Excerpts from the Origins of Totalitarian Democracy

by Jacob L. Talmon

(London: Secker and Warburg, 1955), Intro, Part I, Part II and Conclusion



THIS study is an attempt to show that concurrently with the liberal type of democracy there emerged from the same premises in the eighteenth century a trend towards what we propose to call the totalitarian type of democracy. These two currents have existed side by side ever since the eighteenth century. The tension between them has constituted an important chapter in modern history, and has now become the most vital issue of our time. It would of course be an exaggeration to suggest that the whole of the period can be summed up in terms of this conflict. Nevertheless it was always present, although usually confused and obscured by other issues, which may have seemed clearer to contemporaries, but viewed from the standpoint of the present day seem incidental and even trivial. Indeed, from the vantage point of the mid twentieth century the history of the last hundred and fifty years looks like a systematic preparation for the headlong collision between empirical and liberal democracy on the one hand, and totalitarian Messianic democracy on the other, in which the world crisis of to-day consists.


The essential difference between the two schools of democratic thought as they have evolved is not, as is often alleged, in the affirmation of the value of liberty by one, and its denial by the other. It is in their different attitudes to politics. The liberal approach assumes politics to be a matter of trial and error, and regards political systems as pragmatic contrivances of human ingenuity and spontaneity. It also recognizes a variety of levels of personal and collective endeavour, which are altogether outside the sphere of politics. The totalitarian democratic school, on the other hand, is based upon the assumption of a sole and exclusive truth in politics. It may be called political Messianism in the sense that it postulates a preordained, harmonious and perfect scheme of things, to which men are irresistibly driven, and at which they are bound to arrive. It recognizes ultimately only one plane of existence, the political. It widens the scope of politics to embrace the whole of human existence. It treats all human thought and action as having social significance, and therefore as falling within the orbit of political action. Its political ideas are not a set of pragmatic precepts or a body of devices applicable to a special branch of human endeavour. They are an integral part of an all-embracing and coherent philosophy. Politics is defined as the art of applying this philosophy to the organization of society, and the final purpose of politics is only achieved when this philosophy reigns supreme over all fields of life.

Both schools affirm the supreme value of liberty. But whereas one finds the essence of freedom in spontaneity and the absence of coercion, the other believes it to be realized only in the pursuit and attainment of an absolute collective purpose. It is outside our scope to decide whether liberal democracy has the faith that totalitarian democracy claims to have in final aims. What is beyond dispute is that the final aims of liberal democracy have not the same concrete character. They are conceived in rather negative terms, and the use of force for their realization is considered as an evil. Liberal democrats believe that in the absence of coercion men and society may one day reach through a process of trial and error a state of ideal harmony. In the case of totalitarian democracy, this state is precisely defined, and is treated as a matter of immediate urgency, a challenge for direct action, an imminent event. The problem that arises for totalitarian democracy, and which is one of the main subjects of this study, may be called the paradox of freedom. Is human freedom compatible with an exclusive pattern of social existence, even if this pattern aims at the maximum of social justice and security ? The paradox of totalitarian democracy is in its insistence that they are compatible. The purpose it proclaims is never presented as an absolute idea, external and prior to man. It is thought to be immanent in man's reason and will, to constitute the fullest satisfaction of his true interest, and to be the guarantee of his freedom. This is the reason why the extreme forms of popular sovereignty became the essential concomitant of this absolute purpose. From the difficulty of reconciling freedom with the idea of an absolute purpose spring all the particular problems and antinomies of totalitarian democracy. This difficulty could only be resolved by thinking not in terms of men as they are, but as they were meant to be, and would be, given the proper conditions. In so far as they are at variance with the absolute ideal they can be ignored, coerced or intimidated into conforming, without any real violation of the democratic principle being involved. In the proper conditions, it is held, the conflict between spontaneity and duty would disappear, and with it the need for coercion. The practical question is, of course, whether constraint will disappear because all have learned to act in harmony, or because all opponents have been eliminated.


Enough has been said already to indicate that totalitarian democracy will be treated in these pages as an integral part of the Western tradition. It is vital to add that much of the totalitarian democratic attitude was contained in the original and general eighteenth century pattern of thought. The branching out of the two types of democracy from the common stem took place only after the common beliefs had been tested in the ordeal of the French Revolution. From the point of view of this study the most important change that occurred in the eighteenth century was the peculiar state of mind which achieved dominance in the second part of the century. Men were gripped by the idea that the conditions, a product of faith, time and custom, in which they and their forefathers had been living, were unnatural and had all to be replaced by deliberately planned uniform patterns, which would be natural and rational. This was the result of the decline of the traditional order in Europe: religion lost its intellectual as well as its emotional hold; hierarchical feudalism disintegrated under the impact of social and economic factors; and the older conception of society based on status came to be replaced by the idea of the abstract, individual man. The rationalist idea substituted social utility for tradition as the main criterion of social institutions and values. It also suggested a form of social determinism, to which men are irresistibly driven, and which they are bound to accept one day. It thus postulated a single valid system, which would come into existence when every- 1 thing not accounted for by reason and utility had been removed. This idea was, of course, bound to clash with the inveterate irrational ability of man's ways, his likings and attachments. The decline of religious authority implied the liberation of man's conscience, but it also implied something else. Religious ethics had to be speedily replaced by secular, social morality. With the rejection of the Church, and of transcendental justice, the State remained the sole source and sanction of morality. This was a matter of great importance, at a time when politics were considered indistinguishable from ethics. The decline of the idea of status consequent on the rise o f individualism spelt the doom of privilege, but also contained totalitarian potentialities. If, as will be argued in this essay, empiricism is the ally of freedom, and the doctrinaire spirit is the friend of totalitarianism, the idea of man as an abstraction, independent of the historic groups to which he belongs, is likely to become a powerful vehicle of totalitarianism. These three currents merged into the idea of a homogeneous society, in which men live upon one exclusive plane of existence. There were no longer to be different levels of social life, such as the temporal and the transcendental, or membership of a class and citizenship. The only recognized standard of judgment was to be social utility, as expressed in the idea of the general good, which was spoken of as if it were a visible and tangible objective. The whole of virtue was summed up as conformity to the rationalist, natural pattern. In the past it was possible for the State to regard many things as matters for God and the Church alone. The new State could recognize no such limitations. Formerly, men lived in groups. A man had to belong to some group, and could belong to several at the same time. Now there was to be only one framework for all activity: the nation. The eighteenth century never distinguished clearly between the sphere of personal self-expression and that of social action. The privacy of creative experience and feeling, which is the salt of freedom, was in due course to be swamped by the pressure of the permanency assembled people, vibrating with one collective emotion. The fact that eighteenth-century thinkers were ardent prophets of liberty and the rights of man is so much taken for granted that it scarcely needs to be mentioned. But what must be emphasized is the intense preoccupation of the eighteenth century with the idea of virtue, which was nothing if not conformity to the hoped-for pattern of social harmony. They refused to envisage the conflict between liberty and virtue as inevitable. On the contrary, the inevitable equation of liberty with virtue and reason was the most cherished article of their faith. When the eighteenth-century secular religion came face to face with this conflict, the result was the great schism. Liberal democracy flinched from the spectre of force, and fell back upon the trial-and-error philosophy. Totalitarian Messianism hardened into an exclusive doctrine represented by a vanguard of the enlightened, who justified themselves in the use of coercion against those who refused to be free and virtuous. The other cause for this fissure, certainly no less important, was the question of property. The original impulse of political Messianism was not economic, but ethical and political. However radical in their theoretical premises, most eighteenth-century thinkers shrunk from applying the principle of total renovation to the sphere of economics and property. It was however extremely difficult to theorize about a rational harmonious social order, with contradictions resolved, anti-social impulses checked, and man's desire for happiness satisfied, while leaving the field of economic endeavour to be dominated by established facts and interests, man's acquisitive spirit and chance. Eighteenth-century thinkers became thus involved in grave inconsistencies, which they attempted to cover with all kinds of devices. The most remarkable of these certainly was the Physiocratic combination of absolutism in politics with the laissez-faire theory in economics, which claimed that the free, unhampered economic pursuits of men would set themselves into a harmonious pattern, in accordance with the laws of demand and supply. But before the eighteenth century had come to an end, the inner logic of political Messianism, precipitated by the Revolutionary upheaval, its hopes, its lessons and its disappointments, converted the secular religion of the eighteenth century from a mainly ethical into a social and economic doctrine, based on ethical premises. The postulate of salvation, implied in the idea of the natural order, came to signify to the masses stirred by the Revolution a message of social salvation before all. And so the objective ideal of social harmony gave place to the yearnings and strivings of a class; the principle of virtuous liberty to the passion for security. The possessing classes, surprised and frightened by the social dynamism of the idea of the natural order, hastened to shake off the philosophy which they had earlier so eagerly embraced as a weapon in their struggle against feudal privilege. The Fourth Estate seized it from their hands, and filled it with new meaning. And so the ideology of the rising bourgeoisie was transformed into that of the proletariat. | The object of this book is to examine the stages through which the social ideals of the eighteenth century were transformed-on one side-into totalitarian democracy. These stages are taken to be three: the eighteenth-century postulate, the Jacobin improvisation, and the Babouvist crystallization; all leading up to the emergence of economic communism on the one hand, and to the synthesis of popular sovereignty and single-party dictatorship on the other. The three stages constitute the three parts into which this study is divided. The evolution of the liberal type of democracy is outside its scopes Modern totalitarian democracy is a dictatorship resting on popular enthusiasm, and is thus completely different from absolute power wielded by a divine-right King, or by a usurping tyrant. In so far as it is a dictatorship based on ideology and the enthusiasm of the masses, it is the outcome, as will be shown, of the synthesis between the eighteenth-century idea of the natural order and the Rousseauist idea of popular fulfillment and self-expression. By means of this synthesis rationalism was made into a passionate faith. Rousseau's " general will ", an ambiguous concept, sometimes concocted as valid a priori, sometimes as immanent in the will of man, exclusive and implying unanimity, became the driving force of totalitarian democracy, and the source of all its contradictions and antinomies. These are to be examined in detail.


