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CHAP.
XXII

way to government by mayor and common council. Boston, which did not go over to representative government until 1822 when it had 40,000 inhabitants, went about as far with the popular assembly as it is possible to go.

Again, if the members of the group dwell dispersed over a large territory, its control will be monopolized by the members who live near the place of meeting, together with such as have the leisure and means to attend from a distance. A continual shifting of the place of meeting may solve the former difficulty, but not the latter. In political society such an advantage by the well-to-do is most serious and calls for the early introduction of the representative system.

Associa

HOW THE PURPOSE OF THE GROUP DETERMINES ITS

WILL ORGANIZATION Other determiners of the mode of organization of will depend Majority

Rule More upon the purpose of the group. In an association formed for a Natural in

Temporary temporary purpose, the will of the majority naturally prevails; than in while in an enduring group there are others to be considered than Perpetual the present members. The rule of the older and wiser is urged clons on behalf of members past and to come. A society for registering and focussing opinion will be directly controlled by its members, whereas a group formed for action is likely to feel the need of coníerring broad powers upon its executive. In case this Agents

Who Act action is to bear directly upon the members themselves, they will Upon the

Members be more careful to define and to hedge the powers of their agents Are More than if this action is to be exerted only upon outsiders. In mis- Strictly

Controlled sionary, propagandist, philanthropic, and educational societies, Than one finds less jealousy of delegated power than in town meetings, who

Act on co-operative societies, trade unions, and communistic groups. Outsiders

In case the interests to be cared for are minor matters in the eyes of the members, they allow the more zealous to go ahead and do whatever they think best. The willingness to leave everything to the leaders, which is so marked when one risks merely an annual contribution, does not appear when the ordinary member has much at stake. In a society which may by its action compromise the safety, liberty, property, or prestige of the individual member, the rank and file are likely to be tenacious of their right to be consulted and to hold officials to strict responsibility.

Agents

CHAP.

а

or

trate Control

Usually the head exists to serve the body, but sometimes the body is called into being to serve the head. When an active group of municipal reformers feels the need of a sounding board, it builds up a “ Committee of One Hundred " of well-known citizens and professes to be the mere servant and mouthpiece of this committee. In churches which claim for their heads an authority derived through an unbroken line of succession from the Apostles, the bishops do not regard themselves as organs of the body of believers, but rather regard these believers as in duty

bound to furnish support and backing for the bishops. A Society When an organization considers itself sole custodian of a prein Custody of Sacred cious body of doctrines, mysteries, or rites, its control will be Rites ww highly centralized. Only the well-tested and fully initiated are Concen

held worthy to be intrusted with the transmission of the sacred lore. In religious orders, in the Masonic order and other hoary secret confraternities, in venerable gilds and ecclesiastical bodies, the care to hand on an uncorrupted tradition centers authority in some Supreme Chapter or Grand Lodge, composed entirely of head men, or else confides it to a select circle of the older and more experienced. The early appearance of presbyters or elders, bishops and metropolitans in the Christian church seems to have been due to the felt need of keeping the faith pure from the heresies spread by unauthorized teachers and prophets. Thus Clement

urges : “ Let us esteem those who have the rule over us, let us honor our presbyters," while Ignatius declares he heard the voice of the Spirit proclaiming the words: “Do nothing without the bishop." But for the independence of the clergy, the simplicity of the gospel would ere long have vanished in diversity and confusion. Ignatius, no doubt, had in mind this danger when he wrote to Polycarp: “ Have a care

Have a care to preserve unity than which nothing is better."

The administering of corporate property is not favorable to of Corporate the keeping of power by the general assembly of the members. A Property Tends to group that becomes wealthy is likely to lose its pristine democBring

racy. A town meeting, to be sure, may make wise decisions as Authority Into a Fow to roads, ferries, and common lands, for these are simple forms of Hands

property well understood by all. But diversified property interests requiring intelligent care if they are to remain productive press home upon a membership the wisdom of entrusting their management to a select few. From his study of village commu

The Care

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CHAP.
XXIII

nities, Sir Henry Maine concludes that “the autocratically gov-
erned manorial group is better suited than the village group for
bringing under cultivation a country in which waste lands are
extensive. So also does it seem to me likely to have been at all
times more tolerant of agricultural novelties.”

Generally there is a division of responsibility within a group,
certain questions being handed up to committee or council while
other questions are reserved for the decision of the members.
Whether a particular power shall be delegated or reserved de-
pends chiefly upon the nature of the matter that is to be decided.

