"Liberalism and Progress" Oct., 1864 (Dr. Brownson refutes the liberalism of General Croaker / the beginnings of liberalism)

This work, which has not yet found a publisher, and which exists only in the author's autograph, has come honestly into our possession, with permission to make such use of it as we see proper. The author seems to have been only a civilian general, as his name does not appear in the army Register, and we suspect that he has never served in any army, hardly in a band of filibusters. From his English, and his inability to see any thing in our habits or manners, in our civil or military service, to commend, we should judge him some disappointed foreigner, who at the breaking out of oru civil war, had offered his services to the government and had them refused. He regards himself as qualified for any post from pathmaster to president, or from corporal to commander-in-chief of the the armies of the United States, which makes agianst the theory that he is a foreigner, and would indicate that he is a native, and "to the manner born." He finds everything amiss with us, and that things can come right only by being placed at the head of our civil and military affairs.

The general (?) is very profuse in his military criticisms, and shows a very hostile spirit towards our military academy. He blames the government for entrusting important commands to men who have been educated at West Point, and insists that if it will appoint Americans to the command of its armies, it should appoint civilians, who have not been narrowed, belittled, and cramped by the pedantry of a military education. He prefers instinct to study, and the happy inspirations of ignorance to the calculations of science. He thinks our true course is to invite hither the military adventurers so numerous on the continent of Europe, and who can find, in consequence of their devotion to democracy, no employment at home, and give them the command of our armies. He does not seem to be aware that we have tried his theory pretty thoroughly in both respects, and have found it not to work well. We passed in the beginning over the army, and made nearly all our high military appointments from civil life. In our first batch of major-generals, not one was taken from the army, and only one was taken who had been educated at West Point. The government commenced with as great a distrust of West Point and a military education and military experience, and with as great a confidence in the military instincts and inspirations of civilians or political aspirants, as our author himself could desire, and with what wisdom the contry knows, to its sorrow. Most of our civilian generals have proved sad failures; West Point is now at a premium, and would remain so, but for the wretched policy of making most new appointments in the army from the ranks, thereby spoiling good sargeants and making poor officers. Something besides bravery even is demanded of an officer. Gentlemanly tastes, habits, education, and manners, a knowledge of his profession, and an aptitude to command men, are necessary. Appointments from the ranks, as a reward of extraordinary merit, is well; but they should be sparingly and judiciously made. When we make appointments from the ranks the rule, they cease to be the reward of merit, and degrade the army and impair its efficiency.

In the beginning of the war, we had almost any number of foreign adventurers in our service, but we have been obliged to get rid of the larger portion of them. Some among foreign officers who have received commissions from our government are men of real merit, and have served with intelligence and success; but the majority of them have proved to be men "who left their country for their country's good." No naitonal army can be worth any thing that is to any considerable extent officered by foreigners. If the nation cannot from itself officer its own army, it had better not go to war; for it is pretty sure to fail if it does. Then war as made here assumes a peculiar character. Carried on over our vast extent of country, much of it either a wilderness, or sparingly settled, in a manner so different from what the training and experience acquired in European armies and wars fit one for, that foreign officers can be of little use to us. Neither the strategy or the tactics of a Napoleon would secure success here. The men who enter a foreign service are, besides, rarely the best officers in the army of their country, and are usually as such as their own government does not care to employ. We maintain, too, that though West Point is susceptible of improvement, nowhere are young men better trained for the profession of arms, and it is very little that the men from abroad, who seek commissions in our army, can teach our West Pointers. The great objection to our army officers at the opening of the war was their lack of experience in commanding, moving, and manouevering large bodies of men; but the foreigners who seek to enter our armies equally lack that experience. They have had only a lieutenant's, a captain's, a major's, or at most a colonel's command in their own country, or in the foreign service to which they had been attached. At the opening of the war, there were some who were mad enough to wish the government to invite Garibaldi to come and take command of our army; but Garibaldi, however successful he might have been as the tool of Piedmont or Mazzini in stirring up insurrection, and as a partisan commander, never commanded nor proved himself capable of commanding an army of thirty thousand men. Besides, his proper place in this country would not have been in the federal army, but in that of the rebels. To fight against rebellion and revolution in defence of legal authority and established government would have been a novelty to him, and contrary to his native instincts.

