Page:Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919).djvu/44

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DEMOCRATIC IDEALS AND REALITY

for military training. Democracy implies rule by consent of the average citizen, who does not view things from the hill-tops, for he must be at his work in the fertile plains. There is no good in railing at the characteristics of popular government, for they are its qualities and no mere defects. President Wilson admits them when he says we must make the world a safe place henceforth for democracies. They were no less admitted in the British House of Commons when responsible Ministers took pride in the fact that, save in respect of the defensive force of the Navy, we were not prepared for the War.

The democrat thinks in principles, be they—according to his idiosyncrasy—ideals, prejudices, or economic laws. The organiser, on the other hand, plans construction, and, like an architect, must consider the ground for his foundations and the materials with which he will build. It must be concrete and detailed consideration, for bricks may be most suitable for his walls, but stone for his lintels, and timber and slate for his roof. If it be a State which he is erecting—not, be it noted, a nation which is growing—he must carefully consider the territory which it is desirable to occupy and the social structures—not economic laws—which are to his hand as the