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possible is to be avoided, the bodies should be kept small; otherwise the deliberation will have to be done exclusively by committees, while the assembly is turned into a mere ratification mass-meeting.
(2) But the deliberative assembly, even when small, needs special safeguards against the tendency to fusion. These special safeguards are found in the rules of parliamentary practice rigid conventional methods of procedure espe cially fashioned to hold individual as well as collective im pulses in check and to give free play to the rational processes. When, however, the emotions are powerfully stimulated these artificial devices for restraint snap like weak cords; and the president, together with the rest of the assembly, is swept along in the irresistible current. Or if the body de generates into a double-headed mob or into a chaotic crowd, the gentleman who holds the gavel may " lose his head," i.e., his intellectual processes may be inhibited, and, being caught in the cross-currents of emotion, he may be tossed about like a cork on the choppy waves.
If, however, the assembly avoids the emotional storms and maintains the calmness of dispassionate thought, the ef fect of rational discussion will be to modify the thinking of each individual ; and so there will appear most likely a distinct tendency toward unity of thought. This is implied in the very function of such a body, which is to reach and render a collective decision. The stronger minds, while being more or less modified in their positions, will be able to lead the weaker ones and thus chiefly determine the evolu tion of the collective conclusion. Usually the discussion will result in the cleavage of the assembly into two or more par ties around two or more leaders, or groups of leaders; in which case the two processes of unification and division go on at the same time. But unless the whole process is to end in a deadlock, the unification must proceed until a majority of the members have been brought to substantial agreement. The intellectual unity, or unity of conviction, results from the give and take of debate and is an organization of many