« ForrigeFortsæt »
which will help to sustain or facilitate at best, he loses on the one hand all he their credit abroad; the manufacturers gains on the other. Yet we boast of will sustain it, because it will afford a the intelligence of the Lynn shoepretext for the imposition of high du- maker, and his intelligence, by the by, ties on foreign imports; the operative is above the average intelligence of the and the farmer must sustain it, because country. the first depends on the manufacturer and trader for employment, and the last But, absurd as the protective policy for the sale of his produce; against would be under any state of things, these the planters will hardly be able —implying that industry can be to sustain themselves, especially when more energetic and efficient if bound several of the planting States are thein- than when left to the free use of selves to be directly relieved by as- its limbs --it is doubly so when cousumption from the embarrassments pled, as we have coupled it, with the which now cripple their energies. paper money system-a system which, Where, then, is the power to defeat though somewhat shaken, the mass of the measure? Yet we go on lauding the people are still attached to, and the virtue and intelligence of the the abolition of which scarcely a public people!
man who values his reputation dare
even propose. Very few of the people Let us return for a moment to have ever thought of inquiring into ihe what is called “the protective policy." operations of the two systems when The Lynn shoemaker clamors for pro- combined. In the first place, the paper tection, for high duties to diminish fo- money system, by depreciating our curreign imports and to secure to him the rency below that of foreign nations, monopoly of the home market. If he operates as a direct premium, to the can only exclude French shoes, he shall percentage of the depreciation, in favor then have this monopoly. Very well. of the foreign manufacturer; because Where does he, and where must he the foreigner sells to us at the high find the principal market for his shoes? prices produced by our depreciated South and West. The value of that currency, but buys of us always, acmarket to him, then, will depend on cording 10 his own appreciated curthe ability of the South and West to rency. This, fur years in our trade buy shoes. Whence this ability? It with England, very nearly neutralized depends, of course, on the ability of the tariff intended to protect our own the South and West to sell their own manufactures. productions. The principal market for western produce is at the South. The In the next place, the tariff operating ability of the West to buy Lynn shoes with the banking system tends to independs, then, on its ability to sell its crease instead of diminishing the adproductions to the South. Whence, vantage of the foreign manufacturer. then, we must ask again, the ability of The first effect of a protective tariff, if the South to buy western produce and it have any effect at all, is no doubt to Lynn shoes? In its ability to sell its diminish the imports, and to bring rice, cotton, and tobacco to the fo- them, in fact, below the exporis; which reigner. Whence the ability of the throws the balance of trade in our own foreigner to buy the rice, cotton, and favor. This cuts off all foreign detobacco of the South? In his ability mand for specie, and sends specie into to sell his own productions or manu- the country, if needed. This, freeing factures to us. If we will not buy of the banks from all fear of a demand him, he cannot buy of us. Conse- for specie to settle up foreign balances, quently, just in proportion as the Lynn and rendering it easy for them to obshoemaker places an impediment in tain specie from abroad, if necessary, the way of the foreigner selling to us, enables them to employ their capital does he place an impediment in the in discounting freely to business men, way of his selling his shoes to the even to speculators, and to throw out South and West. In proportion as he their paper to an almost unlimited ex. secures, hy prohibitory duties, the mo- tent. This expands, that is, deprecinopoly of the home inarket, he dimin- ates the currency; prices rise; and the ishes its value, by diminishing the foreign manufacturer is able to come in ability of the people to consume. Here, over our own tariff, sell his goods at our
enhanced prices, pay the duties, and are Federalists and Whigs ? Are they pocket a profit. This, in turn, swells not people just as much as are the the revenue, which, if deposited in the Democrats ? Is not what is done by banks, becomes the basis of additional them as much done by the people, as discounts, which expand still more the what is done by us? In speaking of the currency, enhance prices still more, till people we must include all parties, for the whole land is fooded with foreign weare, as we have seen in this country, imports, which shall, as we have seen all people, and the most numerous pariy in our own case, notwithstanding our is always the most popular. The Ame. agricultural resources, extend even to rican people are as responsible for what corn, barley, oats, and potatoes; thus the Whigs do, as they are for what the crushing not only our home manufac. Democrats do. So we cannot throw tures, but the inierests of every branch off from the people the responsibility of industry but that of trade; and at of any of the systems of policy the length even that by destroying its very government adopts, by saying it was basis. This is no theory, it is fact; adopted by this or that party. it is our own bitter experience as a people, from the terrible effects of We of course shall not be understood which we are not yet recovered; and in these remarks to intend anything still we hold on to the policy, and the against the general wisdom and justice majority of the American people, even of the aims and measures of the Demoto-day, afier all their experience, be- cratic party. As we understand its lieve in the wisdom of continuing both aims and measures, they are wise and systems!
