Max Weber on the Ethics of Conviction and the Ethics of Responsibility

Excerpt from Politics as a Vocation

One can say that three pre-eminent qualities are decisive for the politician: passion, a feeling of responsibility, and a sense of proportion.

This means passion in the sense of matter-of-factness, of passionate devotion to a ‘cause,’ to the god or demon who is its overlord. It is not passion in the sense of that inner bearing which my late friend, Georg Simmel, used to designate as ‘sterile excitation,’ and which was peculiar especially to a certain type of Russian intellectual (by no means all of them!). It is an excitation that plays so great a part with our intellectuals in this carnival we decorate with the proud name of ‘revolution.’ It is a ‘romanticism of the intellectually interesting,’ running into emptiness devoid of all feeling of objective responsibility.

To be sure, mere passion, however genuinely felt, is not enough. It does not make a politician, unless passion as devotion to a ‘cause’ also makes responsibility to this cause the guiding star of action. And for this, a sense of proportion is needed. This is the decisive psychological quality of the politician: his ability to let realities work upon him with inner concentration and calmness. Hence his distance to things and men. ‘Lack of distance’ per se is one of the deadly sins of every politician. It is one of those qualities the breeding of which will condemn the progeny of our intellectuals to political incapacity. For the problem is simply how can warm passion and a cool sense of proportion be forged together in one and the same soul? Politics is made with the head, not with other parts of the body or soul. And yet devotion to politics, if it is not to be frivolous intellectual play but rather genuinely human conduct, can be born and nourished from passion alone. However, that firm taming of the soul, which distinguishes the passionate politician and differentiates him from the ‘sterilely excited’ and mere political dilettante, is possible only through habituation to detachment in every sense of the word. The ‘strength’ of a political ‘personality’ means, in the first place, the possession of these qualities of passion, responsibility, and proportion.

Therefore, daily and hourly, the politician inwardly has to overcome a quite trivial and all-too-human enemy: a quite vulgar vanity, the deadly enemy of all matter of-fact devotion to a cause, and of all distance, in this case, of distance towards one’s self.

Vanity is a very widespread quality and perhaps nobody is entirely free from it. In academic and scholarly circles, vanity is a sort of occupational disease, but precisely with the scholar, vanity–however disagreeably it may express itself–is relatively harmless; in the sense that as a rule it does not disturb scientific enterprise. With the politician the case is quite different. He works with the striving for power as an unavoidable means. Therefore, ‘power instinct,’ as is usually said, belongs indeed to his normal qualities. The sin against the lofty spirit of his vocation, however, begins where this striving for power ceases to be objective and becomes purely personal self-intoxication, instead of exclusively entering the service of ‘the cause.’ For ultimately there are only two kinds of deadly sins in the field of politics: lack of objectivity and–often but not always identical with it–irresponsibility. Vanity, the need personally to stand in the foreground as clearly as possible, strongly tempts the politician to commit one or both of these sins. This is more truly the case as the demagogue is compelled to count upon ‘effect.’ He therefore is constantly in danger of becoming an actor as well as taking lightly the responsibility for the outcome of his actions and of being concerned merely with the ‘impression’ he makes. His lack of objectivity tempts him to strive for the glamorous semblance of power rather than for actual power. His irresponsibility, however, suggests that he enjoy power merely for power’s sake without a substantive purpose. Although, or rather just because, power is the unavoidable means, and striving for power is one of the driving forces of all politics, there is no more harmful distortion of political force than the parvenu-like braggart with power, and the vain self-reflection in the feeling of power, and in general every worship of power per se. The mere ‘power politician’ may get strong effects, but actually his work leads nowhere and is senseless. (Among us, too, an ardently promoted cult seeks to glorify him.) In this, the critics of ‘power politics’ are absolutely right. From the sudden inner collapse of typical representatives of this mentality, we can see what inner weakness and impotence hides behind this boastful but entirely empty gesture. It is a product of a shoddy and superficially blase attitude towards the meaning of human conduct; and it has no relation whatsoever to the knowledge of tragedy with which all action, but especially political action, is truly interwoven.

The final result of political action often, no, even regularly, stands in completely inadequate and often even paradoxical relation to its original meaning. This is fundamental to all history, a point not to be proved in detail here. But because of this fact, the serving of a cause must not be absent if action is to have inner strength. Exactly what the cause, in the service of which the politician strives for power and uses power, looks like is a matter of faith. The politician may serve national, humanitarian, social, ethical, cultural, worldly, or religious ends. The politician may be sustained by a strong belief in ‘progress’–no matter in which sense–or he may coolly reject this kind of belief. He may claim to stand in the service of an ‘idea’ or, rejecting this in principle, he may want to serve external ends of everyday life. However, some kind of faith must always exist. Otherwise, it is absolutely true that the curse of the creature’s worthlessness overshadows even the externally strongest political successes.

With the statement above we are already engaged in discussing the last problem that concerns us tonight: the ethos of politics as a ‘cause.’ What calling can politics fulfil quite independently of its goals within the total ethical economy of human conduct–which is, so to speak, the ethical locus where politics is at home? Here, to be sure, ultimate Weltanschauungen clash, world views among which in the end one has to make a choice. Let us resolutely tackle this problem, which recently has been opened again, in my view in a very wrong way.

But first, let us free ourselves from a quite trivial falsification: namely, that ethics may first appear in a morally highly compromised role. Let us consider examples. Rarely will you find that a man whose love turns from one woman to another feels no need to legitimate this before himself by saying: she was not worthy of my love, or, she has disappointed me, or whatever other like ‘reasons’ exist. This is an attitude that, with a profound lack of chivalry, adds a fancied ‘legitimacy’ to the plain fact that he no longer loves her and that the woman has to bear it. By virtue of this ‘legitimation,’ the man claims a right for himself and besides causing the misfortune seeks to put her in the wrong. The successful amatory competitor proceeds exactly in the same way: namely, the opponent must be less worthy, otherwise he would not have lost out. It is no different, of course, if after a victorious war the victor in undignified self-righteousness claims, ‘I have won because I was right.’ Or, if somebody under the frightfulness of war collapses psychologically, and instead of simply saying it was just too much, he feels the need of legitimizing his war weariness to himself by substituting the feeling, ‘I could not bear it because I had to fight for a morally bad cause.’ And likewise with the defeated in war. Instead of searching like old women for the ‘guilty one’ after the war–in a situation in which the structure of society produced the war–everyone with a manly and controlled attitude would tell the enemy, ‘We lost the war. You have won it. That is now all over. Now let us discuss what conclusions must be drawn according to the objective interests that came into play and what is the main thing in view of the responsibility towards the future which above all burdens the victor.’ Anything else is undignified and will become a boomerang. A nation forgives if its interests have been damaged, but no nation forgives if its honor has been offended, especially by a bigoted self-righteousness. Every new document that comes to light after decades revives the undignified lamentations, the hatred and scorn, instead of allowing the war at its end to be buried, at least morally. This is possible only through objectivity and chivalry and above all only through dignity. But never is it possible through an ‘ethic,’ which in truth signifies a lack of dignity on both sides. Instead of being concerned about what the politician is interested in, the future and the responsibility towards the future, this ethic is concerned about politically sterile questions of past guilt, which are not to be settled politically. To act in this way is politically guilty, if such guilt exists at all. And it overlooks the unavoidable falsification of the whole problem, through very material interests: namely, the victor’s interest in the greatest possible moral and material gain; the hopes of the defeated to trade in advantages through confessions of guilt. If anything is ‘vulgar,’ then, this is, and it is the result of this fashion of exploiting ‘ethics’ as a means of ‘being in the right.’

Now then, what relations do ethics and politics actually have? Have the two nothing whatever to do with one another, as has occasionally been said? Or, is the reverse true: that the ethic of political conduct is identical with that of any other conduct ? Occasionally an exclusive choice has been believed to exist between the two propositions–either the one or the other proposition must be correct. But is it true that any ethic of the world could establish commandments of identical content for erotic, business, familial, and official relations; for the relations to one’s wife, to the greengrocer, the son, the competitor, the friend, the defendant? Should it really matter so little for the ethical demands on politics that politics operates with very special means, namely, power backed up by violence? Do we not see that the Bolshevik and the Spartacist ideologists bring about exactly the same results as any militaristic dictator just because they use this political means? In what but the persons of the power-holders and their dilettantism does the rule of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils differ from the rule of any power-holder of the old regime? In what way does the polemic of most representatives of the presumably new ethic differ from that of the opponents which they criticized, or the ethic of any other demagogues ? In their noble intention, people will say. Good! But it is the means about which we speak here, and the adversaries, in complete subjective sincerity, claim, in the very same way, that their ultimate intentions are of lofty character. ‘All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword’ and fighting is everywhere fighting. Hence, the ethic of the Sermon on the Mount.

By the Sermon on the Mount, we mean the absolute ethic of the gospel, which is a more serious matter than those who are fond of quoting these commandments today believe. This ethic is no joking matter. The same holds for this ethic as has been said of causality in science: it is not a cab, which one can have stopped at one’s pleasure; it is all or nothing. This is precisely the meaning of the gospel, if trivialities are not to result. Hence, for instance, it was said of the wealthy young man, ‘He went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ The evangelist commandment, however, is unconditional and unambiguous: give what thou hast–absolutely everything. The politician will say that this is a socially senseless imposition as long as it is not carried out everywhere. Thus the politician upholds taxation, confiscatory taxation, out-right confiscation; in a word, compulsion and regulation for all. The ethical commandment, however, is not at all concerned about that, and this unconcern is its essence. Or, take the example, ‘turn the other cheek’: This command is unconditional and does not question the source of the other’s authority to strike. Except for a saint it is an ethic of indignity. This is it: one must be saintly in everything; at least in intention, one must live like Jesus, the apostles, St. Francis, and their like. Then this ethic makes sense and expresses a kind of dignity; otherwise it does not. For if it is said, in line with the acosmic ethic of love, ‘Resist not him that is evil with force,’ for the politician the reverse proposition holds, ‘thou shalt resist evil by force,’ or else you are responsible for the evil winning out. He who wishes to follow the ethic of the gospel should abstain from strikes, for strikes mean compulsion; he may join the company unions. Above all things, he should not talk of ‘revolution.’ After all, the ethic of the gospel does not wish to teach that civil war is the only legitimate war. The pacifist who follows the gospel will refuse to bear arms or will throw them down; in Germany this was the recommended ethical duty to end the war and therewith all wars. The politician would say the only sure means to discredit the war for all foreseeable time would have been a status quo peace. Then the nations would have questioned, what was this war for? And then the war would have been argued ad absurdum, which is now impossible. For the victors, at least for part of them, the war will have been politically profitable. And the responsibility for this rests on behavior that made all resistance impossible for us. Now, as a result of the ethics of absolutism, when the period of exhaustion will have passed, the peace will be discredited, not the war.

Finally, let us consider the duty of truthfulness. For the absolute ethic it holds unconditionally. Hence the conclusion was reached to publish all documents, especially those placing blame on one’s own country. On the basis of these one-sided publications the confessions of guilt followed–and they were one-sided, unconditional, and without regard to consequences. The politician will find that as a result truth will not be furthered but certainly obscured through abuse and unleashing of passion; only an all-round methodical investigation by non-partisans could bear fruit; any other procedure may have consequences for a nation that cannot be remedied for decades. But the absolute ethic just does not ask for ‘consequences.’ That is the decisive point.

We must be clear about the fact that all ethically oriented conduct may be guided by one of two fundamentally differing and irreconcilably opposed maxims: conduct can be oriented to an ‘ethic of ultimate ends’ or to an ‘ethic of responsibility.’ This is not to say that an ethic of ultimate ends is identical with irresponsibility, or that an ethic of responsibility is identical with unprincipled opportunism. Naturally nobody says that. However, there is an abysmal contrast between conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of ultimate ends–that is, in religious terms, ‘The Christian does rightly and leaves the results with the Lord’–and conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of responsibility, in which case one has to give an account of the foreseeable results of one’s action.

You may demonstrate to a convinced syndicalist, believing in an ethic of ultimate ends, that his action will result in increasing the opportunities of reaction, in increasing the oppression of his class, and obstructing its ascent–and you will not make the slightest impression upon him. If an action of good intent leads to bad results, then, in the actor’s eyes, not he but the world, or the stupidity of other men, or God’s will who made them thus, is responsible for the evil. However a man who believes in an ethic of responsibility takes account of precisely the average deficiencies of people; as Fichte has correctly said, he does not even have the right to presuppose their goodness and perfection. He does not feel in a position to burden others with the results of his own actions so far as he was able to foresee them; he will say: these results are ascribed to my action. The believer in an ethic of ultimate ends feels ‘responsible’ only for seeing to it that the flame of pure intentions is not quelched: for example, the flame of protesting against the injustice of the social order. To rekindle the flame ever anew is the purpose of his quite irrational deeds, judged in view of their possible success. They are acts that can and shall have only exemplary value.

But even herewith the problem is not yet exhausted. No ethics in the world can dodge the fact that in numerous instances the attainment of ‘good’ ends is bound to the fact that one must be willing to pay the price of using morally dubious means or at least dangerous ones –and facing the possibility or even the probability of evil ramifications. From no ethics in the world can it be concluded when and to what extent the ethically good purpose ‘justifies’ the ethically dangerous means and ramifications.

The decisive means for politics is violence. You may see the extent of the tension between means and ends, when viewed ethically, from the following: as is generally known, even during the war the revolutionary socialists (Zimmerwald faction) professed a principle that one might strikingly formulate: ‘If we face the choice either of some more years of war and then revolution, or peace now and no revolution, we choose–some more years of war!’ Upon the further question: ‘What can this revolution bring about?’ every scientifically trained socialist would have had the answer: One cannot speak of a transition to an economy that in our sense could be called socialist; a bourgeois economy will re-emerge, merely stripped of the feudal elements and the dynastic vestiges. For this very modest result, they are willing to face ‘some more years of war.’ One may well say that even with a very robust socialist conviction one might reject a purpose that demands such means. With Bolshevism and Spartacism, and, in general, with any kind of revolutionary socialism, it is precisely the same thing. It is of course utterly ridiculous if the power politicians of the old regime are morally denounced for their use of the same means, however justified the rejection of their aims may be.

The ethic of ultimate ends apparently must go to pieces on the problem of the justification of means by ends. As a matter of fact, logically it has only the possibility of rejecting all action that employs morally dangerous means–in theory! In the world of realities, as a rule, we encounter the ever-renewed experience that the adherent of an ethic of ultimate ends suddenly turns into a chiliastic prophet. Those, for example, who have just preached ‘love against violence’ now call for the use of force for the last violent deed, which would then lead to a state of affairs in which all violence is annihilated. In the same manner, our officers told the soldiers before every offensive: ‘This will be the last one; this one will bring victory and therewith peace.’ The proponent of an ethic of absolute ends cannot stand up under the ethical irrationality of the world. He is a cosmic-ethical ‘rationalist.’ Those of you who know Dostoievski will remember the scene of the ‘Grand Inquisitor,’ where the problem is poignantly unfolded. If one makes any concessions at all to the principle that the end justifies the means, it is not possible to bring an ethic of ultimate ends and an ethic of responsibility under one roof or to decree ethically which end should justify which means.

My colleague, Mr. F. W. Forster, whom personally I highly esteem for his undoubted sincerity, but whom I reject unreservedly as a politician, believes it is possible to get around this difficulty by the simple thesis: ‘from good comes only good; but from evil only evil follows.’ In that case this whole complex of questions would not exist. But it is rather astonishing that such a thesis could come to light two thousand five hundred years after the Upanishads. Not only the whole course of world history, but every frank examination of everyday experience points to the very opposite. The development of religions all over the world is determined by the fact that the opposite is true. The age-old problem of theodicy consists of the very question of how it is that a power which is said to be at once omnipotent and kind could have created such an irrational world of undeserved suffering, unpunished injustice, and hopeless stupidity. Either this power is not omnipotent or not kind, or, entirely different principles of compensation and reward govern our life–principles we may interpret metaphysically, or even principles that forever escape our comprehension.

This problem–the experience of the irrationality of the world–has been the driving force of all religious evolution. The Indian doctrine of karma, Persian dualism, the doctrine of original sin, predestination and the deus absconditus, all these have grown out of this experience. Also the early Christians knew full well the world is governed by demons and that he who lets himself in for politics, that is, for power and force as means, contracts with diabolical powers and for his action it is not true that good can follow only from good and evil only from evil, but that often the opposite is true. Anyone who fails to see this is, indeed, a political infant.

We are placed into various life-spheres, each of which is governed by different laws. Religious ethics have settled with this fact in different ways. Hellenic polytheism made sacrifices to Aphrodite and Hera alike, to Dionysus and to Apollo, and knew these gods were frequently in conflict with one another. The Hindu order of life made each of the different occupations an object of a specific ethical code, a Dharma, and forever segregated one from the other as castes, thereby placing them into a fixed hierarchy of rank. For the man born into it, there was no escape from it, lest he be twice-born in another life. The occupations were thus placed at varying distances from the highest religious goods of salvation. In this way, the caste order allowed for the possibility of fashioning the Dharma of each single caste, from those of the ascetics and Brahmins to those of the rogues and harlots, in accordance with the immanent and autonomous laws of their respective occupations. War and politics were also included. You will find war integrated into the totality of life-spheres in the Bhagavad-Gita, in the conversation between Krishna and Arduna. ‘Do what must be done,’ i.e. do that work which, according to the Dharma of the warrior caste and its rules, is obligatory and which, according to the purpose of the war, is objectively necessary. Hinduism believes that such conduct does not damage religious salvation but, rather, promotes it. When he faced the hero’s death, the Indian warrior was always sure of Indra’s heaven, just as was the Teuton warrior of Valhalla. The Indian hero would have despised Nirvana just as much as the Teuton would have sneered at the Christian paradise with its angels’ choirs. This specialization of ethics allowed for the Indian ethic’s quite unbroken treatment of politics by following politics’ own laws and even radically enhancing this royal art.