Our author is a decided democrat, in the European sense of the word, and complains that the American people are not truly and thoroughly democratic. He has no sympathy with our people, and thinks them false to their own democratic principles. What brought him here, if a foreigner, and induced him to offer us his valuable services, which appear to have been rejected, was his sympathy with democracy, and hostility to all other actual or possible forms of government. He wanted to sustain democracy here, not for our sake, but as a point d'appui for his operations against monarchy and aristocracy in Europe. All this may be very well in him, only he is on the wrong side, as would have been his friend Garibaldi. The struggle in which we are engaged, notwithstanding what some silly journalists write and publish, is not a struggle for the triumph of democracy. So to understand it is to misunderstand it; and we always regret to find friends of the Union urging the war as a war between the northern democracy and the southern aristocracy. Such many have tried and are still trying to make it; but such is not its real legitimate character. On our side it is a war in defence of government, of authority, and the supremacy of law. It is a war in vindication of national integrity, and in defence of American constitutionalism. The very thing our author would have us make the principle and end of the war, is that which the war is waged against. We wish to abolish slavery as far as it can be done without appealing to humanitarian or revolutionary principles: but we have neither the right nor the wish to seek to revolutionize southern society. Politically, southern society is no more aristocratic in its constitution than northern society: if socially it is more so, that is an advantage, not a disadvantage. In the present struggle, southern society has proved relatively stronger and more energetic than norhtern society, because in southern society the people are marshalled under their natural leaders, under men who are intrinsically superior to the mass, and felt to be so; while in the northern states they have been marshalled under no leaders or under artificial leaders, not superior and often inferior, to those they are commissioned to lead. No society that has not a natural aristocracy, if we may borrow a phrase from Thomas Jefferson, has any real cohesive power, or any more strength than a rope of sand.

We have some madmen amongst us who talk of exterminating the southern leaders, and of new-englandizing the South. We wish to see the free-labor system substituted for the slave-labor system, but beyond this we have no wish to exchange or modify southern society, and would rather apporach northern society to it. The New Englander has excellent points, but is restless in body and mind, always in motion, never satisfied with what he has, and always seeking to make all the world like himself, or as uneasy as himself. He is smart, seldom great; educated, but seldom learned; active in mind, but rarely a profound thinker; religious, but thoroughly materialistic: his worship is rendered in a temple founded in Mammon, and he expects to be carried to heaven in a softly-cushioned railway car, with his sins safely checked and deposited in the baggage crate with his other luggage, to be duly delivered when he has reached his destination. He is philanthropic, but makes his philanthropy his excuse for meddling with everybody's business as if it were his own, and under pretence of promoting religion and morality, he wars against every generous and natural instinct, and aggravates the very evils he seeks to cure. He has his use in the community; but a whole nation composed of such as he would be short-lived, and resemble the community of the lost rather than that of the blest. The Puritan is a reformer by nature, but he never understands the true law of progress, and never has the patience to wait till the reform he wishes for can be practically effected. He is too impatient for the end ever to wait the slow operations of the means, and defeats his own purpose by his inconsiderate haste. He needs the slower, the more deliberate, and the more patient and enduring man of the South to serve as his counterpoise.

The South has for its natural leaders, not simply men of property, but men of large landed estates, and who are engaged in agricultural pursuits: the North has for its leaders business men and their factors, who may or may not be men of wealth, or who, if rich today, may bo poor tomorrow, and who necessarily seek to subordinate every thing to business interests. They of course are less fitted, in a country like ours, to lead than the landholders, because agriculture with us is a broader and more permanent interest of the nation than trade or manufactures.

We insist that it were a gross perversion of the war to make it a war against Southern society or the Southern people. The war is just and defensible only when it is conducted as a war of the nation for its own existence and rights against an armed rebellion. In the war the nation seeks to reduce the rebels to their allegiance, not to destroy them, not to exile them, not to deprive them of their property or their franchises; it seeks to make them once more loyal citiizens, and an integral portion of the American people, standing on a footing of perfect equality with the rest, not slaves or tributaries. Southern society must be respected, and in any attempt to build up a new South out of the few Union men left there, northern speculators, sharpers, adventurers, and freed negroes, is not only impolitic, but inconstitutional and wrong. Such a South would be a curse to itself and to the whole nation; we want it not. With here and there an individual exception, the real people of the South are united in the rebellion, and under their natural leaders, and any schemes of settlement that does not contemplate their remaining with their natural leaders, the real, substantial, ruling people of the southern states, will not only fail, but ought not to be entertained. They must have the control of affairs in their respective states, and represent them in the councils of the nation. The nation cannot afford to lose them; if it could, it need not have gone to war against them. The bringing of the negro element, except in states where it is too feeble to amount to any thing, into American political society will never be submitted to by either the North or the South. We must supress the rebellion; but with the distinct understanding that the southern states are to be restored, when they submit, to all the rights of self-government in the Union, and that no attempt in the mean time shall be made to revolutionize their society in favor of northern or European ideas. If in our haste, our wrath, or our zeal we have said any thing that can bear a different sense, it must be retracted.

