THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY
Prussia againﬆ our liberties, and bring us all other things necessary. But in these other things it is vital, if we are to succeed, that we should have clear ideas of where we want to go, and how to get there. That is a lesson we may take from the Germans—that it is essential to take thought and to acquire the power of self-organisation. It is lawful, says the proverb, to learn from our enemies. Let us learn from the Germans the power of organisation, based on thorough thinking, and use our faculty of organisation for noble ideals.
What are the ideals of democracy? Before I speak to you of the future of democracy I muﬆ speak of these ideals and try to define them, I am going back a long time—over eighteen hundred years. There are those of you who hold very different opinions about Chriﬆianity. Some of you believe in the Churches, some of you do not believe in the Churches, and some of you take a detached attitude, I take a detached attitude on many things in the hiﬆory of the Churches and their traditions. But this I hold moﬆ firmly, that Chriﬆianity brought into the world a new ideal, the ideal that human freedom was an end in itself. It muﬆ never be subverted by other things, but muﬆ be recognised as the legitimate and the unqueﬆionable right of the individual. Chriﬆianity led, in the end, to the abolition of slavery, Chriﬆianity insiﬆed on a new value being attached to human personality, and it is Chriﬆianity that by this doctrine is inspiring much in the Labour Movement to-day, and teaching men and women that there is something more important than work and comfort and the old slow conditions before the war—the infinite, the precious value of every human soul. Well, let us ﬆart with that: the new ideal that came into the world, which ought always to be associated with the name of Chriﬆ. That new ideal which culminated in sweeping away slavery is now ﬆill alive with us in a new form in which