The emphasis of this theory is always upon Man. And here is the distinguishing mark between totalitarianism of the Left, with which this study is concerned, and totalitarianism of the Right. While the starting-point of totalitarianism of the Left has been and ultimately still is man, his reason and salvation, that of the Right totalitarian schools has been the collective entity, the State, the nation, or the race. The former trend remains essentially individualist, atomistic and rationalist even when it raises the class or party to the level of absolute ends. These are, after all, only mechanically formed groups. Totalitarians of the Right operate solely with historic, racial and organic entities, concepts altogether alien to individualism and rationalism. That is why totalitarian ideologies of the Left always are inclined to assume the character of a universal creed, a tendency which totalitarianism of the Right altogether lacks. For reason is a unifying force, presupposing mankind to be the sum total of individual reasoning beings. Totalitarianism of the Right implies the negation of such a unity as well as a denial of the universality of human values. It represents a special form of pragmatism. Without raising the question of the absolute significance of the professed tenets, it aspires to a mode of existence, in which the faculties of man may-in a deliberately limited circumference of space, time and numbers-be stirred, asserted and realized so as to enable him to have what is nowadays called a wholly satisfying experience in a collective elan, quickened by mass emotion and the impact of impressive exploits; in brief, the myth. The second vital difference between the two types of totalitarianism is to be found in their divergent conceptions of human nature. The Left proclaims the essential goodness and perfectibility of human nature. The Right declares man to be weak and corrupt. Both may preach the necessity of coercion. The Right teaches the necessity of force as a permanent way of maintaining order among poor and unruly creatures, and training them to act in a manner alien to their mediocre nature. Totalitarianism of the Left, when resorting to force, does so in the conviction that force is used only in order to quicken the pace of man's progress to perfection and social harmony. It is thus legitimate to use the term democracy in reference to totalitarianism of the Left. The term could not be applied to totalitarianism of the Right. It may be said that these are distinctions that make little difference, especially where results are concerned. It may further be maintained that whatever their original premises were, totalitarian parties and regimes of the Left have invariably tended to degenerate into soulless power machines, whose lip service to the original tenets is mere hypocrisy. Now, this is a question not only of academic interest, but of much practical importance. Even if we accept this diagnosis of the nature of Left totalitarianism when triumphant, are we to attribute its degeneration to the inevitable process of corrosion which an idea undergoes when power falls into the hands of its adherents ? Or should we seek the reason for it deeper, namely in the very essence of the contradiction between ideological absolutism and individualism, inherent in modern political Messianism ? When the deeds of men in power belie their words, are they to be called hypocrites and cynics or are they victims of an intellectual delusion ? Here is one of the questions to be investigated. This essay is not concerned with the problem of power as such, only with that of power in relation to consciousness. The objective forces favoring the concentration of power and the subordination of the individual to a power machine, such as modern methods of production and the arcane imperil offered by modern technical developments, are outside the scope of this work. The political tactics of totalitarian parties and systems, or the blueprints of social positivist philosophies for the human hive, will be considered not for their own sake, but in their bearing on man's awareness and beliefs. What is vital for the present investigation is the human element: the thrill of fulfillment experienced by the believers in a modern Messianic movement, which makes them experience submission as deliverance; the process that goes on in the minds of the leaders, whether in soliloquy or in public discussion, when faced with the question of whether their acts are the self-expression of the Cause or their own willful deeds; the stubborn faith that as a result of proper social arrangements and education, the conflict between spontaneity and the objective pattern will ultimately be resolved by the acceptance of the latter, without any sense of coercion.


The modern secular religion of totalitarian democracy has had unbroken continuity as a sociological force for over a hundred and fifty years. Both aspects, its continuity and its character as a sociological force, need stressing. These two essential features permit us to ignore the isolated literary ventures into Utopia in the earlier centuries, without denying the influence of Plato, Thomas More or Campanella upon men like Rousseau, Diderot, Mably, or Sam-Just and Buonarroti.- If one were in search of antecedents, one would also have to turn to the various outbursts of chiliasm in the Middle Ages and in the Reformation, especially to the extreme wing of the Puritan Revolution in seventeenth-century England. The coexistence of liberal democracy and revolutionary Messianism m modern times could legitimately be compared to the relationship between the official Church and the eschatological revolutionary current in Christianity during the ages of faith. Always flowing beneath the surface of official society, the Christian revolutionary current burst forth from time to time in the form of movements of evangelical poverty, heretical sects, and social-religious revolts. Like the two major trends of the modern era, the Church and the rebels against it derived their ideas from the same source. The heterodox groups were, however, too ardent in their literal interpretation of God's word. They refused to come to terms with the flesh and the kingdom of this world, and were unwilling to overcome the ideal of a society of saints to the exclusively transcendental plane. There were, however, vital differences between the chiliastic movements of the earlier centuries and modern political Messianism. The former were only sporadic occurrences, although the tension from which they sprang was always latent. A flame burst forth and was soon totally extinguished, or rendered harmless to society at large. The crisis might leave behind a sect. The myth might survive and perhaps rekindle a spark in some remote place and at some later date. Society as a whole went on much as before, although not quite free from the fear and mental discomfort left by the conflagration, and not wholly immune to the influence of the new sect. There was however a fundamental principle in pre-eighteenth century chiliasm that made it impossible for it to play the part of modern political Messianism. It was its religious essence. This explains why the Messianic movements or spasms of the earlier type invariably ended by breaking away from society, and forming sects based upon voluntary adherence and community of experience. Modern Messianism has always aimed at a revolution in society as a whole. The driving power of the sects was the Word of God, and the hope of achieving salvation by facing God alone and directly, without the aid of intermediary powers or submission to them, whether spiritual or temporal, and yet as part of a society of equal saints. This ideal is not unlike the modern expectation of a 3] society of men absolutely free and equal, and yet acting in spontaneous and perfect accord. In spite of this superficial similarity, the differences between the two altitudes are fundamental. Although the Christian revolutionaries fought for the individual's freedom to interpret God's word, their sovereign was not man, but God. ~ They aimed at personal salvation and an egalitarian society based I on the Law of Nature, because they had it from God that there lies salvation, and believed that obedience to God is the condition of human freedom. The point of reference of modern Messianism, on the other hand, is man's reason and will, and its aim happiness on earth, achieved by a social transformation. The point of reference is temporal, but the claims are absolute. It is thus a remarkable fact that the Christian revolutionaries, with few exceptions, notably Calvin's Geneva and Anabaptist Munster, shrunk from the use I of force to impose their own pattern, in spite of their belief in its divine source and authority, while secular Messianism, starting with a point of reference in time, has developed a fanatical resolve to make its doctrine rule absolutely and everywhere. The reasons are not far to seek. Even if the Monistic principle of religious Messianism had succeeded in dominating and reshaping society the result would still have been fundamentally different from the situation created by modern political " absolutism". Society might have been forbidden the compromises which are made possible by the Orthodox distinction between the kingdom of God and the earthly State, and as a consequence social and political arrangements might have lost much of their flexibility. The sweep towards the enforcement, of an exclusive pattern would nevertheless have been hampered, if not by the thought of the fallibility of man, at least by the consciousness that life on earth is not a closed circle, but has its continuation and conclusion in eternity. Secular Messianic Monism is subject to no such restraints. It demands that the whole account be settled here and now. The extreme wing of English Puritanism at the time of the Cromwellian Revolution still bore the full imprint of religious eschatology. It had already acquired modern features however, It combined extreme individualism with socia radicalism and a totalitarian temperament. Nevertheless this movement, far from initiating the continuous current of modern political Messianism, remained from the European point of view an isolated episode. It was apparently quite unknown to the early representatives of the movement under discussion. While eighteenth-century French thinkers and revolutionary leaders were alive to the political lessons of the " official " Cromwellian Revolution as a deterrent against military dictatorship, and a writer like Harrington was respected as a master, it is doubtful whether the more radical aspects of the English Revolution were much known or exercised any influence in France before the nineteenth century. The strongest influence on the fathers of totalitarian democracy was that of antiquity, interpreted in their own way. Their myth of antiquity was the image of liberty equated with virtue. The citizen of Sparta or Rome was proudly free, yet a marvel of ascetic discipline. He was an equal member of the sovereign nation, and at the same time had no life or interests outside the collective tissue.


Objections may be urged against the view that political Messianism as a postulate preceded the compact set of social and economic ideas with which it has come to be associated. It may be said that it is wrong to treat Messianism as a substance that can be divorced from its attributes; to consider it altogether apart from the events which produced it, the instruments which have been used to promote it, and the concrete aims and policies of the men who represented it at any given moment. Such a procedure, it may be said, presupposes an almost mystical agency active in history. It is important to answer this objection not less for its philosophical significance than for the question of method it raises. What this study is concerned with is a state of mind, a way of feeling, a disposition, a pattern of mental, emotional and behaviouristic elements, best compared to the set of attitudes engendered by a religion. Whatever may be said about the significance of the economic or other factors in the shaping of beliefs, it can hardly be denied that the all-embracing attitudes of this kind, once crystallized, are the real substance of history, The concrete elements of history, the acts of politicians, the aspirations of people, the ideas, values, preferences and prejudices of an age, are the outward manifestations of its religion in the widest sense.