Friends of constitutional government, and of liberty with law, may justly sympathize with our government in the present struggle; but not European radicals, democrats, and revolutionists, for the principle of the struggle is as hostile to them as it is to the southern rebels. In this war the nation is fighting northern democracy or Jacobinism as much as it is southern aristocracy, and the evidence of it is in the fact, that the people cease to support willingly the war just in proportion as it assumes a Jacobinical character, and loses its character of a war in defence of government and law. The administration may not see it; and the philosophers of the New York Tribune and Evening Post, well convinced as they may be that something is wrong, may deny it, and propose to cure the evil by doubling the dose of radicalism; even the people, while they instinctively feel, may not be fully aware that it is that which holds them back; but so it is, and nothing for years has given us so much hope for our country as this very fact. It proves that, after all, the popular instincts are right, and that while the people are ready to carry on a war to preserve the constitution and government, they are not prepared to carry on a war for revolutionizing either. These foreign radicals and revolutionists who complain of our democracy, that it is not thorough-going and consistent, and does not press straight to its end, ought to understand that there is no legitimate sympathy between them and us, and that they cannot fight their battles in ours. We are not fighting their battles, and those of our countrymen who think we are, begin already to find themselves deserted by the nation. The American people, however ready they have been to sympathize with revolution, and encourage insurrection and rebellion in foreign nations, therein imitating the English Whigs, are yet very far from being revolutionists in the interior of their souls, and for their own country.

Our author, who professes to side with the Federalists, keeps an eye on the revolutionary movements in Europe, and a considerable part of his work is written with the express intention of forwarding them. He rejoices at the spread of democratic ideas in England, in Germany, and in Italy, and he expresses his hope that the democratic party will rise again in France, and hurl the emperor from his throne. We trust we love liberty and free government as much as does this disappointed foreigner, or American with foreign sympathies and notions: but, in our judgment, what Europe most wants at present is repose in the interior of her several nations, and freedom for their respective governments to devote themselves to the welfare and progress of the people, for which they can do nothing, so long as they have to use all of their power and energy to maintain their own existence. Every enlightened well-wisher to European society would rejoice to see the whole race of European revolutionists exterminated, or converted into loyal and peaceful subjects. True liberty was never yet advanced by subverting the established government of a country. Europe has lost far more than it has gained by its century of insurrections, revolutions, and civil wars, and the new regimes introduced have left fewer effective guananties of civil freedom and personal liberty than existed before them. Providence may
overrule evil for good, but good is never the natural product of evil.

We know, in censuring the revolutionary spirit of modern society, we are placing ourselves in opposition to the whole so-called liberal party of the civilized world; but that is not our fault. The liberal party so called has its good side and its bad side. Some things in it are to be commended, and other things in it, whoever would not stultify himself must condemn. Man is by nature a social being, and cannot live and thrive out of society; society is impracticable without strong and efficient government; and strong and efficient government is impracticable, where the people have no loyal sentiments, and hold themselves free to make war on their government and subvert it whenever they please. Men and governments, no doubt, are selfish, and prone to abuse power when they have it; but no government can stand that rests only on the selfishness of the human heart, or on what in the last century they called "enlightened self-interest," l'interet bien entendu, and not on the sense of duty, strengthened by loyal affection. People must feel not only that it is in their interest to sustain government, but that it is their moral and religious duty to sustain it; and when they have no moral sense, no religion, and no loyal affection, they should know that they cannot sustain it, and society must cease to exist. A nation of atheists were a solecism in history. A few atheists may, perhaps, live in society, and even serve it for a time, where the mass of people are believers and worshippers, but an entire nation of real atheists was never yet founded, and never could subsist any longer than it would take it to dissipate the moral wealth acquired while it was as yet a religious nation. It was well said by the late Abbe de La Mennais, before his unhappy fall: "Religion is always found by the cradle of nations, philosophy only at their tombs"- meaning, as he did, philosophy in the sense of unbelief and irreligion; not philosophy in the sense of the rational exercise of the faculties of the human mind on divine and human things, aided by the light of revelation. The ancient lawgivers always sought for their laws not only a moral, but a religious sanction, and where the voice of God does not, in some form, speak to men's consciences, and bid them obey the higher power, government can subsist only as a craft or as sheer force, which nobody is bound to respect or obey.