A really radical ‘Machiavellianism,’ in the popular sense of this word, is classically represented in Indian literature, in the Kautaliya Arthasastra (long before Christ, allegedly dating from Chandragupta’s time). In contrast with this document Machiavelli’s Principe is harmless. As is known in Catholic ethics–to which otherwise Professor Forster stands close–the consilia evangelica are a special ethic for those endowed with the charisma of a holy life. There stands the monk who must not shed blood or strive for gain, and beside him stand the pious knight and the burgher, who are allowed to do so, the one to shed blood, the other to pursue gain. The gradation of ethics and its organic integration into the doctrine of salvation is less consistent than in India. According to the presuppositions of Christian faith, this could and had to be the case. The wickedness of the world stemming from original sin allowed with relative ease the integration of violence into ethics as a disciplinary means against sin and against the heretics who endangered the soul. However, the demands of the Sermon on the Mount, an acosmic ethic of ultimate ends, implied a natural law of absolute imperatives based upon religion. These absolute imperatives retained their revolutionizing force and they came upon the scene with elemental vigor during almost all periods of social upheaval. They produced especially the radical pacifist sects, one of which in Pennsylvania experimented in establishing a polity that renounced violence towards the outside. This experiment took a tragic course, inasmuch as with the outbreak of the War of Independence the Quakers could not stand up arms-in-hand for their ideals, which were those of the war.

Normally, Protestantism, however, absolutely legitimated the state as a divine institution and hence violence as a means. Protestantism, especially, legitimated the authoritarian state. Luther relieved the individual of the ethical responsibility for war and transferred it to the authorities. To obey the authorities in matters other than those of faith could never constitute guilt. Calvinism in turn knew principled violence as a means of defending the faith; thus Calvinism knew the crusade, which was for Islam an element of life from the beginning. One sees that it is by no means a modern disbelief born from the hero worship of the Renaissance which poses the problem of political ethics. All religions have wrestled with it, with highly differing success, and after what has been said it could not be otherwise. It is the specific means of legitimate violence as such in the hand of human associations which determines the peculiarity of all ethical problems of politics.

Whosoever contracts with violent means for whatever ends–and every politician does–is exposed to its specific consequences. This holds especially for the crusader, religious and revolutionary alike. Let us confidently take the present as an example. He who wants to establish absolute justice on earth by force requires a following, a human ‘machine.’ He must hold out the necessary internal and external premiums, heavenly or worldly reward, to this ‘machine’ or else the machine will not function. Under the conditions of the modern class struggle, the internal premiums consist of the satisfying of hatred and the craving for revenge; above all, resentment and the need for pseudo-ethical self-right-eousness: the opponents must be slandered and accused of heresy. The external rewards are adventure, victory, booty, power, and spoils. The leader and his success are completely dependent upon the functioning of his machine and hence not on his own motives. Therefore he also depends upon whether or not the premiums can be permanently granted to the following, that is, to the Red Guard, the informers, the agitators, whom he needs. What he actually attains under the conditions of his work is therefore not in his hand, but is prescribed to him by the following’s motives, which, if viewed ethically, are predominantly base. The following can be harnessed only so long as an honest belief in his person and his cause inspires at least part of the following, probably never on earth even the majority. This belief, even when subjectively sincere, is in a very great number of cases really no more than an ethical ‘legitimation’ of cravings for revenge, power, booty, and spoils. We shall not be deceived about this by verbiage; the materialist interpretation of history is no cab to be taken at will; it does not stop short of the promoters of revolutions. Emotional revolutionism is followed by the traditionalist routine of everyday life; the crusading leader and the faith itself fade away, or, what is even more effective, the faith becomes part of the conventional phraseology of political Philistines and banausic technicians. This development is especially rapid with struggles of faith because they are usually led or inspired by genuine leaders, that is, prophets of revolution. For here, as with every leader’s machine, one of the conditions for success is the depersonalization and routinization, in short, the psychic proletarianization, in the interests of discipline. After coming to power the following of a crusader usually degenerates very easily into a quite common stratum of spoilsmen.

Whoever wants to engage in politics at all, and especially in politics as a vocation, has to realize these ethical paradoxes. He must know that he is responsible for what may become of himself under the impact of these paradoxes. I repeat, he lets himself in for the diabolic forces lurking in all violence. The great virtuosi of acosmic love of humanity and goodness, whether stemming from Nazareth or Assisi or from Indian royal castles, have not operated with the political means of violence. Their kingdom was ‘not of this world’ and yet they worked and still work in this world. The figures of Platon Karatajev and the saints of Dostoievski still remain their most adequate reconstructions. He who seeks the salvation of the soul, of his own and of others, should not seek it along the avenue of politics, for the quite different tasks of politics can only be solved by violence. The genius or demon of politics lives in an inner tension with the god of love, as well as with the Christian God as expressed by the church. This tension can at any time lead to an irreconcilable conflict. Men knew this even in the times of church rule. Time and again the papal interdict was placed upon Florence and at the time it meant a far more robust power for men and their salvation of soul than (to speak with Fichte) the ‘cool approbation’ of the Kantian ethical judgment. The burghers, however, fought the church-state. And it is with reference to such situations that Machiavelli in a beautiful passage, if I am not mistaken, of the History of Florence, has one of his heroes praise those citizens who deemed the greatness of their native city higher than the salvation of their souls.

If one says ‘the future of socialism’ or ‘international peace,’ instead of native city or ‘fatherland’ (which at present may be a dubious value to some), then you face the problem as it stands now. Everything that is striven for through political action operating with violent means and following an ethic of responsibility endangers the ‘salvation of the soul.’ If, however, one chases after the ultimate good in a war of beliefs, following a pure ethic of absolute ends, then the goals may be damaged and discredited for generations, because responsibility for consequences is lacking, and two diabolic forces which enter the play remain unknown to the actor. These are inexorable and produce consequences for his action and even for his inner self, to which he must helplessly submit, unless he perceives them. The sentence: ‘The devil is old; grow old to understand him!’ does not refer to age in terms of chronological years. I have never permitted myself to lose out in a discussion through a reference to a date registered on a birth certificate; but the mere fact that someone is twenty years of age and that I am over fifty is no cause for me to think that this alone is an achievement before which I am overawed. Age is not decisive; what is decisive is the trained relentlessness in viewing the realities of life, and the ability to face such realities and to measure up to them inwardly.

Surely, politics is made with the head, but it is certainly not made with the head alone. In this the proponents of an ethic of ultimate ends are right. One cannot prescribe to anyone whether he should follow an ethic of absolute ends or an ethic of responsibility, or when the one and when the other. One can say only this much: If in these times, which, in your opinion, are not times of ‘sterile’ excitation–excitation is not, after all, genuine passion–if now suddenly the Weltanschauungs-politicians crop up en masse and pass the watchword, ‘The world is stupid and base, not I,’ ‘The responsibility for the consequences does not fall upon me but upon the others whom I serve and whose stupidity or baseness I shall eradicate,’ then I declare frankly that I would first inquire into the degree of inner poise backing this ethic of ultimate ends. I am under the impression that in nine out of ten cases I deal with windbags who do not fully realize what they take upon themselves but who intoxicate themselves with romantic sensations. From a human point of view this is not very interesting to me, nor does it move me profoundly. However, it is immensely moving when a mature man–no matter whether old or young in years–is aware of a responsibility for the consequences of his conduct and really feels such responsibility with heart and soul. He then acts by following an ethic of responsibility and somewhere he reaches the point where he says: ‘Here I stand; I can do no other.’ That is something genuinely human and moving. And every one of us who is not spiritually dead must realize the possibility of finding himself at some time in that position. In so far as this is true, an ethic of ultimate ends and an ethic of responsibility are not absolute contrasts but rather supplements, which only in unison constitute a genuine man–a man who can have the ‘calling for politics.’

Now then, ladies and gentlemen, let us debate this matter once more ten years from now. Unfortunately, for a whole series of reasons, I fear that by then the period of reaction will have long since broken over us. It is very probable that little of what many of you, and (I candidly confess) I too, have wished and hoped for will be fulfilled; little-perhaps not exactly nothing, but what to us at least seems little. This will not crush me, but surely it is an inner burden to realize it. Then, I wish I could see what has become of those of you who now feel yourselves to be genuinely ‘principled’ politicians and who share in the intoxication signified by this revolution. It would be nice if matters turned out in such a way that Shakespeare’s Sonnet 102 should hold true:

Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it with my lays;
As Philomel in summer’s front doth sing,
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days.

But such is not the case. Not summer’s bloom lies ahead of us, but rather a polar night of icy darkness and hardness, no matter which group may triumph externally now. Where there is nothing, not only the Kaiser but also the proletarian has lost his rights. When this night shall have slowly receded, who of those for whom spring apparently has bloomed so luxuriously will be alive? And what will have become of all of you by then ? Will you be bitter or banausic ? Will you simply and dully accept world and occupation? Or will the third and by no means the least frequent possibility be your lot: mystic flight from reality for those who are gifted for it, or–as is both frequent and unpleasant–for those who belabor themselves to follow this fashion? In every one of such cases, I shall draw the conclusion that they have not measured up to their own doings. They have not measured up to the world as it really is in its everyday routine. Objectively and actually, they have not experienced the vocation for politics in its deepest meaning, which they thought they had. They would have done better in simply cultivating plain brotherliness in personal relations. And for the rest–they should have gone soberly about their daily work.

Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective. Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth–that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. But to do that a man must be a leader, and not only a leader but a hero as well, in a very sober sense of the word. And even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that steadfastness of heart which can brave even the crumbling of all hopes. This is necessary right now, or else men will not be able to attain even that which is possible today. Only he has the calling for politics who is sure that he shall not crumble when the world from his point of view is too stupid or too base for what he wants to offer. Only he who in the face of all this can say ‘In spite of all!’ has the calling for politics.

From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, Translated and edited with an introduction by H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills, pp. 77-128, New York: Oxford University Press, 1946.


Constructive Conservatism by Noel Skelton

Archibald Noel Skelton, 1924

I. The Opportunity

27 April 1923, Page 6

THE fate of Conservatism and Unionism hangs in the balance. It must lead or perish. The issue is quite plain: is the body of political principle inherent in the words Conservatism and Unionism to be the main creative and moulding influence in the new era we are entering today? A moulding and creative force in politics there must he. Free nations do not live by caretakers and policemen alone ; and if the Conservative Party were to confine itself to a caretaker’s job and make per viltate it gran riftuto when faced with the architect’s, it would itself be the bar to its principles—principles which are the point of attraction for all those better and braver elements of the nation that instinctively abhor the political mentality and morality of the Socialist. If so, it will have no second chance in our generation; but in its place will arise a hybrid organization of opinion, with compromise at the root of its thought, and for that season presenting, in place of the massive and impressive simplicity of a homogeneous structure, the blurred and meaningless outlines of a composite photograph. Such a hybrid organization will neither have the will nor the power to apply the principles nor expound the =faith which, despite much neglect and some misuse, still animate the Conservatism of the people.

Every practical man knows, of course, that between the pure political principle which lies at the core of any living Party and the expression of it in legislation or otherwise by a Government there must be some loss of quality. The wine cannot be poured from’ the golden to the silver cup without parting with some of its fragrance. That is one of the inevitable features of the translation of thought into action, and only .a pedant would deny that if compromise has any legitimate place in men’s affairs it is there. But the compromise of thought, the hybridization of underlying principles, is in quite another category. It produces sterility of action; it turns the organic into the mechanical.

Failure of the Conservative Party to realize and express the vital elements in its ‘faith would produce a wave of disillusionment and disgust sufficient to overwhelm utterly the ship and its precious cargo. It does not help at all to recall how often, in the past, the Conservative Party has failed, when in power, to realize and express its principles, has mumbled instead of speaking out, has drawn back instead of moving on, and how, -despite it all, confidence in the essential truth of these principles remains one of the deepest-rooted political instincts of Britain. But let there-beano such failure this time; for one of these opportunities has arisen, for which a Party has often to wait for a generation, – when the whole set and habit of its principles seem to “jump” with the .dangers and the special requirements of the time. Today Conservatism, rightly understood and wisely applied, can bring something like a. real solution of our problems. It is, most certainly, more fitted to express the hopes and aims of the British people than any other set of political principles. It is only when we try to analyse the opportunity, the situation and the problem that we can realize how deep would be the ignominy and how poignant the irony of a Conservative failure. What then is the opportunity, the situation, the problem? The opportunity is this: Conservatism is in control of the national destiny at the very beginning of a new political era. For a new era it is; one of these times when old values have lost their meaning, old prejudices their force, old axioms their sanctity; when opinion, ideas, the minds of men are plastic. Nor is that all. Conservatism is a control by the people’s choice—a highly significant fact. All beginnings are moments of instinct, and the election of November, 1922 (that national miracle which turned the water of the Carlton Club meeting into wine), was, in essence, an instinctive gesture on the part of the nation, an intuitive, subconscious recognition and reaffirmation of its trust and confidence in Conservatism.

On the writer recently expressing this view to a political friend he was met with the reply: ” But the Coalitionists thought in November, 1918, that they were the accepted heirs of the new era.” No doubt they did so think; but only because they never understood the character of their own election. They hoped it was a prologue: it was really an epilogue. The Coalition was, in fact, a War product. It could never rid itself of the smell of blood and antiseptics. It had a hospital outlook, and, regarding the nation as its patient, characteristically spent its last breath in urging it to remain ” under treatment.” But, with the callous ingratitude of. the convalescent:— ” The boy his nurse forgot  And bore a mortal lot,” preferring to shut the hospital doors behind him and to look the new era in the face. And the election bore the characteristic marks of a new era. The curiously simple outlook, the absence of elaborate views, the obsoleteness of old methods of controversy, the reliance on first instincts were all visible there, as they are in any form of intellectual or emotional renaissance. But the Conservative opportunity does not consist merely in being the party in power at the opening of this new era. It has, in a very special- sense, a fair field.

On only one great branch of political thought and action has the country, from time to time, felt doubtful of the wisdom of the Conservative attitude. No franchise question can now arise to bring with it the risk that the country may suspect Conservatism of being the foe of popular political rights. A real danger is thus eliminated, and what has proved, again- and again, the easiest avenue of attack upon- Conservatism is- closed. It is a remarkable paradox, of course, that the party which is instinctively trusted and understood by the people should at times, it would seem, have feared the people and therefore misunderstood them. And naturally enough, – conversely, the period when the people’s instinctive confidence became a deeply-reasoned and strongly-felt support was really ushered in by the Conservative Reform Act of 1867, that great act of faith in the people of this country to which the Conservative Party was led by Disraeli. It is perhaps not irrelevant to recall that the At of 1918, which has produced a similar freedom from purely franchise questions, was passed with the support of the Conservative and Unionist Party led by a Cabinet predominantly Unionist.

So much, then, for the opportunity. It is unique: that Conservatism should have been thus preserved and approved by the people at the opening of a new era, that it should have been given the opportunity of drawing the plans and laying the foundations, that at such a moment the Conservative Party can speak as one having authority, and have a fair field for the exposition and application of its principles should surely, if anything can, fire the imagination and mobilize the best qualities of any political organism. Has the Conservative Party the imagination, the will, the courage to seize the opportunity and do an architect’s work?

II. New Era

4 May 1923, Page 5

AND now what, in barest outline, are the main, the special features of the new era, in which Conservatism must play a constructive part or perish? There are two on which attention must be concentrated, because in importance, in their reach and power, they stand in a class by themselves. First, Britain is now, electorally, a complete democracy. A new and tremendous element in the situation, particularly because the acquisition of political rights by women has flung into the seething pot of our political life a fresh and distinctive ingredient, has brought into the general pool, and given opportunity for their expression, a mental and moral outlook, “a temperament and ‘a tradition, which are different (though to what extent and even in what respects might be matter of controversy) from those of the previous exclusively male electorate. However that may be, Conservatism, now and for the future, is face to face with democracy. Democratic electoral rights are, in a word, no longer a plank in political programmes, they are the medium in which the statesman- ship of the future must work. This feature of the new era at last opens the way to the full operation of Conservative principles and, incidentally, makes it un- necessary even to mention Liberalism as a school of thought: for Liberalism, which had in the past so much to say about political freedom, has nothing to do in our era, when complete political freedom has been attained.

Secondly, the new era is one not merely of democracy, but of an educated democracy. Education is so gradual a process that its growth is easily overlooked. Yet, as in all continuous processes of growth, there are decisive moments when change is apparent. Last week the cherry was in bud, to-day it is “hung with snow.”

Such a decisive moment was the War. In a flash, the distance which Britain had gone along the road of education was revealed. The technical ability, the rapidity in acquiring new kinds of knowledge and in mastering new duties, the self-reliance, the self-respect, the power to accept responsibility, the spontaneous facing of sacrifice, the large grasp of the issues at stake, the firmness and fineness of temper, the general spaciousness of character and outlook displayed by the men and women of Britain meant, and could only mean, that the influences of education had penetrated deeply and strongly into their minds and character. The present writer, who on four fronts saw men under the most varying conditions of danger and of dullness, has never wavered in his conviction that it was largely to the extent to which the mass of the people had absorbed the benefits of some thirty years of strenuous education that we owed our achievements in the War.

And the more the temper and psychology of our people are seen and studied the more apparent becomes the fact that ours is an educated democracy. A habit of mind, alert, sensitive, receptive, has replaced one traditionally prone to be sluggish and prejudiced. And if alertness has brought with it a wholesome inquisitiveness into the validity of traditional points of view, sensitiveness has produced a rapid appreciation of principle, and receptiveness, particularly marked in all the qualities which may be grouped under the phrase “the social conscience,” has given a remarkable power of appreciating what lawyers call “the merits” of a question.

The change is so profound that only by a severe mental effort can the new situation it has produced be envisaged. Is the Conservative Party making that mental effort, and the even greater one necessary to think out all the reactions which must follow in the political life of the people? If it is not, how can it meet the instinctive trust of the people with a view of politics fitted for the new era?

Meantime, upon this educated democracy—alert, sensitive, receptive, plastic—another Party in the State plays unceasingly, feeding the newly-aroused intellectual appetites, the highly-responsive social conscience, with wide and glowing general principles—comprehensive, challenging, alluring. It is to no purpose to reply that Socialism finds its strength in appeals to cupidity, envy and hatred. That may be true also: but it is the least part of the truth, and to emphasize it—much more, to treat it as fundamental—is entirely to misread the true appeal of Socialism. For the real strength of Socialism lies in the fact that it is making an intellectual appeal at the very moment when the craving for mental nourishment is so universal. It is presenting .a “view of life” to the nation in a method admirably suited to the mood and atmosphere of the new era. The Socialist finds a welcome because he comes disguised as an educator and teacher.

