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M. de Choiseul's view of this important feature of the late revolution is perfectly just and of general application.
Socialism or Communism had first appeared amongst the religious commotions of the sixteenth century, under the title of Levellers, and under such leaders as Muntzter, John of Leyden, and Godfrey of Berlingen, and had covered Germany with wars, massacres, and confusion. Our modern dreamers, Fourier, Considérant, Cabet, and their followers, revived it--with the omission of the religious element; their ultimate object was to deprive property of that personal character which it bad had ever since the foundation of human society, and to extend the same levelling process to all the operations of industryfor which latter purpose they proposed what was called l’Organisation du Travail. This system was propounded by M. Louis Blanc in a work so named, which had become a text-book in the workshops before it was so much as heard of in the world. All work and profit were to be in common. A great number of the working class-overlooking the radical defect of such a system, its utter impossibility—were seduced by its promises, and thought that they were to grow rich pari passu with their masters, while at the same time the hours of work were to be diminished, and the restraints and cares of industry and sobriety exchanged for a paradise of idleness and sensual enjoyment. By a striking coincidence, tliese principles, or rather these visions, exhibited themselves almost simultaneously through a great part of Europe. Democracy was not now conspiring against established governments, but against society itself. Communists, Socialists, Demagogues, Radicals, were united in one great conspiracy, which operated by the mechanism of secret societies, of which the number went on increasing in a most alarming degree.'--Parallele Historique, p. 330.
The fact is confessed even by the Socialist leaders. M. Jules Lechevalier, one of their notabilités, distinctly avows that,
Socialism is only Communism in progress-Communism is the logical and necessary conclusion to which Socialism leads.' - Les Clubs et les Clubbistes, p. 84. And again, M, Jules Descordes, 'homme de lettres :'
Socialism alone could not prevent some individuals obtaining more consideration than their fellows-the real object and good is Communism,'-ib. 229.
This had been going on ever since the July Revolution, which had, by anticipation, sapped the very foundations of the Government it seemed to establish ; so that, when the reform faction called in the Socialists as tools of their ambition, the tools became their masters--the secondaries showed that they were really the principals. Louis Blanc and Albert, ouvrier, were in actual possession of their dictatorship at the Hôtel de Ville before the arrival of the mob-led Government from the Chamber of Deputies; and all the first measures of the Provisional Governmenteven the proclamation of the Republic itself—were direct concessions to that, at the moment, all-powerful influence. We need not recapitulate the false principles, the bad faith, and the disastrous results of the attempts of the Provisional Government to escape from the dishonest and terrible responsibility that they had both individually and collectively incurred. On this subject suffice it to say that one of these shifts was the adoption of Universal Suffrage. We call it a shift, because at the moment it really was a shift to reconcile the people to the postponement of their Communist hopes; but it was a substantial though circuitous advance to the desired object ; for if a numerical majority are to be the interpreters of a general principle of Equality, it is very certain that they will not be satisfied with a mere theoretical equality in the eye of the law,' as the early French constitutions defined it, but will look for a tangible and substantial equality of personal comfort, consideration, and enjoyment-in short, the visionary equality of the Socialist school, which fancies that bringing down the rich to the level of the poor is the same thing as bringing up the poor to the level of the rich-and it is in this fallacy that the whole attraction of Socialism lies.
The defeat of the red insurrection in June, 1848—the rout of the same party in the following year—and the flight or imprisonment of its leaders, arrested the open progress of Socialism. The law of the 31st of May, 1850, by several restrictions on universal suffrage, has diminished by one-half the number of electors, has given in the few elections which have since occurred a preponderance to the friends of order—and has encouraged the Assembly and the Government to repress with a strong hand the very power to which they owe their own existence. The more immediate urgency of that great personal and party question—the approaching election of a President of the Republic-has also tended to withdraw the public attention from the more distant but deeper danger of Socialism. Yet, if we are not misinformed, and if we do not miscalculate the force and direction of popular feeling, it seems but too certain that Socialism is in vigorous advance in not merely the town but the country populations of France ;-we fear that those wild but seductive principles of social equality and universal suffrage, promulgated and adopted as the true basis of National Government, can never be extinguished but by some awful convulsion; and in such a crisis certainly the Socialists will have to plead in behalf of their system the fundamental and indefeasible authority of the national will, so solemnly and irrevocably, pronounced, and thus, for the first time, the masses of the people will have something tangible, and, as they will believe, of personal and paramount value, to fight for. Will they not also bave logic and
VOL. LXXXIX. NO. CLXXVIII.
something like Constitutional law on their side? They will be doing no more than claiming from the Republic its fundamental principles and promises. By what powers can the seeds of mischief, when thus sown broadcast by the sovereign authority of a country, be ever eradicated ?
We shall by and by apply that important question to our own domestic circumstances--but here, having shown how much deeper and more spreading the roots of the last revolution are likely to be than of any of its predecessors, we shall take a rapid view of the two more prominent, but, as we believe, less important questions that at this moment agitate the public mind of France : 1st, The definitive form of the National Government itself-Monarchy or Republic; 2ndly, Who is to be the Monarch or the President? We are far from thinking that the struggle on these points is not intimately connected with, and liable to be influenced by, the great Socialist question. On the contrary, our greatest alarm is that, although distinct for the moment, they are only heats of the same race, and that, whichever may win the first-Bourbon or Buonaparte-Monarchy or Republic—will have eventually a still more serious struggle with the Socialist principle in probably a more formidable intensity.
