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ply to tell the young person that he is responsible for the character of his state. We must also make him see the connecting links in the chain, in what way this responsibility comes home to him. The average youth ought to know the defects in the character of states or governments. It is well that he should see the bad side here and see it in its details. Only by having such details brought home clearly can there be hope of overcoming them. There may at times be a danger in concentrating too much attention simply on the ballot, rather than what is behind the ballot. Much of this dialogue would seem, for example, to disregard the position of woman in citizenship. When, however, we come to the last point in our lesson, it is to be seen how it applies to every citizen alike. The evasion of the law, the disregard for it, may come from woman as much as from man. We should try to make the young people, without regard to sex, feel all alike this sense of responsibility for the moral character of the state, and that the points apply to all alike without regard to sex. Woman should be made to feel that she too ought to blush with shame, when her country falls from its ideals by unworthy legislation, or by having unworthy executors of the laws. Man and woman alike should somehow have it brought home to them that their individual characters are affected by the character of the state as a whole, and that there cannot be a high type of person, either in man or woman, where the state or government is of the other type, -for the reason that every man and woman and child are a part of the body of the state, partaking of its evil and of its good. Furthermore, it is to be remembered that in this dialogue, as in others, every now and then we go back to the points of other lessons or review those points in new phases for discussion. The problem as to the extent to which a

man is justified in considering his own interests when casting the ballot, is a very important one and we may not be authorized to go to the ultimate limits in laying down an ethical principle here. Some theorists hold to the opinion that each man must consider his own interests in voting, inasmuch as it is the sum total of the individual interests which make the total interests of the whole state or of the whole country. But there is opportunity here for a subtle and dangerous fallacy, and young people should at least be encouraged to analyze this standpoint and dissect it before allowing themselves to accept it.



MEMORY GEM-"Let the government not seek the good of a sect in religion, nor of a party in the state, but the good of the nation as a whole; and it shall be sustained by a nation's will and enthroned on a nation's devoted affections." -Edmund Burke.


In speaking of the character of any one you know, can you say, ordinarily, that he is all good or all bad? "No, surely not!"

And why not? I urge. "Because the character of a person will be made up of his traits, and there are few, if any, individuals who are absolutely perfect."

Do you mean to say that everybody now and then steals from somebody else or tells outright lies or commits murder? "No, of course not as bad as that, by any manner of means!" you exclaim.

What, then? "Why, it only suggests that sometimes even the best people may be a little selfish." And would you excuse them on this account? "No, that is not an excuse, but merely a statement of fact. People should try to be perfect, and keep on trying, and should blame themselves and be blamed every time they fail to any extent."

But how is it with states or governments? In a former discussion, we have implied that they had a moral character, even if it were not exactly in the same sense in which we speak of the character of an individual person.

Could we speak of a state or government as being all good or all bad? "Surely not!" And why not? again I ask. "Because the character of the state, as

we have shown, depends on the character of the citizens, and the citizens are not each and all of them all bad, nor each and all of them all good."

But why is it that states or governments become bad? Do they usually start with a perfectly good character, do you suppose? "Not necessarily."

In what cases would you say, for example, that a state might be much worse in character than its citizens or much worse than its government? Could it happen, for instance, that a country might take the property of another country, or injure the citizens of another country, or do wrong to its own citizens, while the people themselves were not to blame?

"Yes," you insist, "if the people really had no choice in the government, if they had nothing to say with regard to the laws which were made-how then could they be blamed for what was done?"

In that case, you mean that there would be a distinction between the government and the citizen, or between the government and the people? "Yes, indeed!" In what way?

"Why, the government would consist of those who made the laws and those who executed them." Would that constitute the state? "No, the state is made up rather of the people who are in it, the citizens of the country."

It could happen then, you assume, that the government might not exactly represent the state as such? It might lead the state into acts for which the citizens could not be held morally responsible? "Yes, if it were a despotism, an absolute monarchy."

In such cases you think the acts of the government might really be worse than the character of the citizens. "It would look that way," you confess; "at any rate, it would not be fair to judge the citizens by the acts of that government."

Would you say that a state might actually be bad

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in its moral character in spite of the citizens or in spite of the people? "In a certain way," you insist, "provided the people had little or nothing to say with regard to the law-making or with regard to those who enforced the laws."

If, however, it were true that under such conditions, the government committed bad acts, and showed a bad character, might it happen that this would also give an indication of the character of the state as a whole, or reveal anything concerning the individual citizen? "Yes, if the citizens approved the course of the government, and gladly profited · by the wrong acts committed."

It does not then follow, does it, that we must always distinguish between the citizens and the government, even where the citizen does not choose his law-makers or his rulers? "It may happen," you say, "even under those circumstances that the citizen will be a gauge of the character of his country or his government.'

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But on the other hand, when we consider those states or countries where a citizen does have a choice in the law-makers and the rulers, so that we may judge through him of the character of the state, and if in that case, we speak of the bad character of such a country, does it follow that this evil has always existed, or that the state has always been bad in its character in that way?

"Perhaps not?" Why the "perhaps?" "Because states like individuals may change for the worse or may change for the better."

How is this possible? Why should they not rather change for the better? "Oh, it would be as with individual people; a man may grow careless about his conduct and then he declines in character."

Do states usually begin with a thoroughly good character, would you suppose? "You doubt it?"

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