patriotic, just and philanthropic. The
Democratic pariy, at heart, is opposed But enough of this. We have heard to paper money, to a high protective so much said about the wisdom and tariff, to the growing system of corpointelligence of the people, that we per- rate or associated wealth, and to a haps are a little sore on the subject, consolidated republic; and is in favor of and may therefore be disposed to exag- the constitutional currency, free trade, gerate their folly and wickedness. But State Rights, strict construction of we have seen enough to satisfy us, that the Constitution, low taxes, an economif we mean by Democracy the form of ical administration of the government, government that rests for its wisdom and the general melioration in the and justice on the intelligence and speediest manner possible of the moral, virtue of the people alone, it is a intellectual, and physical condition of great humbug. The facts we have the poorest and most numerous class. brought forward prove it so; nay more, Taking this view of its aims and its that in destroying all guaranties, and measures, we must needs hold it to be in relying solely on the wisdom and the Party of the Country and of Huvirtue of the people, we are destroying 'manily. As such we are with it and the very condition of good govern- of it, and no earthly power shall prement.
vent us from laboring to advance it.
But the doctrines which some of its We may be told, as we doubtless members put forth on the foundation shall be, by our democratic friends, that and authority of goveroment, and which the errors we have pointed out, were threaten 10 become popular in the not, and are not the errors of the peo- party, nay, its leading doctrines, we ple. Of whom then? “Of the peo- own we do not embrace, and cannot ple's masters; of bankers, stockjobbers, contemplate without lively apprehencorporators, sellish politicians, &c." sions for the fate of liberiy, civil and And who are these? Are they not personal. people? And how came they to be the people's masters? And why do The great end with all men in their the people, if they are so wise and religious, their political, and their indivirtuous, submit to be controlled by vidual actions, is FREEDOM. The perthem? We shall be told, and truly, fection of our nature is in being able that the principal measures or acts we “ to look into the perfect law of Liberhave condemned, have been supported, ty,” for Liberty is only another name not by the Democratic party, but by the for power. The measure of my ability Federalists and Whigs. But who pray is always the exact measure of my
freedom. The glory of humanity is in their own minds, they will find that proportion to its freedom. Hence, they are yet virtually understanding humanity always applauds him who Liberiy as we did when the great labors in right down earnest to advance work to be done was to free the mass the cause of freedom. There is some of the people from the dominion of thing intoxicating to every young and kings and nobililies. They will find, enthusiastic heart in this applause-- we fear, that they have not thought, always something intoxicating, too, in that in order to secure freedom anystanding up for freedom, in opposing thing more was necessary, than 10 authority, in warring against fixed establish universal suffrage and eligiorder, in throwing off the restraints of bility, and to leave the people free to old and rigid customs, and enabling the follow their own will,' uncontrolled, soul and the body to develope them- unchecked. Hence, Liberty with them selves freely and in the natural propor- is merely political. Where all are tions. Liberty is a soul-stirring word. free to vote and to be voted for, there is It kindles all that is noble, generous all the freedom they contemplate. and heroic within us. Whoso speaks Perhaps this is stated too positively. out for it can always be eloquent, and Perhaps it would be truer to say, that always sure of his audience. One they do not see that anything more is loves so to speak if he be of a warm necessary, in order to reuder every man and generous temper, and we all practically free, than the establishment him who dares so to speak.
of a perfectly democratic government.