And just because it is presenting a comprehensive view of life Socialism has very greatly extended the boundaries of politics. It is, of course, easy for Socialism to draw into the traditional territory of politics the whole structure of national life, for politics in its accepted meaning deals with the actions of the State and, in the Socialist ideal, the action of the State is co-extensive with the life of the nation. This widening of the territory of politics is, indeed, a reaction of the new situation, which even in the most general survey cannot be passed by – unnoticed.

The battles between Whig and Tory, Unionist and Liberal, were, like those of an earlier stage of armed warfare, fought on a narrow front and by small armies of professionals, whose passage through the life of the nation affected it hardly more than a charabanc disturbs the countryside to-day–some vapour and much noise, a rut left in the highway, a film of dust on the hedgerow.

But Socialism fights on the broadest of fronts, and this breadth of front must dominate the strategy and tactics of the new era; for envelopment and the crushing defeat which successful envelopment achieves form the danger against which Conservatism must guard in the great battles ahead.

A view of life, a statement of fundamental principles, can only be met by the presentation of a truer view and of principles more fundamental. If Conservatives are not to fight with one hand tied behind their backs, the active principles of Conservatism must be felt anew, thought anew, promulgated anew. The whole intellectual content of Conservatism, its moral and economic foundations, its practical applications, must, whatever “the mental strife” involved, be made plain to educated democracy. Conservatism must expound its “view of life.”

Clearly this implies an extension of the functions of the Conservative politician, a new meaning, so far as he is concerned, of the word “politics.” Conservatism believes in a restricted field for the action of the State and most emphatically the view of life, the ideal of advance, it must present to the nation cannot be exhaustively embodied m Acts of Parliament. In the new era we must step outside the old limits and depart from the view that politics mean only public affairs and that public affairs mean only public business. No doubt this makes politics more difficult, for it is easier to explain the provisions of a Bill than to present a ” view of life.”

But the older, narrower view is a caretaker’s only: it confuses the function of the politician with that of the policeman. Historically, it is the survival into the era of educated democracy of methods which were success- fully practised in the period of the triumphant bourgeoisie. But in the new era it will not serve: for it is to abandon the intellectual and moral leadership of the community: it is to withdraw from the duty of moulding and shaping public opinion. It may look like ruling: it is really abdicating.

One further word must be added. The prosperous, peach-fed classes do not readily understand the importance which the mass. of the people attach to political life. To the former, politics is not a medium of education, of general culture. That side of life they have an infinite number of other means of enjoying—fastidious living, beautiful homes, the enjoyment of literature, art, travel, the closeness and variety of their points of contact with human culture and civilization. Because their general interests are wider, the intellectual area they allot to politics is correspondingly narrower. And for .those who are the heirs of “the governing classes” of the past, politics naturally means, above all, administration.

To the mass of the people the opposite is the case. Polities is their main point of contact with general ideas; the paramount expression of the life of the community: the chief, if not the only means of satisfying their goat des grandes choses. But. their attitude towards politics it is which makes true the definition of man as “a political animal”; for the mass of the people feel the reality, the life, the organic, as opposed to the mechanical, quality of politics. To them political deliberation is a high function, as the gravity and sincerity of a “popular audience” testify. If the British people do not now take their pleasures sadly, they certainly take their politics seriously.

Such, then, is the situation. A people at the dawn of a new era, equipped with -full political power, educated, and still more, highly sensitive to educative influences, presented by a powerful and devoted Socialist Party with a view of politics which is really a comprehensive “view of life,” and yet instinctively trusting to their natural Conservative instincts : a Conservative Government, obviously charged, so far as the immediate day’s work is concerned, with a caretaker’s task : and yet, as obviously, from the wider point of view charged with the duty of expounding the Conservative “view of life” since in it lies embedded the true solution of the fundamental problem the new era presents.

III. Problem and Principle

11 May 1923, Page 5

AND the fundamental problem of this new era— what of it? Beneath the tangle of immediate anxieties—unemployment, the housing of the people, the agricultural emergency, the financial burdens of the State=is it possible to detect a master-problem which, while • it remains unsolved, exercises a profound ‘and malign influence upon the mental outlook and the material condition of the people? If the analysis of the new era which has been attempted is in any degree correct, such a master-problem is not far to seek. For the mass of the people—those who mainly live by the wages of industry—political status and educational status have outstripped economic status. The structure has become lopsided. It is therefore unstable. Until our educated and politically minded democracy has become predominantly a property-owning democracy, neither the national equilibrium nor the balance of the life of the individual will be restored.

To restore that balance is the master-problem of the new era. The wage-earner has for long been attempting to solve the problem for himself. In the Co-operative movement, the friendly societies, the savings banks, and on their benefits side the trade unions, he has made a most determined effort to build up for himself either by way of income to meet illness, unemployment, old age, or by way of capital, something of his own behind him, and the large amounts of wealth held by those organizations show how strong and persistent the impulse has been. These organizations are, indeed, the outstanding economic and social achievement of the wage-earner ; they have at once exhibited, developed and tested his business capacity and his social sense, and in the steady devotion, hard work and unostentatious self-sacrifice shown in their management they have made a splendid contribution to the public life of the community. But the most remarkable proof of the wage-earner’s determination to become a property owner is to be found in the success of the War Savings Certificates scheme. Despite the fact that unemployment insurance, health insurance, and old-age pensions were in either partial or full operation when it was introduced, the steady flow of his savings, in good times and bad, into War Savings Certificates shows how fully the wage-earner appreciates the security and economic freedom which the possession of private property gives.

Yet the effort, large and fruitful as it has been, has not in itself solved the problem. And it is not difficult to see why. In the first place, it has been made by the wage-earners as a separate, isolated class. Its national importance has been overlooked. The Liberal, concentrating his attention on political rights, has passed it by. The Conservative, though he has aided it, has certainly not considered it in its full bearing upon the social structure ; while the Socialist has seized the opportunity thus given him to pervert the impulse behind it into an element in the view of life which he presents ; he declares, that is, that ownership by the State is ownership by the people, implying that that means a property-owning democracy. In fact, of course, it does not. What everybody owns, nobody owns; and far from expressing the wage-earner’s ideal, Socialism makes it unattainable, while communal ownership, when obtained, neither interests nor influences a single human being. We have yet to hear of the man who, in the Great War, rushed to arms to preserve his share in the London County Council Tramways or in Battersea Park.

And the effort has been isolated in another sense. It has had no direct relation with the wage-earner’s life as a worker. It has had nothing to do with his work. His thrift effort and his work have, moreover, not only been carried on independently, but in two opposite moods. His mood is ” Capitalist ” when he saves; it is “Labour” while he works. And the mental confusion resulting from that opposition of moods has had startling results, of which the most amazing example is the large application of the funds of the Co-operative Societies to assist and support the Socialist movement. But most vital of all, these intense and prolonged efforts have not altered the industrial status of the wage-earner. Whatever his savings may be in the Co-operative Society, or in War Savings Certificates, the wage-earner, as industrialist, has only the economic status of a machine ; for his wages, as such, are, and can only be, part of the costs of production, occupying the same position as the expenses of running the machines of the factory or workshop in which he is employed. Small wonder, then, if the wage-earner’s isolated and barely-recognized effort to become a property owner has left, at the beginning of the new era, his own life and the whole social structure lopsided and unstable. But it is these very efforts which are largely responsible for the instinctive sympathy between the mass of the people and Conservatism. Can it be doubted that the mass of the people feel that the only school of political thought which understands and is capable of solving the problem is the Conservative, and that it is for this very purpose (intuitively felt, indeed, rather than logically reasoned out) that the country has preserved and approved Conservatism to-day ?

For what are the principles of Conservatism, these leading ideas and ideals which are the essence of its view of life?

The first of these is the stability of the social structure. A stable condition of society is the main pre-occupation of Conservatism. This is the real clue to its whole political philosophy. If change has been resisted, it has been because the Conservative has feared that it would produce confusion and instability. When it has been clear that only by change can stability be re-established, no party has been more fearless in making the most drastic changes. And similarly, the situations which have given to Conservatism its moments of torturing anxiety have been those when ” marginal cases ” have arisen in which the problem has been whether stability is best secured by the existing conditions or by the proposed change. And this insistence upon stability is no fad or catchword, for, as the generations come and go, the opportunity offered for full enjoyment and full development to each individual during his little span of consciousness depends upon the society and community which surrounds -and contains him being stable: at peace with itself, not at war.

But stability is not stagnation. Stability is as much the condition of steady progress for a society as it is for a ship. Stagnation, since life is movement, means necessarily that atrophy is at work; that tissues are dying which should be living; that dead matter is accumulating which must, by more or less violent means, be cast out. To confuse stability with stagnation is, however, from the nature of things, a special danger for Conservatism, for it is the natural defect of its virtue. And just because Conservatism is the real guardian of stability in the community—the school of thought which alone gives stable conditions their just valuation—it has a special duty constantly to search out the means by which stability threatened can be saved, stability lost can be recovered.

The second fundamental Conservative principle is that the character of the individual citizen being the greatest asset of the State, the primary object and best test of .all legislation which deals with the individual is its influence upon his character. Everything that weakens individual character and lessens individual effort and initiative is anathema to the Conservative. Everything that strengthens and increases these is very near to his heart. The consequences flowing from this principle need no elaboration here. Enough to say that the main and most essential one is the insistence by Conservatism on the necessity of limiting the action of the State to “helping the individual to help himself.” These two leading ideas, however, are what give to ‘the permanent relations existing between the British people and Conservatism their specially intimate quality; for the stability of the State and the value of character are not only the fundamental beliefs of Conservatism: they are the fundamental beliefs of the rave. And these fundamental principles of Conservatism, which form the basis of its whole view of life, lead inevitably to the development of the political, the educated democracy into a property-owning democracy.

The beneficent effect upon human character both of the effort to acquire private property and of the opportunity, after it has been acquired, for its wise or foolish use, can hardly be over-estimated. For what is the effect of property, its proverbial ” magic”? In the getting, the exercise of thrift, of control, of all the qualities which “the rolling-stone” knows nothing of; in its use, an increased- sense of responsibility, a wider economic outlook, a practical medium for the expression of moral and intellectual qualities. It is for Conservatism to see to it that this pathway to the development of character is opened wide to the people; and to expound to the nation—what no one else apparently dares or cares to—the vital inter-relation between character and private possessions. Equally clear, equally fundamental, is the relation between the possession of private property by the people and the stability of the State. This, too, has been left for the Conservative to expound. So deeply, indeed, has Conservatism felt the importance of this relation that in the past it was wont to maintain that only those who possessed private property should exercise political functions. That doctrine has now this new and pregnant application—that since, to-day, practically all citizens have political rights, all should possess some- thing of their own. Mocked and jeered at in the past as ” the Party of Property,” it is precisely as such, now that the wheel has turned full circle, that Conservatism in the new era holds in its keeping the key to the problem.

To make democracy stable and four-square ; to give the wage-earner property and status ; to bridge the gulf set between Labour and Capital; to present a view of life in which private property, instead of being reckoned, as the Socialist reckons it, a shameful thing, shall be recognized to be an essential vehicle for the moral and economic progress of the individual ; these are the tasks to which the opportunity, the problem, and their own principles alike call Conservatism to perform in the new era. It remains, in these notes, only to indicate and suggest the lines along which this work for the nation may be done.

IV. Democracy Stabilized

18 May 1923, Page 5

IN the three preceding articles an attempt has been made to sketch the main features of the new era and to indicate the opportunity which opens to a constructive Conservatism to solve the problem it presents. It remains to state as clearly as may be what means lie ready to develop a property-owning democracy, to bring the industrial and economic status of the wage-earner abreast of his political and educational, to make democracy stable and four-square.

These (to mention only subjects of the widest importance) are, it is submitted, four: — (1) for the wage- earner, whether in factory or in field, industrial co-partnery, or its halfway house, profit-sharing ; (2) for the agriculturist, who seeks to become completely his own master, small ownership; (3) for the rural world, as a whole, agricultural co-operation; (4) for the community, to secure it against sudden assault, the Referendum.

One common principle underlies these proposals, making them a practical and accurate expression of the Conservative “view of life,” for each, in its own way and in its own sphere, at once develops the character of the individual and the stability of the social structure. It may be objected that of these neither co-partnery and profit-sharing nor agricultural co-operation can success- fully be brought into operation by Act of Parliament, but must grow as the nation’s understanding of them grows. So be it—all the more natural and essential it is that Conservatism should make these great topics its own: for they offer a means of economic, social and national progress which the State cannot dole out with a spoon. And if Conservatism fails to show the nation an alternative line of advance, it would have to bear the blame should the people come to the conclusion that the only way forward lay along the Socialist path, however desperate and perilous that might be.

(1) First, then, as to industrial co-partnery. It rests on a firm basis of principle. Capital and Labour by it are to the full recognized as partners in the work of the production of wealth, for each shares in the true profits of that production, arrived at after each, the one by way of a fair rate of interest, the other by way of a fair wage, have been paid the price for its services in the common work. And further, the wage-earner’s proportion of the profits is paid to him partly in cash, partly invested for him in the concern, while, as the workers become capitalists, ” seats on the Board,” either for the domestic internal government of the concern, or for its general direction, very naturally follow.

Thus status and property-owning grow together; the wage-earner, as industrialist, from a machine becomes a man. Nor is this all. To the wage-earner, co-partnery brings a new incentive and a new kind of interest in his work, arising out of his new relation to it ; a union of his thrift effort and his work effort; a wider industrial out- look, since, as his savings in the business increase, so does his interest in its general prosperity, for that prosperity affects him directly as a shareholder.

To the community it brings all the results that flow from a real identification of interest between Capital and Labour—reduction of the number of strikes, with their waste of the national wealth and dislocation of the national life ; the elimination of such crazy doctrines as that of ” ca’ canny” ; improvement in the standard of both management and work, since the wage-earner will not readily submit to his own good work being neutralized by the slackness of his neighbour or the incompetence of his manager.

Yet there are objections, it is said. ” Some industries. are not suited to the system.” Possibly not. But has there yet been any determined effort to work out in practice the modifications necessary to make it suit the special circumstances of particular trades? The over- coming of practical difficulties is a matter for resource and will-power, once the value of the underlying principle is realized. Conservatism in the new era must refute Anatole France’s mocking remark that moderate men are those who have only a moderate belief in moderate opinions.

And again, “The Trade Unions are against it”. Perhaps their Socialist leaders are, but battle has to be joined with them in any ease. That the great mass of the wage-earners is hostile can hardly be maintained, since the fact is that no political party has yet seriously addressed itself to the exposition of co-partnery in all its bearings. In any case, co-partnery is the ideal ground on which to fight Socialism, for it emphasizes the distinction, fundamental but neglected, between a property-owning democracy and the Socialist ideal, and if the Trade Union leaders hide from their followers the more excellent way, so much the worse, when the truth is discovered, for them and for their leadership.

(2) Of small ownership in land, only a word can be said. In principle, generally recognized to be a most powerful factor in the stability of the State and in the development of a democracy of character and intelligence, the policy of small holdings has greatly suffered in Great Britain from the methods which have been adopted. Extravagant expenditure on equipment and administration by Government departments or County Councils has been combined with demands for payments from the holder based upon the principle of making him pay rent for the land and in addition interest on the full cost of erecting the buildings. No private landowner gets an annual return if he lets his land, or a purchase price if he sells it, calculated in this way. The result has been that our State-constituted holdings have imposed on their cultivators burdens which no other agriculturists. in Britain have to bear. The re-settlement of the land of England, the development of intensive cultivation, the reconstitution of the rural community are matters so vital that every effort to devise sounder methods than those presently in operation must be made by Conservatism. And this is pre-eminently a problem which Conservative knowledge and resource can solve. Let it not be forgotten that the Wyndham Land Act was the last and greatest constructive work which Unionism did for Ireland.

(3) And agricultural co-operation. The foundation of modern agriculture throughout the world, the way to prosperity for the small cultivator and large farmer alike, it is inextricably bound up with the Conservative view of life, because it is essentially the means whereby in the cultivation of the soil the individual can be helped to help himself. On this there can safely be neither silence nor indifference. All that the State can do, all that the politician can say, should be said and done to spread a knowledge and assist the development of agricultural co-operation if in the new era Conservatism is prepared to give of its best to the nation.

Of more limited and special expressions of Conservative principle one alone can be mentioned here. The present method of assessing the income of the old-age pensioner, which penalizes the thrift he exercised in the days of his working-life, is the antithesis of Conservatism, and, while it endures, gives excuse for the adoption of the Socialist view that every citizen of pensionable age, whatever his private fortune may be, should have squandered on him the resources of the nation.

(4) But to pass to the Referendum — crown and apex of a constructive Conservatism in the new era. Accepted by Conservatives in the. Constitutional crisis of 1910-1911, its value and necessity is infinitely more obvious now. It was called for then to save the House of Lords, it is needed now to protect democracy. For if democracy, faced in the new era by Socialism as its scarcely-disguised enemy is, from a Constitutional point of view, to be made stable and safe, if its property and liberty is to be preserved, the people, in the last resort, must directly and for themselves decide their own fate. And for this duty they are ripe. Meantime, it needs only a blunder or two on the part of a Cabinet, a General Election dominated by passion or prejudice, and the flank of the Constitution is turned. The t9S1r of Conservatism in the new era would be only half done if the British democracy were to be denied a means of protection the value of which, even within the last few months, has been amply proved elsewhere.

And, in conclusion, whatever means be taken to stabilize democracy, this much is clear—that the Conservative Party cannot leave it a matter of guesswork what its outlook is “Democracy,” Lord Balfour once said, ” is government by explanation.” The mass of the people are profoundly perplexed by the paradox that Conservatism, in which they have so deep an instinctive belief, is apparently content to leave its view of life unexplained, its principles unstated, while Socialism, which they distrust exceedingly, is fearless and untiring in setting out its aims and ideals. For the moment instinct has won: but what will that avail unless Conservatism breaks its silence and makes clear to the nation that it, too, has a vision of the future—of a property-owning democracy, master of its own life, made four-square and secure and able therefore to withstand the shrill and angry gales which, in the new era’s uneasy dawn, sweep across the world of men?