The great misfortune of modern liberalism is, that it was begotten of impatience and born of a reaction against the tyranny and oppression, the licentiousness and despotism of governments and the governing classes; and it is more disposed to hate than to love, and is abler to destroy than to build up. Wherever you find it, it bears traces of its origin, and confides more in human passion than in divine Providence. The great majority of its adherents, even if they retain a vague and impotent religious sentiment, and pay some slight outward respect to the religion of their country, yet place the state above the church, the officers of government above the ministers of religion, and maintain that priests have nothing to do with the affairs of this world. They forget that it is precisely to introduce the elements of truth, justice, right, duty, conscience into the government of individuals and nations in this world, as the means of securing the next, that institutions of religion exist, and priests are consecrated. Politicians may do as they please, so long as they violate no rule of right, no principle of justice, no law of God; but in no world, in no order, in no rank, or condition, have men the right to do wrong. Religion, if any thing is the lex suprema, and what it forbids, no man has the right to do. This is a lesson liberalism has forgotten, or never learned.

In our last Review we defended civil and religious freedom and pointed out to the oscurantisti in church and state, wherein and wherefore they mistake this age, are laboring for an impossibility, and fail to recall men to faith, and to reestablish in its integrity the unity of Christendom; but whoever inferreed from what we then said that we have any sympathy with political atheism, reasoned from premises of his own, not from any we ever laid down or entertained. Almost entire volumes of this Review are filled with refutations, such as they are, of political atheism, and the defence of the authority of religion for the human conscience in all the affairs of human life. There are elements in modern liberalism that it will not do to oppose, because, though liberalism misapplies them, they are borrowed from the Gospel, are taken from Christian civilization, and are, in themselves, true, noble, just, and holy. Nor can we recall modern society to that old order of things, that liberalism began by opposing, even if it were desireable, which it is not. Many things we may seek to save from being overthrown, which, when overthrown, it would be madness to attempt to reestablish. But we have never denied that modern liberalism has an odor of infidelity and irreligion, and assumes an independence of religion, that is, of conscience, of God, which is alike incompatible with the salvation of souls and the progress of society. Liberals, if they would study the question, would soon find that religion offers no obstacle to any thing true and good they wish to effect, and even offers them that very assistance without which they cannot effect or preserve it.

It is the mad attempt to separate the progress of society from religion that has rendered modern liberalism everywhere destructive, and everywhere a failure. It has sapped the foundation of society, and rendered government, save as a pure despotism, impracticable, by taking from law its sacredness, and authority its inviolability, in the understandings and consciences of men. The world, since the opening of modern history, in the fifteenth century, has displayed great activity, and in all directions; but its progress in the moral and intellectual orders has been in losing rather than gaining. Its success in getting rid of old ideas, old practices, and in cutting itself loose from all its old moorings, has been marvelous, and well-nigh complete. Taste has, indeed, been refined, and manners, habits, and sentiments have been softened, and become more humane, but we have not learned that they have gained much in purity or morality. There has been a vast development of material resources, great progress in the application of science to the productive arts, and a marvelous augmentation of material goods; but it may well be doubted if there has been any increase even of material happiness. Happiness is not in proportion to what one is able to consume, as our political economists would lead one to suppose, but in the proportion of the supply to one's actual wants. We, with our present wants and habits, would be perfectly miserable for a time, if thrown back into the condition of the people of the middle ages; and yet it is probable they were better able to satisfy even such material or animal wants as were developed in them than we are to satisfy those developed in us. Human happiness is not augmented by multiplying human wants, without diminishing the proportion between them and the means of satisfaction, and that proportion has not been diminished, and cannot be, because such is human nature, that men's wants multiply always in even a greater ratio than the means of meeting them, as affired by our political economists, in their maxims of trade and production, that demand creates a supply, and supply creates a demand. Under the purely material relation, as a human animal, there is no doubt that the negro slave, well fed and well clothed, and not unkindly treated, is happier than the free laborer at wages. We suspect that it would be difficult to find in the world's history any age, in which the means of supply were less in proportion to the wants actually developed than in our own. There was more wisdom than our liberals are disposed to admit in the old maxim: If you would make a man happy, study not to augment his goods; but to diminish his wants. One of the greatest services Christianity has rendered the world has been its consecration of poverty, and its elevation of labor to the dignity of a moral duty. The tendency of modern society is in the opposite direction. England and the United States, the most modern of all nations, and the best exponents the world has of the tendencies of modern civilization, treat poverty as a crime, and hold honest labor should be endured by none who can escape it.

