discontent and starvation in their ears.
They would no longer be the futile politicians of ordinary elections — the absurd and ridiculous mannikins who now strut through the forms of legislation; but real representatives of the people, newly stirred to a consciousness of their needs.
I fancy I could name a score of the delegates-men and women of the highest ideals and capacity.
Such a representative body would be certain to compare favorably from the point of view of ability with the French Assembly
, and it would come together with the same lofty aims and the same devotion to them.
Would it end in the same carnival of horror?
With the example of the peace-loving Robespierre before us it is impossible to scout the idea.
The only safeguard against such a danger is the utter repudiation of all violent methods of reform.
Once permit yourself to rely upon rifles and prisons, and the descent is easy to all kinds of cruelty and torture.
The lesson of all history is that men are not to be trusted with the power of life and death over their fellows; and any revolution which claims for itself any such power carries in its bosom the seeds of a counter movement which will bring in again the supremacy of the party of reaction.
The best mental exercise for reformers is to accustom themselves to the idea of dispensing with the use of physical