Private Property: A Unionist Ideal

By Noel Skelton

2 May 1924, Page 6

In past issues of the Spectator, Mr. Strachey has expressed fears, obviously deep and sincere, as to the future of Unionism. It may be doubted whether his views are justified by the situation. They certainly do not express the mood or- the reasonable hopes of the rank and file of the party. Among these, indeed, there is a striking increase of interest and energy in the constituencies. It would be difficult to recall a defeat which has produced less depression. And it is not irrelevant to mention this, for the spirit of a party is an essential factor in its prospects.

Mr. Strachey’s argument — especially in his leading article, “The Unionist Party,” published on February 16th  — proceeds upon the line that, whereas a general Tariff has been “dropped,” the continuance of Mr. Baldwin as leader and the return of Mr. Austen Chamberlain and Lord Birkenhead — Protectionists both — to the counsels of the party will make the electorate feel that “Protection” is still the leading object of Unionism; that therefore “the left-centre voter,” whose defection is assumed to have caused his defeat of last December, will remain hostile, and that, in consequence, Socialism, will triumph at the next General Election. But it is safe to say that the next election will find the country in a very different mood than the last did. The actual formation of a Labour Government will make, indeed is making, if it has not already made, a strong revulsion of feeling in the left-centre voter—and in many other voters, too. The subsidy to agriculture—that brilliant improvization of the National Farmers’ Union—has received its quietus, and the underlying hostility to the’ farmer of the county towns has satisfied itself by success But was it the left-centre voter who voted against’- a Tariff, and will the restricted’ policy now adopted induce him to vote Socialist or crypto-Socialist? The section of the community who apparently: most feared a Tariff was one – whose general loyalty to Conservatism in England ‘is of king standing and in Scotland is constantly increasing. The small rentier, the shopkeeper, the merchant (and their wives) are natural Conservatives; but they were swept off their feet by fear of increased prices. Their scant appreciation of the national danger and ‘ personal distress and demoralization caused by widespread unemployment was the most tragic feature of the election. They fear now, however, something else, which they fear much more intensely and much more legitimately and they are determined to have nothing to do with Socialism or with any party which, for any reason, traffics with Socialist politicians. In fact, they have already returned to their allegiance, bringing with them many of their kind who up till now had remained Liberals. And, moreover, they have returned in a mood such as to make the Unionist path much more easy for the future. For these voters, far from being “left-centre,” are perhaps the most inclined to be stationary, if not reactionary, in their political outlook, and their new mood will enable Unionism to advance with more boldness than seemed possible to many when a stagnant, rigid Liberalism stood ready as a harbor of refuge to the backsliders. For middle-class Liberalism, of all ‘political creeds, has been the narrowest and least enlightened. But this port is closed to them: for they feel now that Liberalism is no protection against Socialism — a lesson which Mr. Lloyd George’s pre-War Socialism and-water might have already taught. No one would deny that amongst Conservatives there tends to be a section which dislikes change for its own sake—as well as a large non-party body of similar opinion.

But that body of opinion is alive now to the impracticability and folly of standing still, and when it moves — as move it is now prepared to—it will prefer to move with progressive Conservatism towards a property- owning democracy rather than towards the Sturm und Drang of Socialism of the maneuvers of a suspect Liberalism. And it is not the safeguarding of industries, or perhaps even a “general” Tariff, which will alter their new determination.

The real danger to Unionist prospects comes not from fear of Protection, but from the doubt lest the party should not be in earnest about social reforms: But that ‘ danger has been greatly reduced by the return of such statesmen as, for example, Sir Robert Home, to full participation in Unionist counsels.

Not, indeed, that it is a case of one or two individuals. The future depends upon Unionism as a whole being able to show a line of advance to the great body of wage-earners. Britain, unlike France; passed from political aristocracy to political democracy without the “disaster of revolution”. Can we make a similar advance in the economic sphere? It depends entirely upon Conservatism.

For in its principles, Conservatism holds the key of the situation. – It was not for nothing that the Conservative Party used to be called the “Party of Property.”

Private property is, so far as history gives us a clue, the foundation and sine qua non of all progressive civilizations. It follows that the extent -of the distribution of private property is the measure, on its economic side, of a civilization’s stability and success. Similarly, character and a sense of responsibility are rooted in a man’s possession of “something of his own”. A democracy without scope for the development of economic character and responsibility, cut off from private ownership, cannot be expected to understand the material ‘foundations of civilization. Moreover, it cannot stand. ‘Unless, then, by such means as profit-sharing – and industrial co-partnery and the wider distribution of the small ownership of land the Unionist Party can make property-owners of the present wage-earning classes, no hope can be given to the mass of the people that their economic status can be brought abreast of their political and their educational status. It will perhaps be a slow process; but great parties must take a long view, and if an objective is sufficiently important must not fear the toils of the march.

A property-owning democracy is, at any rate, a truly Conservative objective, and the Conservative Party will never fight for any policy out of harmony with its foundation principles. And such an objective once settled, and approved, the fears expressed by Mr. Strachey that any taint of Protection will sterilize Unionism lose, in the opinion of the present writer at least, much of their force. For it has told against Tariff Reform that it has seemed to many voters to be the sole constructive suggestion which Unionists had to make, and has, perhaps in consequence, acquired almost the character of a substitute for, instead of a part of, a general policy of improving the status of the wage- earner. Certainly many opponents have made haste to point out to the working classes that in the existing industrial system the lion’s share of any advantage would, in their opinion, fall to Capital rather than Labour.

But let the Unionist Party once make it clear that the elevation of the status of the wage-earner to that of a property-owner lies at the root of its social policy and a Tariff, whether general or by way of safeguarding threatened industries, will fall automatically into its place as one of the means—perhaps an essential condition precedent —to that end. “The State helps the citizen to help himself ” is the Unionists’ answer to ” The Socialist State must put the citizen in leading strings.” “Extend the distribution of private property and of the industrial wealth to be produced in the future ” is equally his reply to the Socialist order, ” Sap, weaken, tax, nationalize private property.” It is with the Conservative reply that the character and hopes of the British wage-earner are in consonance.

The hour indeed is struck for the advance of a democratic constructive progressive Conservatism. 1922 preserved Conservatism, 1928 opened its eyes, 1924 will give it at once the desire and the opportunity to do its much-needed work.

Ash Heap of History: Reagan’s Westminster Address 20 Years Later by Charles Krauthammer

Whenever I hear my checkered past recalled to me, I can’t decide whether I’m a retired physician or ex-psychiatrist. I’ve decided I’m a psychiatrist in remission and I’ve been doing extremely well — and haven’t had a relapse in 20 years.

I’m sometimes asked what the difference is between what I do today and what I did in my psychiatric days, and I tell people that in both professions I deal all the time with people who suffer from delusions of grandeur with the exception that the people I deal with have access to nuclear weapons. It makes the stakes a little higher and the work a lot more interesting.

I’ve been asked to talk to you a little bit about the reaction in the journalistic world to the Westminster Address and also to relate it to the Reagan Doctrine. As I recall, the response to the Westminster address was fairly restrained. There was the usual flurry of activity in the press in Washington — it did not last terribly long.

The general flavor was the usual left-right split with the left rather apoplectic about the President’s aggressiveness, with a tone of “there he goes again.” And there were the more alarmist commentators who said he really does believe it and that, of course, really was alarming for people living in Washington who found it very hard, particularly in the early years of Reagan, to believe that there were politicians and leaders who truly did have a belief system that they would act upon and not skip to the political necessities of the day.

I agree with Dr. Spalding that the Westminster speech may have received less reaction than the evil empire speech, “evil empire,” as she indicated, being the phrase that stuck rather than “ash heap of history.” And my explanation for why “evil empire” stuck more in the journalistic world is that it’s shorter, and this is, by the way, a rule that you can apply to all slogans. The shorter last because they’re easier to put in headlines. Which is, incidentally, why “axis of evil” is a brilliant turn of phrase, ten letters to encompass a lot of bad people, extremely economical.

As to what was important about the Westminster speech, many reasons have been elaborated, but I think the one thing that was so stunning about it was its optimism. It’s hard for us living 10 years after the utter eradication of communism to put ourselves back 20 years ago and to think about what it was like, particularly in the early ’80s.

Some of us think of 1975 as the nadir of the United States in the Cold War era with the collapse of Saigon. I think that’s wrong. I think it was 1979. 1979 really was the annus mirabilis. It was the lowest point of the Cold War. It was the year in which Nicaragua fell, Afghanistan was invaded, Cambodia was invaded by the Vietnamese, Iran collapsed, and just as a kind of footnote, which was entirely unnoted at the time, Grenada was taken over by Bishop and Company, something that we didn’t really notice until a little bit later. But it was all part of this pattern in which it appeared as if the policy of containment itself was in collapse.

That’s where we were starting from psychologically in the late 1970s. And here was a president who not only said this was not the way that things would have to be — we would not always be in retreat — but was confidently predicting what none of us imagined, that this rock of the Soviet Union and of communism that we had always imagined and still imagined at the time would always be with us in our lifetime would actually be destroyed and would disappear.

That I think was shocking — that psychological optimism. The idea that communism was a passing phase was the truly revolutionary idea. It took us from containment and at a time when it was a question of whether containment itself could be sustained and began speaking about rollback. That was revolutionary, that was shocking, and it spoke not only of rollback in the periphery, not only of rollback as understood in the Dulles years, meaning Eastern Europe, but Reagan essentially was saying that the rollback would go all the way to Moscow and it would end in Moscow itself.

Interestingly, however, his optimism did have a limit. It was somewhat projected into the future. There is a line in the speech where he says, “The task I have set forth will long outlive our own generation.” In fact it didn’t. It came shockingly early.

Part of the reason it came early is because of a policy that was articulated officially a few years later but that on the ground was begun to be implemented and that is the Reagan Doctrine. It was revolutionary in the sense that Reagan would not accept the premises of the past in the same way that he went from SALT to START in negotiations, from Strategic Arms Limitation to Strategic Arms Reduction, which was, again, revolutionary, in the same way that he went from Mutual Assured Destruction to SDI in nuclear theology, believing we can go beyond deterrents to defenses.

In the same way he brought this revolutionary idea that we could implement a policy that brought us from containment to rollback — but not rollback as we had imagined it in the ’50s in Eastern Europe. We would not only support Solidarity and try to assist the indigenous forces there in a peaceful revolution, but provide actual military aid to indigenous revolutionaries in the Communist outposts of the empire, that is in the Third World.

This was articulated officially in his State of the Union Address on the 6th of February 1985, almost three years after the Westminster Speech, in which he said, “We must not break faith with those who are risking their lives in every continent from Afghanistan to Nicaragua to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours since birth. Support of freedom fighters is self-defense.”

Now, I must admit that in the history of doctrines they’re generally rolled out with more fanfare. Truman delivered his in the famous address to a special session of Congress, in which he outlined the policy of containment. Nixon didn’t make a speech, but he was very interested in having the idea of the Nixon Doctrine understood and elaborated and propagated. The Reagan Doctrine was something that was, one might say, mischievously invented. I had a part in that. I saw that brazen speech and decided that it was, whether they meant it or not, an articulation of a very important principle of the foreign policy of the Reagan Administration, and that something new in the world had happened.

For 50 years, had been used to seeing pro-Western regimes under assault from communist guerillas in China, in Vietnam, Malaysia, in El Salvador, in Cuba. Just about everywhere our entire experience had been that. And here all of a sudden and rather unnoticed was a new phenomenon. There were guerillas fighting against communist regimes in Nicaragua, Angola, Afghanistan, and Cambodia. They hadn’t been connected and here they came together in the idea of the Reagan Doctrine, which was that we would support these guerillas in the fight to overthrow proxy Soviets regimes or in the case of Afghanistan an actual Soviet-imposed regime.

What was important about the Reagan Doctrine is until then we had done it quietly and clandestinely. The Reagan Doctrine said overtly we are doing this, we are proud of this, and we’re not going to hide this. What Reagan began was the vigorous defense of the idea of democratic revolution, not just in theory, not just as a spiritual or a political movement, but an actual revolution by democrats against the Soviet empire.

And he argued, first of all, in the justice of the cause, which I think is self-evident but at the time was revolutionary. Because we had this notion of state sovereignty, that somehow we were not permitted to overthrow the regimes that had a seat in the UN or other official status. Reagan argued that that was not a correct criterion. The correct criteria were justice, human rights, democracy, and if they were regimes that were oppressing their people, acting in the name of a tyranny, we had the right and the moral duty to support those who were going to overthrow it.

The other part of this strategy which went more unstated was that it served our larger purposes of engaging in the fight against the Soviet empire by bleeding it at the periphery, and bleed it did. The fact that the Soviets had almost without cost was an important factor in their expansion. Yes, it cost them to subsidize basket cases like Cuba, but in terms of their geopolitical position, the deployment of the military, and also the prestige of an expanding communism, it was worth it.

But with the Reagan Doctrine they ran up not just against a wall, but against opposition. They ran up against real armies supported by the United States that made them spend blood and treasure in defense of these outposts and it led to a radical reconsideration in Moscow about the cost of empire.

Statements were made in the late ’80s by high members of the Soviet foreign ministry in which they explicitly questioned whether the empire which was costing them so much was more a burden than a benefit. I think the Reagan Doctrine had a very important effect in helping change the mind of the Soviets as to whether acting as an empire was really in their interest.

Now, it is true that the Reagan Doctrine and support for some of these insurgencies did not begin with the Reagan Administration. It’s true that Carter sent arms to the Afghan rebels and Congress concurred. Congress also went along with economic aid to communist resistance in Cambodia. But since the Clark Amendment in 1976, aid was prohibited to the anti-Marxist guerillas in Angola, and Congress refused to support the war against indigenous communist dictatorships no matter how heavily supported by the Soviet Union.

Reagan’s program of CIA support for the Contras, who were fighting indigenous and not overtly foreign occupation, as were the Afghans, broke post-Vietnam precedent. Interestingly, at first and for the first three years of the Reagan Administration, the policy received the flimsiest of justifications. It was officially defended as a way to interdict supplies to the Salvadoran guerillas. What was interesting and important about the State of the Union Address in 1985 was that Reagan dropped the fig leaf and made an overt statement that we would now unashamedly and, without resort to some kind of cover, support a revolution against communist regimes. What the doctrine did was to establish a new, firmer doctrinal foundation for such support by declaring equally worthy armed resistance to communism whether imposed by foreign or indigenous tyrants.

Now, at the time many tried to interpret the Reagan Doctrine as a puffed-up rationale for the support of the Contras, but I believe that that is a lot like justifying the Truman Doctrine as a puffed-up reason to support the Greeks and the Turks in the late 1940s. It was in fact much more, and in the same way that the Truman Doctrine established the basis for containment, the Reagan Doctrine established the basis for a rollback.

In a sense it was a successor to earlier doctrines. The Truman Doctrine was a doctrine of containment that had its internal political collapse in the United States as a result of the Vietnam War and the divisions over Vietnam. The first attempt to patch it up was the Nixon Doctrine, which would rely on foreign, local powers to defend our interests.

The Carter Doctrine set forth that we would intervene unilaterally by means of a rapid deployment force in defense of our interests rather than relying on proxies as the Nixon Doctrine did. But that was never a serious attempt. It was a theoretical idea. There was never, I think, any attempt either to build a military force or to actually employ it.

The Reagan Doctrine relied not on friendly regimes but on guerillas. I’m not sure in the long view of history how decisive it was. I think it was a part of several other revolutionary policies, some of which have been mentioned here, being steadfast on the deployment of the Euro missiles, the insistence on SDI, the huge buildup in defenses, that added to the pressure that we placed on the Soviet periphery, particularly in Afghanistan that I think had a decisive effect in convincing the Soviets they could not continue in the Cold War.

There’s one interesting corollary to the Reagan Doctrine, which I think ought to be mentioned. It was originally intended to justify supporting anti-communist revolutions, but it was a deeper idea than that. It really was a proclamation of democratic revolution and it saw a corollary in two events which occurred later in the 1980s.

The first was in the Philippines and the second was in Chile. The Reagan Doctrine was not invoked, but you might call it a corollary, for in both cases — particularly in the Philippines — we supported indigenous democrats overthrowing non-communist dictators as a way to bring democracy to their countries. In that sense I think it was a glorious vindication of the Reagan Doctrine because it refuted the critics who said we had a double standard. In fact, Reagan — and the Reagan — idea was dedicated to universal application of democracy and freedom.

I think it was most effective in fighting the Communist regimes, but it helped remove Marcos in the Philippines and helped bring about the ultimate change in power in Chile. Under pressure for the Reagan Administration, and later the Bush Administration, there was a democratic transition that I think spoke to a much wider and deeper idea — our support for democratic revolution.

Let me end by mentioning an incident which I think was indicative of the radicalism of what Reagan did. A few months before the Reagan Doctrine was proposed, I was speaking with a Nicaraguan friend who had been an ex-Sandinista and was here in Washington in exile. He was supporting the Contras and rather in despair for the lack of progress and support that he saw in Washington. He was saying that the struggle of democrats around the world was doomed because of an absence in the West of what he called democratic militance, speaking in the terms of the man of the left he once was.

The Reagan Doctrine was the first step in the restoration of the democratic militance. The Westminster Address was the great herald of that idea. The Reagan Doctrine was one of the many policies implemented to bring it to a reality. All of us are blessed by having lived to see it vindicate itself and win the great victory on behalf of democracy that even Reagan in Westminster never imagined would have happened in our lifetime.

Remarks at panel discussion held at The Heritage Foundation
June 3, 2002

Tocqueville’s Critique of Socialism


Translated by Ronald Hamowy

Translator’s Note:

In February, 1848, the July Monarchy of Louis Philippe was overthrown, and the Second French Republic established. The new republic believed that the unemployment problem which was plaguing Paris could be solved by setting up government work-projects, guaranteeing employment at a certain wage rate for all who desired it. On September 12th, the Constituent Assembly debated the continuance of this arrangement and Tocqueville rose to speak against it. In the course of his speech he entered onto the subject of socialism, which he considered the logical consequence of recognizing the “right to work,” and devoted most of his time to a discussion of the socialist position.