Where all the people take part in the In consequence of this, we find our government, are equally possessed of young men-brave spirits they are too the right of suffrage and that of eligi-full of a deep, ardent love of Liberty, bility, and where the people are free and ready to do battle for her at all to take any direction, at any time, that times, and against any odds. They, the majority may determine, they supin this, address themselves to what pose that there perfect freedom is as a is strongest in our nature, and 10 matter of course. But this we have what is noblest ; and so doing become seen is not the fact, and cannot be the our masters, and carry us away with fact till the virtue and intelligence of them. Here is the danger we appre- the people are perfect, instead of being, hend. We fear no attacks on Liberty as they now are, altogether imperfect, but those made in the name of Liber- and, in reference to what they should ty; we fear no measures but such as be, in order to render certain the end shall be put forth and supported by contemplated, as good as no virtue and those whose love of freedom, and whose intelligence at all. But ignorant of impatience of restraint, are altogether this fact, confiding in the virtue and superior to their practical wisdom. intelligence of the people, feeling that These substitute passion for judgment, all the obstacles Liberty encounters are enthusiasm for wisdom, and carry us owing to the fact that the will of the away in a sort of divine madness people is not clearly and distinctly exwhither we know not, and whither, in pressed, they labor to remove whatour cooler moments, we would not. It ever tends in their judgment to restrain is in the name of Liberty that Satan the action of the people, or the authori. : wars successfully against Liberty. tative expression of the will of the
majority. But when they have reWe mean not here to say that we moved all these restraints, broken down can have too much Liberty, or that all barriers, and obtained an open field there is danger that any portion of our and fair play for the will of the people, fellow citizens will become too much what is there to guaranty us the enin earnest for the advancement and joyment of Liberty ? security of Liberty. What we fear is, on the one hand, ihe misinterpretation This question leads us to the point of Liberty; and, the other, the to which all that we have thus far adoption of wrong or inadequate mea- said has been directed. We solemnly sures 10 establish or guaranty it. We protest against construing one word we fear that a large portion of the younger have said into hostility to the largest members of the Democratic party do freedom for all men; but we put it to misinterpret Liberty. If they analyse our young friends, in sober earnest too,
whether with them freedom is some- from no-government ? But do we not thing positive; or whether they are in need government ? the habit of regarding it as merely negative? Do they not look upon liberty “ But, you mistake the question. merely as freedom from certain re. The question is noi, Are the people strainis or obstacles, rather than as competent to govern themselves? but, positive ability possessed by those who are ihey able, of themselves, to instiare free? They assume that we have tute and maintain wise and just civil the ability, the power, both individually government ?": They who put the and collectively,—when once the ex- question in this form, admit that govternal restraints are taken off, — to be ernment is necessary; but they coniend and to do all that is requisite for our that the people, seeing this, will instihighest individual and social weal. Is tute government, and voluntarily put a this assumption warrantable? Is restraint on their own power. This is man individually or socially sufficient what we have done in this country. for himself ? Should not our politics, The people here are sovereign, but as well as our religion, teach us that it they have drawn up and ordained ceris not in man that walketh to direct tain constitutions or fundamental laws, his steps, and that he can work out his which limit their sovereignty and preown salvation, only as a higher power, scribe the mode in which ii shall be through grace, works in him io will exercised. and to do?
But who or what guaranties the This brings us back to the old ques- constitution? In other words, assumtion, Are the people competent to gov- ing the constitution to be adopied, ern themselves? What we have said what is there back of the constitution concerning the virtue and intelligence that compels its observance, or preof the people, has been said for the ex- vents its violation? In short, what is press purpose of proving that they are the basis, the support of the constitunot competent to govern themselves. tion? A constitution, which is merely We confess here to what we know in a written constitution, is only so much the eyes of our countrymen is a “ dam- waste paper. There is always needed nable" political heresy; but, an' they a power that shall make the written should burn us at the stake, we must constitution the real, the living constitell them this notion of theirs about tution of the people. Where in your self-government is all moonshine; nay, Democracy is this power? In the peoa very Jack o’Lantern, and can serve ple unquestionably. The people no better purpose, if followed, than to make the constitution, and they will lead them from the high road, and have respect unto the work of their plunge them in the mire or the swamp hands, and will therefore protect the from which to extricate themselves constitution.” Admirable! The peowill be no easy matter. The very ple voluntarily adopt a constitution, word itself implies a contradiction. which constitution when adopted has There is government only where there no power to govern them, but what is that which governs, and that which they voluntarily concede to it! Pray, is governed. In what is called self- wherein does this differ from no constigovernment, the governor and the gove tution at all? If the people are comerned are one and the same, and there- petent to frame the consulation and to fore no government. That which gove maintain it, they are competent to gove erns is that which is governed; but ern themselves without the constituhow can the governor be the governed, tion, which we have already seen is or the governed the governor? We not the fact. The coustitution, if enassure our readers, we are not playing trusted to the voluntary support of the on terms, nor quibbling about words. people themselves, is worih nothing; In this doctrine of self-government, the for if the people will voluntarily abspeople as the governed, are absolutely tain from doing what the consitution indistinguishable from the people as forbids, they would voluntarily abstain governors. Tell us, then, in what con- from doing it even were there no consists the government? Tell us wherein stitution. The constitution in this case this doctrine of self-government differs can give no additional security, for it
gives nothing that we should not have is wise and just, and only what is wise without it.
