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sophical speculation leading to and resulting in interesting and universally valuable truths, if we can get at them—we intend to hold the entire system of our thoughts before us and so to exhibit them to our readers that they may-to whichever party they incline - find that there are seed-truths and germs of political reflection of which it is advisable to know the properties and outcome, at the same time that in the system of evolution employed in our papers, they may notice the manner in which truth may be found to grow from truth, and each may be seen to give off from itself a new centre of fertility, with vast latencies of fructification under suitable management.
It may also be well to state at the outset that we make no pretension to cover the whole field of speculative politics with our thoughts, and do not for a moment dream of matching the cursory reflections possible in our projected papers with the magnificent and beneficial outcome of the minds of many of those whose names we have previously quoted as contributors to the literature of philosophic politics. We wish but to pioneer the way to farther investigations, only to show and suggest the plenitude of truth which lies discoverable before the mind possessed of insight when it explores with earnestness and in accordance with the proper forms of reasoned thougth, the metaphysics of statesmanship, of the science of legislation and of the conditions of the welfare of human societies.
· Philosophy is the science of first principles," a loving search into the primal causes of things and the connections which subsist among them. Each department of knowledge may be said to have its philosophy, because it rests and relies upon some principles and causes which, being alternate, are common to all special exercises of thought, some common fund of primitive cognitions, which are not the product but the conditions of the mind's own activity, and which we must accept as implied in the very constitution and possession of intellectual life. Men are impressed
by and are thus led to examine into and investigate phenomena, but man is not satisfied till he has traced these back to their causes, and these again to their laws, and then he endeavours to penetrate beyond the laws and causes of phenomena to learn, if possible, the rational principles out of which these laws arise, and according to which these causes act and these phenomena are. This is philosophy properly so called, the mother and queen of science-the science of sciences, the intuitive source of discursive thought. To pierce down into thought 80 as to reach these fundamental certainties, these primary grounds of future knowledge, or rather to trace back the vitalities of the reason to this first life-essence and originative germ, is truly to philosophize ; and the ground-strata or basement on which and from which we proceed tɔ build up any given series of specific thoughts into a science, or the primitive elements which we adopt as the justifying and reasonable causes of our practice, is in the common and current language of our day termed the philosophy of that science, art, or practice.
Politics signifies the science of social life. The theory which regulates the practice of civic government in its endeavour to accomplish the ends of social co-existence, and to promote the welfare of the members of the entire community in all such ways and by all such manners as individuals themselves, or subordinate associations of individuals, cannot advantageously enter upon or carry into effect, is understood as comprehended under the term politics. Aristotle uses the word Politeia to denote a constitution or government administered according to law. It does not neces. sary imply that the legislation employed has been determined upon for the purpose of securing the greatest common good of the members of the community, so that they enjoy a share in the sovereign power, or any control over the potential governors. But it does imply freedom from the necessity of obedience, or enforced submission, to any extraneous power on the part of the government, and a habit or necessity of obedience or submission, voluntary or enforced, on the part of the constituents of the community to the legislation of those who wield the powers in the State. It implies social or allied life. Politics might be called the ethics of nations ; or of the rights of man in a gregarious condition, in a partnership of aim, effort and intent, in a confederacy to accomplish some object or maintain some state as a community. Safety, peace, and prosperity are the conditions of comfortable life. Hence a government is an embodiment in some form or other of the might of the community for defence against any interference from without in regard to its autonomy, self-governing rights or independence ; for the augmentation of its strength in comparison with other states, and of its resources, not only in relation to other communities, but also in comparison with its former condition ; for the protection of its members in their concerted or customary rights among them. selves, and as regards others; as well as for the improvement of the condition, wealth, morals, and happiness of those who are subject to the laws it imposes. Politics is the science of the laws which regulate mankind in their relations to each other as individuals and as members of civic communities; and it includes constitutional, legislative, and administrative arrangements for the securing of the greatest possible amount of equity in the dealings of man with man and state with state in accordance with the aim, interest, and primary condition of the members among themselves, and in their relation to foreign or external authorities. Before we can comprehend the full signification of politics, we must conceive and realize the fact, that man is peculiarly differentiated by the characteristic, that he is capable of self-control, that he is an embodied Will, that he alone is amenable, intellectually, to the determinations of a Sovereign Will. Hence it is that we speak of the body corporate, because government, as the supreme regulating force of the State, acts towards it as will operates in the buman frame, that is, as a protector, as a self-sufficing assertor of selfhood, and as a planner, thinker, and actor for the preservation and progress of the being over which it holds mastery. Politics is autonomic equity and self-preservation, the entire unity of agencies by which civic and social life are rendered possible and pleasur. able, permanent and progressive. It comprehends all those acts and relations of men which are not directly and immediately personal in their reference, but are concerned with the whole of a community, or at least a very large proportion of it; in other words, it includes ererything thai relates to the principles on which a sovereignty is constituted or constructed, and all the immediate acts, self-preservative, executive, legislative, or influential, whether with regard to its own subjects or those of other governments, or those of the subjects in respect to other governments or itself.