NOTHING CAN be gained by not discussing issues which call into question the very roots of our society and which, sooner or later, must be faced. At the bottom of the amendment which is under consideration, perhaps unknown to its author but for me as clear as day, is the question of socialism. [Prolonged Sensation—Murmurs from the Left.]

Yes, gentlemen, sooner or later, the question of socialism, which everyone seems to fear and which no one, up to now, has dared treat of, must be brought into the open, and this Assembly must decide it. We are duty-bound to clear up this issue, which lies heavy upon the breast of France. I confess that it is principally because of this that I mount the podium today, that the question of socialism might finally be settled. I must know, the National Assembly must know, all of France must know—is the February Revolution a socialist revolution or is it not? [“Excellent!”]

It is not my intention to examine here the different systems which can all be categorized as socialist. I want only to attempt to uncover those characteristics which are common to all of them and to see if the February Revolution can be said to have exhibited those traits.

Now, the first characteristic of all socialist ideologies is, I believe, an incessant, vigorous and extreme appeal to the material passions of man. [Signs of approval.]

Thus, some have said: “Let us rehabilitate the body”; others, that “work, even of the hardest kind, must be not only useful, but agreeable”; still others, that “man must be paid, not according to his merit, but according to his need”; while, finally, they have told us here that the object of the February Revolution, of socialism, is to procure unlimited wealth for all.

A second trait, always present, is an attack, either direct or indirect, on the principle of private property. From the first socialist who said, fifty years ago, that “property is the origin of all the ills of the world,” to the socialist who spoke from this podium and who, less charitable than the first, passing from property to the property-holder, exclaimed that “property is theft,” all socialists, all, I insist, attack, either in a direct or indirect manner, private property. [“True, true.”] I do not pretend to hold that all who do so, assault it in the frank and brutal manner which one of our colleagues has adopted. But I say that all socialists, by more or less roundabout means, if they do not destroy the principle upon which it is based, transform it, diminish it, obstruct it, limit it, and mold it into something completely foreign to what we know and have been familiar with since the beginning of time as private property. [Excited signs of assent.]

Now, a third and final trait, one which, in my eyes, best describes socialists of all schools and shades, is a profound opposition to personal liberty and scorn for individual reason, a complete contempt for the individual. They unceasingly attempt to mutilate, to curtail, to obstruct personal freedom in any and all ways. They hold that the State must not only act as the director of society, but must further be master of each man, and not only master, but keeper and trainer. [“Excellent.”] For fear of allowing him to err, the State must place itself forever by his side, above him, around him, better to guide him, to maintain him, in a word, to confine him. They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or less degree, of human liberty, [Further signs of assent.] to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it was simply a new system of serfdom. [Lively assent.]

I have not entered into a discussion of the details of these systems. I have indicated what socialism is by pointing out its universal characteristics. They suffice to allow an understanding of it. Everywhere you might find them, you will be sure to find socialism, and wherever socialism is, these characteristics are met.

IS SOCIALISM, gentlemen, as so many have told us, the continuation, the legitimate completion, the perfecting of the French Revolution? Is it, as it has been pretended to be, the natural development of democracy? No, neither one or the other. Remember the Revolution! Re-examine the awesome and glorious origin of our modern history. Was it by appealing to the material needs of man, as a speaker of yesterday insisted, that the French Revolution accomplished those great deeds that the whole world marvelled at? Do you believe that it spoke of wages, of well-being, of unlimited wealth, of the satisfaction of physical needs?

Citizen Mathieu: I said nothing of the kind.

Citizen de Tocqueville: Do you believe that by speaking of such things it could have aroused a whole generation of men to fight for it at its borders, to risk the hazards of war, to face death? No, gentlemen, it was by speaking of greater things, of love of country, of the honor of France, of virtue, generosity, selflessness, glory, that it accomplished what it did. Be certain, gentlemen, that it is only by appealing to man’s noblest sentiments that one can move them to attain such heights. [“Excellent, excellent.”]

And as for property, gentlemen: it is true that the French Revolution resulted in a hard and cruel war against certain property-holders. But, concerning the very principle of private property, the Revolution always respected it. It placed it in its constitutions at the top of the list. No people treated this principle with greater respect. It was engraved on the very frontispiece of its laws.

The French Revolution did more. Not only did it consecrate private property, it universalized it. It saw that still a greater number of citizens participated in it. [Varied exclamations. “Exactly what we want!”]It is thanks to this, gentlemen, that today we need not fear the deadly consequences of socialist ideas which are spread throughout the land. It is because the French Revolution peopled the land of France with ten million property-owners that we can, without danger, allow these doctrines to appear before us. They can, without

It is thanks to this, gentlemen, that today we need not fear the deadly consequences of socialist ideas which are spread throughout the land. It is because the French Revolution peopled the land of France with ten million property-owners that we can, without danger, allow these doctrines to appear before us. They can, without doubt, destroy society, but thanks to the French Revolution, they will not prevail against it and will not harm us. [“Excellent.”]

And finally, gentlemen, liberty. There is one thing which strikes me above all. It is that the Old Regime, which doubtless differed in many respects from that system of government which the socialists call for (and we must realize this) was, in its political philosophy, far less distant from socialism than we had believed. It is far closer to that system than we. The Old Regime, in fact, held that wisdom lay only in the State and that the citizens were weak and feeble beings who must forever be guided by the hand, for fear they harm themselves. It held that it was necessary to obstruct, thwart, restrain individual freedom, that to secure an abundance of material goods it was imperative to regiment industry and impede free competition. The Old Regime believed, on this point, exactly as the socialists of today do. It was the French Revolution which denied this.

Gentlemen, what is it that has broken the fetters which, from all sides, had arrested the free movement of men, goods and ideas? What has restored to man his individuality, which is his real greatness? The French Revolution! [Approval and clamor.] It was the French Revolution which abolished all those impediments, which broke the chains which you would refashion under a different name. And it is not only the members of that immortal assembly—the Constituent Assembly, that assembly which founded liberty not only in France but throughout the world—which rejected the ideas of the Old Regime. It is the eminent men of all the assemblies which followed it!

AND AFTER this great Revolution, is the result to be that society which the socialists offer us, a formal, regimented and closed society where the State has charge of all, where the individual counts for nothing, where the community masses to itself all power, all life, where the end assigned to man is solely his material welfare—this society where the very air is stifling and where light barely penetrates? Is it to be for this society of bees and beavers, for this society, more for skilled animals than for free and civilized men, that the French Revolution took place? Is it for this that so many great men died on the field of battle and on the gallows, that so much noble blood watered the earth? Is it for this that so many passions were inflamed, that so much genius, so much virtue walked the earth?

No! I swear it by those men who died for this great cause! It is not for this that they died. It is for something far greater, far more sacred, far more deserving of them and of humanity. [“Excellent.”] If it had been but to create such a system, the Revolution was a horrible waste. A perfected Old Regime would have served adequately. [Prolonged clamor.]

I mentioned a while ago that socialism pretended to be the legitimate continuation of democracy. I myself will not search, as some of my colleagues have done, for the real etymology of this word, democracy. I will not, as was done yesterday, rummage around in the garden of Greek roots to find from whence comes this word. [Laughter.] I look for democracy where I have seen it, alive, active, triumphant, in the only country on earth where it exists, where it could possibly have been established as something durable in the modern world—in America. [Whispers.]

There you will find a society where social conditions are even more equal than among us; where the social order, the customs, the laws are all democratic; where all varieties of people have entered, and where each individual still has complete independence, more freedom than has been known in any other time or place; a country essentially democratic, the only completely democratic republics the world has ever known. And in these republics you will search in vain for socialism. Not only have socialist theories not captured public opinion there, but they play such an insignificant role in the intellectual and political life of this great nation that they cannot even rightfully boast that people fear them.

America today is the one country in the world where democracy is totally sovereign. It is, besides, a country where socialist ideas, which you presume to be in accord with democracy, have held least sway, the country where those who support the socialist cause are certainly in the worst position to advance them I personally would not find it inconvenient if they were to go there and propagate their philosophy, but in their own interests, I would advise them not to. [Laughter.]

A Member: Their goods are being sold right now.

Citizen de Tocqueville: No, gentlemen. Democracy and socialism are not interdependent concepts. They are not only different, but opposing philosophies. Is it consistent with democracy to institute the most meddlesome, all-encompassing and restrictive government, provided that it be publicly chosen and that it act in the name of the people? Would the result not be tyranny, under the guise of legitimate government and, by appropriating this legitimacy assuring to itself the power and omnipotence which it would otherwise assuredly lack? Democracy extends the sphere of personal independence; socialism confines it. Democracy values each man at his highest; socialism makes of each man an agent, an instrument, a number. Democracy and socialism have but one thing in common—equality. But note well the difference. Democracy aims at equality in liberty. Socialism desires equality in constraint and in servitude. [“Excellent, excellent.”]

THE FEBRUARY REVOLUTION, accordingly, must not be a “social” one, and if it must not be then we must have the courage to say so. If it must not be then we must have the energy to loudly proclaim that it should not be, as I am doing here. When one is opposed to the ends, he must be opposed to the means by which one arrives at those ends. When one has no desire for the goal he must not enter onto the path which necessarily leads him there. It has been proposed today that we enter down that very path.

We must not follow that political philosophy which Baboeuf so ardently embraced [cries of approval]—Baboeuf, the grand-father of all modern socialists. We must not fall into the trap he himself indicated, or, better, suggested by his friend, pupil and biographer, Buonarotti. Listen to Buonarotti’s words. They merit attention, even after fifty years.

A Member: There are no Babovists here.

Citizen de Tocqueville: “The abolition of individual property and the establishment of the Great National Economy was the final goal of his (Baboeuf’s) labors. But he well realized that such an order could not be established immediately following victory. He thought it essential that [the State] conduct itself in such manner that the whole people would do away with private property through a realization of their own needs and interests.” Here are the principal methods by which he thought to realize his dream. (Mind you, it is his own panegyrist I am quoting.) “To establish, by laws, a public order in which property-holders, provisionally allowed to keep their goods, would find that they possessed neither wealth, pleasure, or consideration, where, forced to spend the greater part of their income on investment or taxes, crushed under the weight of a progressive tax, removed from public affairs, deprived of all influence, forming, within the State, nothing but a class of suspect foreigners, they would be forced to leave the country, abandoning their goods, or reduced to accepting the establishment of the Universal Economy.”

A Representative: We’re there already!

Citizen de Tocqueville: There, gentlemen, is Baboeuf’s program. I sincerely hope that it is not that of the February republic. No, the February republic must be democratic, but it must not be socialist—

A Voice from the Left: Yes! [“No! No!” (interruption)]

Citizen de Tocqueville: And if it is not to be socialist, what then will it be?

A Member from the Left: Royalist!

Citizen de Tocqueville (turning toward the left): It might, perhaps become so, if you allow it to happen, [much approval] but it will not.

If the February Revolution is not socialist, what, then, is it? Is it, as many people say and believe, a mere accident? Does it not necessarily entail a complete change of government and laws? I don’t think so.

When, last January, I spoke in the Chamber of Deputies, in the presence of most of the delegates, who murmured at their desks, albeit because of different reasons, but in the same manner in which you murmured at yours a while ago—[“Excellent, excellent.”]

(The speaker turns towards the left)

—I told them: Take care. Revolution is in the air. Can’t you feel it? Revolution is approaching. Don’t you see it? We are sitting on a volcano. The record will bear out that I said this. And why?—[Interruption from the left.]

Did I have the weakness of mind to suppose that revolution was coming because this or that man was in power, or because this or that incident excited the political anger of the nation? No, gentlemen. What made me believe that revolution was approaching, what actually produced the revolution, was this: I saw a basic denial of the most sacred principles which the French Revolution had spread throughout the world. Power, influence, honors, one might say, life itself, were being confined to the narrow limits of one class, such that no country in the world presented a like example.

That is what made me believe that revolution was at our door. I saw what would happen to this privileged class, that which always happens when there exists small, exclusive aristocracies. The role of the statesman no longer existed. Corruption increased every day. Intrigue took the place of public virtue, and all deteriorated.

Thus, the upper class.

And among the lower classes, what was happening? Increasingly detaching themselves both intellectually and emotionally from those whose function it was to lead them, the people at large found themselves naturally inclining towards those who were well-disposed towards them, among whom were dangerous demagogues and ineffectual utopians of the type we ourselves have been occupied with here.

Because I saw these two classes, one small, the other numerous, separating themselves little by little from each other, the one reckless, insensible and selfish, the other filled with jealousy, defiance and anger, because I saw these two classes isolated and proceeding in opposite directions, I said—and was justified in saying—that revolution was rearing its head and would soon be upon us. [“Excellent.”]

Was it to establish something similar to this that the February Revolution took place? No, gentlemen, I refuse to believe it. As much as any of you, I believe the opposite. I want the opposite, not only in the interests of liberty but also for the sake of public security.

I ADMIT that I did not work for the February Revolution, but, given it, I want it to be a dedicated and earnest revolution because I want it to be the last. I know that only dedicated revolutions endure. A revolution which stands for nothing, which is stricken with sterility from its birth, which destroys without building, does nothing but give birth to subsequent revolutions. [Approval.]

I wish, then, that the February revolution have a meaning, clear, precise and great enough for all to see.

And what is this meaning? In brief, the February Revolution must be the real continuation, the honest and sincere execution of that which the French Revolution stood for, it must be the actualization of that which our fathers dared but dream of. [Much assent.]

Citizen Ledru-Rollin: I demand the floor.

Citizen de Tocqueville: That is what the February Revolution must be, neither more nor less. The French Revolution stood for the idea that, in the social order, there might be no classes. It never sanctioned the categorizing of citizens into property-holders and proletarians. You will find these words, charged with hate and war, in none of the great documents of the French Revolution. On the contrary, it was grounded in the philosophy that, politically, no classes must exist; the Restoration, the July Monarchy, stood for the opposite. We must stand with our fathers.

The French Revolution, as I have already said, did not have the absurd pretension of creating a social order which placed into the hands of the State control over the fortunes, the well-being, the affluence of each citizen, which substituted the highly questionable “wisdom” of the State for the practical and interested wisdom of the governed. It believed that its task was big enough, to grant to each citizen enlightenment and liberty. [“Excellent.”]

The Revolution had this firm, this noble, this proud belief which you seem to lack, that it sufficed for a courageous and honest man to have these two things, enlightenment and liberty, and to ask nothing more from those who govern him.

The Revolution was founded in this belief. It had neither the time nor the means to bring it about. It is our duty to stand with it and, this time, to see that it is accomplished.

Finally, the French Revolution wished—and it is this which made it not only beatified but sainted in the eyes of the people—to introduce charity into politics. It conceived the notion of duty towards the poor, towards the suffering, something more extended, more universal than had ever preceded it. It is this idea that must be recaptured, not, I repeat, by substituting the prudence of the State for individual wisdom, but by effectively coming to the aid of those in need, to those who, after having exhausted their resources, would be reduced to misery if not offered help, through those means which the State already has at its disposal.

That is essentially what the French Revolution aimed at, and that is what we ourselves must do.

I ask, is that socialism?

From the Left: Yes! Yes, exactly what socialism is.

Citizen de Tocqueville: Not at all!

No, that is not socialism but Christian charity applied to politics. There is nothing in it . . .


Citizen President: You cannot be heard. It is obvious that you do not hold the same opinion. You will get your chance to speak from the podium, but do not interrupt.

Citizen de Tocqueville: There is nothing there which gives to workers a claim on the State. There is nothing in the Revolution which forces the State to substitute itself in the place of the individual foresight and caution, in the place of the market, of individual integrity. There is nothing in it which authorizes the State to meddle in the affairs of industry or to impose its rules on it, to tyrannize over the individual in order to better govern him, or, as it is insolently claimed, to save him from himself. There is nothing in it but Christianity applied to politics.

Yes, the February Revolution must be Christian and democratic, but it must on no account be socialist. These words sum up all my thinking and I leave you with them.

კორნელი კეკელიძე: ღვთისმსახურება და სამღვდელოება

მოხსნება, წაკითხული 1917 წლის საეკლესიო კრებაზე

საქართველოს ეკლესიას, როგორც წევრს აღმოსავლეთის მართლმადიდებლობითი ეკლესიისას, აქვს მეტად რთული და ვრცელი რიტუალი, ე.ი. ღვთისმსახურების წესრიგი. ჩვენი ღვთისმსახურება იმდენად ვრცელია, რომ ძნელად თუ ვინმე მოიპოვება ისეთი, რომელმაც შესძლოს ტიბიკოსებური ლოცვა ბოლომდის მოისმინოს.

დღევანდელი ტიბიკონი, რომელიც განსაზღვრავს ჩვენს ღვთისმსახურებას არის სამონასტრო. ის დანიშნულია ბერ-მონაზონთათვის, რომელნიც სულ სხვა პირობებში იმყოფებიან, ვიდრე ყოველდღიურ ჭირ-ვარამში გართული და ათასგვარ ზრუნვით შეპყრობილი ადამიანი. აღსანიშნავია, რომ ტიბიკონისებური ღვთისმსახურება მონასტრებშიაც კი არ სრულდება დღეს, მხოლოდ ძველს ათონზე სცდილობენ ბერები იმის სისრულით დაცვას და აღსრულებას, და იქ ღამისთევითი ლოცვა, მაგალითად, ღამისთევაა ამ სიტყვის ნამდვილი მნიშვნელობით. თუ მონასტრებშიაც კი ვერ ახერხებენ ტიბიკონის შესრულებას, განა შესაძლოა ის ასრულდეს სოფლად? ცხადია რომ არა და ეს გარემოება მორწმუნე ადამიანს უკარგავს სულის სიმშვიდეს, ვინაიდგან იმას ჰგონია, რომ რაღაცა დანაშაულობას სჩადის, როდესაც ბოლომდის ვერ ისმენს ღვთისმსახურებას, ან ისე ვერ ისმენს, როგორც ჯერ არს. ამისათვის საჭიროა ღვთისმსახურება შემოკლდეს და განმარტივდეს ისე, როგორც ეს შეეფერება დღევანდელ პირობებში მყოფ მორწმუნე ადამიანის ცხოვრებას.

