Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/127

This page needs to be proofread.


The Green Bag

This conception of the relatively free will harmonizes with the Hegelian sys tem, but Berolzheimer thinks it futile to follow Hegel in his speculations regard ing an absolute free will, as that would be looking too far into the dim future of humanity. The will seeks to solve its problems in the light of the available sum-total of experience, and to shape existing institutions to the ends of a progressive culture. The goal of the cultural forces is intimately connected with that personal liberty for which the will strives, and is the goal of increased human efficiency. Government, law, and morality are cultural forces working toward the^ attainment of this ideal of freedom. Progress is thus not a "Heraclitean flux," in accordance with the Hegelian conception, but a process the basis of which is to be found in the cultural ideal in every age. The im pulses toward increased human efficiency and power demand expression in pro gressive economic conditions, and law and economics are related as form and content, as shell and kernel. Philosophy of law must appreciate these ideal ends toward which society strives, must recog nize a spiritual aspiration rather than mere physiological phenomena as deter mining the course of development, and a descriptive sociology of law is therefore inadequate. The historical evolution of law is to be viewed as a process of human emancipation, and the law of a given age is to be studied in the light of eco nomic conditions. The movement of history gradually reached the point at which it could be viewed as a movement for the emancipation of economic classes. One after another the classes have been emancipated, the laboring class being last to attain its freedom in the closing years of the nineteenth century. We are thus at the beginning of a new era foreshadowed by the modern "class-

state" in which all the classes share equal rights. It would be foolish to pre dict the final outcome of this new move ment. Socialism represents the partisan interest of the laboring class, and it will be necessary for the proprietary and professional classes to bestir themselves to prevent their enslavement to the laboring class. The problem of the legal philosophy of the present is to formulate the demands of the new order, in a manner which shall assure maintenance of the ideals of individual liberty and intellectual freedom. This problem, stated by Rousseau and Kant, must now be restated with consideration of new economic conditions and altered intel lectual outlook. If the reader is disposed to complain that the foregoing exposition of Berolzheimer's views is vague, he is unlikely to gain from the volume under con sideration more definite expressions of the exact nature of law, of the precise meaning of culture, and of the real rela tion subsisting between legal and eco nomic institutions. The author either has not had the inclination to bring out these matters with greater distinctness, or has felt that such an exposition would lie outside the scope of the present work. Such is Berolzheimer's philosophy of law in general outline, perhaps with the omission of some of its essential features. It is neither a pure idealism nor a pure realism. It is a transcendalist philoso phy. The Hegelian view that progress is governed by a transcendental prin ciple, rather than by natural forces, has been handed down to the "Neo-Hegelian" group. Kohler more clearly brings out the idea that progress is governed by such a principle.2 Berolzheimer im plicitly if not expressly accepts the same view. His attitude toward the facts of 2 See Mr. Kocourek's Introduction, p. xvii.