There can be, as we have before said, no doubt that the February revolution was an accident—that the majority of the nation, and even of the class more particularly called the People, were satisfied with the monarchy ; nor can there be any doubt that a vast majority of the educated and wealthy classes-all, in short, who have property, and most of those who have any political experience or foresight-are desirous of the restoration of that forin of Government. It is true that the severity of the new republican legislation does not allow the Republicans fair play ; their voices are either wholly repressed or severely restrained ;—to such a degree indeed that will it be believed ? - we have lately seen in the law reports several cases of men convicted and condemned to severe punishments for uttering the seditious cry of Vive la Ré publique Démocratique et Sociale !' Nay, that Vive la République ! —even sans phrase — is looked upon as an offence. Still, after making all due allowance for this double influence of force and fear, we have abundant evidence-whether we look to the more solid works of men already eminent in literature and politics, or at the vast and fertile field of journalism, or the innumerable pamphlets that exhibit at least the activity and energy of strong convictions—we have, we say, abundant evidence that the educated majority of the nation is decidedly anti-republican. But so we cannot doubt that they were on the 24th February; and the violent course of repressive legislation which the National
Assembly has adopted, affords, we fear, evidence but too conclusive that the same power which overthrew Louis Philippe is ready-and—but for these laws of necessary but unconstitutional rigour-able, to overthrow both Assembly and President.
We need not remind our readers of the many striking—indeed extraordinary-coincidences between the English Revolutions of 1642 and 1688, with that of France from 1789 to 1830. There has been, all through the latter case, so prevailing a spirit of imitation, that it may almost be said that Cromwell was as instrumental in cutting off the head of Louis XVI. as of Charles I., and that King William dethroned Charles X. by having expelled James II. This is a theme which M. Guizot, in all his later works, and the Count de Choiseul, have discussed with great ability, but from different if not opposite points of view. M. Guizot, by the republication of his Discours sur la Révolution d'Angleterre,' his • Etudes Historiques,' his Biographical Essays on Monk and Washington, has obviously intended to suggest to his countrymen the restoration of the hereditary and legitimate monarchy ;-and, no doubt, if either example or experience, eloquence or reason, could prevail, such would be the result;- but unfortunately the premises are no longer the same. The accession of Louis Philippe completed, very inauspiciously, the parallel with the English case. There ended the analogy. We ourselves entirely agree with M. de Choiseul that the July Revolution had neither in justice or policy anything like the same grounds as our Revolution of 1688, of which it may be most justly said decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile. We believe that the same faction which affected to imitate our great Rebellion in the first Revolution, made a similar deceptive use of our Revolution of 1688. In both cases the secret motive was to interrupt the legitimate succession. But however that may be, the February Revolution has overturned the July Revolution by means and on principles so entirely different from ours of 1688, that, instead of hoping that France may be persuaded to adopt a second time that sober example, we are seriously afraid, as we shall by and by more fully explain, that we are more likely to follow hers.
It is the melancholy but undeniable result of both moral and political experience, that bad examples and precedents are more powerful than good ones.
Mobs have no memories--they always look forward, never behind.
* Et qui mos populis venturus amatur.' Deception and disappointment, therefore, afford them no instruction—the same stimulus will always produce the same intoxication. All the democratic revolutions of France were made by mobs, and each of the mob-created Governments began by
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prostrating prostrating itself before the bravery, generosity, magnanimity, admirable good sense, and even good taste, of the People;' yet within a few weeks all these panegyrics and flatteries were not only annulled and forgotten but reversed, and the very same People, for the very same acts—now voted to be crimes—were condemned to prison, to exile, and even to death-by the bullet when not by the scaffold.
Have they been corrected by this experience ? we hear and we fear not. The troops, whenever expected to act, inspire the prudence of fear—but we have reason to believe that the populace of all the great towns and a large proportion of the country populations are more depraved in political and moral principle than they ever were before. We therefore hesitate to build any very confident hopes on the literary majority that has declared itself for the cause of order and of monarchy, which at the present moment seem to be identified. The misfortune is that il prêche les convertis-it persuades those who are already convinced; but where its success would be most desirable it finds itself, in spite of all the rigour of repressive laws, counteracted and overpowered by—for those who read—a cheaper and more intoxicating press, and, for the rest, by the oral seductions of Clubs and Clubbists,' — of secret societies, and of missionaries of mischief. There can be, we trust, no doubt that in the long run the predominance both in talent and in good principles of the monarchical
will operate on the masses of the people ; and we are still satisfied that monarchy must be the ultimate destiny of France—but we fear she has to undergo a severe preparatory struggle, or even more than one, with the Socialist Republic.
As to the moderate Republic—that is, one unmixed with Socialism or Jacobinism-it seems to be considered as a mere Utopia; there may be some wise and good men who still think it would be desirable; we doubt whether any of them think it. possible. It finds very few advocates in the press. It is true that the graver Socialist writers profess, in general terms, the justice, moderation, and practical good sense of their principles, but when they come to details they are totally at a loss to restrain them by rules and limits, and those who attempt to do so are forced to compromise them. The paradoxes of M. Proudhon himself seem a good deal sobered by his confinement in the Conciergerie. In a chapter of his new work, dated from that prison, treating of the great question of property,' he says,
• Whatever may be my personal convictions, whatever radicalism I profess in my propositions, my readers will remark that I am always disposed to admit and defer to a principle generally received—10 an acknowledged practice to the judgment of respectable men; that I