საკითხავია, რამდენად გვაქვს ჩვენ ასეთი განმარტივებისა და შემოკლების უფლება. ვინც ჩვენი ეკლესიის რიტუალის ისტორიას გასცნობია, მან იცის, რომ თვთისმსახურება მეტად ცვალებადია. მოციქულებიდან მოყოლებული, ის დროთა განმავლობაში თანდათან იცვლებოდა, ვიდრე დღევანდელი სახე არ მიიღო. ჩვენ რომ შევადაროთ, მაგალითად, უძველესი დროის და ახლანდელი კურთხევანი, დავინახავთ, რომ ის წესები, რომელთა შესრულებას ეხლა საათობით სჭირია დრო, ძველს რედაქიცებში განისაზღვრება მხოლოდ რამოდენიმე ლოცვით. ავიღოთ თვით წირვის წესი: იმისი მოციქულთა დროინდელი უცვლელი დედაფუძე არის ეგრედწოდებული „საევქარისტიო კანონი“, დანარჩენი ნაწილი კი ცვალებადია. ჩვენ ვიცით, რომ იაკობ მოციქულის ჟამისწირვა, მეტად გრძელი და ვრცელი, შეამოკლა ბასილი დიდმა, ხოლო ამ უკანასკნელის – იოანე ოქროპირმა. აქედან ნათლად სჩანს, რომ პრინციპი ცვალებადობისა ჩვენი ეკლესიისთვის უცხო არ არის. ეს რომ ასე არ იყოს, ისტორიაში ხომ ადგილი არ ექნებოდათ წმ. საფლავისა, სპონდიელთა მონასტრისა, სოფია წმინდისა, სტოდიელთა მონასტრის, მთაწმიდელთა და საბაწმიდის ტიბიკონებს, რომელნიც თავიანთ ელფერს აძლევდნენ ღვთისმსახურებას, შესაფერ წესებს თხზავდნენ და თავისბურად აყალიბებდნენ საეკლესიო წიგნებს.

როდესაც ლაპარაკია ღვთისმსახურების და საზოგადოთ ტიბიკონის განმარტივებაზე, ეს იმას არ ნიშნავს, რომ დღვანდელი ტიბიკონი სრულიად მოსპობილ იქმნეს. ის შიძლება დარჩეს იმათთვის, ვისაც შეძლება აქვს უფრო სისრულით შეინახოს ის, სახელდობრ მონასტრებში. შეიძლება შენახულ იქმნეს ის აგრეთვე საკათედრო ტაძრებში, სადაც სამღვდელმთავრო ღვთიმსახურება სრულდება ხოლმე. რაც შეეხება სამრევლო ტაძრებს, აქ იგი შემოკლებულ უნდა იქმნეს. კონსტანტინოპოლის დიდ ეკლესიას, ეგრედწოდებულ აია-სოფიას, სადაც პატრიარქი საზეიმო ღვთისმახურებას ასრულებდა ხოლმე, თავისი ტიბიკონი ჰქონდა, უფრო ვრცელი და რთული, ვიდრე სამრევლო ეკლესიებს. ეს უკანასკნელნი ზოგად მიღებულ ტიბიკონს სოფლის ცხოვრებას და მოთხოვნილებას უფარდებდნენ.

რასაკვირველია, რიტუალის განმარტივების საქმე მთავარმა საეკლესიო ორგანომ უნდა იკისროს; შეუძლებელია ის კერძო პირთა საწვალებლად გადაიქცეს. ამისთვის უთუოდ საჭიროა აღმოსავლურ ეკლესიათა თანამედროვე ლიტურღიული პრაქტიკის ცოდნა, ღვთისმსახურების ისტორიულ-არქეოლოგიური თვალსაზრისით გაშუქება, იმისი არსებითი ნაწილების უმიშვნელოთგან გარჩევა. ერთი სიტყვით, აქ საჭიროა წმინდა სამეცნიერო ძიება. ერთადერთი კომპონენტი ორგანო, რომელმაც უნდა უხელმღვანელოს ამ საქმეს მეცნიერ-სპეცილიასტთა საგანგებო კომისიის საშუალებით, არის საკათალიკოზო საბჭო.

ერთი მთავარი საკითხთაგანია აგრეთვე, თუ რა ანბანით უნდა იბეჭდებოდეს საღვთისმსახურო წიგნები. ჩვენს ეკლესიაში თავიდანვე მიღებულია საღვთისმსახურო წიგნების საბეჭდად ეგრედწოდებული ხუცური ანბანი. ამას, რასაკივირველია, ისტორიული მიზეზი აქვს. პირვანდელი უძველესი ანბანი ქართული მწერლობისა, როგორც ეხლა დამტკიცებულად უნდა ჩაითვალოს ქართულ პალეოგრაფიაში არის ხუცური, რომლიდანაც თაბდათანობით მხედრული განვითარდა. პირველად ხუცური ანბანით იწერებოდა არა თუ საღმრთო და საეკლესიო წიგნები, არამედ საერო ხასიათის ნაწარმოებნიც. მხედრულის გაბატონების შემდეგ ხუცური საეკლესიო ანბანად დარჩა, თუმცა უნდა ვთქვათ, რომ მეთვრამეტე საუკუნეში უკვე საეკლესიო წიგნების წერაც იწყეს მხედრული ანბანით.

თუ მხედველობაში მივიღებთ, რომ ხუცური დღეს ყველასათვის ხელმისაწვდომი არაა და მხედრულთან შედარებით უფრო ძნელი საკითხავია, უნდა ვაღიაროთ, რომ არავითარ საჭიროებას არ წარმოადგენს საღვთისმახურო წიგნების ხუცურად ბეჭდვა და დროა ეკლესიაშიც მხედრული ანბანი შემოვიღოთ ხმარებაში. ბევრი მორწმუნე ქართველი იქნება ისეთი, რომელსაც საეკლესიო წიგნების წაკითხვა სწყურია, მაგრამ ხუცურის უცოდინრობა უშლის ხელს. რით უნდა დაუხშოთ მას კარი მაღალ პოეზიით და გრძნობით აღსავსე სალაროისა? უნდა გვახსოვდეს, რომ ამგვარ მოვლენას ადგილი აქვს მხოლოდ საქართველოს ეკლესიაში და აგრეთვე რუსეთისაში, სადაც საეკლესიო წიგნები სლავური ანბანით იბეჭდება. სხვა ეკლესიებში კი, მაგალითად, საბერძნეთისაში, სომხებისაში, ყველგან ერთიდაიგივე ანბანი არის ხმარებაში.

საღვთისმსახურო წიგნების გამოცემის დროს უნდა მიექცეს აგრეთვე ყურადღება ზოგიერთ მეტად დაძველებულ ფრაზებისა და წინადადებათ განმარტივებას და თანამედროულად და უფრო გასაგებად გადმოკეთებას. თვით ლიტურღიის წესში ჩვენ ვხვდებით ისეთ ადგილებს, რომელთა გაგება მეტად ძნელია არამც თუ უბრალო მსმენელისათვის, არმედ ცოტად თუ ბევრად ძველს მწერლობაში დახელოვნებულისათვისაც. ავიღოთ, მაგალითად, „რომელი ქერუბინთას“ მეორე ნაწილი: „და ვითარცა მეუფისა ყოველთასა შემწყნარებელსა ანგელოზთაებრ უხილავად. ძღვნის შემწირველთა. წესთათა, ალილუია“. ეს საქმეც, რასაკვირველია, იმავე საკათალიკოზო საბჭოს კომპეტენციას უნდა მიენდოს.

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ერთ-ერთი მთავარი მორიგ საკითხთაგანია აგრეთვე ჩვენი სამღვდელოების ჩაცმულობა. სამღვდელოება თავისი განსაკუთრებული ტანისამოსით განსხვავებული და გამოთიშულია დღეს თავსი სამწყსოისგან. სამღვდელოების ეს ჩაცმულობა ანაფორა/კაბები, გამომუშავდა განსაკუთრებით აღმოსავლეთის ეკლესიაში, უფრო კი რუსეთში, სადაც თითქმის ყველა წოდებას და ყოველგვარ პროფესიას თავისი ფორმა ჰქონდა მიჩემებული. დასაველთ ევროპაში ეს ასე არ არის. იქ არამცთუ ადგილობრივი მღვდელსახურნი, არამედ მართლმადიდებლი სამღდელოებაც ჩვეულებრივს საერო ტანისამოსს ატარებს ხოლმე.

აქ საჭირო არაა შეჩერება იმაზე, თუ რა უხერხულობას შეიცავს სამღვდელოების გამოთიშვა მორწმუნეთა კრებულისაგან ამ განსკაუთრებული ტანისამოსით. ეს ყვალასათვის ცხადი უნდა იყვეს. აქ შევჩერდებით მხოლოდ საკითხზე, შესაძლებელია თუ არა სამღვდელო პირებმა გარეშე საღთიმსახურო ადგილისა ჩაიცვან ჩვეულებრივი საერო ტანისიმოსი, ყოველი მოქალაქე რომ ატარებს. თუ იტორიულად შევეხებით ჩენ ამ საკითხს, დავინახავთ, რომ განსაკუთრებული ტანისამოსი სამღვდელო პირთათვის შემდეგი დროის ნაყოფია, თავდაპირველად მღვდლები ტანისამოსით და გარეგნობით სრულიადაც არ განირჩეოდნენ თავიანთი სამწყსოსაგან, ისინი ისეთსავე ტანისამოსს ატარებდნენ, რასაც სხვები. საისტორიო და საარქეოლოგიო კვლევა-ძიება ამ საკითხზე შემდეგ პასუხს იძლევა. თავდაპირველად სამღვდელოება ეკლესიაში, ღვთისმსახურების დროს, და ეკლესიის გარეშე, სახლში ერთსა და იმავე ტანისამოსს ატარებდა. ეს ტანისამოსი კი არაფრით არ განირჩეოდა იმ ტანისამოსისგან, რომელიც ეცვათ საერო პირთ ძველს რომსა და საბერძნეთში. ძველი რომაელები ატარებდნენ გრძელსა და სრულ ტანისამოსს, რომელსაც ერქვა ტუნიკა ანუ ხიტონი, ბერძნულად სტიქარონი, პალიუმი, ანუ იმატიონი, გინა თუ პენულა, ბერძნული გამოთქმით, ფელონიონ. პირველი ამათგანი არის პროტოტიპი ჩვენი დროის სტიქარისა, მეორე კი ფილონისა. ის, რასაც ჩვენ დღეს ვეძახით გინგილას (მღვდლის გინგილას ოლარი ჰქვია), რომში ცნობილი იყო ორარის სახელით და წარმოადგენდა გრძელსა და ფართო ხელის ლენტს, რომელსაც ბეჭზე ატარებდნენ პირისა და სახის მოსაწმედად. პირველი ექვსი საუკუნის განმავლობაში სამღვდელოებაც იმავე ტანისამოსს ჰხმარობდა ეკლესიაშიც და ეკლესიის გარეშეც. ასე რომ, ტანისამოსით ის არ განირჩეოდა საეროთაგან.

მეშვიდე საუკუნიდან კი საქმე შეიცვალა.

მეექვსე საუკუნეში რომში ფეხი მოიკიდა გერმანულმა კულტურამ, რომელმაც თან მოიტანა მოკლე გერმანული სამხედრო ტანისამოსი. ვინაიდან ეს ტანისამოსი უფრო ადვილი სახმარებელი იყო და თან ხელმისაწვდენიც, მასამ ადვილად და ძალიან მალე გადაიღო ის, სამღვდელოებამ კი, როგორც უფრო კონსერვატიულმა ელემენტმა, ამ ახალს, ბარბაროსულ ტანისამოსს ზურგი აქცია და ისევ ძველებური გრძელი და სრული ტანისამოსი შეინარჩუნა. ამნაირად, მეშვიდე საუკუნიდან თავი იჩინა განსხვავებამ სამღვდელო და საერო ტანისამოსს შორის.

მეცხრე საუკუნემდე სამღვდელოება ღვთისმსახურების დროს და შინაურ ცხოვრებაში ერთსა და იმავე ტანისამოსს ატარებდა. მეცხრე საუკუნიდან საეკლესიო ცხოვრებამ აღმოსავლეთში, საბრძნეთში, სპეციფიური ორთოდოქსალური ელფერი მიიღო და ამ მოვლენამ თავისი ბეჭედი სამღვდელო ტანისამოსსაც დაასვა. საბერძნეთში ამ დროიდან ხმარებაში შემოდის გრძელი, ჩვენებური ახალუხის მსგავსი, ტანისამოსი, რომელსაც კაბადიონს უწოდებდნენ. ამ კაბადიონს იცვამდენ როგორც საერონი, ისე სამღვდელონი ეკლესიის გარე, ოჯახურს ცხოვრებაში, ეკლესიაში კი, ღვთისმსახურების დროს, ძველებურ რომაულ გრძელსა და სრულს ზემოთნახსენებს ტანისამოსს ჰხმარობდნენ.

ამნაირად მეცხრე საუკუნიდან თავი იჩინა განსხვავებამ სამღვდელოთა საღვთისმსახურო და საოჯახო ტანისამოსში. კაბადიონი, რომელსაც სამღვდელოება იცვამდა, გადმოღებულ იქნა ჩვენშიაც და შეიქნა ჩვენებურ სამღვდელო პირთა აბის პროტოტიპად. რაც შეეხება ანაფორას, ეს გარეგანი ფორმით იგივე კაბაა, მხოლოდ მის ზევით ჩასაცმელი; ეს თვითონ სახელწოდებიდანაც სჩანს: ანაფორა ბერძნული სიტყვაა და ნიშნავს ზემოდან სატარებელს.

ჩვენში რომ სამღვდელოება ტანისამოსით საეროთაგან არ განირჩეოდა, ეს იქიდანაც სჩანს, რომ ჩვენებური ჩოხა-ახალუხი წარმოადგენს განვითარებას ბერძნული კაბადიონისას, რომელიც, როგორც აღნიშნული იყო, სამღვდელო პირთა ტანისამოსად იქცა. ჩვენში მართლაც ხშირად სამღვდელო ტანისამოსს ჩოხას ეძახდნენ. ეს იქიდანაც სჩანს, რომ ბერების ტანისამოსს, რომელიც არაფრით არ განსხვავდება სამღვდელო პირთა ტანისამოსისაგან, არამცთუ ძველად, ეხლაც ხშირად ეძახიან ჩოხას.

ამნიარად, როგორც რომსა და საბერძნეთში, ისე საქართველოშიც სამღვდელო ტანისამოსი არაფრით არ განსხვავდებოდა საერო ტანისამოსისაგან. თუ ეს ასე იყო ყოველგან ძველად, არც ახლა იქნება რაიმე განსაკუთრებული, სამღვდელოებამ რომ იგივე ტანისამოსი ატაროს, რაც საზოგადო ხმარებაშია.

გარდა ტანისამოსისა, სამღვდელოება განირჩევა საეროთაგან გრძელი თმებით. ვერც ისტორიაში, ვერც საეკლესიო კანონებში ჩვენ ვერ ვოპივნით გრძელი თმების ტარების გასამართლებელ საბუთებს, პირიქით, აქ ყველგან აკრძალულია გრძელი თმების ტარება. ქრისტეანობის პირველ ხანაში, მოციქულობის დროს, გრძელი თმების ქონა დიდ სირცხვილად იყო მიჩნეული. მოციქული პავლე ამბობს: „მამაკაცმან თუ გარდაუტეოს თმა გრძელად, უშუება არს მისა“ (1 კორ. 11,14). იოანე ოქროპირი, ეპიფანე კვიპრელი ნეტარი იერონიმე, თეოდორე სტუდიელი და სხვები ერთხმად აღუკრძალავენ სამღვდელო პირთ, თითონ ბერებსაც კი, გრეძლი თმების ტარებას, ვინაიდან გრძელი თმების ტარება წარმართებს სჩევიათო. მოციქულთა დადგენილებანი აგრეთვე აღუკრძალავენ გრძელ თმების დაყენებას, რასაც ისინი მეძავთა და მემრუშეთა თვისებად სთვლიან. მეშვიდე საუკუნეში არამც თუ გრძელს თმებს არ იყენებდნენ, პირიქით, ჩვეულებაში შემოვიდა თავის კეფაზე მრგვლივ თმების გამოპარსვა. ასეთი პრაქტიკის მომაგონებელია ეხლა მღვდელმთავრების მიერ წიგნის მკითხველად კურთხევადის აღკვეცა. მეექვსე მსოფლიო კრების 21-ე და 42-ე კანონი მოითხოვს მღვდლებისა და ბერებისაგან, რომ იმათ თმები აღიკვეცონ, თუ მღვდლად და ბერად დარჩენა უნდათ. ამასვე მოწმობენ პატრიარქი გერმანე (მე-8 საუკუნე), პატრიარქი პეტრე ანტიოქიელი (მე-11 ს.), ვალსამონი (მე-12 ს.). სვიმეონ სოლუნელი ((მე-15 ს.) და ეგრედწოდებული პიდალიონი (კანონთა განმარტებანი), რომელიც 1800 წელს გამოიცა საბერძნეთში.

ამდენად, გრძელი თმების ტარება ძველად არამცთუ სავალდებულო არაა, პირიქით, როგორც დავინახეთ. აკრძალულიც კი არის. მაშასადამე, ეხლაც სავალდებულო არ უნდა იყოს სამღვდელო პირთათვის გრძელი თმების დაყენება. თვით მათ სურვილზე უნდა იყოს დამოკიდებული, როგორ თმებს ატარებენ ისინი: გრძელსა თუ მოკლეს, შეკრეჭილს.


1. საჭიროა ჩვენი ღვთისმსახურება განმარტივდეს, ცხოვრებას დაუახლოვდეს და. შეძლებისდაგვარად, შინაარსით და ფრაზეოლოგიით საშუალო მლოცველ-მორწმუნეთათვის გასაგები იყოს. ამის მოსაგვარებლად საკათალიკოზო საბჭოსთან უნდა დაარსდეს განსაკუთრებული საღვთისმსახურო კომისია.

2. საღვთო და საეკლესიო წიგნების საბეჭდავად უნდა შემოღებულ იქმნეს მხედრული ანბანი, ვინაიდან ამ შემთხვევაში ეს წიგნები ფართო მასისათვის უფრო ხელმისაწვდენი იქნება.

