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sure to have a large number of enemies within its pale. And the second, that the many, whatever their individual deficiencies, may collectively be superior to the few; as those who have to live in a house may be not bad judges of its merits, though unversed in the art of building; as the guests at a dinner, though themselves no cooks, may form a sound conclusion upon the cuisine. But "while the State consists of a number of individuals, those individuals are different in kind. It is impossible to form a State, all the members of which are alike. The parts which are to constitute a single organic whole must be different in kind." This inequality must be recognised, under pain of falsehood, that is of injustice, for, he reminds us, the words "unjust" and "false" are virtually the same. And here, in a few pregnant sentences, he answers two sets of opponents. "The one part," he says, "holds that justice is equality, and so it is, not indeed for all the world, but only for equals. The other maintains that inequality is just, as it is, in truth, for unequals, not for all the world." Again, he will not consent to regard as citizens all who are indispensable to the existence of the State. Thus-not to speak of slaves and aliens-he holds that artisans are "naturally servile," and thinks that in a well-regulated polity citizenship should not be conferred upon any mechanic. The general outcome would seem to be that the State-Aristotle had, of course, a town
11.] LIBERTY IN THE HELLENIC REPUBLICS. 23
autonomy in view -is the development of the earlier associations, the family and the village, and is the stage in which independence (avтápκeia) is first attained; that it depends, like the household, upon a common interest in a common morality; that it is the instrument of the ethical development of man as enabling him to realise that justice, in the perception and practice of which lies his true nobility; and that the best polity will bestow some share of power upon all citizens, but in view of the capital fact of human inequality, will regulate the degree of power according to the capacity to cooperate towards the true end of the social organism. That end, as we have seen, is the higher life, which means for the individual the attainment of such moral and intellectual perfection as his faculties and environment permit.
The polity which Aristotle describes was, indeed, an ideal polity. But it was an ideal designed after consideration of the commonwealths actually existing around him. Nor is it too much to assert that, in its most essential features, it was realised in some of them. And yet we are roundly told by eminent writers-by M. Fustel de Coulanges, for examplethat "individual liberty was unknown to the ancients" ("les anciens n'ont pas connu la liberté individuelle") that "there was nothing in the whole man, as he existed in the Greek republics, which was independent." With the greatest respect for this learned and accomplished author, I must
enter a protest against such sweeping assertions. I am far from denying that even the greatest schools of Hellenic philosophy underrated the will as an element in man. The capital problem of our ethical nature, the moral consciousness of the Ego, received inadequate attention from them. Hence the imperfection attaching to all their notions of human liberty. But is it conceivable that individual freedom was altogether unknown to Aristotle when he wrote the Politics? or to his master, Socrates, when, as we read in the Memorabilia, he characterised it as man's most precious and noble possession? Was there nothing independent in Pericles and Cleisthenes, in Aristophanes and Sophocles, in Plato and Thucydides? "But the State was omnipotent; person and property and religion were absolutely under its control." Yes. Let us not, however, forget that the State was held to be founded upon justice. And by justice was meant not the will of one man or of many men, but a spiritual, a divine dictate, independent of all experience, transcending all human convention, which was the rule of right action. "Le véritable législateur chez les anciens," M. Fustel de Coulanges truly says, (6 ce ne fut pas l'homme, ce fut la croyance religieuse que l'homme Hence the dictum of Plato, that to
avait en soi." *
obey the laws was to obey the gods. Hence the
*La Cité Antique, Liv. III. c. 10.
THE GERM OF ALL LIBERTIES.
extreme conservatism of the Hellenic republics, the vast difficulty of effecting any change in their usages and institutions. Law was merely religion regulating society, and assuring to the individual the only liberty which was supposed to belong to him, his liberty as a citizen. Of the man apart from the citizen it knew nothing. The individual was of account only in the town autonomy of which he was an integral part: always its armed defender; by turns its magistrate and diplomatist; his single life at once lost and found in its larger corporate life. For the liberties that have grown up in the two thousand years which separate us from the time of Aristotle, religious liberty, contractual liberty, educational liberty, testamentary liberty, we shall seek in vain in that ancient Hellenic world. might as well expect to find there the telephone or the steam engine. These things belong to a different stage of human development. But in the civic liberty which we do find there, as a living, energising fact, is the germ of all other liberties. The rights of man have sprung from the rights of the citizen. It is a saying of Goethe that the liberty of mankind was begun in Greece. His forgetfulness of the world's debt to the Hebrew prophets, for their vindication of the sacredness of the moral Ego, is characteristic. Still, unquestionable it is, that those old Hellenic republics were the harbingers, we may say the first missionaries, of freedom in
the Western world.
unwarranted when he wrote:
Nor was Shelley altogether
"Let there be light,' said Liberty,
And, like sunrise from the sea,
The real political progress of Europe from those days until now consists in the gradual vindication of the personal, social, and public prerogatives which make up individual freedom. individual freedom. We may call it the evolution of the individual in the social organism, or federation of organisms, of which he is the cell where each exists for all and all for each, and the life of each is multiplied by the common life of all. What the august jurisprudence of Rome achieved for the liberty of person and property is an oft-told tale, which I need not repeat. But I may, in passing, point out how closely the two liberties are connected. At the dawn of human history, neither personal freedom nor single ownership can be said to have existed. The social unit was not the individual but the family, whose head possessed despotic power over the members. Common, not single, possession prevailed. For long ages, the unemancipated son differed nothing from a slave. Personal liberty and private property rose together; they developed together; and let us lay that truth to heart-they now stand or fall together. The special contribution of the Roman jurisprudents to human freedom is their working out, with cool, calm logic, of the