Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/31
In the established Democracies of the West, the ideals of Freedom have been transmuted into the prejudices of the average citizen, and it is on these 'habits of thought' that the security of our freedom depends, rather than on the passing ecstasies of idealism. For a thousand years such prejudices took root under the insular protection of Britain; they are the outcome of continuous experiment, and must be treated at least with respect, unless we are prepared to think of our forefathers as fools. One of these prejudices is that it is unwise to take an Expert as Minister of State. In the present time of War, when freedom even in a democracy must yield to efficiency,
appeals to the soul in each of us, and souls are winged and can soar. It does not follow that the organiser is careless of the well-being of the society beneath him; on the contrary, he regards that society as so much man-power to be maintained in efficient condition. This is true whether he be militarist or capitalist, provided that he be far-sighted. In the sphere of politics the organiser views men as existing for the State—for the 'Leviathan' of the Stuart philosopher Hobbes. But the Democratic Idealist barely tolerates the State as a necessary evil, for it limits freedom.