There is no question that education has been more generally diffused than it was in the middle ages, but it is doubtful if the number of thinkers has been increased, or real mental culture extended. Education loses in thoroughness and depth what it gains in surface. Modern investigators have explored nature to a greater extent than it appears to have ever been done by the ancients, and accumulated a mass of facts, or materials of science, at which many heads are turned; but little progress has been made in their really scientific classification and explanation. Theories and hypotheses in any number we have, each one of which is held by the simpletons of the age to be a real contribution to science when it is the first put forth, but most of them are no better than soap-bubbles, and break and disappear as soon as touched. Christianity has taught the world to place a high estimate on the dignity of human nature, and has developed noble and humane sentiments, but under the progress of modern society in losing it, characters have been enfeebled and debased, and we find no longer the marked individuality, the personal energy, the manliness, the force, the nobility of thought and purpose, and the high sense of honor, so common in the medieval world, and the better periods of antiquity. There is in our character a littleness, a narrowness, a meanness, coupled with an astuteness and unscrupulousness to be matched only in the later stages of the Lower EMpire. In military matters we have introduced changes, but may still study with advantage the Grecian phalanx and the Roman legion. Ulpian and Papinian can still, save in what we have learned from Christianity, teach us law, and we improve modern legislation and jurisprudence only by borrowing from the civil law as digested by the lawyers of Justinian, in the Institutes and Novellae. In political science, properly so called, Aristotle, and any of the great medieval doctors, are still competent to be our masters. He who has read Aristotle's Politics has read the history of American democracy, and the unanswerable refutation of all the democratic theories and tendencies of modern liberals. For the most part we are prone to regard what is new to us as new to the world, and, what is worse, what is new to us as a real scientific acquisition, and a real progress of the race.

We have never read or heard of any age that had so high an opinion of its own acquistions, that believed so firmly in its own intelligence, and that so little questioned its own immense superiority over all preceding ages, as the eighteenth century. It believed itself enlightened, highly cultivated, profound, philosophic, humane, and yet the doctrines and theories that it placed in vogue, and over which the upper classes grew enthusiastic in their admiration, are so narrow, so shallow, so directly in the face and eys of common sense, so manifestly false and absurd, that one finds it difficult to believe that anybody out of a madhouse ever entertained them. What think you of a philosopher who defines man- "A digesting tube, open at both ends"? and of another who ascribes all the difference between a man and a horse, for instance, to "the fact that man's fore limbs terminate in hands and flexible fingers, while those of a horse terminate in hoofs"? Yet these philosophers were highly esteemed in their day, and gave a tone to public opinion. We laugh at them as they did with the disciples of Epicurus, at the superstitions of past ages, the belief in sorcery, magic, necromancy, demons, witches, wizards, magicians, and yet all these things flourished in the eighteenth century, are believed in this nineteenth century in our own country, in England, France, and Germany, by men of all professions, and in all ranks of society. Wherein, then, consists the progress of our enlightenment?

But "we are more liberal, more tolerant in matters of opinion, and have ceased to persecute men for religious differences," says our author. Hardly; yet if so, it may as well be because we are so indifferent, and less in earnest than our predecessors, believe less in mind, and more in matter. We have read no public document more truly liberal and more tolerant in its spirit and provisions than the edict of Constantine the Great, giving liberty to Christians, and not taking it from pagans. Even Julian the Apostate professed as much liberality and tolerance as Voltaire, or Mazinni, and practiced them as well as the liberals in Europe usually do, when in power. "But the age tends," replies our author, "to democracy, and, therefore, to the amelioration, and the social and political elevation of the people." Fine words; but, in fact, while demagogues spout democracy, and modern literature sneers at law, mocks at loyalty, and preaches insubordination, insurrection, revolution, governments have a fine pretext for tightening their bonds, and rendering their power despotic; nay, in some respects, are compelled to do so, as the only means left of preventing thetotal dissolution of society and the lapse of the race into complete barbarism. If the system of repression is carried too far and threatens its own defeat, the exaggerations of liberalism provoke, and in part justify it, for the liberalistic tendencies , if unchecked, could lead only to anarchy. Democracy, understood not as a form of government, but as theend government is to seek, to wit, the common good, the advance in civilization of the people, the poorer and and more numerous, as well as the richer and less numerous classes, not of a privleged class or caste, is a good thing, and a tendency towards it is really an evidence of social progress. But this is only what the great doctors of the church have always taught, when they have defined the end of government to be the good of the community, the public good, or the common good of all,- not the special good of a few, nor yet the greatest good of the greatest number, as taught by that great and elaborate humbug, Jeremy Bentham, but the common good of all, that good which is common to all of the members of the community, whether great or small, rich or poor.

