The Green Bag
cannot dominate their representatives in Congress, but are necessarily ruled by a political oligarchy not of their own choosing but forced upon them. The two assumptions are of course not tenable. The United States has been a democratic nation in theory and in practice; its Constitution is the result ant of the natural forces at work in a democratic society, showing, it may be conceded, traces of the inevitable social inequality and class cleavage of an impure democracy, but possessing no defects which a purer democracy might not remedy; it is an instrument which can be modified and re-adjusted to meet every social demand, not an invin cible superhuman agency. Mr. Croly's theory is visionary and superficial. Mr. Croly maintains that construc tive social reform and more direct popu lar control of the machinery of govern ment go together, that the union of the two is "not the work of irresponsible agitators," but "the reflection of an actual and inevitable alteration in the traditional balance between political and economic power in the United States." We should perhaps refrain from criticis ing this, because we cannot understand it. Political and economic power tend to unite, and the current movement of radical democracy is the direct result of the improved economic status of the laboring classes. Doubtless we are mov ing toward a readjustment of the balance between the political power of the few and that of the many, on the basis of a changed economic relationship be tween capital and labor. And this new social adjustment will undoubtedly achieve expression in the fundamental law. It does not follow, however, that there is an "essential connection" be tween direct control of the operations of government by the people and a work able program of social amelioration.
On the contrary the people have need of the services of experts, and of a com plex governmental machinery, to realize fully what this program of social im provement seeks to accomplish. That they are unable to appreciate the advan tages of the existing machinery over one more clumsily constructed, and that they are demanding a system which they find it easier to understand and apply, are considerations which fail to vindicate the conception of popular intelligence and capacity so dearly prized by vision ary students of our political institutions. THE LATE PROFESSOR WESTLAKE PROFESSOR JOHN WESTLAKE, the eminent English jurist, died at his residence at Chelsea Embankment, near London, on April 12, aged eightyfive. How Mr. Westlake came to ac quire an interest in international law is narrated in the following bit of auto biography: "I had been trained by my father to take . an interest in foreign countries and affairs, and always did so; but my attention was first drawn to international law by Christie, the emi nent conveyancer, of whom I was a pupil. He and John Venn Prior, the equity draftsman, were the counsel in whose chambers I read in my student days. Christie suggested to me to write a book on private international law, or the conflict of laws: what was wanted, as he described it, was 'to make Story readable.' I took the advice, but found that something more than he had ex pressed was required, and the result was my 'Treatise on Private Inter national Law.' " (1858). Westlake did much more than merely to make Story readable, that is not to be denied. His book was a landmark in the history of international law and a fifth edition appeared in 1912. At the