HOW THE NATURE OF THE MATTER TO BE DEALT WITH

DETERMINES WILL ORGANIZATION lí a matter lies within the ken of all and the proper disposal of it does not call for technical knowledge, it may well be settled in general assembly. The folk-mote of the ancient village community was quite at home in considering the time of mowing the common meadow, the rights of pasturage on the waste, the reallotment of plow land, and the upkeep of roads and irrigation canals. In the town meeting of our ancestors, the opening of highways, the building of bridges, the treatment of strayed stock, the maintenance of the school, and the care of the poor were well within the grasp of common minds lit up by sober discussion. But when a group is obliged to deal with matters outside the Decisions

As to experience or knowledge of its ordinary members, power is likely Technical

Matters to be delegated. The running of a co-operative store, elevator, or Aro creamery lodges decision in a manager subject to a board of di- Handed

Over to the rectors. The proper adjustment of dues and benefits is so tech- Expert nical a problem that, once the insurance feature has become prominent in a fraternal order or a friendly society, power tends to concentrate. The miners' courts of the California gold diggings dispensed a rough-and-ready justice so long as disputes related to sluice-boxes and claims; but as soon as property relations became complicated by leases, contracts, and debts, the camp chose a judge to try cases.

When external relations thrust internal affairs into the background, the members of a group are conscious of being on thin ice. Knowing little of the outside forces with which the group must come to terms, they come to lean heavily upon the few who appear to understand them. Hence the delicate process of

CHAP. XXIII

External
Relations
Causes
Power
to Be

eognoBcenti

As to
Means

Few, But
Not Deci.

adjustment - to church, to law, or to civil authorities, to other like

groups, to a central body, to antagonists, or to competitors The Management of prompts a more liberal grant of power to the head men of a group.

When attention shifts again to internal affairs, the membership is likely to tie down these men again. When home affairs are

overshadowed by foreign affairs, the situation strengthens parliaIntrusted to the Few ment against public, ministry against parliament, throne against

people. The security of a sea-girt or mountain-girt people favors the growth of popular government, but the pendulum swings the other way if the national economy comes to be based on foreign trade or if wide-flung empire permanently exalts remote matters above near matters. Imperialism is of necessity anti-democratic

in its tendencies. Decisions

Does the question to be dealt with relate to policy or to the

means of carrying out a policy? The latter is likely to involve Passed Up to the technical considerations and naturally will be passed up to the

better informed. The full congregation will decide on the quessions As

tion of church union, but hardly on the exact terms of such union. to Ends

The members of a cooperative society are fitter to debate the formation of branches than to formulate the rights and duties of the daughter society respecting the mother society. To the citizens may well be referred the questions: Shall we build a capitol! Shall we bond ourselves for highway improvement? Shall we establish "mothers' compensation"? Shall we protect game! but not questions as to the plan of the state house, the type of road to be built, the conditions of granting aid to the mothers of dependent children or the length of the closed season for game. No matter how intelligent and alert its members, a large group with numerous interests must leave most of its concerns to committee or

board. Members

Again, a membership may establish certain agencies or institu

tions, leaving their precise mode of operation to be otherwise deThem

termined. Whether a scientific society shall found a research General Decisions

laboratory, a town organize a fire brigade, a trade union start an But Pass out-of-work fund, or a church establish a mission board may be Up Subor. dinate decided by the members; but the many subordinate decisions Decisions

which hinge upon their affirmative action in such cases must be made upon the basis of a fuller knowledge of details than they can hope to acquire.

A further distinction to be made is that between the adoption

Will Reserve to

selves

CHAP
XXIII

of a rule and its application to particular cases. Usually the former calls for a more general participation of wills than the latter. The chapter of the Knights of the Order of Hospitalers prescribed the rules of discipline which the superior enforced. The town meeting passed ordinances which were to be carried into effect by its chosen officials. The assembled gold miners agreed upon the laws of the camp and their standing committee or judge caused them to be obeyed. The organized physicians adopt a professional code of ethics, leaving the punishment of its violators to individual practitioners or to the local medical society. For best

Power to But even if the time comes when, feeling the need of expert Be Relin

quished judgment, the members of a group confide to a select body the to the making of laws, creed, ritual, declaration of principles, or code of Executivo discipline, they will keep their hands on matters in the deciding of which their agents may have an interest contrary to that of the general membership. It is, therefore, in financial affairs that the resistance to the centralization of power is most stubborn. Let the head men hold the steering wheel if only their constituents grasp the brake! In a jealous control of the alienation of cor- Represen. porate property, the incurring of debt, the audit of accounts, the tatives tenure and compensation of officials, the appropriation of funds, "Power the distribution of burdens, or the entering into trade agreement, Purso alliance, or merger, the spirit of self-government may show itself long after all other corporate decisions have been passed up to the select or the expert. We have but to recall constitutional restrictions on the size of the public debt, the requirement of a referendum on a bond issue, and the rule that the vote on appropriation bills shall be larger than on other bills and shall be recorded.

Is the

of the

WHY FIGHTING GROUPS CENTRALIZE DECISION Frequent emergencies, calling for quick decisions, favor the Prompt.

ness and concentrating of power in a small nucleus. When promptitude Secrecy of

Decision is clearly essential to success, the molding of many wills into one Impossible is felt to be too time-consuming. While the meeting deliberates

Under a or the election goes on, the golden moment for action may have ative

Democracy passed, never to return. Under such circumstances, the handicap

• In the old Castilian Cortes, as in the early English Parliament, the point of insistence was not the right of the representatives of the people to participate in law making, or to control royal policy, but that no tax sbould be levied without the assent of Parliament.

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