The problem under discussion could not be dealt with on the plane of systematic, discursive reasoning alone. For as in religion, although the partial theological framework may be a marvel of logic, with syllogism following syllogism, the first premises, the axioms or the postulates must remain a matter of faith. They can be neither proved nor disproved. And it is they that really matter. They determine the ideas and acts, and resolve contradictions into some higher identity or harmony. The postulate of some ultimate, logical, exclusively valid social I order is a matter of faith, and it is not much use trying to defeat it by argument. But its significance to the believer, and the power it has to move men and mountains, can hardly be exaggerated. Now, in Europe and elsewhere, for the last century and a half, there have always been men and movements animated by such a faith, preparing for the Day, referring all their ideas and acts to some all embracing system, sure of some pre-ordained and final denouement of the historic drama with all its conflicts into an absolute harmony. Jacobins may have differed from the Babouvists, the Blanquists from many of the secret societies in the first half of the nineteenth century, the Communists from the Socialists, the Anarchists from all others, yet they all belong to one religion. This religion emerged in the second part of the eighteenth century and its rise | will be traced in these pages. The most difficult problem of the secular religion was to be the antinomy of freedom and the exclusive Messianic pattern. Complex, intricate and at times magnificent as the theories evolved by the various Messianic trends in the later days were, the original phase, which is the subject of this study, reveals the first elements and threads in a crude, naive and simple form. This fact should help towards understanding the historic phenomenon as a whole. For some of the basic ideas of the late and highly developed Messianic secular religion, especially, as it will be shown, those relating to human nature, ethics and philosophical principles, have remained the same as they were in the eighteenth century. It is in the nature of doctrines postulating universal abstract patterns to be schematic and grey. They lack the warmth, limpidity and richness which is to be found in living human and national tissues. They do not convey the tensions which arise between unique personalities, in conflict with each other and their surroundings. They fail to offer the absorbing interest of the unpredictable situation and the pragmatic approach to it. But all these, absent in the doctrine, emerge in the vicissitudes of the doctrine as a sociological force. This study is neither purely a treatise on political theory, nor a recital of events. Justice would not be done to the subject by treating it in terms of the individual psychology of a few leaders. Nor would the point be made clear by an analysis in terms of mass psychology. Religion is created and lived by men, yet it is a framework in which men live. The problem analyzed here is only partly one of behavior. The modern secular religion must first be treated as an objective reality. Only when this has been done will it be possible to consider the intellectual and historical patterns created by the interplay between the secular religion and particular men and situations. This interplay becomes particularly interesting, when it results in contradictions between, on the one side, the impersonal pattern and, on the other, the demands of the particular situation and the uniqueness of personality.


. . . a l'epoque ou ['influence de ces progres sur ltopinion, de ['opinion sur les nations ou sur leurs chefs, cessant tout a coup d'etre lente et insensible, a produit dans la masse entiere de quelques peuples, une revolution, gage certain de celle qui doit embrasser la generalite de ltespece humaine. Apres de longues erreurs, apres stetre egares dans des theories incompletes ou vagues, les publicistes vent parvenus a connaitre enfin les veritables droits de l'homme, a les deduire de cette seule verite qutil est un etre sensible, capable de former des raisonnements et d'acquerir des idees morales. CONDORCET Rousseau, den ihr noch einmal uber das andere einen Traumer nennt, indes seine Traume unter Buren Augen in Erfullung gehen, verfuhr viel zu schonend mit euch, ihr Empiriker; das war sein Fehler. JOHANN GOTTL}EB FICHTE

Dieses merkt euch, ibr stolzen Manner der That. Ihr seid Nichts als unbewusste Handlungen der Gedankenmanner, die oft in demuthigster Stille euch all euer Thun auEs bestimmteste vorgezeichnet haben. Maximilien Robespierre war Nichts als die Hand von Jean lacques Rousseau, die blutige Hand, die aus dem Schosse der Zeit den Leib hervorzog, dessen Seele Rousseau gescha


IN I755 Morelly in the Code de la Nature set out to " lift the veil " so that all should be able to behold " with horror, the source and origin of all evils and all crimes ", and learn " the simplest and most beautiful lessons of nature perpetually contradicted by vulgar morality and vulgar politics". He placed on the one side the science of natural morality, which was meant to be the same for all nations, and was as simple and as self-evident in its axioms and consequences " que les mathematiques elles-memes "; and on the other side the chaos of errors, absurdities, false starts and loose ends, presented by the whole of human history. Morelly's aim was to find a situation where it would be " almost impossible for 'I man to be depraved and vicious ", and in which man would be as happy as possible. Chance, " cette pretendue fata]ite ", would be exorcised from the world. Morelly thought in terms of deliberate planning, but at the same time claimed to be only discovering an objective pattern of things. This pattern is conceived by him as a social mechanism, a " marvelous automatic machine". It is described as " tout intelligent qui starrangeat lui-meme par un micanisme aussi simple que merveilleux; ses parties etaient preparees et pour ainsi dire taillees pour former le plus bel assemblage ". Like any being in nature, mankind has " un point f~xe d'integrite ", to which it is ascending by degrees. The natural order is this ultimate fulfilment of mankind. Morelly's Code de la Nature is the earliest in the series of writings with which this study is concerned. It was the first book in modern times to put fully-fledged communism on the agenda as a practical programme, and not merely as a Utopia. It became Babenf's Bible, although he happened to attribute the work to Diderot. A soulless, badly written book, very crude in its premises and argument, not very influential in the pre-Thermidorian period of the Revolution, it expresses nevertheless in an exaggerated form the common tenets of eighteenth-century thought. All the eminent French political writers of the second part of the century were engaged in a search for a new unitary principle of social existence. Vague as to the concrete nature of the principle, they all met on common ground as far as the postulate of such a principle was concerned. The formulae differed only in emphasis, and some of these differences deserve to be illustrated. Helvetius, laying all the emphasis on utilitarianism, of which he was, in his De l'Esprlt (I758), the first teacher, and Holbach, writing in the seventies, and preaching materialist determinism, I both postulated a kind of cosmic pragmatism, of which the social order was only a replica. The structure of the world is such that | if society were properly balanced, all that is true would also be socially useful, and all that is useful would also be virtuous. None therefore would be vicious except fools, and none unhappy but the ignorant and wicked, in other words, those who presume to kick against the necessary, natural order of things. I Mably, who like Morelly was in the last resort a Communist, and therefore had a fixed image of the desired natural pattern, in; contrast to the vagueness of the utilitarian postulate, strove for scientific certainty in social and human affairs. He believed that politics could develop from the most conjectural into a most exact science, once the recesses of the human heart and passions had been explored, and a scientific system of ethics defined. I Condorcet, writing at the height of the Revolution in 1793, when he was in hiding and about to die the victim of the triumph of his ideas, summed up in a most moving manner the achievement -of his age by claiming that it had come into the possession of a universal instrument equally applicable to all fields of human endeavour. The same instrument was capable of discovering those general principles which form the necessary and immutable laws of justice, of probing men's motives, of "ascertaining the truth of natural philosophy, of testing the effects of history and of formulating laws for taste ". Once this instrument had been applied to morals and politics, a degree of certainty was given to those sciences little inferior to that which obtained in the natural sciences. This latest effort, Condorcet claimed, had placed an everlasting barrier between the human race and the " old mistakes of its infancy that win forever preserve us from a relapse into former ignorance " The analogy with the claims of dialectical materialism in the next century is evident. Placed in this context Rousseau occupies a position all his own. He starts from the same point as the others. He wants to investigate the nature of things, right, reason and justice in themselves, and the principle of legitimacy. Events and facts have no claim to be taken for granted, and to be considered natural, if they do not conform to one universally valid pattern, no matter whether such a pattern has ever existed. And yet, Rousseau makes no attempt to link up his ideal social order with the universal system and its as-embracing principle. A mighty fiat conjures up the social entity whatever its name, the State, the social contract, the Sovereign or the general win. The entity is autonomous, without as it were antecedents or an external point of reference. It is self sufficient. It is the source and maker of Al moral and social values, and yet it has an absolute significance and purpose. A vital shift of emphasis from cognition to the categorical imperative takes place. The sole, as explaining and as-determining principle of the philosopher, from which all ideas may be deduced, is transformed into the Sovereign, who cannot by definition err or hurt any of its citizens, Man has no other standards than those laid down by the social contract. He receives his personality and all his ideas from it. The State takes the place of the absolute point of reference embodied in the universal principle. The implications of this shift of emphasis will be examined later. Eighteenth-century thought, which prepared the ground for the French Revolution, should be considered on three different levels: first, criticism of the ancient regime, its abuses and absurdities; second, the positive ideas about a more rational and freer system of administration, such as, for instance, ideas on the separation of powers, the place of the judiciary, and a sound system of taxation; and lastly, the vague Messianic expectation attached to the idea of the natural order. It is due to this last aspect that social and political criticism in eighteenth-century writings always seems to point to things far beyond the concrete and immediate grievances and demands. So little is said directly about, for instance, feudal abuses or particular wrongs, and so much, however vaguely, about eternal principles, the first laws of society, and the cleavage of mankind into ruling and exploiting classes, into haves and have-nots, that I has come into existence in contradiction to the dictates of nature. An incalculable dynamism was immanent in the idea of the natural | order. When the Revolution came to test the eighteenth-century teachings, the sense of an imminent and total renovation was almost universal. But while to most the idea of the natural order preached by the philosopher appeared as a guiding idea and a point of reference, only to be approximated and never really attained, to the more ardent elements it became charged with a driving power that could I never be halted tip it had run out its fun and inexorable course. I And that course appeared to expand into boundlessness. It is easy to imagine the horror of Robespierre's listeners at the Convention when, desperately anxious to know where all the purges and all the terror were leading, after all possible Republican and popular measures had already been taken, and the sternest reprisals against counter-revolutionaries applied, they heard the Incorruptible say that his aim was to establish at last the natural order and to realize the promises of philosophy. There was something strikingly reminiscent of the medieval evangelical revolutionaries quoting the Sermon on the Mount to the dignitaries of the Church in Babenf's pleading before the Court at Vendome. He read extract after extract from Rousseau, Mably, Morelly and others, and asked his judges, haunted by the memory of Robespierre's reign of virtue, why he should be tried for having taken the teachings of the fathers of the Revolution seriously. Had they not taught that the natural order would result in universal happiness ? And if the Revolution had failed to realize this promise, could one claim that it had come to an end ? The survivors of the Gironde restored to power after the downfall of Robespierre, who in 1792 were still using the same vocabulary as Robespierre and keeping up a constant appeal to nature and its laws, had learned their frightful lesson in year II of the Republic. Writers like Benjamin Constant and Mme de Stael were soon to develop their brand of liberal empiricism in answer to 1793. It was out of that inner certainty of the existence of a natural and wholly rational and just order that scientific socialism and the idea of an integral Revolution grew. Already, however, by the end of 1792 a Girondist " liberal " grew alarmed. Thus Salle wrote to Dubois-Crance: " The principles, in their metaphysical abstractness and in the form in which they are being constantly analyzed in this society-no government can be founded on them; a principle cannot be rigorously applied to political association, for the simple reason that a principle admits of no imperfection; and, whatever you may do, men are imperfect. I say more: I make bold to say, and indeed, in the spirit of Rousseau himself, that the social state is a continuous violation of the will of the nation as conceived in its abstract relationships. What may not be the results of these imprudent declamations which take this will as a safe basis; which, under the pretext of full and complete sovereignty of the people, will suffer no legal restriction; which present man always in the image of an angel; which, desirous of discovering what befits him, ignore what he really is; which, in an endeavour to persuade the people that they are wise enough, give them dispensation from the effort to be that ! . . . I would gladly, if you like, applaud the chimera of perfection that they are after. But tell me, in divesting in this way man of what is human in him, are they not most likely to turn him into a ferocious beast ? "

