On Democracy; A Lecture Delivered to the Working Men's Institute Edinburgh on the 3D January 1867

On Democracy; A Lecture Delivered to the Working Men's Institute Edinburgh on the 3D January 1867

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1867 edition. Excerpt: ...the foul catalogue of social vices and corruptions which have sprung from the American democracy as from their natural hotbed. To me the degradation of the moral character of the individuals who are the instruments of a democratic system is a much more sad consideration than the system itself. But where every man is a politician, and politics is made up of violence, intrigue, and venality, the only way to escape the taint is to retire from the contagious atmosphere altogether. And this is exactly what the best men, by a natural instinct of self-conservation, do in modern America, as they did also in ancient Attica.2 politics, we are told, beyond the Atlantic, are neglected by men of high talent and character. They cease to Be matter ot independent and manly opinion; they degenerate into a trade. Men of wealth, and literary taste, and commercial standing, are outrun by the large class of officeholders who make a trade of politics. The whole power of election practically passes into the hands of a knot of professional politicians, composed of briefless barristers, physicians without patients, of schemers and place-hunters, who devote themselves to the service of the party in order to be elected to some little salaried place.1 Even when left free from the spur of the ambitious demagogue, the magic oil of the flatterer, and the glamour of the political dreamer, the people have, for the most part, neither the will nor the power to find out the best men to lead them. I do not say that, individually, they might not be able to put their finger on the men of whose character and talents they are most proud; but when acting in masses under the boiling fever of political or ecclesiastical excitement, there is a great chance that they will elect the most...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 32 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 77g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236512073
  • 9781236512079