded; retribution no longer limps claudo pede, like Vulcan, but flies like Mercury with winged feet. In Europe a high-handed wrongdoer like Napoleon may pursue his career unchecked for fifteen years, or a high-handed rightdoer like Bismarck for five-and-twenty years; a would-be colonial Bismarck or Napoleon is commonly laid by the heels in the short duration of a colonial parliament. The vision of providential government, or the reign of law, in old countries is hard, because its course is long and intricate; in a colony it is so comparatively simple that all may understand it and find it (as Carlyle found it) "worthy of horror and worship." From witnessing the ending of a world Augustine constructed a theodicy, and so justified the ways of God to man. We may discover in the beginnings of a world materials for a cosmodicy which shall exhibit the self-operating justice inherent in the laws of the universe.

 

POLITICS AS A FORM OF CIVIL WAR.
By FRANKLIN SMITH.

"WHY is it that, in spite of exhortation and execration, the disinclination of people in all the great democracies of the world to take part in politics is becoming greater and greater? Why is it that persons of fine character, scholarly tastes, and noble aims, in particular, seek in other ways than association and co-operation with politicians to better the lot of their fellows? Why is it, finally, that with the enormous extension of political rights and privileges during the past fifty years, there has occurred a social, political, and industrial degeneration that fills with alarm the thoughtful minds of all countries? Aside from the demoralization due to the destructive wars fought since the Crimean, the answer to these questions is to be found in the fact that at bottom politics is a form of civil war, that politicians are a species of condottieri, and that to both may be traced all the ethics and evils of a state of chronic war itself. In the light of this truth, never so glaring as at present in the United States, the peril to civilization is divested of mystery; it is the peril that always flows from anarchy, and the refusal of enlightened men to-day to engage in politics is as natural as the refusal of enlightened men in other days to become brigands.

The analogy between war and politics is not new. The very language in common use implies it. When people speak of "leaders,"