It is not difficult to see why this incapacity of organized combination characterizes savages, and disappears with the growth of civilization. Co-operation, like other difficult things, can be learnt only by practice: and to be capable of it in great things, a people must be gradually trained to it in small. Now, the whole course of advancing civilization is a series of such training. The labourer in a rude state of society works singly, or if several are brought to work together by the will of a master, they work side by side, but not in concert; one man digs his piece of ground, another digs a similar piece of ground close by him. In the situation of an ignorant labourer, tilling even his own field with his own , and no one except his wife and his children, what is there that can teach him to co-operate? The division of employments—the accomplishment by the combined labour of several, of tasks which could not be achieved by any number of persons singly—is the great school of co-operation. What a lesson, for instance, is navigation, as soon as it passes out of its first simple stage; the safety of all, constantly depending upon the vigilant performance by each, of the part peculiarly allotted to him in the common task. Military operations, when not wholly undisciplined, are a similar school; so are all the operations of commerce and manufactures which require the employment of many hands upon the same thing at the same time. By these operations, mankind learn the value of combination; they see how much and with what ease it accomplishes, which never could be accomplished without it; they learn a practical lesson of submitting themselves to guidance, and subduing themselves to act as interdependent parts of a complex whole. A people thus progressively trained to combination by the business of their lives, become capable of carrying the same habits into new things. For it holds universally, that the one only mode of learning to do anything, is actually doing something of the same kind under easier circumstances. Habits of discipline once acquired, qualify human beings to accomplish all other things for which discipline is needed. No longer either spurning control, or incapable of seeing its advantages; whenever any object presents itself which can be attained by co-operation, and which they see or believe to be beneficial, they are ripe for attaining it.
The more I advanced in the study of American society the more I perceived that the equality of conditions was the fundamental fact from which all others seemed to be derived, and the central point at which all my observations constantly terminated. I then turned my thoughts to our own hemisphere, and imagined that I discerned there also something analogous to the spectacle which the New World presented to me. I observed that the equality of conditions, though it has not yet reached, as in the United States, its extreme limits, is daily progressing towards them; and that the democracy which governs the American communities appears to be rapidly rising into power in Europe. From that moment I conceived the idea of the book which is now before the reader.
These guidelines provide youwith steps in that direction.Good luck.
Identification of interest between the rulers and the ruled, being, therefore, in a literal sense, impossible to be realized, be spoken of as a condition which a government must absolutely fulfil; but as an end to be incessantly aimed at, and approximated to as nearly as circumstances render possible, and as is compatible with the regard due to other ends. For identity of interest, even if it were wholly attainable, not being the sole requisite of good government, expediency may require that we should sacrifice some portion of it, or (to speak more precisely) content ourselves with a somewhat less approximation to it than might possibly be attainable, for the sake of some other end.
Our author has no great difficulty in disposing of this theory:
In what manner is harmony maintained among these jarring elements? How is so minute a division of the governing power rendered compatible with the existence of government? Since the concurrence of so many wills is necessary to the working of the machine, by what means is that concurrence obtained? The town-officers, for instance, are often the sole agency provided for executing the laws made or orders issued by the federal or by the state government; but those authorities can neither dismiss them if they disobey, nor promote them to a higher post in their department, for zealous service. How, then, is their obedience secured?
We can add nothing to this masterly exposure.
This check, however, cannot suffice for all cases; for, in the first place, the authorities may be accountable to different constituencies. In a dispute, for instance, between the officers of a township and the state government, or between the federal government and a state, the constituents of each party may support their representatives in the quarrel. Moreover, the check often operates too slowly, and is not of a sufficiently energetic character for the graver delinquencies.
“” says M. de Tocqueville in the opening of his work,
The share of the tribunals in the government of the United States is of a most extensive and important kind. The tribunals are the supreme arbiters between each member of the sovereignty and every other. Not only are all executive officers amenable to them for acts done in their public capacity, but the legislatures themselves are so. They cannot, indeed, punish a legislature for having overstepped its authority, but they can set aside its acts. They are avowedly empowered to refuse to enforce any law, whether enacted by the federal or by the state legislatures, which they consider unconstitutional.