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ble to amend the Federal Constitution. This Constitution, he holds, probably does prevent us from securing some of the social reforms which we need and which other countries provide. He says:
“ It is believed, that there are few persons having the welfare of this country really at heart or not blinded by prejudice or class-interest, who will assert that the conditions of the American people are so peculiar that we should close for them the avenues open to other peoples through which orderly and progressive social development in accordance with changing economic and social conditions may proceed. Few can refrain from asking the question why Americans alone of all peoples should be denied the possibility of political and social change (p. 333).”
One measure which he suggests is “ that no court shall decide an act of a legislative body to be unconstitutional, unless the decision is reached by the unanimous action of the members of the court or by the action of any majority that might be determined upon." But the main remedy for decisions which give so rigid a meaning to the Constitution as to prevent reasonable change is discussion and criticism. After referring to various criticisms, he says:
“In these days of rapid economic and social change, when it is more necessary than ever before that our law should be flexible and adapt itself with reasonable celerity to the changing phenomena of life, it is on this criticism amply justified by our history that we must rely if we are to hope for that orderly and progressive development which we regard as characteristic of modern civilization.”
It scarcely need be added that criticism is not just the same thing as faultfinding. Criticism implies pointing out both the good and the bad and giving reasons so
that reasonable persons can judge whether the critic is right. Faultfinding seldom does any good. Genuine criticism which aims to get at the truth and to bring out clearly what is for the public good is welcomed by intelligent and progressive men.
Another method proposed for making the will of Recall of the people prevail in certain cases where the courts have decisions decided that a given law is unconstitutional is the “recall of decisions." This would refer certain types of laws, passed for the general welfare, but declared unconstitutional by a state court, to a vote of the people for final determination. The proposal of this method came in a political campaign, and the plan was as violently denounced by one party as it was strongly favored by the other. Since the proposal and discussion of this plan, an amendment to the New York constitution has been adopted which is in its idea almost precisely a recall of the famous Ives decision declaring the workman's compensation law unconstitutional. For it does not change anything that was in the constitution of New York, but only provides how this shall be interpreted. It says, “ Nothing contained in this constitution shall be construed to limit the power of the Legislature to enact laws for the protection of the lives, or safety of employees; or for the payment . . of compensation for injuries, etc.” The adoption of this amendment indicates a method of changing the interpretation of constitutions according to our customary method of proceeding, that is, by amending the constitution.
More important, as showing the ability of the people The Conto secure what they strongly and persistently desire, has stitution been the recent adoption of two amendments to the can be
amended Federal Constitution, the one providing for the direct
election of senators by the people of their states, the other providing for the power of Congress to levy an income tax. Both these amendments are strongly democratic. The first makes the senators much more directly representatives of the people. It therefore overthrows the idea of the makers of the Constitution that the senators should be chosen by the legislatures. The Income Tax amendment and the Income Tax law make it possible to raise a part of the revenue for carrying on the government by a tax upon those who are best able to pay it. During the Civil War the United States Government raised money by this form of tax. The Supreme Court had held it to be constitutional, although the language of the Constitution might be regarded as doubtful. But when such a law providing for a tax on incomes was passed by Congress again in 1894, the court, by a vote of five to four, declared it to be unconstitutional. The Sixteenth Amendment * gives clearly to the Congress a power which, according to the view of the court, the makers of the Constitution had not intended to grant.
These amendments may compel us to change our view as to the impossibility of amending the Constitution of the United States. The only important amendments before these had been (1) the series adopted almost immediately to secure the liberties and rights which some feared were threatened by the new Constitution; and (2) the series adopted at the close of the Civil War to make slavery impossible and secure equal rights to all. The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amend
*“ The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived, without apportionment among the several states and without regard to any census or enumeration."
ments show that democracy, even in times of peace, may compel change if the country is really in earnest, although many very likely voted for the Income Tax with the fear that if this were not passed a revolution might come.
DEMOCRACY AS EQUALITY-GOVERNMENT
FOR THE PEOPLE
Largest meaning of democracy
HE finest and largest meaning of democracy is
that all people should share as largely as pos
sible in the best life. This is a view not so much about government itself as about what government is for. It is indeed closely connected with the idea of self-government, because, as we have said, one of the greatest factors in the best life is to be free and responsible,—that is, to govern oneself. But there are many other things besides self-government which belong in good life. Education is one of them. Enough wealth to keep us well-fed, well-clothed, and warm, to provide us comforts, and to enable us to share these with our friends, is another. Recreation to give our minds and bodies free opportunity for change and growth, and to keep us from growing old too fast is another. Good books, good music, beautiful pictures, noble buildings, the opportunity to enjoy trees, open fields, and splendid mountains, are for many among the choicest of goods. “If I had two loaves of bread," said Mahomet, “I would sell one and buy a hyacinth to feed my soul.”
As to all these good things, two very different views have been held. The one is that these best things should be for a few. The other is that they should be for all. The first view is that of Inequality. The second view is that of Equality. The first view was
Who should have the best things?