Eighteenth-century philosopher were never in doubt that they were preaching a new religion. They faced a mighty challenge. The Church claimed to offer an absolute point of reference to man and society. It also claimed to embody an ultimate and all embracing unity of human existence across the various levels of human and social life. The Church accused secular philosophy of destroying these two most essential conditions of private and public -morality, and thereby undermining the very basis of ethics, and indeed society itself. If there is no God, and no transcendental sanction, why should men act virtuously? Eighteenth-century philosophy not only accepted the challenge, but turned the accusation against the Church itself. The philosopher felt the challenge so keenly that, as Diderot put it, they regarded it their sacred duty to show not only that their morality was just as good as religious ethics, but much better. Holbach was at pains to prove that the materialistic principle was a much stronger basis for ethics than the principle of the " spirituality of the soul " could ever claim to be. A great deal of eighteenth-century thought would assume a different complexion, if it was constantly remembered that though a philosophy of protest, revolt and spontaneity, eighteenth-century philosophy, as already hinted, was intensely aware of the challenge to redefine the guarantees of social cohesion and morality. The philosopher were most anxious to show that not they, but their opponents, were the anarchists from the point of view of the natural order. The philosophical line of attack on the Church was that apart from the historic untruth of the revealed religion, it also stood condemned as a sociological force. It introduced " imaginary" and heterogeneous criteria into the life of man and society. The commandments of the Church were incompatible with the requirements of society. The contradiction was harmful to both, and altogether demoralizing. One preached ascetic unworldliness, the other looked for social virtues and vigor. Man was being taught to work for the salvation of his soul, but his nature kept him earthbound. Religion taught him one thing, science another. Religious ethics were quite ineffective, where they were not a source of evil. The promise of eternal reward and the threat of everlasting punishment were too remote to have any real influence on actual human conduct. This sanction at best engendered hypocrisy. Where the teachings of religion were successful, they resulted in human waste, like monasticism and asceticism, or in cruel intolerance and wars of religion. Moreover, the " imaginary " teachings and standards of the Church offered support and justification to tyrannical vested interests harmful to society as a whole. Rousseau, Morelly, Helvetius, Holbach, Diderot, Condorcet, not to mention of course Voltaire, were unanimous in their insistence on the homogeneous nature of morality. Some, the Voltairians and atheists, speak in terms of a deliberate plot against society, when attacking the claims of religious ethics. Others, like Rousseau, lay all the emphasis on matters of principle, above all the principle of social unique: you' cannot be a citizen and Christian at the same time, for the loyalties clash. " It is from the legislative body only," wrote Helvetius, " that we cm expect a berveftcent religion . . . let sagacious ministers be clothed with temporal and spiritual powers, and all contradiction! between religious and patriotic precepts will disappear . . . the religious system shall coincide with the national prosperity . . religions, the habitual instruments of sacerdotal ambition, shall become the felicity of the public."

Philosophy of protest, revolt and spontaneity, eighteenth-century philosophy, as already hinted, was intensely aware of the challenge to redefine the guarantees of social cohesion and morality. The philosopher were most anxious to show that not they, but their opponents, were the anarchists from the point of view of the natural order. The philosophical line of attack on the Church was that apart from the historic untruth of the revealed religion, it also stood condemned as a sociological force. It introduced " imaginary" and heterogeneous criteria into the life of man and society. The commandments of the Church were incompatible with the requirements of society. The contradiction was harmful to both, and altogether demoralizing. One preached ascetic unworldliness, the other looked for social virtues and vigor. Man was being taught to work for the salvation of his soul, but his nature kept him earthbound. Religion taught him one thing, science another. Religious ethics were quite ineffective, where they were not a source of evil. The promise of eternal reward and the threat of everlasting punishment were too remote to have any real influence on actual human conduct. This sanction at best engendered hypocrisy. Where the teachings of religion were successful, they resulted in human waste, like monasticism and asceticism, or in cruel intolerance and wars of religion. Moreover, the " imaginary " teachings and standards of the Church offered support and justification to tyrannical vested interests harmful to society as a whole. Rousseau, Morelly, Helvetius, Holbach, Diderot, Condorcet, not to mention of course Voltaire, were unanimous in their insistence on the homogeneous nature of morality. Some, the Voltairians and atheists, speak in terms of a deliberate plot against society, when attacking the claims of religious ethics. Others, like Rousseau, lay all the emphasis on matters of principle, above all the principle of social unity: you cannot be a citizen and Christian at the same time, for the loyalties clash. " It is from the legislative body only," wrote Helvetius, " that we can expect a beneficent religion . . . let sagacious ministers be clothed with temporal and spiritual powers, and all contradiction between religious and patriotic precepts will disappear . . . the religious system shall coincide with the national prosperity . . . religions, the habitual instruments of sacerdotal ambition, shall become the felicity of the public."


Holbach taught the same, and although Rousseau and Mably quarreled bitterly with the two atheistic materialists, there was hardly a fundamental disagreement between them. For even to them the vital consideration was not really the existence of a Divine Being, but guarantees for social ethics. Rousseau, the master of Robespierre, and Mably, whose religious ideas made such a deep impression upon Saint-Just, were nearer Hebrew Biblical and classical pagan conceptions than Christian ideas. Robespierre's Jewish idea of Providence hovering over the Revolution was a conclusion from the eighteenth-century view that the moral drama is played out under the judgment of Nature exclusively within the framework of social relations. No eighteenth-century thinker recognized any distinction between membership of a kingdom of God and citizenship of an earthly state, in the Christian sense. Whether, as the eighteenth century as a whole, in the spirit of the Old Testament, believed, that reward and punishment for the deeds of one generation are distributed to posterity, or whether, as Rousseau and Mably thought, it was the individual who comes to judgment to be rewarded or punished as an individual soul, the only virtues or sins recognized were those of social significance. The only difference between Helvetius and Holbach, on the one hand, and Rousseau and Mably, on the other, was that according to the materialists social legislation and arrangements alone were sufficient to ensure moral conduct, while Rousseau and Mably feared that man may elude the law. It was vital that man should always remember that even if he eludes the magistrate, the account would still have to be settled elsewhere and before a higher tribunal. It was not less important that the unhappy and the injured should not despair of justice in society, even if it fails to come to their succor on earth. Rousseau, transcending the limits of mechanical materialist rationalism, harked back to antiquity. He felt compelled by the ancient sense of awe at the idea of a Divinity hovering over the city-state, and imbuing every act of its life with a solemn significance. He was fascinated by the pomp and thrill of collective patriotic worship in the national religious fetes, games and public displays, while Mably was convinced that no religion was possible without external forms, institutions and fixed rites. The articles of Rousseau's civil religion, other than those concerning the existence of Divinity and the immortality of the soul, do not materially differ from " the principles that are eternal and invariable, that are drawn from the nature of men and things, and like the propositions of geometry are capable of the most rigorous demonstration ", upon which Helvetius believed a universal religion should be founded. They refer to the laws of the State and articles of the Social Contract. It was not only theism that caused Rousseau to make the belief in Divinity a social necessity. It was also the fact that his and Mably's approach differed from that of the rationalists on the fundamental point, already made. The social harmonious pattern of Helvetius, Morelly and Holbach was a matter of cognition. It was there to be discerned and applied. In the case of Rousseau and Mably it was a categorical imperative, a matter of will. The materialist determinists felt confident that knowledge would be translated into action. Not so Rousseau and Mably, with their different attitude to human nature, and their deep sense of sin. Hence Rousseau felt driven to demand the death penalty for one who disbelieved in the civil religion, while Mably wished to ban all atheists and even deists, who claim that a religion of the heart was all that was wanted. Man had to be made to fear God, and made to experience the sense of fear constantly and vividly. Too much has been made of the contradiction between the chapter on the Civil Religion in the Social Contract and the Pro Cession de Foi du Vicaire Savoyard. The latter may well have been a shock to the materialists in so far as the purely philosophical problem of the existence of a personal deity was concerned. The direct and intensive relationship between man and God of the Vicar of Savoy need not, however, necessarily be taken as a refutation oft the self sufficiency of the religion of society. It would be so if the State or society were to be considered as purely human contrivances) If the State or Society are, as in the case of Robespierre, regarded as existing under the personal Providence of God, like the pre exilic Hebrew society, and if the relationship between God and man, unlike that presented by the Old Testament, does not entail a hierarchical organization and a system of laws and duties outside the framework of social institutions and laws, then the purely religious sense of awe and patriotic piety not only need not clash' but are likely to become fused into the Robespierre type of mysticism. There are no other priests than the magistrates, religious and patriotic ceremonial are the same, and to serve you country is to serve God.