and just. They therefore seek govern
ment, not for ihe people as the body What we insist on here is, that the politic, but for the people as individuconstitution, if it emanate from the als. That is to say, they seek not to people, and rest for its support on their restrain the power of the sovereign, will, is absolutely indistinguishable but are willing to leave it absolute. from no constitution at all. What we Hence they proclaim the absolute want is something which shall gov- sovereignty of ihe people, never ceasern. This, we are told, is the constitue ing to repeat, in season and out of seation. But the constitution, if it ema son, that all legitimate power emanate from the people, and have no nates from the people, and that the support but their will, is the people; chief glory of the statesman is to find and whatever power it may have, is out and conform to the will of the after all only the power of the people. people. We do not err in declaring But it was ihe people, and not the peo- that this is that theory of Democracy ple as individuals, but the people as which is becoming the dominant theory ihe State or body politic, that needed of all parties in the country. But, to be governed; and we have, even when we have reduced this theory to with the constitution, only the people practice, when we have made the peowith which to govern the people. ple supreme in the sense, and to the They who tell us that the people will extent, here implied, where is the voluntarily impose and maintain the practical guaranty for freedom? On necessary restraints on their own will, what can we rely to protect our rights do then by no means relieve us of our as men? Nay, what are we all in this difficulties; for the will imposing the case, as individuals, but the veriest restraints, is identically the will to be slaves of the body politic? We have restrained; and, therefore, they give talked of certain inalienable rights, us in the State but one will, and that that is, rights which we possess by virwill, since it imposes all restraints that tue of the fact that we are men, which are imposed, is really itself unrestrain- we cannot ourselves surrender ed. If the people are to be governed which cannot be taken from us; but at all, there must be a power distinct what is the use of talking about rights from them and above them, sufficient when we have no power to maintain to govern them. Now, can the people them? My rights are worth nothing create this power? Will they volun- beyond my might to assert and maintarily place a power above them, tain them against whosoever or whatwhich can govern them; and there soever would usurp them. fore to which they must submit, whether they choose to submit or not? If Democracy is construed with us to so, we must cease, when they have so mean the sovereignty of the people as done, to talk of self-government, or of the body politic; and the sovereignty government by consent of the gove of the people again is so construed that erned; for this power, whatever ii be, it becomes almost impossible to draw wherever lodged, must be, when con- any line of distinction between the stituted, distinct from the people, and aciion of the people legally organized their sovereign. If the people have a as the State, and the action of the peosovereign, they cannot be themselves ple as a mob. The people in a legal or sovereign.
political sense, properly speaking, have
no existence, no entity, therefore no In all their speculations, they who rights, no sovereignty, save when ordiffer from us, overlook the important ganized into the body politic; and fact that government is needed for the ihen their action is legitimate only people as the State, as well as for the when done through the forms which people as individuals. They assume, the body itself has prescribed. Yet we consciously or unconsciously, that the have seen it contended, and to an people, as the body politic, need no alarming extent, that the people, even governing, and that, so viewed, they outside and independent of the organhave in themselves a sort of inherent ism, exist as much as in it, and are as wisdom and virtue, which will lead sovereign; and that a majority-aye, a hem always to will and ordain what bare majority counted by themselves