3. კრებულის წევრთათვის სავალდებულო არ უნდა იყოს ეკლესიის გარეშე ანაფორის ტარება: სურვილისამებრ მათ შეუძლიათ საერო ტანისამოსი ატარონ.

4. მათთვის არც გრძელი თმებისა და წვერის ტარება უნდა იყოს სავალდებულო, ესეც კერძო სურვილზე უნდა იყოს დამოკიდებული.


ილია ჭავჭავაძე: საქართველოს რუსეთის იმპერიასთან დაკავშირება იყო თვით ქართველი ერის სიკვდილი

ილია ჭავჭავაძე

მე კერძოდ წინააღმდეგი ვარ ასეთის [საქართველოს რუსეთთან შეერთების 100 წლისთავის] დღესასწაულის გადახდის, 40 წლის განმავლობაში, მე სულ იმ აზრის ვიყავ, რომ საქართველოს რუსეთის იმპერიასთან დაკავშირება იყო თვით ქართველი ერის სიკვდილი. 40 წლის განმავლობაში ამას ვფიქრობდი, ამას ვემსახურებოდი, ამას ვაკეთებდი როგორც სიტყვით, ისევე კალმით. ეხლა თქვენ მეუბნებით, რომ 40 წლის განმავლობაში თქვენი ნაფიქრ-ნაღაღადევი უარი ჰყავით და ასე უცბად ჩვენს განძრახვას დაემორჩილედო. არა, მე ჩემი 40 წლის ნამაგდარი შეხედულება უარი ვერ ვყავი, გაუმეორე კვალად: მე ასე ვფიქრობ მეთქი და ამიტომ თქვენც გირჩევთ, რომ ამ აზრის იყვნეთ და ჩვენი სიკვდილის ასის წლის თავს ნუ ვიდღესასწაულებთ მეთქი, მათ არ ქმნეს. მე კიდევ უარი ვსთქვი: მე არ თანაუგრძნობ თქვენს განძრახვას და ამიტომ მშვიდობით ბრძანდებოდეთ. მე ჩემთვის, თქვენ თქვენთვის.

[ზაქარია ჭიჭინაძის ჩანაწერი, 1901 წელი]

Edmund Burke: Speech to the Electors of Bristol

Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke

Gentlemen,—I cannot avoid sympathizing strongly with the feelings of the gentleman who has received the same honor that you have conferred on me. If he, who was bred and passed his whole life amongst you,—if he, who, through the easy gradations of acquaintance, friendship, and esteem, has obtained the honor which seems of itself, naturally and almost insensibly, to meet with those who, by the even tenor of pleasing manners and social virtues, slide into the love and confidence of their fellow-citizens,—if he cannot speak but with great emotion on this subject, surrounded as he is on all sides with his old friends,—you will have the goodness to excuse me, if my real, unaffected embarrassment prevents me from expressing my gratitude to you as I ought.

I was brought hither under the disadvantage of being unknown, even by sight, to any of you. No previous canvass was made for me. I was put in nomination after the poll was opened. I did not appear until it was far advanced. If, under all these accumulated disadvantages, your good opinion has carried me to this happy point of success, you will pardon me, if I can only say to you collectively, as I said to you individually, simply and plainly, I thank you,—I am obliged to you,—I am not insensible of your kindness.

This is all that I am able to say for the inestimable favor you have conferred upon me. But I cannot be satisfied without saying a little more in defence of the right you have to confer such a favor. The person that appeared here as counsel for the candidate who so long and so earnestly solicited your votes thinks proper to deny that a very great part of you have any votes to give. He fixes a standard period of time in his own imagination, (not what the law defines, but merely what the convenience of his client suggests,) by which he would cut off at one stroke all those freedoms which are the dearest privileges of your corporation,—which the Common Law authorizes,—which your magistrates are compelled to grant,—which come duly authenticated into this court,—and are saved in the clearest words, and with the most religious care and tenderness, in that very act of Parliament which was made to regulate the elections by freemen, and to prevent all possible abuses in making them.

I do not intend to argue the matter here. My learned counsel has supported your cause with his usual ability; the worthy sheriffs have acted with their usual equity; and I have no doubt that the same equity which dictates the return will guide the final determination. I had the honor, in conjunction with many far wiser men, to contribute a very small assistance, but, however, some assistance, to the forming the judicature which is to try such questions. It would be unnatural in me to doubt the justice of that court, in the trial of my own cause, to which I have been so active to give jurisdiction over every other.

I assure the worthy freemen, and this corporation, that, if the gentleman perseveres in the intentions which his present warmth dictates to him, I will attend their cause with diligence, and I hope with effect. For, if I know anything of myself, it is not my own interest in it, but my full conviction, that induces me to tell you, I think there is not a shadow of doubt in the case.

I do not imagine that you find me rash in declaring myself, or very forward in troubling you. From the beginning to the end of the election, I have kept silence in all matters of discussion. I have never asked a question of a voter on the other side, or supported a doubtful vote on my own. I respected the abilities of my managers; I relied on the candor of the court. I think the worthy sheriffs will bear me witness that I have never once made an attempt to impose upon their reason, to surprise their justice, or to ruffle their temper. I stood on the hustings (except when I gave my thanks to those who favored me with their votes) less like a candidate than an unconcerned spectator of a public proceeding. But here the face of things is altered. Here is an attempt for a general massacre of suffrages,—an attempt, by a promiscuous carnage of friends and foes, to exterminate above two thousand votes, including seven hundred polled for the gentleman himself who now complains, and who would destroy the friends whom he has obtained, only because he cannot obtain as many of them as he wishes.

How he will be permitted, in another place, to stultify and disable himself, and to plead against his own acts, is another question. The law will decide it. I shall only speak of it as it concerns the propriety of public conduct in this city. I do not pretend to lay down rules of decorum for other gentlemen. They are best judges of the mode of proceeding that will recommend them to the favor of their fellow-citizens. But I confess I should look rather awkward, if I had been the very first to produce the new copies of freedom,—if I had persisted in producing them to the last,—if I had ransacked, with the most unremitting industry and the most penetrating research, the remotest corners of the kingdom to discover them,—if I were then, all at once, to turn short, and declare that I had been sporting all this while with the right of election, and that I had been drawing out a poll, upon no sort of rational grounds, which disturbed the peace of my fellow-citizens for a month together;—I really, for my part, should appear awkward under such circumstances.

It would be still more awkward in me, if I were gravely to look the sheriffs in the face, and to tell them they were not to determine my cause on my own principles, nor to make the return upon those votes upon which I had rested my election. Such would be my appearance to the court and magistrates.

But how should I appear to the voters themselves? If I had gone round to the citizens entitled to freedom, and squeezed them by the hand,—”Sir, I humbly beg your vote,—I shall be eternally thankful,— may I hope for the honor of your support?—Well!—come,—we shall see you at the Council-House.”—If I were then to deliver them to my managers, pack them into tallies, vote them off in court, and when I heard from the bar,—”Such a one only! and such a one forever!—he’s my man!”—”Thank you, good Sir,—Hah! my worthy friend! thank you kindly,—that’s an honest fellow,—how is your good family?”—Whilst these words were hardly out of my mouth, if I should have wheeled round at once, and told them,—”Get you gone, you pack of worthless fellows! you have no votes,—you are usurpers! you are intruders on the rights of real freemen! I will have nothing to do with you! you ought never to have been produced at this election, and the sheriffs ought not to have admitted you to poll!”—

Gentlemen, I should make a strange figure, if my conduct had been of this sort. I am not so old an acquaintance of yours as the worthy gentleman. Indeed, I could not have ventured on such kind of freedoms with you. But I am bound, and I will endeavor, to have justice done to the rights of freemen,—even though I should at the same time be obliged to vindicate the former part of my antagonist’s conduct against his own present inclinations.

I owe myself, in all things, to all the freemen of this city. My particular friends have a demand on mo that I should not deceive their expectations. Never was cause or man supported with more constancy, more activity, more spirit. I have been supported with a zeal, indeed, and heartiness in my friends, which (if their object had been at all proportioned to their endeavors) could never be sufficiently commended. They supported me upon the most liberal principles. They wished that the members for Bristol should be chosen for the city, and for their country at large, and not for themselves.

So far they are not disappointed. If I possess nothing else, I am sure I possess the temper that is fit for your service. I know nothing of Bristol, but by the favors I have received, and the virtues I have seen exerted in it.

I shall ever retain, what I now feel, the most perfect and grateful attachment to my friends,—and I have no enmities, no resentments. I never can consider fidelity to engagements and constancy in friendships but with the highest approbation, even when those noble qualities are employed against my own pretensions. The gentleman who is not so fortunate as I have been in this contest enjoys, in this respect, a consolation full of honor both to himself and to his friends. They have certainly left nothing undone for his service.

As for the trifling petulance which the rage of party stirs up in little minds, though it should show itself even in this court, it has not made the slightest impression on me. The highest flight of such clamorous birds is winged in an inferior region of the air. We hear them, and we look upon them, just as you, Gentlemen, when you enjoy the serene air on your lofty rocks, look down upon the gulls that skim the mud of your river, when it is exhausted of its tide.

I am sorry I cannot conclude without saying a word on a topic touched upon by my worthy colleague. I wish that topic had been passed by at a time when I have so little leisure to discuss it. But since he has thought proper to throw it out, I owe you a clear explanation of my poor sentiments on that subject.

He tells you that “the topic of instructions has occasioned much altercation and uneasiness in this city”; and he expresses himself (if I understand him rightly) in favor of the coercive authority of such instructions.

Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs,—and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.

But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure,—no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that in which the determination precedes the discussion, in which one set of men deliberate and another decide, and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments?

To deliver an opinion is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear, and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions, mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience,—these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our Constitution.

Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole—where not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of Parliament. If the local constituent should have an interest or should form an hasty opinion evidently opposite to the real good of the rest of the community, the member for that place ought to be as far as any other from any endeavor to give it effect. I beg pardon for saying so much on this subject; I have been unwillingly drawn into it; but I shall ever use a respectful frankness of communication with you. Your faithful friend, your devoted servant, I shall be to the end of my life: a flatterer you do not wish for. On this point of instructions, however, I think it scarcely possible we ever can have any sort of difference. Perhaps I may give you too much, rather than too little trouble.

From the first hour I was encouraged to court your favor, to this happy day of obtaining it, I have never promised you anything but humble and persevering endeavors to do my duty. The weight of that duty, I confess, makes me tremble; and whoever well considers what it is, of all things in the world, will fly from what has the least likeness to a positive and precipitate engagement. To be a good member of Parliament is, let me tell you, no easy task,—especially at this time, when there is so strong a disposition to run into the perilous extremes of servile compliance or wild popularity. To unite circumspection with vigor is absolutely necessary, but it is extremely difficult. We are now members for a rich commercial city; this city, however, is but a part of a rich commercial nation, the interests of which are various, multiform, and intricate. We are members for that great nation, which, however, is itself but part of a great empire, extended by our virtue and our fortune to the farthest limits of the East and of the West. All these wide-spread interests must be considered,—must be compared,—must be reconciled, if possible. We are members for a free country; and surely we all know that the machine of a free constitution is no simple thing, but as intricate and as delicate as it is valuable. We are members in a great and ancient monarchy; and we must preserve religiously the true, legal rights of the sovereign, which form the keystone that binds together the noble and well-constructed arch of our empire and our Constitution. A constitution made up of balanced powers must ever be a critical thing. As such I mean to touch that part of it which comes within my reach. I know my inability, and I wish for support from every quarter. In particular I shall aim at the friendship, and shall cultivate the best correspondence, of the worthy colleague you have given me.

I trouble you no farther than once more to thank you all: you, Gentlemen, for your favors; the candidates, for their temperate and polite behavior; and the sheriffs, for a conduct which may give a model for all who are in public stations.

November 3, 1774

ზურაბ კიკნაძე: ნაცარქექიას აპოლოგია – ვუძღვნი ბ-ნ მინისტრს ალექსანდრე ჯეჯელავას

ზურაბ კიკნაძე

ზურაბ კიკნაძე

ჩვეულებრივ საუბარში ამბობენ: “ეს ზღაპარია”. და ის, რაზედაც ამბობენ, რომ ზღაპარია, მიაჩნიათ, რომ განუხორციელებელი ოცნებაა, ან სინამდვილის საპირისპიროა, ან ტყუილია და ამიტომაც მასზე ფიქრისთვის არ უნდა მოცდეს გონიერი კაცი…

ნამდვილად სიტყვა “ზღაპარი” არ იმსახურებს იმას, რომ ის დავუპირისპიროთ სიმართლეს, ჭეშმარიტებას. ამ სინამდვილეს კი ნამდვილად უპირისპირდება. რადგან ზღაპარი ეწოდა ისეთ ამბავს, რომელიც გვაუწყებს ყოველდღიური სინამდვილის ძლევით მასზე აღმატებულის დამკვიდრებას. განა ტყუილი დაერქმევა იმ გზას, რომლის ბოლოს აბსოლუტური დასასრულია, როცა უკან არის მოტოვებული ყველა განსაცდელი, მეტიც: განსაცდელის წყარო – ბოროტება აღმოფხვრილია, განქარებულია უკანასკნელი მტერი, და მთელი ყოფიერება მარადიული ქორწილით ახალ საფეხურზე ადის, სადაც არის ახალი ცა და ახალი მიწა… ამ გზის გამკაფავი არის ზღაპრის გმირი, რომელიც გადის მამის სახლიდან, რათა გამარჯვებული და გამდიდრებული კვლავ დაუბრუნდეს მას…

აჰა, გადის ბიჭი, ახალგაზრდა, მზეჭაბუკი თუ გლეხის შვილი. ის არ იცნობს არც საკუთარ თავს, არც გარესამყაროს. ის იქნებ თავის თვალშიც არარაობაა, უსუსურია, ყარიბია, მაგრამ არც კომბალი უჭირავს ხელში, არც სხვა რამ იარაღი თავის დასაცავად. მაგრამ საკმარისია გადააბიჯოს კარის ზღურბლს, აღმოჩნდეს პირველ განსაცდელში, რომელიც მას ელის გარეთ, იმ წამსვე წამოიმართებიან თითქოს არარაობიდან მის საშველად… მაგრამ ყველა შემხვედრს როდი ეშველებიან ისინი. მხოლოდ მათ ეშველებიან, ვინც კაცთაგან უვალს და გაუთელელ გზას ადგანან. ეს ბიჭი – ყარიბი, გასული იდუმალის საძიებლად, იმ გზაჯვარედინს გაცილებული, სადაც სწერია “აქეთ წახვალ, ვეღარ დაბრუნდები” – ის სწორედ ამ გზას ადგას, რადგან ყველა სხვა გზა ფუჭი და ამაოა (დაე, ჭკვიანმა ძმებმა იარონ იმ გზებზე, რომლებიც ტყუიან), – სავსე რწმენითა და ნდობით ყოველი არსებისადმი, მზადმყოფი გასცეს უკანასკნელი, თვით ისიც, რაც დიდი განსაცდელის გავლით აქვს მოპოვებული, – ეს ბიჭი ღირსია იმისა, რომ მის მხარეზე იყოს მთელი ხილული და უხილავი სამყარო… და ის გამარჯვებული ბრუნდება. მისი გზა-სავალი ისეთია, რომელსაც “ჭკვიანნი ვერ მიხვდებიან”.

ჭკვიანნი ვერ მიხვდებიან იმ კაცის ფიქრებსაც, კერიის წინ რომ ჩამჯდარა და ქექავს ნაცარს. ეძებს რასმე? იქნებ ეძებს, მაგრამ ჩვენ არ ვიცით, რას ეძებს და ვერც დავინახავთ, რასაც მოიძევს. ამ კაცის სახელი სალანძღავ და საკიცხველ სიტყვად იქცა. “რას დამჯდარხარ ნაცარქექიასავით!” მაგრამ განა შეძლებს ყოველი უსაქმური ნაცარქექიასავით ჯდომას?

დაე, დასცინოდნენ მას იმ საგნების გამო, რომელიც მან მოითხოვა სახლიდან გასვლისას, როცა გარეთ აგდებდნენ. რა არის ჭყინტი ყველი, რა არის სადგისი, რა არის ერთი გუდა ნაცარი? ნივთები, რომლებიც მხოლოდ სახლში შეიძლება გამოადგეს კაცს. მაგრამ ჩვენ ვიცით, რომ ეს კაცი, რომელსაც აიძულებენ დასტოვოს კერა, არ გამოიყენებს ამ საგნებს მათი პირდაპირი დანიშნულებისამებრ. ის არ შეჭამს ყველს (ვერც ხანგრძლივად შეინახავს, ის ჭყინტია), სადგისით არ გახვრეტს ტყავს, ნაცრით არ გახეხავს ქვაბს. ის აღმოაჩენს მათში იმაზე მეტს, რასაც ისინი ასრულებენ ყოველდღიურ ყოფაში, ან რაც მათთვის დაუკისრებია ადამიანის ჭკუას. დასცინიან მას? მაგრამ ის თავად დასცინებს მათ, ვინც ვერ იხედება საგანთა უკან, საგანთა სიღრმეში, საგანთა ზემოთ, რომელთა ჭკუა ერთგანზომილებიანია, ამიტომაც ყოველდღიურობას მიჯაჭვული…

ის აერთებს თავის თავში ორი ტიპის ადამიანს, რომელთაგან ერთი ჭვრეტს – მჭვრეტელია, მეორე მოქმედებს – მოქმედია… ერთი შინ არის, მეორე – გარეთ. სოფელი მათ გარეშე წარმოუდგენელია, ისინი ერთმანეთს ავსებენ. ერთიც აუცილებელია და მეორეც. მაგრამ უნდა ვიცოდეთ, რომ ერთის წილი – მჭვრეტელისა, რომელიც ზის, გამორჩეულია. მჭვრეტელი, იდუმალის მსმენელის წილი ქრისტემ გამოარჩია, როცა უთხრა ბეთანიელი ლაზარეს დას: “მართა! მართა! შენ ბევრ რამეზე ზრუნავ და წუხხარ, საჭირო კი მხოლოდ ერთია…” (ლუკა, 10:41-42).