The faith in a natural order and the immutable, universal principles deduced from it was the cause of the almost universal opposition in the second part of the eighteenth century to Montesquieu's central idea, in spite of the high esteem in which the father of the idea of republican virtue was held. The lack of understanding for the pragmatic evolution of social forms was so great that Morelly took the Esprit des Lois to be a didactic tract designed to show the vagaries and follies of mankind, once they had deviated from and abandoned the state of nature. Politics, according to Sicyes, was an art, and not a descriptive science like physics. Its object was to plan, to create reality and to do so in obedience to a permanent pattern. It was, Sieyes maintained, natural law that was old, and the errors of existing societies were new. Diderot did not think that a knowledge of history must precede that of morality. It seemed to him more useful and expedient to gain an idea of the just and unjust I' before possessing a knowledge of the actions and the men to whom one ought to apply it ". The emphasis upon " ought " instead of " why " was Rousseau's answer to Montesquieu. In the much quoted passage in Emile Rousseau says that Montesquieu was the only man capable of . creating the " great and useless " science of politics, or rather political right, but unfortunately contented himself with dealing with the positive laws of the established governments, " et rien au monde n'est plus different que ces deux etudes ". Rousseau's own references to relativism conditioned by different geographical circumstances do not affect his general approach. They appear to tee the necessary tributehe feels obliged to pay to political geography, and they usually occur when the subject is economics. Condorcet, like Rousseau, thought that Montesquieu would have done better had he been less occupied with finding " the reasons for that which is there than with seeking that which ought to be". More interesting and less noticed was eighteenth-century criticism of Montesquieu which implied that his relativism was due to his having given preference to geographical and other factors over the human factor. The underlying assumption of this criticism-a point to be developed later-was the idea that while objective conditions make for variety, it was human nature that called for uniformity. Even Montesquieu himself, never quite a " Montesquieu'ist "-as Marx not a Marxist-believed in natural laws derived from man's inner being as a constant and immutable quality. Helvetius and Mably maintained that Montesquieu's thesis was vitiated by his failure to recognize that human psychology was the only vital factor in shaping political systems. To Helvetius it was the desire for power and the ways of obtaining it. Mably recognized human passions, and not climatic differences or the particular configuration of a territory, as the decisive factor in politics. He believed that human psychology was the same in every climate. Hence, knowledge of psychology was the safest way to scientific politics. Condorcet and others put the main emphasis on the rights of man as the condition of an exclusive social system. His criticism should be read together with his comparison between the French Revolution and the political systems of antiquity and the United States of America. The case between rationalist politics and political empiricism has nowhere been made clearer on the side of eighteenth century French philosophy. Condorcet objects to the empiricism of the ancient Greek political philosophy. It was a science of facts, but not a true theory founded upon general, universal principles, nature and reason. The Greek thinkers aimed less at extirpating the causes of evil than at destroying their effects by opposing their causes one to another. In brief, instead of applying a systematic and radical cure, they tried to play up to prejudices and vices, and play them off against each other so as to cancel their effects. No effort to disperse and suppress them was made. The result was, that these policies deformed, misled, brutalized and inflamed men, instead of refining and purifying them. Condorcet seems at one time to come very near Morelly's condemnation of what to-day would be called reformism: the perennial effort, in the words of the Code de la Nature, to perfect the imperfect. This procedure -claimed Morelly-only complicates the chain of evils, misleads the people and kills the energy for a radical reform. Like all his eighteenth-century predecessors, Condorcet based his idea of a radical reform on the immutable necessities of human nature, or rather the rights of man derived from them. He thought that the Greeks had a consciousness of rights, but failed to comprise trend their coherent structure, their depth, extent and real nature.

They saw in them, as it were, a heritage, a set of inherited rights, and not a coherent, objective framework. Even the American Revolution had not yet achieved the full consciousness of these principles. The Americans had not yet acquired principles sufficiently invariable not to fear that legislators might introduce into the political institutions their particular prejudices and passions. Their object could not as yet therefore be to build on the firm, permanent basis of nature and universal maxims a society of men equal and free; they had to be content with establishing " laws to hereditary members ", that is to say, within the context of the given realities and expediency. The American system therefore offered an example of a search for a mean between the oligarchy of the rich and the fickleness of the poor, inviting tyranny. The French Revolution marked the absolute turning point. " We arrived at the period when philosophy . . . obtained an influence on the thinking class of men, and these on the people and their governments that ceasing any longer to be gradual produced a revolution in the entire mass of certain nations, and gave thereby a secure pledge of the general revolution one day to follow that shall embrace the whole human species . . . after ages of error, after wandering in all the mazes of vague and defective theories, writers . . . at length arrived at the knowledge of the true rights of man . . . deducted from the same principle . . . a being endowed with sensation, capable of reasoning . . . laws deduced from the nature of our own feeling . . . our moral constitution." The French Revolution compared with the American Revolution had been an event on quite a different plane. It had been a total revolution in the sense that it had left no sphere and retrospect of human existence untouched, whereas the American Revolution had been a purely political change-over. Furthermore, while the French Revolution had enthroned equality and effected a political transformation based upon the identity of the natural rights of man, the American Revolution had been content to achieve a balance of social powers based on inequality and compromise. It was this human hubris and impious presumption that frail man is capable of producing a scheme of things of absolute and final significance that, on the one hand, provoked some of Burke's most eloquent passages and, on the other, led Joseph de Maistre, Bonald and their school to proclaim the idea of theocratic absolutism.


(a)IDENTITY OF REASON WE now reach the core of our problem, the paradox of freedom. The fighting argument of the teachers of the natural system was that the powers that be and their theoretical defenders deliberately or ignorantly took no heed of human nature. All the evils, vices and miseries were due to the fact that man had not consulted his true nature, or had been prevented from doing so by ignorance, which was spread and maintained by vested interests. Had man probed his true nature, he would have discovered a replica of the universal order. By obeying the postulates of his own nature he would have acted in accordance with the laws of Nature as a whole, and thus avoided all the entanglements and contradictions in which history has involved him. Now the paradox is that human nature, instead of being regarded as that stubborn, unmanageable and unpredictable Adam, is presented here as a vehicle of uniformity, and as its guarantee. The paradox is based upon vital philosophical premises. There is a good deal of confusion as to the philosophical kinship of the eighteenth-century philosophers. It is made worse by the fact that the philosopher were not philosophers in the strict sense of the word. They were eclectics. They were as much the heirs of Plato and Descartes as puff Locke and Hume, of philosophical rationalism and empirical skepticism, of Leibnitz and' Condillac's associationist theory. Not even a founder of utilitarianism like Helvetius, or one of the most important teachers of materialist determinism like Holbach, ever made their position unequivocally clear. But it is necessary to sum up what all the eighteenth-century thinkers had in common in their underlying premises as far as it affects the subject of this investigation. Following the footsteps of Descartes, the philosopher believed in truth that is objective and stands on its own, and which can and would be recognized by man. To Holbach truth was the conformity of our ideas with the nature of things. Helvetius believed that all the most complicated metaphysical propositions could be reduced to questions of fact that white is white and black is black. Nature has so arranged that there should be a direct and unerring correlation between objects and our powers of cognition. Helvetius, Holbach and Morelly repeatedly say that error is an accident only. We all would see and judge rightly if it were not for the ignorance or the particular passions and interests that blind our judgment, these being the result of bad education or the influence of vested interests alien to man. Everyone is capable of discovering the truth, if it is presented to him in the right light. Every member of Rousseau's sovereign is bound to will the general will. For the general will is in the last resort a Cartesian truth. Helvetius goes so far as to deny any inherent differences of ability and talent. These are nothing but the product of conditions and chance. Uniform education, the placing of all children in as similar conditions as possible, their subjection to exactly the same impressions and associations, would reduce the differences of talent and ability to a minimum. With what eagerness this theory was seized upon by the revolutionary egalitarians, especially Buonarroti Genius can be reared, and you can multiply men of genius according to plan, taught Helvetius. Rationalists and empiricists at the same time, eighteenth-century thinkers felt no incongruity when boasting that in contrast to their opponents they based their theories on experience alone. They never tired of urging people to observe and study man in order to learn how he behaves and what are his real needs. But this emphasis on empiricism was directed not against philosophical rationalism, but only against the authoritarian, revealed religion and the teachings of tradition. Their empiricism was vitiated by the rationalist premise of Man per se, human nature as such ultimately endowed with only one unifying attribute, reason, or at most two, reason and self-love. If there is such a being as Man in himself, and if we all, when we throw off our accidental characteristics, partake of the same substance, then a universal system of morality, based on the fewest and simplest principles, becomes not only a distinct possibility, but a certainty. Such a system would be comparable in its precision to geometry, and the most cherished dream of philosophers since Locke would come true. Since this universal system of ethics is a matter of intellectual cognition, and since it is quite sure that Nature intended the moral order to be purposeful and conducive to happiness, it becomes quite clear that all the evils that exist, all chaos and misery, are due simply to error or ignorance. Man, however, is a creature not only of reason but of individual and unpredictable passion. " Will the simplicity and uniformity of these principles agree with the different passions of men ? " Helvetius' answer to his own question is that however different the desires of men may be, their manner of regarding objects is essentially the same. There is no need to accept the individual's actual refusal to submit his passionate nature to reason as a fact that must be taken for granted and will always be with us. And here eighteenth-century philosophy was immensely helped by the associationist psychology of Condillac, with its roots in Locke. The mind is at birth a tal~ula rosa, with no innate ideas, characteristics or vices. All are formed by education, environment and associations of ideas and impressions. Man is a malleable creature. He is by nature neither good nor bad, rather good in so far as he is accommodating to what Nature intended him to be. All his actual badness and viciousness . is a result of evil institutions, and may be traced still further to the " first little chain " of evils, the original fatal error as Morelly and Holbach called it, the idea that man is bad. The institutions and t laws erected on this premise were calculated to thwart man and his legitimate aspirations. They acted as an irritant and made man evil, which the powers that be took for a further justification of their oppressive methods. Man is a product of education. Education in the widest sense of the word, including of course the laws, is capable of reconciling man with the universal moral order and objective truth. It can teach him to throw off the passions and urges which act against the harmonious pattern, and develop in him the passions useful to society. In a society from which the Church had been excluded and which treated social utility as the sole criterion of judgment, education like everything else was bound to be focused in the governmental system. It was a matter for the Government. Helvetius, Holbach, Mably, the Physiocrats and others, in the same way as Rousseau himself, believed that ultimately man was nothing I but the product of the laws of the State, and that there was nothing that a government was incapable of doing in the art of forming man. How fascinated Helvetius was by the power and greatness of the founder of a monastic order, able as he was to deal with man in the raw, outside the maze of tradition and accumulated circumstances, and to lay down rules to shape man like clay. Rousseau's adored Legislator is nothing but the great Educator.

