Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/610

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606
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

A PROGRAM OF RADICAL DEMOCRACY
By J. McKEEN CATTELL

THEEE is advance towards radical democracy in every nation. In the United States the two political parties have made some progress in recent years in answer to the demands of the people; but this slow and halting movement, falling behind that of Great Britain, should be hastened, either by the formation of a new political party or of a radical section within one of the existing parties. The socialist party might serve as a center of union, if questions concerning the production of wealth and the limitation of individualism can be subordinated to social welfare. The best solution, however, of the existing political situation would probably be the maintenance of the two historic parties, the republican party being frankly devoted to rule by the privileged classes under the leadership of men such as Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Taft and Mr. Hughes; the democratic party to control by the people with as little individual domination as may be. Twenty reforms in the direction of radical democracy are here indicated. Some of them may appear to be utopian and 'doctrinaire, but there is not one of them toward which progress has not been made in recent years, not one of them toward which further progress will not be made in the near future.

1. Universal suffrage, the votes of children being cast by their parents. The bearing and the rearing of children are so much more important than any other work that the right to vote is in comparison insignificant; but voting would in no way disqualify women for their greater service, and this surely should not disqualify them from voting. Women have long been goddesses, queens, prostitutes and slaves; it is clearly time that they should have exactly the same political, legal and economic rights as men. Women are on the whole more sympathetic, patient, personal, emotional, illogical than men. These traits would probably improve political conditions; but this is almost irrelevant. Universal suffrage is simply the presupposition of democracy. Children are also human beings, and their votes should be cast by their parents. This would give the correct distribution of political power and the basis for a complete political democracy. The substitution of the rights of children for the privileges of property is the greatest advance that can be made by society. The woman or man who has children is that much more of a woman or man and should vote accordingly.