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the admiral. Self-restraint is often more difficult than combat. Perhaps for police purposes, if not for national protection, we shall need a small army and a navy during coming centuries, but as soon as the three and a half millions of teachers in the schools of the civilized world shall begin in earnest and with skill to inculcate sentiments of peace and the principles of justice and fair dealing in the treatment of weaker nations, we may hope for the limitation of armaments and the dawn of an era of peace that is worthy of the disciples of the Prince of Peace.
DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION
ALBERT BOYNTON STORMS, PRESIDENT OF IOWA STATE COLLEGE, AMES, IOWA Democracy is more than a political experiment. It is the latest spiritual enterprise of the ages. Tho not yet complete, nor yet permanent, democracy is the crowning achievement of history. Democracy is an ideal, a leaven. It is not to be identified absolutely with any particular political or social organization. It is a spirit. Democracy means "life and more abundant life." Destructively, it means the tearing down of artificial distinctions and class privileges. Democracy is the instinctive foe of hereditary and caste prerogatives. It recognizes no oligarchy but that of individual worth. The French Revolution has been styled the French Madness. But there was a philosophy in the custom of democrats in addressing one another as "citizens," discarding all other title. Democracy has the watchword of the age for its own-Freedom and Opportunity.
Constructively, democracy has meant carrying to the people as a whole the prerogatives of power and of privilege heretofore reserved for favored classes of individuals. It has meant extension of elective franchise, the protection of the natural rights of all men to liberty of person save under restraint by process of law, the right of trial by their peers, the freedom of religion, and security of property. Democracy has meant the right of any political society to depose its existing rulers and to raise others in their places, to freely elect their legislative and representative bodies and to hold the power of taxation in their own hands. It has meant freedom of industrial opportunity and the largest possible extension of educational privileges.
Democracy is pervasive. It illuminates. It challenges. The extension of power and privilege to the people is after all but the more superficial aspect of Democracy. Its great meaning is duty. But the great and deep and solemn meaning was not at first the most obvious. Democracy's first appeal has seemed to be to the selfishness of the people. To the American no less than to the French revolutionists democracy appeared to spell privilege, exemption from burdensome taxes and oppressive legislation by an authority outside of themselves or of their election. It meant the breaking of yokes, emancipation from real or imagined grievances. The first attempt at a nation in the confederation of states was a ludicrous failure-tho a necessary
step in the process of educating a people to self-government. The appreciation of the necessity of a central and efficient authority was slow. The sense of duty follows tardily upon the heels of privilege. But democracy's great and deep and solemn meaning is not privilege alone, but privilege thru duty and duty beyond privilege.
Prophets of evil have not been wanting. The irresistible political and social tendencies of the age, the underlying gulf streams, are towards democracy. But men whose political optimism is sound concerning the past political history of the race are pessimistic in the presence of the democratic tendency of this age and look upon democracy with undisguised apprehension and suspicion. Lecky, in his Democracy and Liberty, sees in democracy itself the doom of liberty, except democracy be curbed and limited. He looks upon democracy much as Alexander Hamilton did upon the type of democracy prevalent in America in the period immediately succeeding the Revolutionas a "disease." Lecky regards the democratic theory of government as reversing all the past experiences of mankind, that superiority and competence lie with the few, not the many; that the extension of the franchise is but to place government more and more under the control of the least enlightened classes; in short, that democracy means government by the mob, by the least fit, and that it seeks increased capacity for good government in the representative body by the foolish expedient of increasing the amount of ignorance in the elective body. Lecky points out the tendency of democracy to produce inequitable taxation by placing the power of voting taxes in the hands of one class which another class must almost exclusively pay; the chief taxpayers, "being completely swamped," are for "all practical purposes completely disfranchised." He also adverts to the instability of democratic governments. Frederick the Great of Prussia told the English embassador in 1872 that the United States could not endure, "since a republican government had never been known to exist for any length of time where the territory was not limited and concentered." It was one of Lincoln's grave and statesmanlike utterances, that "it has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies."3
These critics of democracy are not to be laughed out of court nor their warnings disregarded. It still remains to be demonstrated that governments "of the people, by the people, and for the people" can "long endure."
THE ETHICS OF DEMOCRACY
Critics like Lecky, however, overlook the fundamental ethical principles of democracy. Enlightened democracies are not governed by the least fit, the ignorant, the incompetent. They are governed by majorities, and majori
1 Democracy and Liberty, I, p. 32.
Hart, Formation of the Union, pp. 100, 101.
3 Morse, Life of Lincoln, II, pp. 293, 294.
ties are secured by ideas and by policies crystallized into political party platforms. There is no school of political science so important and so puissant as the actual discussion of living issues by the people under a sense of responsibility for political action. The ballot in the hands of the voter is sobering and educative. In the end, and with a serious and earnest people, governing majorities must meet the approval of the sound judgment and enlightened conscience of the people or lose supremacy. "All such questions," said Lincoln, referring to temperance, slavery, etc., "must find lodgment with the most enlightened souls who stamp them with their approval. In God's own time they will be organized into law and then woven into the fabric of our institutions."
There is a finality about the ultimate decree of a free people upon great moral and economic questions, like that of slavery, that is like unto the decrees of the Eternal. In democratic forms of government, while the demagogue may flourish for a season, the leadership of the fit, the commanding influence of men who are kings by divine right of character, the power of personality, are at least as marked and as enduring as in any other political organization. Let us call to witness Gladstone, Washington, Lincoln.