But that democracy as the form of government is the best practicable means of securing this end, unless restrained by constitutions, the most earnest and enlightened faith, and by the most pure and rigid religious discipline, is, to say the least, a perfectly gratuitous assumption. We defend here and everywhere, now and always, the political order established in our own country, and our failure- for failed, substantially, we have- is owing solely to our lack of real Christian faith, of the Christian conscience, and to our revolutionary attempts to interpret that order by the democratic theory. Our political order is republican, not democratic. But, in point of fact, the liberals have never advocated democracy for the end we have stated, from love of liberty, or for the sake of ameliorating the condition of the people, though they may have so pretended, and at times even so believed, but really as a means of elevating themselves to power. Their democracy is, practically,- I am as good as you, and you have no more right than I to be in power or place. We believe in the disinterestedness or the patriotism of no man who can conspire to overthrow the government of his country, and whenever we hear a man professing great love for the dear people, praising their wisdom and virtue, their intelligence and sagacity, and telling them that they are sovereign, and their will ought to prevail, we always regard him as a self-seeker, and as desirous of using the people simply to elevate himself to be one of their rulers. Democracy elevates to places of honor, profit, and trust, men who could not be so elevated under any other form of government; but that this operates to the advantage of the public we have yet to learn.

What our author praises as the tendency of democracy, is the tendency to reduce all things to a low average, and to substitute popular opinion for truth, justice, reason, as the rule of action, and the criterion even of moral judgment. Democracy, when social as well as politcal, elevates not the best men to office, but the most available men, usually the most cunning, crafty, or empty-headed demagogues. When, two years ago, the editor of this Review received the nomination in his district for member of congress, he was interiorly alarmed, and began a self-examination to ascertain what politcal folly or iniquity he had committed; and he became reconciled to himself, and his conscience was at ease, only when he found his election defeated by an overwhelming majority. His own defeat consoled him for his nomination, and restored his confidence in his own integrity, loyalty, and patriotism. The men democracy usually elevates are petty attorneys or small lawyers, men of large selfishness and small capacity, and less political knowledge. The southern states, whose democracy is less socially diffused than that of the northern states, has always as a rule elevated abler men than has the North, which has given them an ascendency in the Union that has provoked northern jealousy. They have selected to represent them in congress, in diplomacy, in the cabinet, in the presidential chair, their ablest men while we have selected our feeblest men; or, if abler men, we have, with rare exceptions, "rotated" them from their places before they could acquire experience enough to be useful. Democracy, in the sense we are considering it, has shown what men it selects, when left to itself, in the present administration, and in the last and present congresses. Were there no better men in the country? Then is democracy condemned, as tending to degrade intellect and abase character, for greater and better men we certainly had, who were formed while we were yet British colonies. If there were greater or better men, and democracy passed them over as unavailable, then it is incapable of employing the best talent and the highest character produced by the country in its service, and therefore should also be condemned. President Lincoln we need not speak of; we have elsewhere given his character. But we have not had a single statesman, worhty of the name, in his cabinet or in congress since the incoming of the present administration, and hardly one from the free states since the whigs, in 1840, descended into the forum, took the people by the hand, and, led on by the Boston Atlas and the New York Tribune, undertook to be more democratic than the Democratic party itself, and succeeded in our-heroding Herod. When they dropped the name Whig, and assumed that of Republican, which we had recommended in place of Democratic, we, in our simplicity, supposed that they really intended to abandon Jacobinism and to contend for constitutionalism, else had we never for a moment supported them. But they did, and intended to do nothing of the sort.