(b) Self Interest The problem of man's self-interest is the central point of the eighteenth-century theory. Prima facie, man's self-love is calculated to be the rock upon which any harmonious social pattern might founder. Eighteenth-century thinkers declared it however to be the most important asset for social co-operation. They hailed it as the most precious gift of Nature. Without the desire for happiness and pleasure, man would sink into sloth and indifference and, as Helvetius, Rousseau, Morelly, Mably, Holbach and others all agreed, would have never attained his real self ¿fulfillment, which can be achieved only in organized society and in the relationships maintained by it. Self-love is the only basis of morality, for it is the most real and most vital element in man and human relations. It therefore offers a simple and safe standard to judge how people would act and what could satisfy them. But the main value of the principle is in the fact that man's self-interest in the natural state, far from setting him | irretrievably at variance with his fellow men and society, draws I them together as nothing else, no transcendental commandments, could. Self-love, as Morelly defined it, is by nature indissolubly bound up with the instinct of benevolence, and thus plays in the sphere of social relations the same part as Newton's law of gravitation in the physical world. According to Helvetius and Holbach, nature has so arranged that man cannot be happy without the happiness of others, and without making others happy. Not only because he needs the sight of happiness in others to feel happy himself, but also because, owing to cosmic pragmatism, our courses and interests are so linked up in a higher unity that man working for his own welfare inevitably helps others and society. Holbach called the vicious man a bad calculator. Virtue is nothing but the wise choice of what is truly useful to himself and at the same time to others. Reason is the intellectual capacity for making the right choice, while liberty is the practical knowledge of what is conducive to happiness, and the ability to act on it. No sacrifice of self-interest is required. On the contrary, a legislator demanding it would, in the words of Mably, be insane. What the individual may be asked is to forgo immediate advantages for more solid and permanent gains in the future. He may properly be invited to lose his soul to win it back, to surrender some selfish interests to society so as to be able to increase the solid totality of good, embodied in the social good, from which his own particular interest inevitably flows. For ultimately, if group interests within society are eliminated, and replaced! by a general interest, deduced from human nature, common to an equal degree to everyone, the general interest is nothing but one's individual interest writ large. Man's real interest is immanent in the general social good. Selfishness and vice do not pay. In words reminiscent of Plato, Holbach speaks of a harmony of the soul that constitutes happiness, and comes into existence when man is at peace with himself and his environment. The man torn by passions, tormented by cupidity, worn out by frustration, tossed about by heterogeneous urges, has his harmony disturbed and becomes miserable. In brief, even from the strictly utilitarian point of view, virtue is its own reward. The virtuous man, as our writers never tire of repeating, cannot fail to be happy. The happiest is the man who realizes that I his happiness lies in self-adjustment to the necessary order of things, ! that is to say, in the pursuit of happiness in harmony with others. All misery is the outcome of a vain attempt to kick against the natural order from which man can never depart without peril to I himself All misery and all vices come, as Rousseau put it, from the preference man gives to his amour-propre over his amour de sol, legitimate and natural self-love. What is useful is virtuous and true. Not just in the sense of limited pragmatism that that is true which in a limited sphere produces results. It is so owing to what has been called here cosmic pragmatism. Things were meant to fit, and their appropriateness is demonstrated by results. Their appropriateness is also their truth, for the universe is simultaneously a system of truths and a I wonderful machine designed to produce results. The pattern of social harmony cannot be left to work itself out by itself The designs of nature to be realized require deliberate arrangements. The natural identity of interests must be reproduced by the artificial identification of interests. It is the task of the Legislator to bring-about social harmony, that is to say, reconcile the personal good with the general good. It is for the Legislator, as Helvetius put it, to discover means of placing men under the necessity of being virtuous. This can be achieved with the help of institutions, laws, education and a proper system of rewards and punishments. The Legislator, acting on man箂 instinct of self-love, is capable of forcing him to be just to others. He can direct man's passions in such a way that instead of being destructive they would come to bear good fruit. The object of the laws is to teach man his true interest, which is after all another name for virtue. This can be done if there is a clear and effective distribution of rewards and punishments. A proper system of education in the widest sense would fix firmly in the minds of men the association of virtue with reward, and of vice with punishment, these embracing of course also public approval and disapproval. " The whole art of this sublime architecture consists in making laws which are wise and learned enough to direct my self-love in such a way that I neglect, so to speak, my particular advantage, and to reward me liberally for the sacrifice,'' wrote Mably. It is a question of external arrangements and of education at the same time. The personal good may be made with the help of appropriate institutions and arrangements to flow back from the general good so that the citizen, having his legitimate needs satisfied, would have no incentive to be anti-social, He can be made fully conscious of this and made to behave accordingly. Helvetius and Holbach taught that the temporal interest alone if handled cleverly was sufficient to form virtuous men. Good laws alone make virtuous men. This being so, vice in society is not the outcome of the corruption of human nature, but the fault of the Legislator. This statement is not invalidated even if it is admitted that man as he is would naturally always prefer his personal to the general good. For man is only a raw element in regard to the edifice of social harmony. A legislation is possible under which none would be unhappy but fools and people maimed by nature, and none vicious but the ignorant and stupid. That such a society has not yet come into existence is due not to man, but to the failure of governments to form man with the help of education and proper laws. For the restoration of the natural order would be effected only as a result of a total change in man's actual nature. And so the natural identity of interests is completely over-shadowed I by the postulate of their artificial identification. Until now education had been left to chance and made the prey of false maxims. It was now time to remember that all felicity was the outcome of education. " Men have in their own hands the instrument of their greatness and their felicity, and . . . to be happy and powerful nothing more is requisite than to perfect the science of education." Legislators, moralists and natural scientists should combine to form man on the basis of their teachings, the conclusions of which converge upon the same point. Governments have it in their power to rear genius, to raise or lower the standard of ability in a nation. This, as Helvetius and Holbach insist, has nothing to do with climate or geography. Since human thought is so important for man's disposition towards the general good and towards his fellow citizens, and the harmonious pattern in general, it is only natural and necessary that a government should take a deep interest in shaping the ideas of men and exercise a censorship of ideas.

(C) THE NATURAL ORDER, THE LEGISLATOR, AND t: THE INDIVIDUAL These ideas on self-interest and the power of education have strong political and social implications. As justice only has meaning in reference to social utility, it is clear that a just action is one that is useful to the greater number. It could thus be said that morality consists in the interest of the greater number. The greater number embodies justice. " It is evident," says Helvetius, " that justice is in its own nature always armed with a power sufficient to suppress vice, and place men under necessity of being virtuous." j Why have the few, representing a minority and therefore an I immoral interest, for so long dominated the greater number? Because of ignorance and misleading influences. The existing powers are interested in maintaining ignorance and in preventing the growth of genius and virtue. It is therefore clear that a reform of education could not take place without a change of political constitution.