ასე ზის კაცი კერიაში – სახლისა და სამყაროს შუაგულში და იჩხრიკება, და მას ნაცარქექიას ეძახიან; მისი ქცევა გარეშე თვალისთვის ისევე დაცლილია აზრისაგან, როგორც ნაცარი – ცეცხლისაგან. მაგრამ ნაცარქექიამ ცნობიერად თუ ქვეცნობიერად იცის, რომ ნაცრის ჩხრეკა ცეცხლის არსის, მისი საფუძვლის ჭვრეტის სიმბოლოა. ის ხილულში უხილავს ეძებს. მან იცის, რისი დანატოვარია ნაცარი და ნაცრიდან რას შეიძლება მისწვდეს მისი მჩხრეკელი…

დაე, დასცინოდნენ მას ამ საქმიანობისთვის, მაგრამ მოვუსმინოთ, რას ამბობს მგოსანი:

მაგრამ რომ გაჰქექ ცივ ნაცარს

და გამოუქექ მას ძირსა,

იქ ნახავ ობოლ ნაკვერცხალს,


და იმ ნაკვერცხლით აანთებ,

ააგუგუნებ კერასა,

სახლიც გათბება და ბნელი

ნათელს ვერ ავნებს ვერასა…

3 სექტემბერი, 2016 წ.

Robert Conquest: Victory, For Now

Robert Conquest

Robert Conquest

There is something wrong with the political consciousness of the West

We can presumably take it for granted that a real world order can come about only among a community of pluralist nations. We can presumably agree that nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction must, by deterrence or defense, or a combination of these, be denied their ability to ruin the planet. We can see that the responsibility, and the capacity, to cope with all this is largely borne on the shoulders of what we call the West. And we can note that there are weaknesses in Western perceptions and Western political arrangements that arc, in this context, deplorable.

It is urged that the West’s pluralist political and social order won a tremendous victory with the downfall of Soviet Communism. And with this goes the claim that the totalitarian ideologies have similarly, and simultaneously, been exposed and defeated in the intellectual sphere. Well, yes. But the West is still faced with Communist regimes in existence, from the insane Kimocracy that is processing plutonium in Pyongyang, to the shaken but unreconstructed Chinese mainland regime. Nor can we believe that the sensible Western policies that brought down the Soviets are being adequately remembered or applied in these still dangerous cases – which is to say that there is something wrong with the political consciousness of the West.

Once one says that, one opens a whole cask of worms. It implies that delusions and false leads, far from being extinct, are still flourishing. Where should one start? If we consider the climate of intellectual opinion as a whole, we fined, it is true, that not only the Communist myth, but even the Socialist idea in the West is moribund. That is indeed progress. As with the elimination of smallpox, however, it does not mean that similar infection may not emerge. And we find in many Western countries – especially France – that the idea of massive state control is still powerful, both politically and intellectually. The difference between the new étatisme and the old is that the present attitude leaves certain areas of capitalist initiative untouched – like the private plots peasants were allowed to keep under Soviet collectivization.

In any case, at the political level, we see a meld of state and capitalist bureaucracies into something resembling a corporatist society. And it may be noted that this type of corporatism, with a capitalist element merged into (and controlled by) the state machine, is the sort of order that seems to be emerging in China. If so, we see an aberrant and paradoxical confirmation of the old “convergence” theory advanced by John Kenneth Galbraith and others. Such a corporatism, if established in Western societies, is bound to lead to a degeneration of democratic habits, civic relations, and, in the long run, mental independence, and so to an inability to cope with world or other problems.

In its European mode, this corporatism presents something described by French critics as “pink fascism,” enforced by ill-instructed, if well- meaning, recruits to the intelligentsia. This milieu would, in the old days, have become Marxist, and hence largely unassimilable to the Western political world proper, but, divested of ideology proper, it is now scampering through the institutions. Institutions have, of course, to exist, or to be created, in a form suitable for such a cadre, institutions into which this cadre can inject the subjective justifications for the sort of activism previously provided by Marxist, or other, ideology.


The prime example is the European Union. Here we have the case of a bureaucratic drive whose much-needed justification, or false consciousness, is toward a supposedly better, or deeper, or more united political continent – which is to say, a generality that avoids the now obviously untenable complete utopianism of the old ideologies, while still projecting the image, for both addicts and opponents, of a grander, or more progressive, or more important future. The result has been a bureaucratic nightmare, a Brussels that – even after the public scandals of 1999 – still cannot account for billions of dollars in its expenses; that is amenable to no serious control; that inflicts on those under its sway regulations by the thousand, in every sphere from wages to sausages; that seeks to destroy the common-law culture of Britain in favor of continental statist rule.

In the context the natural links of Britain are with the United States and the former Dominions. The international objection to the EU is, of course, that it is divisive of the West. In so far as there is a “European” culture in the sense implied, it subsists also in the “Europe Overseas.” But most of, or the most important part of, that transoceanic transplant is in the sphere seeded by Britain rather than by continental Europe. The links so implied, therefore, must – from a Brussels point of view – be blocked. For, as is now often and openly said in European circles, the aim is to compete with, to exclude, and in general to do down the United States. That is to say, the EU is both implicitly and explicitly anti-American – and this in a world in which a greater closeness, rather than a greater mutual hostility, is needed in the non-totalitarian world.

But there is good news: This EU business is doomed to failure. The “Europe” that is to become a united state has none of the necessary qualifications: shared ethnicity, traditions, economic level, civic habits – nothing. All such unificatory federations of disparate peoples have collapsed (the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, to name two). This is not the place to develop the whole range of arguments against the “Europe” concept – which (amongst other themes) I have dealt with in my recent book, Reflections on a Ravaged Century. But still it is appropriate to insist here on the American interest in discouraging its development, and in offering alternative cohesions.

Brusselitis is, sadly, not the only affliction to be found in the West. The atmosphere in which not only this but also comparable international and domestic myopias are nourished is, and can only be, that of what we may call a politically déraciné section of the intelligentsia. Academe, in particular, is still a hothouse for poisonous exotica. Nor does all this remain on campus: It is projected through powerful foundations, and through governmental cliques and committees.

Some university departments indeed arc no longer providing education in any recognized sense of the word. There are now scores of thousands of professors, teachers, long-term “students” who are sometimes even concerned to deny the validity of knowledge, but almost always to portray the Western pluralist order as an object of obloquy. Thus we have to cope with the effect of such excess miseducation in producing an ill-informed caste with an entirely unjustified sense of its splendor and its mission. We need reforms that would at least ensure that universities, to say nothing of primary and secondary schools, are not encouraged to promote agenda other than knowledge and judgment.

Even those in official positions feel obliged to appease obnoxious trends, including the absurd, and indisputably militarily deleterious, feminization of the infantry. The political class, and the political leadership itself, is infected by the surrounding atmosphere, even to the extent of underestimating the real dangers of the still very troubled world, and the necessity of preserving the capacity to cope with them. Nor are reasonable policies in themselves difficult to understand, or repulsive to the peoples of the Western tradition. The problem lies elsewhere -in the vulnerability to unreason of much of the intellectual class and to such of the political class as is influenced, or diverted, by them.


The dismaying results of this surrender are not far to seek: an effectively disintegrative “Europeanism”; an anti-Western intelligentsia, on both sides of the Atlantic, that actively or indirectly opposes, or sabotages, the defense developments required to deter the various nuclear and other threats to us and to the world; and, in the same circles, mindsets tending to disrupt or demoralize the pluralist social and political order.

In fact, in spite of the lessons of the Cold War, there is still a sentiment opposed, in knee-jerk fashion, to the whole idea of adequate defense. Moreover, this is, if anything, exacerbated by the pressures that sane American policy faces from an international establishmentarianism: a resurgence of what one thinks of (remember the Cold War) as Stockholm-style self-congratulatory holier-than-thou attitudes to American plans to defend America (and the rest of the world), and to American reluctance to assent to fine-sounding treaties that many other signatories would not dream of observing. And this “international pressure” is used by the myopic in the United States itself as an argument for debilitation.

It may be said, and rightly, that we have always suffered from these or similar disadvantages, and that they can be overcome, or at least prevented from exercising their full potential of harm. But how? And what can we say that is more positive?

First, that the American political stratum proper is by no means dominated, even if over-influenced, by the chattering classes. And the press proper, even if to some degree skewed, is on the whole more adult, more sane, than the intelligentsia a per se. Furthermore, this cheering picture is – perhaps surprisingly – truer of the United States than of its allies, or supposed allies. Second, there is no overpowering objective reason that the West should not remain the global center of power, with all that this implies for a future world in which pluralist arrangements and peaceful evolution prevail. But we can hardly forget, or fail to face, the internal problems of the West, as well as, and with implications for, its global confrontations.

Mr. Conquest exposed the Soviet Union in his 1968 book, The Great Terror. His latest book is Reflections on a Ravaged Century.

National Review, January 24, 2000

ილია ჭავჭავაძე: საგაზეთო შენიშვნები ტფილისის ქალაქის გამგეობის მიმდინარე საქმეებზე

ილია ჭავჭავაძე

ხვალ, 18 მაისს, განკითხვის დღეა. განკითხვის დღეა იმისი თუ, ვინ უნდა მოუაროს, ვინ უნდა უპატრონოს ტფილისს ამ ოთხს წელიწადს და ვინ უნდა იზრუნოს და ისაქმოს ადამიანურის გულისტკივილითა და გულმოდგინებით ჩვენის კეთილდღეობისათვის, ჩვენის ავკარგიანობისათვის.

აქამდე თუ ხმოსნების ამორჩევას საბჭოსათვის ყურს არ ვათხოვებდით და გულგრილად ვეკიდებოდით, დიდი შეცოდება იყო ჩვენ მიერ ტფილისისა და მისთა მკვიდრთა წინაშე. ეხლა სულ სხვა დროა. ტფილისი ჩვენი მშობელი ქალაქია, ყველანი, ვინც აქა ვშობილვართ, აქა ვცხოვრობთ, აქა ვტრიალებთ, რა მილეთისაც გინდ იყოს კაცი, მისი შვილები ვართ და სამსახური უნდა გავუწიოთ ერთნაირის გულისცემითა, ერთნაირის ნატვრითა, რომ ჩვენი დედაქალაქი გამოკეთდეს, გამოფაქიზდეს, მოჯობინდეს, მოჯამრთელდეს. ღმერთმა არა დაიშურა რა ჩვენის დედაქალაქისათვის. ჰაერი, წყალი, ადგილი ყველაფერი, რითაც ბუნება მოსაწონებლად ჰქმნის ადამიანის საცხოვრებელს, იმოდენად კარგი გვაქვს, რომ ბევრი უცხოელი შემოგვნატრის. თუ რამ ცუდია აქ, და ბევრი რამაც არის ცუდი, სულ იმისი ბრალია, რომ დედაქალაქს შვილობას არ ვუწევთ, გულდადებით არ ვექცევით, სიყვარულით, სიყვარულით არ ვპატრონობთ.

კანონმა ნება მოგვცა ჩვენს დედაქალაქს ჩვენვე მოვუაროთ, ჩვენვე ვუპატრონოთ ამ მხრით. ჩვენც საკმაო ხარჯს ვიხდით, რომ ეს პატრონობა, ეს მოვლა ყინულზე დაწერილი თამასუქი არ იყოს, ხარჯიც ტყუილუბრალოდ არ იქსაქსებოდეს, საქმე ჩვენდა საკეთილოდ კეთდებოდეს და კეთილი დღედადღე ემატებოდეს ჩვენს მშობელს ქალაქსა.

ყველამ ერთად, რომ პატრონობა და მოვლა მოვინდომოთ, შეუძლებელია. კანონმა ეს კარგად იცოდა და დაგვიწესა უკეთესნი კაცნი რიცხვით ოთხმოცი ამოირჩიეთ თქვენ შორის და იმათ მიანდეთ ეგ პატრონობა და მოვლაო. და აი ხვალ ამისი განკითხვაა. რომ ჩაუფიქრდეთ, თქვენვე იტყვით ჩვენთან ერთად, რომ ეს სახუმარი საქმე არ არის. ერთი გულმრუდობით აქედ თუ იქით წასული კენჭი შემძლებელია იმისთანა კაცები დასვას საბჭოში, რომ მერე თქვენი მშობელი ქალაქი, თქვენ თვითონ, თქვენი ოჯახი, თქვენი ცოლ-შვილი თავსა და პირს იხოკდეს, ეს რა ღმერთი გაგვიწყრა, როგორ ამოვირჩიეთ ეს ჩვენი წამწყმედელნი და დამღუპავნიო? იცოდეთ, დიდი ცოდვა-მადლი თანა სდევს არჩევანსა და ვიდრე ხელი კენჭის ჩასაგდებად დაიძროდეს, თქვენს ნამუსს, თქვენს სინდისს, თქვენს გულს, თქვენს ჭკუას რამდენჯერმე დაეკითხეთ ვინ არის ღირსეული და ვინ არა, განურჩევლად დიდისა და პატარისა.

იცოდეთ, თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომელსაც თქვენი სიკეთე, თქვენი სიყვარული, თქვენთვის გულშემატკივრობა სულელობად არ მიაჩნია.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომელსაც უნდა ებრალებოდეს თქვენი თავი, თქვენი ცოლ-შვილი და თქვენის ოფლით მონაგარს ფულს, ხარჯად თქვენს მიერ გაცემულს, თქვენს კეთილად ცხოვრებას, თქვენს მშვიდობით და უშიშრად ყოფნას ახმარებდეს, რამოდენადაც ყოველივე ეს შესაძლოა.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ მდიდარს განგებ არ აკლებდეს ქალაქის ხარჯსა და ხმაამოუღებელს შეუძლებელს განგებვე არ უმატებდეს, და რაც მდიდარს დააკლეს, ღარიბს არ ახდევინონ.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ თქვენი მიყრუებული უბნები ტალახისა და ტყლაპოებისაგან არა ჰყარდეს და მარტო მდიდართა ქუჩები არა ჰლაპლაპებდეს სიფაქიზითა.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ ხორაგი, საჭმელ-სასმელი, ქალაქის ბაზარში კარგი და საღი იყოს და თქვენ არ გახდენდნენ, არ გაფუჭებდნენ და ამ მხრით უშიშარ იყვნეთ.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ პურს, ღვინოს, საჭმელ-სასმელს ჩარჩები თუ სხვა ვინმე განგებ მამასისხლად არა ჰხდიდნენ და ამით თქვენ და თქვენს ცოლ-შვილს არ უძვირებდნენ საჭირო საზრდოს და საკვებსა.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ ქალაქის მოხელეებს ხელსა და კალთას არ აფარებდნენ, როცა იგინი არ ვარგანან და ტყუილუბრალოდ სჭამენ თქვენის ოფლით მონაგარს ფულსა ჯამაგირების სახითა.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ ბუნებითად კეთილი ჰაერი თქვენის დედაქალაქისა არ იშხამებოდეს უწმინდურების სიყრალითა და არა გშხამვიდეს თქვენ, თქვენს ოჯახს, თქვენს წვრილშვილსა.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ წყალი უვნებელი და მოუწყვეტელი გქონდეთ და ამასთანაც, რაც შეიძლება იეფი.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ რაკი ხორაგს თუ სასმელს ბაზარში ჰყიდულობთ, დახათრიჯამებული იყვნეთ, რომ წამხდარს და მოწამლულს არ შემოგაპარებენ.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ თქვენს წვრილშვილებს სწავლა-განათლების გზა და სახსარი მისცეს, გული კეთილს შეუჩვიოს, ჭკუა სჯასა და მოსაზრებასა, რამდენადაც შესაძლოა.

თქვენ გინდათ კაცი, რომ თითმის ორ მილიონამდე ყოველწლივ შემოსავალი ქალაქისა, თქვენგანვე ხარჯად აღებული, თქვენვე და თქვენს ქალაქს საერთოდ ჰხმარდებოდეს გამოზოგვითა და ცოდნითა და არა აქეთ-იქით იქსაქსებოდეს გულდაუდებლობით და უთავდარიგობითა.

ერთის სიტყვით, ბევრი სხვაც არის, მაგრამ ყველას ჩამოთვლა შორს წაგვიყვანს. ესეც საკმაოა, თუ ღმერთმა გვაგონა, და ამაებს მაინც ხვალ შესაფერი კაცები ამოვურჩიეთ.

ამიტომა ვთქვით ზევით, რომ ხვალინდელი დღე სახუმარი დღე არ არის. სიმძიმე და სიდიდე იმ მოვალეობისა, რომელსაც ხვალ კისრად ვღებულობთ და ასე თუ ისე ავასრულებთ, წინ უნდა წაიმძღვაროს ყველამ და ისე მივიდეს კენჭის მისაცემად. აქ ვინც უმტყუვნებს და უღალატებს იმას, რასაც სინიდისი, ნამუსი, კაცური კაცობა ამხელს, იგი უმტყუვნებს, იგი უღალატებს თავისს თავს, თავისის ცოლ-შვილის, ოჯახის ბედნიერებას და კეთილდღეობას.

ვისაც ხელი მიგიწვდებათ, ყველანი უნდა მიხვიდეთ არჩევანზე და თქვენი მოქალაქური, კაცადკაცური მოვალეობა გადაუხადოთ თქვენს მშობელს ქალაქსა.

იცოდეთ, რომ ვისაც ხვალ ჩააბარებთ საბჭოში ხმოსნობას, იმას აბარებთ მთელის ოთხის წლის თქვენს საერთო სვე-ბედსა, თქვენის ოჯახობის საერთო კეთილსა და ბოროტსა. ოთხი წელიწადი ბევრის რისამეა შემძლებელი, ავიც შეიძლება ბევრი მოგვაყენოს კარს და კარგიც.

გულს ნუ გაიმრუდებთ, სულს ნუ წაიწყმედავთ! იცოდეთ, ეს დიდი საქმე თქვენს ნამუსს, თქვენს სინიდისს, თქვენს პატიოსნებას აბარია. ახსენეთ ღმერთი, და ღვთისა და მართლის სახელით, შეუდექით არჩევანის დიდს საქმეს და მარჯვენას თქვენსას ის არ აქმნევინოთ, რასაც გული და სინიდისი არ გეუბნებათ.

ივერია # 94, გვ. 1-2. 16 მაისი, 1897 წ.