There is nothing in the American experiment thus far to justify the liberals in identifying the progress of liberty and social well-being with the progress of democracy. On this point our author is wholly at fault. Since Mr. Van Buren, more incompetent men in the presidential chair we could not have had, if we had depended on the hereditary principle, than popular election has given us. Prince (John) Van Buren would have been better than Harrison or Taylor, and Prince Bob (Lincoln) can hardly fall below his father. We want no hereditary executive, but probably the chances of getting a wise man for president, if the executive were hereditary, would be greater than they have been under the elective principle, as our elections have been, for a long time, conducted. Seldom has our senate been equal to the English house of peers. Democracy opens a door to office to men who, under no other system, could ever attain to office; but their attainment to office is of no conceivable advantage to the public, and very little to themselves. It opens a door to every man's ambition, at least permits every man to indulge ambitious aspirations. When such a man as Abraham Lincoln can become president, who may not hope one day also to be president? It stimulates every one's ambition, every one's hope of office, perhaps of the highest in the gift of the people, but it does not stimulate any one to study or to labor to qualify himself for honorably discharging the duties of the office. It is rare to find any man who does not think himself qualified for any office to which the people can be induced to elect him. The plurality of votes is a solid endorsement of his qualification. The people, in electing me, have judged me qualified, and would you, proud aristocrat, arraign the judgment of the people? Enough said.

The same tendency to democracy, lauded by our author, leads in nearly every thing, every one to struggle to be other than he is, to get what he has not, and to fill antoher place than the one he is in, and hence produces universal competition, and general uneasiness and discontent in society. No man is contented to live and die in the social position in which he was born, and pride and vanity, not love and humility, become the principle of all individual and social action. I am as good as Abraham Lincoln, and whu should he be president and not I? He was a rail-splitter and I am a hod-carrier. Let me throw down the hod, as he did the bettle and wedge, become an attorney, and I may one day be president as well as he. John Jacob Astor was once a poor German boy, who landed alone and friendless in the streets of New York, and he dies worth, some say, twenty-five millions, all made by himself in trade; and why not I do as much, and make as much money as he? So every boy is discontented to remain at home and follow the occupation of his father, that of a mechanic or small farmer, an becomes anxious to get a place in a counting-house, and to engage in trade and speculation. Where all are free to aim to be the first no ne is contented to be sencond, especially to be last. This is the effect of liberalism, and an effect which our author cites as an evidence of its merit. He dwells on it with enthusiasm, and contrasts the movement, the activity, the aspirations of the common people at present with that of the lower classes under feudalism, andeven the monarchical regime of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

We, although a true-born Yankee, think very differently. Liberalism, taken in its practical workings in a society, with weak faith, a movable religion, and no loyalty, tends to develop wants which it is impossible to satisfy, because the wants it develops all demand satisfaction from the material order. In the moral, intellectual, and spiritual world, the multiplication of wants is in itself not an evil, because the means of satisfaction are liberally supplied, and even the very craving for moral and spiritual good,- what the Gospel calls "a hungering and thirsting after righteousness," is itself a good, and blessed are they that do so, for they shall be filled. But the multiplication of wants that can be satisfied only with material or sensible goods, is not a good, but an evil. Political equality and equality before the law is practicable, but social equality, equality of wealth and social condition, is impracticable, and even undesirable. Only one man, once in four years, out of many millions, can be president of the United States; and if all set their hearts on it, all but the one must be disappointed. The sufferings of disappointed office-seekers more than overbalance the pleasures of office-holders. All cannot be rich, for if all were rich, paradoxical as it may sound, all would be poor. Real wealth is not in the magnitude of one's possessions, but in the amount of the labor of others one is able to command; and if all are rich, no one can command any labor of another at all, for there is no one to sell his labor, and the rich man is reduced precisely to the level of the poor man. Though his possessions are counted by millions, he must produce for himself, and actually have only what he can produce with the labor of his own hands. All your schemes of an equal division of property, and for keeping all the members of a community equal in their condition, are fallacious, and, if they could be carried out, would end only in establishing universal poverty, universal ignorance, and universal barbarism. The human race would sson sink everywhere below the condition of our North American savages and, indeed, liberalism is practically a tendency to the savage state, as any one may learn even from Jean Jacques Rousseau.

We want no privleged caste or class; we want no political aristocracy, recognozed and sustained as such by law. Let all be equal before the law. But we do not want a social aristocracy, families elevated by their estates, their public services, their education, culture, manners, tastes, refinement, above the commonality; and we do not believe a community can long even subsist where such an aristocracy is wanting, to furnish models and leaders for the people. It is the presence of such an aristocracy, that in the present fearful struggle gives to the southern states their unity and strength. It is the want of such a class, enjoying the confidence and respect of the people in the loyal states, that constitutes our national weakness, as we have elsewhere shown. The people, we have said, and we all know, must have leaders and leaders must be born, not made. The number in a nation who have the qualities to be leaders, whether in peace or war, are comparitively few. All cannot lead; the mass must follow, and those who are born to follow should be content to follow, and not aspire to lead. If you stir up in them the ambition to lead, make them discontented with their lot, and determined to pass from followers to leaders, you reverse the natural order of things, introduce confusion into society, disorder into all ranks, and do good to nobody. We ourselves, we know it well, were never born to lead, and should only be misplaced, and ruin ourselves and others, were we put in the position of a leader. Our author professes to be a philosopher, and to have mastered what just now is called teh science of sociology,- a barbarous term, which we detest,- and therefore he ought to understand that he is calling things by wrong names; that practically he says, Evil be thou my good! and, if successful, would erect a pandaemonium, not a well-ordered human society, or a temple of liberty and peace.