The art of forming man, in other words education, depends ultimately on the form of government. Self ¿Love as applied to the political sphere means the love of power. Political wisdom consists not in thwarting this natural instinct, but in giving it an outlet. The satisfaction of this urge like the satisfaction of man's legitimate self-interest is conducive to virtue. From this point of view democracy appears as the best system, as it satisfies the love of power of all or of most. The totalitarian potentialities of this philosophy are not quite obvious at first sight. But they are nevertheless grave. The very idea of a self-contained system from which all evil and unhappiness have been exorcised is totalitarian. The assumption that such a scheme of things is feasible and indeed inevitable is an invitation to a regime to proclaim that it embodies this perfection, to exact from its citizens recognition and submission and to brand opposition as vice or perversion. The greatest danger is in the fact that far from denying freedom and rights to man, far from demanding sacrifice and surrender, this system solemnly re-affirms liberty, man's self-interest and rights. It claims to have no other aims than their realization. Such a system is likely to become the more totalitarian, precisely because it grants everything in advance, because it accepts all liberal premises a priori. For it claims to be able by definition to satisfy them by a positive enactment as it were, not by leaving them alone and watching over them from the distance. When a regime is by definition regarded as realizing rights and freedoms, the citizen becomes deprived of any right to complain that he is being deprived of his rights and liberties. The earliest practical demonstration of this was given by Jacobinism. Thus in the case of Rousseau his sovereign can demand from the citizen the total alienation of all his rights, goods, powers, person and life, and yet claim that there is no real surrender. In the very idea of retaining certain rights and staking out a claim against the sovereign there is, according to Rousseau, an implication of being at variance with the general will. The proviso that the general will could not require or exact a greater surrender than is inherent in the relationship between it and the subject does not alter the case, since it is left to the sovereign to decide what must be surrendered and what must not. Rousseau's sovereign, like the natural order, can by definition do nothing except secure man's freedom. It can have no reason or cause to hurt the citizen. For it to do so would be as impossible as it would be for something in the world of things to happen without a cause. There is no need to insist that neither Helvetius, Holbach nor any one of their school envisaged brute force and undisguised coercion as instruments for the realization of the natural system. Nothing could have been further from their minds. Locke's three liberties figure prominently in all their social catechisms. They could not conceive any clash between the natural social pattern and the liberties, the real liberties, of man. The greater the freedom, the nearer, they believed, was the realization of the natural order. In the natural system there would simply be no need to restrict free expression. Opposition to the natural order would be unthinkable, except from fools or perverted individuals. The Physiocrats, for instance, were second to none in their insistence on a natural order of society " simple, constant, invariable and susceptible of being demonstrated by evidence". Mercier de la Riviere preached " despotism of evidence " in human affairs. The absolute monarch was the embodiment of the " force naturelle et irresistible de ['evidence ", which rules out any arbitrary action on the part of the administration. The Physiocrats insisted at the same time on the freedom of the press and the " full enjoyment" of natural rights by the individual. A government conducted on the basis of scientific evidence could only encourage a free press and individual freedom ! Eighteenth-century believers in a natural system failed to perceive that once a positive pattern is laid down, the liberties which are supposed to be attached to this pattern become restricted within its framework, and lose their validity and meaning outside it. The area outside the framework becomes mere chaos, to which the idea of liberty simply does not apply, and so it is possible to go on reaffirming liberty while denying it. Robespierre was only the first of the European revolutionaries who, having been an extreme defender of the freedom of the press under the old dispensation, turned into the bitterest persecutor of the opposition press once he came into power. For, to quote the famous sophism launched during the later period of the Revolution against the freedom of the press, the very demand for a free press when the Revolution is triumphant is counter-revolutionary. It implies freedom to fight the Revolution, for in order to support the Revolution there is no need for special permission. And there can be no freedom to fight the Revolution. On closer examination the idea of the natural order reaches the antithesis of its original individualism. Although prima facie the individual is the beginning and the end of everything, in fact the Legislator is decisive. He is called upon to shape man in accordance to a definite image. The aim is not to enable men as they are to express themselves as freely and as fully as possible, to assert their uniqueness. It is to create the right objective conditions and to educate men so that they would fit into the pattern of the virtuous society.


(a) THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BACKGROUND ROUSSEAU often uses the words nature and the natural order in the same sense as his contemporaries to indicate the logical structure of the universe. He also uses nature, however, to describe the elemental as opposed to the effort and achievement of the spirit in overcoming and subduing the elemental. The historical state of nature before organized society was the reign of the elemental. The inauguration of the social state marked the triumph of the spirit. It must be repeated that to the materialists the natural order is, so to speak, a ready-made machine to be discovered and set to work. To Rousseau, on the other hand, it is the State, when it has fulfilled its purpose. It is a categorical imperative. The materialists reached the problem of the individual versus the social order only late in their argument. Even then, supremely confident of the possibility of mutual adjustment, they failed to recognize the existence of the problem of coercion. To Rousseau the problem exists from the beginning. It is indeed the fundamental problem to him. A motherless vagabond starved of warmth and affection, having his dream of intimacy constantly frustrated by human callousness, real or imaginary, Rousseau could never decide what he wanted, to release human nature or to moralize it by breaking it; to be alone or a part of human company. He could never make up his mind whether man was made better or worse, happier or more miserable, I by people. Rousseau was one of the most ill-adjusted and egocentric natures who have left a record of their predicament. He was a bundle of contradictions, a recluse and anarchist, yearning to return to nature, given to reverie, in revolt against all social conventions, sentimental and lacrimose, abjectly self-conscious and at odds with his environment, on the one hand; and the admirer of Sparta and Rome, the preacher of discipline and the submergence of the individual in the collective entity, on the other. The secret of this dual personality was that the disciplinarian was the envious dream of the tormented paranoiac. The Social Contract was the sublimation of the Discourse on the Origins of Inequality. Rouseseau speaks of his own predicament, when describing in }smile and elsewhere the unhappiness of man, who, after he left the state of nature, fell prey to the conflict between impulse and the duties of civilized society; always " wavering between his inclinations and his duties ", neither quite man nor quite citizen, " no good to himself, nor to others ", because never in accord with himself The only salvation from this agony, if a return to the untroubled state of nature was impossible, was either a complete self ¿abandonment to the elemental impulses or to " denature (de'naturer) man" altogether. It was in the latter case necessary to substitute a relative for an absolute existence, social consciousness for self-consciousness. Man must be made to regard himself not as a " unite numerique, l'entier absolu, qui n'a de rapport qu'a lui-meme ", but as a " unite fonctionnaire qui tient au denominateur et dont la valeur est dans son rapport aver l'entier, qui est le 'corps social ". A fixed rigid and universal pattern of feeling and behavior was to be imposed In order to create man of one piece, without contradictions, without centrifugal and anti-social urges. The task was to create citizens who would will only what the general will does, and thus be free, instead of every man being an entity in himself, torn by egotistic tensions and thus enslaved. Rousseau, the teacher of romantic spontaneity of feeling, was obsessed with the idea of man's cupidity as the root cause of moral degeneration and social evil. Hence his apotheosis of Spartan ascetic virtue and his condemnation of civilization in so far as civilization is the expression of the urge to conquer, the desire to shine and the release of human vitality, without reference to morality. He had that intense awareness of the reality of human rivalry peculiar to people who have experienced it in their souls. Either out of a sense of guilt or out of weariness, they long to be delivered from the need for external recognition and the challenge of rivalry. Three other representatives of the totalitarian Messianic temperament to be analyzed in these pages show a similar paranoiac streak. They are Robespierre, Saintlust and Babeu¿C ¿ In recent times we have had examples of the strange combination of psychological ill-adjustment and totalitarian ideology. In some cases, salvation from the impossibility of finding a balanced relationship with fellow-men is sought in the lonely superiority of dictatorial leadership. The leader identifies himself with the absolute doctrine and the refusal of others to submit comes to be regarded not as a normal difference of opinion, but as a crime. It is characteristic of the paranoiac leader that when thwarted he is quickly thrown off his precarious balance and falls victim to an orgy of self-pity, persecution mania and the suicidal urge. Leadership is the salvation of the few, but to many even mere membership of a totalitarian movement and submission to the exclusive doctrine may offer a release from ill-adjusted egotism. Periods of great stress, of mass psychosis, and intense struggle call forth marginal qualities which otherwise may have remained dormant, and bring to the top men of a peculiar neurotic mentality.

(b) THE GENERAL VILE AND THE INDIVIDUAL It was of vital importance to Rousseau to save the ideal of liberty, while insisting on discipline. He was very proud and had a keen sense of the heroic. Rousseau's thinking is thus dominated by a highly fruitful but dangerous ambiguity. On tile one hand, the individual is said to obey nothing but his own will; on the other, he is urged to conform to some objective criterion. The contradiction is resolved by the claim that this external criterion is his better, higher, or real self: man's inner voice, as Rousseau calls it. Hence, even if constrained to obey the external standard, man cannot complain of being coerced, for in fact he is merely being made to obey his own true self He is thus still free; indeed- freer than before. For freedom is the triumph of the spirit over natural, elemental instinct. It is the acceptance of moral obligation and the disciplining of irrational and selfish urges by reason and duty. The acceptance of the obligations laid down in the Social Contract marks the birth of man's personality and his initiation into freedom. Every exercise of the general will constitutes a reaffirmation of man's freedom. The problem of the general will may be considered from two points of view, that of individual ethics and that of political legitimacy. Diderot in his articles in the Encyclopedia on the Legislateur and Droit naturel was a forerunner of Rousseau in so far as personal ethics are concerned. He conceived the problem in the same way it: as Rousseau: as the dilemma of reconciling freedom with an external absolute standard. It seemed to Diderot inadmissible that the individual as he is should be the final judge of what is just and unjust, right and wrong. The particular will of the individual is always suspect. The general will is the sole judge. One must always address oneself for judgment to the general good and the general will. One who disagrees with the general will renounces his humanity and classifies himself as " denature". The general will is to enlighten man " to what extent he should be man, citizen, subject, father or child ", " et Wand it lui convient de vivre on de mourir". The general will shall fix the nature and limits of all our duties. Like Rousseau, Diderot is anxious to make the reservation in regard to man's natural and most sacred right to all that is 1 not contested by the " species as a whole". He nevertheless hastens, again like Rousseau, to add that the general will shall guide us on the nature of our ideas and desires. Whatever we think and desire will be good, great and sublime, if it is in lteepirlg with the general interest. Conformity to it alone qualifies us for membership of our species: " ne la perdez done jamais de vue, sans quoi vous verrez les notions de la bonte, de la justice, de lthumanite, de la vertu, chanceler dans votre entendement". Diderot gives two definitions of the general will. He declares it first to be contained in the principles of the written law of all civilized nations, in the social actions of the savage peoples, in the conventions of the enemies of mankind among themselves and even in the instinctive indignation of injured animals. He then calls the general will " dans chaque individu un acte pur de l'entendement qui raisonne darts le silence des passions sur ce que l'homme pent exiger de son semblable et sur ce que son semblable est en droll d'exiger de lui ". This is also Rousseau's definition of the general will in the first version of the Social Contract. Ultimately the general will is to Rousseau something like a mathematical truth or a Platonic idea. It has an objective existence of its own, whether perceived or not. It has nevertheless to be discovered by the human mind. But having discovered it' the human mind simply cannot honestly refuse to accept it. In this way the general will is at the same time outside us and within us. plan is not invited to express his personal preferences. He is not asked for his approval. He is asked whether the given proposal is or is not in conformity with the general will. " If my particular opinion had carried the day, I should have achieved the opposite of what was my will; and it is in that case that I should not have been free." For freedom is the capacity of ridding oneself of considerations, interests, preferences and prejudices, whether personal or collective, which obscure the objectively true and good, which, if I am true to my true nature, I am bound to will. What applies to the individual applies equally to the people. Man and people have to be brought to choose freedom, and if necessary to be forced to be free. The: general ~11 becomes ultimately a question of enlightenment and morality. Although it should be the achievement of the general will to create harmony and unanimity, the whole aim of political life is really to educate and prepare men to will the general will without any sense of constraint. Human egotism must be rooted out, and human nature changed. " Each individual, who is by himself a complete and solitary whole, would have to be transformed into part of a greater whole from which he receives his life and being." Individualism will have to give place to collectivism, egoism to virtue, which is the conformity of the personal, to the general will. The Legislator " must, in a word, take away from man his resources and give him instead new ones alien to him, and incapable of being made use of without the help of other men. The more completely these natural resources are annihilated, the greater and the more lasting are those which he acquires, and the more stable and perfect the new institutions, so that if each citizen is nothing and can do nothing without the rest; and the resources acquired by the whole are equal or superior to the aggregate of the resources of all Individuals, it may be said that legislation is at the highest possible point of perfection." As in the case of the materialists, it is not the self-expression of the individual, the deployment of his particular faculties and the realization of his own and unique mode of existence, that is the final aim, but the loss of the individual in the collective entity by taking on its color and principle of existence. The aim is to train men to " bear with docility the yoke of public happiness ", in fact to create a new type of man, a purely political creature, without any particular private or social loyalties, any partial interests, as Rousseau would call them.

