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cal people are not all the inhabitants of the globe, but of a certain definite territory, he abandons his doctrine of popular sovereignty, by transferring the sovereignty from the people to the territory, and making the people sovereign, not because they are people, but because they are inhabitants of a sovereign territory.
Nor will he, in this case, be obliged merely to abandon popular sovereignty for territorial sovereignty, but he must abandon even this last for an authority more ultimate than territory. The territory can be a sovereign territory, only by virtue of a competent authority which marks and defines it. This authority cannot be the people, for till it has acted, and, through territory, marked and defined them, the people do not exist. It must be, then, an authority independent of both people and territory. Be it what it may, without it there can be no sovereign people, and with it none, because then, not they, but it is the sovereign, - at
least, the source and foundation of the sovereignty.
Who, then, are the people, of the majority of whom the reviewer predicates his native, underived sovereignty? There are many distinct peoples on the globe, as the American, the English, French, German, Italian, &c. Now, when he predicates sovereignty of the people, is it of the people in the sense of one of these distinct, so to speak, individual, peoples ? But this people exists already as a unity, as a one people, as an individuality. He has, then, no right to take the people in this sense ; for the people so existing are not in the state of a primary sovereignty. There must have been something, by virtue of which they were made a one people ; and that, the moment it is assumed, becomes the origin and ground of their sovereignty, and they can, at best, possess only a derived sovereignty, not a primary and fundamental sovereignty.
The answer, then, that the sovereign people are one of these peoples, would not suffice for the reviewer's doctrine.
To meet the demands of his own doctrine, the reviewer has no resort but that of predicating sovereignty of the people, regarded merely as population, or
more strictly, as persons, and of holding persons to be sovereign by right of their own manhood. Will he take this ground? We presume he will, and very cheerfully. But persons carry their personality, their manhood, with them, always and everywhere. Then he must assume them to be sovereign, in their own native might and right, irrespective of time and place. In this case, the sovereignty is not a national right, but a personal right, and to be predicated of no definite number of persons. The State, then, must be composed of any number of individuals who choose to come together; and the majority of these, — be the number larger or smaller, — will have, according to the reviewer's theory, the right to make such laws as they please. What, then, but their own voluntary act, binds any portion of these persons to the State ? Nothing, of course. The right of expatriation must, therefore, be regarded as perfect, unlimited ; and as the country is not the territory, but the association of persons, expatriation can only mean withdrawing from the association. Then, what is to prevent any number of individuals from seceding from the State, and forming themselves into a new State, whenever they choose? Admit this, and there is an end of government. The State is resolved into a mere voluntary association of individuals, who of course are, and can be, bound to continue associates no longer than suits their interest, convenience, or caprice. The members who should incur the penalty of the laws of the association would, doubtless, find it for their interest to escape the penalty; and all they would need to do, would be to secede from the State, resolve themselves into a new sovereign State, and thus place themselves beyond the reach of the laws they had violated.
“ But not if they continued to reside on the same territory.” But this answer is precluded; for the moment we begin to talk of territory, we are out of democracy, and are predicating sovereignty of the territory, not of the persons. We are now reasoning on the hypothesis that sovereignty inheres in the people
as persons, irrespective of time and place. We predicate it, then, of the people as an indefinite number of persons, not of the inhabitants of a sovereign territory; nor of the people organized, or constituted, into one people, a nation. Consequently, any number of persons, large enough to admit of the distinction of majority and minority, that is to say, any three persons, may, at any time, and in any place, where they chance to be, form themselves into a voluntary association, and claim and exercise all the attributes of sovereignty. Any three persons may, then, at any time, and in any place, secede from the association, and declare themselves a new sovereign State, and thus set the laws they may have broken at defiance. Can any thing worthy of the name of government coëxist with the practical assertion of such a doctrine as this?
But our difficulties do not end even here. The reviewer, if he assumes the State to be merely a voluntary association of persons, must abandon even his doctrine of popular sovereignty. The State, if a voluntary association, can have no rights, and, therefore, no sovereignty, but the sum of the rights ceded to it by the individual members. It has, then, and can have, no inherent sovereignty, no native, underived right to command. The people, politically considered, are not, then, the primary and fundamental sovereignty; for their authority is not inherent in them, but derived from the individuals composing the association. There could be, in this case, no sovereign people, but merely sovereign persons.
According to the Democratic Review, all men, touching their rights, are equal one to another. All, then, are equally sovereigns. One, then, can have no inherent right to govern another. Their relations to one another are those of sovereign States, - each is independent of the other. The whole cannot transcend the sum of the parts ; and since there is in the parts no authority to govern one another, it follows, necessarily, that there can be no authority in the whole to govern the parts, or the individual members. Consequently,
VOL. I. NO. II.
there is, if we assume the State to be a voluntary association of persons, equal one to the other, no rightful authority in the community to govern at all.
The exigencies of the reviewer's theory compel him to define the State to be a voluntary association of individuals. All his arguments against us rest for their validity on the hypothesis, that the State is a voluntary association. If he does not adopt this hypothesis, why does he contend, in opposition to our doctrine, that suffrage and eligibility are not matters of municipal regulation, but natural rights, — rights which we hold by virtue of our manhood ? Does he not himself define liberty to be the admission and guaranty in the case of every man, if he be a man, of his native, inherent right to be an equal member of the State? Can he conceive it possible for liberty to coexist with the absence of universal suffrage and eligibility, and not because they are its indispensable conditions, but because they are it ? What means all this, if not that the State should be, and that every free State is, the free, voluntary association of individuals ? Does he not hold, that the assent of the governed, or of a major part of them, is the origin and foundation of the legitimacy of government? Does he not also hold, that this assent should be free, voluntary; for a forced assent is no assent at all ? Most certainly ; for this, if we understand it, is his very theory of government. The authority of the people does not vest in them as a political unity, but in the people as individuals, as persons, and the political unity or state is the free, voluntary creation of the people as persons, coming together in their own way, and in such time and place as they please. Do we not state his doctrine correctly? If so, the State is, and can be, nothing but a voluntary association of individuals. Where, then, is the sovereign people? Where is the authority to govern?
Will the reviewer say, that it is the assent of the individuals composing the association ? This is the only answer he can give; but this answer virtually denies all government. Government that does not govern is not government. Government is, and must be, authority exercised over subjects. It is either this or nothing. So far as the individual has a right to resist its action, or so far as it must depend on the will of the individual for its authority, it is a perversion of language, as well as of common sense, to call it, in relation to that individual, government. When the State may exercise no authority over individuals, but by their assent, the authority exercised is not the authority of the State, but : of the individuals whose assent is necessary. But the individual over whom no authority may be exercised but his own, is not under government, and can, in no sense, be said to be governed at all. What other definition could be given of no government? How would you describe a man not subject to any government at all, but by saying, he is one who is subject to no authority but that of his own will ? Here, then, is the conclusion to which we must
If we deny the existence of an authority outside of the voluntary association, to mark and define the people as a political individual, we must assume the State to be a voluntary association of persons; if we define it to be a voluntary association of persons, we allow it no authority to govern but what is derived from the voluntary assent of the individual members; and individuals who can be subjected to no authority but their own will, are free of all government. Are we not right, then, in declaring the reviewer's doctrine to be tantamount to no government ?
II. We proceed now to consider our second proposition, namely: But democracy, admitting it to be a government, is Not A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS THE RIGHT
We have already virtually established this proposition; but it may be well to consider it yet further. The question concerns not the mode or medium adopted for the administration of government, nor the agents selected by authority for administering its practical affairs, whether in the legislative, judicial, or executive