Yet our author swims with the current, and is sustained by all the force of what is regarded as the advanced opinion of the age, and for the moment is stronger than we, who are sustained only by certain moral instincts and traditions which are generally unheeded. He has, too, the ear of the public, if not for himself personally, yet for innumerable others who agree with him, and can speak with even far more force and eloquence than we; while we are repudiated by all parties, by all sects, and only a few will listen to or heed our voice, harsh and discordant as it is in most ears. We are neither an obscurantist nor a liberal, but agreeing in some things, and disagreeing in others, with both; precisely the sort of man, no party likes, for we can support no party through thick and thin,- a legitimate child of the nineteenth century, yet believing that all wisdom was neither born nor will die with it. We believe there were "brave men before Agamemnon," and that there will be brave men even after we are dead and forgotten. We belong not to the party that would restore the past, but to that which would retain what was true and good, and for all ages, in the past; we are not of those who would destroy the past, and compel the human race to begin de novo, but of those, few in number they may be, who see something good even in liberalism, and would accept it without breaking the chain of tradition, or severing the continuity of the life of the race, separate it from the errors and falsehoods, and bitter and hateful passions with which it is mixed up, and carry it onward. We are too much of the present to please the men of the past, and too much of the past to please the men of the present: so we are not only doomed, Cassandra-like, to utter prophecies which nobody believes, but prophecies which nobody heeds either to believe or disbelieve. We know it well, and therefore we said, We were not born to be a leader, although we have been long since spoiled as a follower, like most of our contemporaries. Hence, though we know that we speak the words of truth and soberness, we expect not our words to be heeded. Popular opinion decides with us all questions of wisdom and folly, of truth and falsehood, and popular opinion we do not and cannot echo.

Our author is a liberal, an ultra-democrat, a revolutionist,- has been, and probably still is, a conspirator,- a man who sees no sacredness in law, no inviolability in authority, and no charm in loyalty. His political creed is short, and very precise. It is: "The people are sovereign; the people are divine; teh people are infallible and impeccable; I and my fellow conspirators and revolutionists are the people, and because you Americans will not permit us to assume the direction of your civil and military affairs, you are no true liberals, no consistent democrats, and are really hostile to the prgressive tendencies of the modern world." This is his creed, and the creed of all such as he, whether at home or abroad. We do not believe his creed, and have no wish to see it prevail. Many Americans profess it: few of them, however, really believe it, or, in fact, much else. They have been in the habit of hearing it, of reading it in the newspapers and novels, and listening to it from the lips of impassioned orators on the Fourth of July, and in political meetings, and they have repeated it, as a matter of course, without giving it one moment's serious thought; but their instincts are truer than the creed they now and then fancy they believe, and therestill linger in their minds faint reminiscences of something better, which was once believed by most men, and approved by Christian faith and conscience.

If the American people could only once understand that the present war is not a war between democracy and aristocracy, but a war in defence of government and law, that is, in defence of authority in principle as well as in practice, against popular license and revolutionism, the war, however it might terminate, would prove the richest boon they have ever as a people received from the hand of Heaven. It would arrest that lawless and revolutionary tendency they have hitherto thoughtlessly followed, which they have fancied it belonged to them to encourage both at home and abroad, and which at times has threatened to make us the pest of the civilized world. We trust it will yet have this effect. We are radical, if you will, in our determination, at the earliest moment it can be logically done, to get rid of the system of slave-labor, but, thank God, a radical in nothing else, and sympathize in little else with those who are called radicals: and, after all, we suspect the mass of the American people agree more nearly with us than with our General Croaker, and that we are a truer exponent of their real interior convictions and social instincts than he, although they will never believe it because they will never read us; and the journals, if they notice us at all, will only misrepresent and pervert our words. Yet we rely greatly on military discipline and the effects fo the war, to bring back the people to sounder political and social views.