Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/552

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futility of these various remedial measures, and sums up that there is no hope in them as follows:

But these and many other various explanations and remedies for our evil case, that have been heretofore offered to the anxious inquiries of the people, hardly deserve so much attention. The explanations are incompetent and the remedies nugatory. He who expects to see statesmanship and fidelity to the public interests restored in city. State, or nation by civil-service reform, the restraint of special legislation, long presidential terms or short; a new settlement of functions among aldermen, commissioners, and mayors; the election or the appointment of judges; closer investigations or severer punishments; an educational test, a religious test, or a property test; or any other the like petty and partial devices, would expect to cure the yellow fever by changing a man's shirt.

This is strongly put, but we are inclined to think that the author is a good deal more than half right.

Dr. Clark thus discredits all the nostrums offered by the political doctors to cure the diseases of the body politic; but to what end? Not to confirm the conclusion, made infinitely probable by his own sweeping logic, that the case is not one to be cured by nostrums at all; but, strange to say, the other political medicine-men are dismissed, that our doctor may try a new nostrum of his own. His panacea may be effectual—it has not been tried—but we are sorry to note that it is put upon the usual quackish ground at the outset. Every sovereign cure assumes unity of cause in all diseases—"all maladies come from impurity of the blood, you know; here is something to purify the blood." Dr. Clark says, "The political rot in all the larger spheres of government is identical and pervading; it must own some single cause as dominating as gravity itself; and it must find a single cure."

The true root of our political difficulties is assumed to be the present organization of politics, represented chiefly by the caucus system, the result of which is, that "at the dictate of leaders whom we have not chosen, we vote for candidates whom we do not know, to discharge duties that we can not understand." The remedy proposed is embodied in the proposition that popular elections work well in small and ill in large constituencies. The general purity of town and village politics is contrasted with the general corruption of municipal, State, and national politics, and the cause of this is alleged to be that, in the former case, the citizen knows who and what he is voting for, while in the latter case he knows little or nothing of either. There is therefore required a new method of elections—a reconstruction of the commonwealth by which the voter shall commit to competent men, whom he knows, the function of appointing all higher officials in the larger spheres of political action. The sovereign citizen is, in fact, to recognize his incompetency to deal with general politics, to abdicate his vote, on State and national questions, and choose those whom he thinks better able to do all this business for him. Dr. Clark does not propose to dispense with caucus and organization, but that the people shall take them out of the hands of the politician and operate them themselves. He says:

The people must turn over the prerogative of choosing Governors and Legislatures, now nominally exercised at the ballot-box, to representative delegates. In the business of all large constituencies, the caucus and convention must be substituted for the polls. Thus only can the function of the voter be accommodated to his intelligence; and thus only, the shadow of power discarded, can we secure its substance.

For the details of his plan, the interested reader must be referred to Dr. Clark's work, where they are fully elaborated. Looking into it with some care, we have much the same opinion of it that its author very plainly expresses of other devices for the renovation of our politics and the salvation of the country. None the less we heartily commend his book to political readers, who will find much in it worthy of serious consideration.

Researches into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization. By Edward B. Tylor, D. C. L., LL. D., F. R. S. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1878. Pp. 388. Price, $3.50.

This volume consists of a series of somewhat miscellaneous essays bearing upon the early history of man. In the view of the author, while there are great masses of materials already at hand for working out the subject, the time for writing a systematic treatise does not yet seem to have come. For civilization, being a process of long and