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longer be governed or treated like children. To their own qualities must now be commended the care of their destiny. Modern nations will have to learn the lesson, that the wellbeing of a people must exist by means of the justice and self-government, the Sixaoovy and σoogoourn, of the individual citizens. The theory of dependence attempts to dispense with the necessity of these qualities in the dependent classes. But now, when even in position they are becoming less and less dependent, and their minds less and less acquiescent in the degree of dependence which remains, the virtues of independence are those which they stand in need of. These virtues it is still in the power of governments and of the higher classes greatly to promote; and they can hardly do anything which does not, by its own effects or those of its example, either assist or impede that object. But whatever advice, exhortation, or guidance is held out to the laboring classes, must henceforth be tendered to them as equals, and accepted with their eyes open. The prospect of the future depends on the degree in which they can be made rational beings.

There is no reason to believe that prospect other than hopeful. The progress indeed must always be slow. But there is a spontaneous education going on in the minds of the multitude, which may be greatly accelerated and improved by artificial aids. The instruction obtained from newspapers and political tracts, is not the best sort of instruction, but it is vastly superior to none at all. The institutions for lectures and discussion, the collective deliberations on questions of common interest, the trades unions, the political agitation, all serve to awaken public spirit, to diffuse variety of ideas among the mass, and to excite real thought and reflection in a few of the more intelligent, who become the leaders and instructors of the rest. Although the too early attainment of political franchises by the least educated class might retard, instead of promo

ting, their improvement, there can be little doubt that it is greatly stimulated by the attempt to acquire those franchises. It is of little importance that some of them may, at a certain stage of their progress, adopt mistaken opinions. Communists are already numerous, and are likely to increase in number; but nothing tends more to the mental development of the working classes than that all the questions which Communism raises should be largely and freely discussed by them; nothing could be more instructive than that some should actually form communities, and try practically what it is to live without the institution of property. In the mean time, the working classes are now part of the public; in all discussions on matters of general interest they, or a portion of them, are now partakers; all who use the press as an instrument may, if it so chances, have them for an audience; the avenues of instruction through which the middle classes acquire most of the ideas which they have, are accessible to, at least, the operatives in the towns. With these resources, it cannot be doubted that they will increase in intelligence, even by their own unaided efforts; while there is every reason to hope that great improvements both in the quality and quantity of school education, will be speedily effected by the exertions of government and of individuals, and that the progress of the mass of the people in mental cultivation, and in the virtues which are dependent on it, will take place more rapidly, and with fewer intermittances and aberrations, than if left to itself.

From this increase of intelligence, several effects may be confidently anticipated. First: that they will become even less willing than at present to be led and governed, and directed into the way they should go, by the mere authority and prestige of superiors. If they have not now, still less will they have hereafter, any deferential awe, or religious principle of obedience, holding them in mental subjection to a class above them. The theory of dependence and pro28


tection will be more and more intolerable to them, and they will require that their conduct and condition shall be essentially self-governed. It is, at the same time, quite possible that they may demand, in many cases, the intervention of the legislature in their affairs, and the regulation by law of various things which concern them, often under very mistaken ideas of their interest. Still, it is their own will, their own ideas and suggestions, to which they will demand that effect should be given, and not rules laid down for them by other people. It is quite consistent with this, that they should feel real respect for superiority of intellect and knowledge, and defer much to the opinions, on any subject, of those whom they think well acquainted with it. Such deference is deeply grounded in human nature; but they will judge for themselves of the persons who are and are not entitled to it.

3. It appears to me impossible but that the increase of intelligence, of education, and of the love of independence among the working classes, must be attended with a corresponding growth of the good sense which manifests itself in provident habits of conduct, and that population, therefore, will bear a gradually diminishing ratio to capital and employment. This most desirable result would be much accelerated by another change, which lies in the direct line of the best tendencies of the time, the opening of industrial occupations freely to both sexes. The same reasons which make it no longer necessary that the poor should depend on the rich, make it equally unnecessary that women should depend on men, and the least which justice requires is that law and custom should not enforce dependence (when the correlative protection has become superfluous) by ordaining that a woman, who does not happen to have a provision by inheritance, shall have scarcely any means open to her of gaining a livelihood, except as a wife

and mother. Let women who prefer that occupation, adopt it; but that there should be no option, no other carrière possible for the great majority of women, except in the humbler departments of life, is one of those social injustices which call loudest for remedy. Among the salutary consequences of correcting it, one of the most probable would be, a great diminution of the evil of over-population. It is by devoting one half of the human species to that exclusive function, by making it fill the entire life of one sex, and interweave itself with almost all the objects of the other, that the instinct in question is nursed into the disproportionate preponderance which it has hitherto exercised in human life.

4. The political consequences of the increasing power and importance of the operative classes, and of the growing ascendancy of numbers, which even under the present institutions is rapidly giving to the will of the majority at least a negative voice in the acts of government, are too wide a subject to be discussed in this place. But, confining ourselves to economical considerations, and notwithstanding the effect which improved intelligence in the working classes, together with just laws, may have in altering the distribution of the produce to their advantage, I cannot think it probable that they will be permanently contented with the condition of laboring for wages as their ultimate state. To work at the bidding and for the profit of another, without any interest in the work-the price of their labor being adjusted by hostile competition, one side demanding as much as much and the other paying as little as possible-is not, even when wages are high, a satisfactory state to human beings of educated intelligence, who have ceased to think themselves naturally inferior to those whom they serve. They may be willing to pass through the class of servants in their way to that of employers; but not to re

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