Civil government is of the essence of human society. A man is a political creature. Individual isolation and entire personal independence is impossible, and the phenomena of human society as distinctly result' from the nature of man as language seems necessary to his being and well-being. Politics is the main agency in the progressive civilization of man; and the idea of it always seems to necessitate a union of constraint and security. Society must be controlled if it is to be upheld. That the public rights of the community may be impressed on others, and enforced on its own members, some privileges must be conferred on the governors, and some restraint must be placed on the ferocious craft, or mild and stubborn personality of the members of the community which they rule. Politics, therefore, at once implies freedom and constraint, and bring us face to face with the Miltonic paradox, that “ Honest liberty is the greatest fue to dishonest licence.” Law and civiliza. tion are only attainable by insisting on equity and justice in the performance of duty and the observance of right, on the avoidance of ill-doing or selfishness, and on the regulation of the propensities, desires, and activities of man, so as to make justice " the only true sovereign and supreme majesty upon earth,"in so far as the people are capable of at once fulfilling her commands and enjoying her benefits. Wherever man can interfere with man, immediately or remotely, then there is a sphere for political action, and a proba. bility of politics as the science of government, of justice, of enforcement, of right and civility. Hence the pure abstract or theoretic science of politics ultimately results in the question, What is equity as between man and man in their several places and relations. There is, however, a distinction to be drawn between the existence and the goodness of a state. That a state exists constitutes it a politeia, and it is the object of politics to make of that the best possible by such degrees, and in such ways as are most equitable. Politics is the science which governs governments.
Government exists for the benefit and welfare of the governed; else it is not an agent of social life. Now the welfare of a community depends on health, morality, intelligence, property, the polity pursued by its government, the laws by which it is regulated, and the relations it inaintains with other civic bodies. It falls to the science of politics, therefore, to investigate all these matters-to augment their good and to diminish their evil, in so'far as this cannot be better done by leaving their operations to be managed or interfered with at the suggestion of private interests; and where this cannot be advantageously done except by the interposition of the supreme authority, to determine the extent and mode of interference which shall most effectually, and yet least oppressively, effect the objects in view. There emerges from this idea of com. munistic welfare and the function of the state in endeavouring to accomplish it, a number of considerations which may all be regarded as coming under the review of politics as a science. Among these may be enumerated,-(1) The principles of government which are most likely to result in the fullest promotion of the welfare of com. munities; (2) the kind of supreme authority most suitable for the attainment of the ends of civil incorporations ; (3) the duties in cumbent on the ruling power of a community in its home and foreign relatious; (4) the rights and reciprocal duties of the subjects of the supreme power as members of the community ; (5) the means by which the rights and liberties of men may be best protected and secured, whether in the state or in the connection of state with state ; (6) the conditions upon which the increase and derelopment of the resources of the community depend; (7) the measures to be adopted for the preservation of the autonomy and self-existence of the government as independent of foreign control, or as liable to ag. gression or conquest ; (8) the arrangements required for the main. tenance in society of equitable conduct and such morality as the state may admit of, or justly impose on its members. From the considerations involved in these several matters there may arise discussions on, (1) The laws of nature as affecting man, or as resulting from his endowments and characteristics, that is, his wants, capacities, and feelings, in given conditions and circumstances as fixed limits to the choice of means and to the imposition of social or conventional laws. (2) The object of a state as a body corporate, and of the relations between a government and its subjects and allies. (3) The civic regulations by which the polity of a state may be best managed. (4) The means to be employed for the practical accomplishment of the affairs of states as they arise and demand attention in the course of events. (5) The political economy to be adopted by a state, that is, the means by which industry, effort, intelligence, and accumulations may liave the fullest scope and freest development for the augmentation of human welfare, and the increase and stability of individual bappiness. (6) The history of politics, or the means taken to secure the ends of government as it may be inferred from the allusions made to politics, customs, and laws, to be found in literature, in the facts of life, on monu. ments, &c. (7) The historical records of the states of Europe, the systems of government pursued in them, the results flowing from these various systems, and the changes which have been necessitated in them or bave occurred in them to adapt them to the changes taking place in the thoughts, feelings, aspirations, and conditions of man. (8) Statistics as a series of effects and as the data whence certain general inferences regarding the averages of life, the effects of customs, taxation, laws, &c., may be deduced and made the grounds of demands for change, or defences against proposed alterations. (9) The constitutional laws of states, as the script or written legislation on the various relations of life in different circumstances in these several states or communities. (10) The practical laws of special states, their effects on the manners, customs, and habits of those who are subject to them, and the manner in which these are interpreted, applied, or ignored in judicial assemblies or in public life. (11) Diplomacy, or the international regulations of states for their political existence and the safety of their subjects as regards their rights, property, and life. (12) The forms, styles, and technical management of public business in different countries.
Of course all political affairs depend upon the right and proper registration of the facts which arise or occur in a state. We can neither reason nor act wisely or well unless we can secure trustworthy records of facts, true history, and thorough statistics. These should supply an accurate description of the different possible existing governments, should enable us to comprehend all the possible varieties of states which are involved in the idea of actual political government. This should furnish us with the means of correct definitions of the sereral forms of bodies corporate. Descriptive politics should inform us what is, and what results from what is. Speculative politics ought to inform us what ought to be, and show us the results rationally to be expected to flow from what is proposed as right. The former should detail to us the customs and practices of positive politics ; the latter ought to provide us with a criticism of these. We have a right to demand from speculative politics, after it has been furnished with veritable information, regarding (a) what a state is ; (6) what are the functions of a state ; (c) whạt are the conditions indispensable to the existence and independence of a state ; (d) what are the agencies by which a state fulfils its functions; and (e) what are the possible relations that can exist between state and state, some critical estimate of the relative advantages and disadvantages, not only of the nature of different forms of political bodies but of their principles, and some guidance in the considerations involved in the alteration of old laws or the making of new ones. As jurisprudence has become a science overruling and guiding, because criticising and estimating, proposed or actual legislation, so should politics, in becoming philosophical, rise above the petty crafts of practice and executive management, and show us the conditions of the right, the true, the suitable, and the best. What are the relative duties and obligations of states to states, of states to subjects, and of subjects to states ? and what are the principles upon which the equity of all these possible interferences of man with man can be reconciled and unified, shown to