The boldest political experiment of history is now in progress in these United States. That it is of vast interest is evidenced by the fact that over a million immigrants are coming every twelve months to cast their fortunes with us. And there are not wanting prophets of evil in the face of this tremendous fact. Our great cities are half alien. We are drawing apparently the largest number of immigrants not from the most, but the least, desirable of European and Asiatic peoples.
But in the midst of evil prophecies let us recall another principle in the ethics of democracy, namely, that it is the more virile and aggressive of any people that are attracted by the freedom, the industrial and political and social opportunities of the democratic West. The Bethlehem star that guides searchers for larger and better life is the star of liberty. It is freedom's challenge that appeals to the people that sit in darkness. They have seen a great light. We may not despise these seekers after a "better kingdom." They compare very favorably with our own forebears.
THE PERIL OF REPUBLICS
But the peril of republics is ever before us, the peril that springs from ignorance and from a lack of intelligent patriotism. Other forms of government may survive indefinitely over a stolid and non-progressive people. Republics cannot live without virtue. The instinct of self-preservation has inspired democratic governments to foster universal education. Enlightenment and virtue are the sine qua non of existence. Jefferson stated the problem of democracy when he said it was the province of the school
Herndon, Life of Lincoln, I, p. 158.
to form the statesmen, legislators, and judges, on whom public property and individual happiness are so much to depend; to expound the principles and structure of government, the laws which regulate the intercourse of nations, those formed principally for our own government in a sound spirit of legislation; to harmonize and promote the interests
of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and by well-informed views of political economy to give free scope to the public industry.1
There is no duty more imperative than the fostering of all educational facilities. The public school stands first and should so stand. It is the greatest unifying agency of the age. But the parochial and the private schools also have honorable place. There are not schools enough. Parts of our country are fairly destitute. The president of the school board of New Orleans, a public-spirited and very intelligent man, told me recently that he favored a compulsory school law for that city; not because it would be possible to school all the children of the city, or half of them, with present facilities, but because a compulsory school law would overwhelm the schools, compel attention to the need, and the sooner secure adequate provision.
There doubtless is much to criticise in present schools and school methods. Let wholesome criticism proceed. But let us not forget that our great duty is to encourage the extension and the influence of the schools existing. We may not quarrel overtime about doctors and pathies and poultices. The doctor at hand is quite efficient in emergencies. There is no need so great nor any duty so imperative as the strengthening of our primary and country schools to greater efficiency. It is still true and should be increasingly true that the little red schoolhouse on the hill is the temple of liberty. There is no severer test of the ability of democratic society to preserve itself from decay than this. Can and will democracy maintain at a high level of efficiency its common. schools?
There is no civic duty of an educated and patriotic citizen that should stand superior to this of assisting to foster the common school. There needs to be a civic conscience about adequate taxation for this purpose and the encouragement of a high order of character and ability to enter the teaching profession, especially in the common schools.
ENLARGED SCOPE OF EDUCATION
Democracy has felt the inadequacy of the older educational methods and ideals. Education must not be for the few but the many. It is the duty of the state not only to provide educational facilities, but to require that they be generally utilized. The scope of educational interest must be broadened. Classical culture and the humanities alone are inadequate. The school must teach the real interests of life for a working people. A few may sit aloof still in haughty isolation and declare with Lowell that a university should be a place "where nothing useful is taught." But democracy has small patience with such educational fastidiousness. The sturdy youths in laboratories and shops, drafting rooms and field, with life's real business before them have Harper, The Trend of Higher Education, p. 33.
brushed aside intellectual dilettantism. Science and art have meaning for life's earnest work as well as for its leisure pastimes.
And with the extension of educational interests has come the extension of educational privileges. State and private munificence have alike conspired to bring to the common people the blessings of higher education, technical as well as classical and professional. Educational ideals have been conservatively aristocratic. Thos. Barclay, in the report of the English (Mosely) Commission, says:
The British mind must at once disabuse itself of the idea that Harvard and Yale are educational centers for the seventy or eighty millions forming the population of the United States. They are only two universities which have more or less resisted the democratic tendencies of the New World.
And farther along he says:
When we get closer to Americans, we see that, in spite of all their apparent superficiality, their schools are turning out more active, business-like, hard-working, enterprising young men than either English or German schools-young men with greater ambition, and self-reliance, and a greater capacity for development, equally courageous in work, and more sober in their lives, with a higher sense of industrial integrity, and all-round greater pleasure in effort, and better humor in adversity.2
I have found no better expression of the democratic ideal of education than in the address of Dr. Barrows, general superintendent of education for the Philippines, in which he says that the ideals of the educational commission include "a large, general purpose to raise the spiritual character, industrial efficiency, and the political capacity of the entire people." To this end higher education in its wider and more inclusive scope of technical and professional training has its place, and a most important place.
The value of higher education has always been evident to minds of a nobler order, and always in progressive civilized society there have been found men and women of means and talents ready to devote themselves with enthusiasm to the interests of higher education. Thus the older universities and some of the newer technical schools have been established and endowed by private munificence.
Higher education, however, in a democracy cannot be adequately based nor adequately provided except by the people themselves. A democratic people do not thrive best in any of their interests by being paternally and patronizingly endowed by benevolence. It is only by self-assertion and by institutions that are organized and equipped and maintained by the people's own will and at their cost that a democratic society can adequately provide for its higher educational needs as well as for its other social and political requirements. Useful as the privately endowed institutions of higher education have been and are—and I would not like any to excel me in admiration and respect for their higher service-they are, nevertheless, inadequate and must be so, however much of wealth may be devoted to them, to meet fully Mosely Commission Report, p. 397.
Mosely Commission Report, p. 397.