(c) THE GENERAL WILL, POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY, AND DICTATORSHIP Rousseau's sovereign is the externalized general will, and, as has been said before, stands for essentially the same as the natural harmonious order. In marrying this concept with the principle of popular sovereignty, and popular self-expression, Rousseau gave rise to totalitarian democracy. The mere introduction of this latter element, coupled with the fire of Rousseau's style, lifted the eighteenth-century postulate from the plane of intellectual speculation into that of a great collective experience. It marked the birth of the modern secular religion, not merely as a system of ideas, but as a passionate faith. Rousseau's synthesis is in itself the formulation of the paradox of freedom in totalitarian democracy in terms which reveal the dilemma in the most striking form, namely, in those of will. There is such a thing as an objective general will, whether willed or not willed by anybody. To become a reality it must be willed by the people. If the people does not will it, it must be made to will it, for the general will is latent in the people s will. Democratic ideas and rationalist premises are Rousseau's means of resolving the dilemma. According to him the general will would be discerned only if the whole people, and not a part of it or a representative body, was to make the effort.. The second condition is that individual men as purely political atoms, and not groups, parties or interests, should be called upon to will. Both conditions are based upon the premise that there is such a thing as a common substance of citizenship, of which all partake, once everyone is able to divest himself of his partial interests and group loyalties. In the same way men as rational beings may arrive at the same conclusions, once they rid themselves of their particular passions and interests and cease to depend on " imaginary " standards which obscure their judgment. Only when all are acting together as an assembled people, does man's nature as citizen come into active existence. It would not, if only a part of the nation were assembled to will the general will. They would express a partial will. Moreover, even the fact that all have willed something does not yet make it the expression of the general will, if the right disposition on the part of those who will it was not there. A will does not become general because it is willed by all, only when I it is willed in conformity to the objective will. Exercise of sovereignty is not conceived here as the interplay of interests, the balancing of views, all equally deserving a hearing, the weighing of various interests. It connotes the endorsement of a truth, self-identification on the part of those who exercise sovereignty with some general interest which is presumed to be the fountain of all identical individual interests. Political parties are not considered as vehicles of the various currents of opinion, but representatives of partial interests, at variance with the general interest, which is regarded as almost tangible. it is of great importance to realize that what is to-day considered as an essential concomitant of democracy, namely, diversity of views and interests, was far from being regarded as essential by the eighteenth-century fathers of democracy. Their original postulates were unity and unanimity. The affirmation of the principle of diversity came later, when the totalitarian implications of the principle of homogeneity had been demonstrated in Jacobin dictatorship. This expectation of unanimity was only natural in an age which, starting with the idea of the natural order, declared war on S11 privileges and inequalities. The very eighteenth-century concept of the nation as opposed to estates implied a homogeneous entity. Naive and inexperienced in the working of democracy, the theorists on the eve of the Revolution were unable to regard the strains and stresses, the conflicts and struggles of a parliamentary democratic regime as ordinary things, which need not frighten anybody with the spectre of immediate ruin and confusion. Even so moderate and level-headed a thinker as Holbach was appalled by the " terrible" cleavages in English society. He considered England the most miserable country of all, ostensibly free, but in fact more unhappy than any of the Oriental despot-ridden kingdoms. Had not England been brought to the verge of ruin by the struggle of factions and contradictory interests ? Was not her system a hotchpotch of irrational habits, obsolete customs, incongruous laws, with no system, and no guiding principle ? The physiocrat Letronne declared that " the situation of France is infinitely better than that of England; for here reforms, changing the whole state of the country, can be accomplished in a moment, whereas in England such reforms can always be blocked by the party system", It is worth while devoting a few words to the Physiocrats at this juncture, for their thinking reveals a striking similarity to totalitarian democratic categories, in spite of the differences of outlook. The Physiocrats offer an astonishing synthesis of economic liberalism and political absolutism, both equally based upon the most emphatic postulate of natural harmony. Although they preached that in the economic sphere the free play of individual economic interests and pursuits would inevitably result in harmony, they were intensely aware of opposing, conflicting and unequal interests, where politics were concerned. In their view these tensions were the greatest obstacle to social harmony. Parliamentary institutions, the separation and balance of powers, were thus impossible as roads to social harmony. The various interests would be judges in their own cause. The clashes among them would paralyze the State. The Physiocrats thus rejected the balance of powers, claiming that if one of the powers is stronger, then there is no real balance. If they were of exactly the same strength, but pulled in different directions, the result would be total inaction. The object of legislation is not to achieve a balance and a compromise, but to act on strict evidence, which according to the Physiocrats was a real thing, having as it were nothing to do with, and lifted above, all partial interests. The authority acting on this evidence must accordingly be " autorite souveraine, unique, superieure a tons individus . . . interets particuliers": "le chef unique", " qui soit le centre commun darts lequel tous les interets des differents ordres de citoyens viennent se reunir sans se confondre ". The Physiocrats had so great a faith in the power of evidence to effect rational conduct that they refused to consider the possibility that the absolute monarch might abuse his authority. They believed in the absolute monarch acting on strict evidence, and in the isolated individual. These two factors represented the general interest, while the intermediate partial interests falsified the evidence ", and led man astray on to selfish paths. " There will be no more estates (orders) armed with privileges in a nation, only individuals fully enjoying their natural rights." Rousseau puts the people in place of the (hysiocratic enlightened despot. He too considers partial interests the greatest enemy of social harmony. Just as in the case of the rationalist utilitarian the individual becomes here the vehicle of uniformity. It could be said without any exaggeration that this attitude points towards the idea of a classless society. It is conditioned by a vague expectation that somewhere at the end of the road and after an ever more intensive elimination of differences and inequalities there will be unanimity. Not that this unanimity need be enforced of itself. The more extreme the forms of popular sovereignty, the moredemocratic the procedure, the surer one may be of unanimity. Thus Morelly thought that real democracy was a regime where the citizens would unanimously vote to obey nothing but nature. The leader of the British Jacobins, Horne Tooke, standing trial in 1794, defined his aim as a regime with annual parliaments, based on universal suffrage, with the exclusion of parties, and voting unanimously. Like the Physiocrats Rousseau rejects any attempt to divide sovereignty. He brands it as the trick of a juggler playing with the severed limbs of an organism. For if there is only one will, sovereignty cannot be divided. Only that in place of the Physiocratic absolute monarch Rousseau puts the people. It is the people as a whole that should exercise the sovereign power, and not a representative body. An elected assembly is calculated to develop a vested interest like any other corporation. A people buys itself a master once it hands over sovereignty to a parliamentary I representative body. I Now at the very foundation of the principle of direct and indivisible democracy, and the expectation of unanimity, there is the implication of dictatorship, as the history of many a referendum has shown. If a constant appeal to the people as a whole, not just to a small representative body, is kept up, and at the same time unanimity is postulated, there is no escape from dictatorship. This I was implied in Rousseau's emphasis on the all-important point that the leaders must put only questions of a general nature to the people, and, moreover, must know how to put the right question. The question must have so obvious an answer that a different sort of answer would appear plain treason or perversion. If unanimity is what is desired, it must be engineered through intimidation, election tricks, or the organization of the spontaneous popular expression through the activists busying themselves with petitions, public demonstrations, and a violent campaign of denunciation. This was what the Jacobins and the organizers of people's petitions, revolutionary journe'es, and other forms of direct expression of the people's will read into Rousseau. Rousseau demonstrates clearly the close relation between popular sovereignty taken to the extreme, and totalitarianism. The paradox calls for analysis. It is commonly held that dictatorship comes into existence and is maintained by the indifference of the people and the lack of democratic vigilance. There is nothing that Rousseau on more than the active and ceaseless participation of the people and of every citizen in the affairs of the State. The State is near ruin, says Rousseau, when the citizen is too indifferent to attend a public meeting. Saturated with antiquity, Rousseau intuitively experiences the thrill of the people assembled to legislate and shape the common weal. The Republic is in a continuous state of being born. In the pre-democratic age Rousseau could not realize that the originally deliberate creation of men could become transformed into a Leviathan, which might crush its own makers. He was unaware that total and highly emotional absorption in the collective political endeavour is calculated to kill all privacy, that the excitement of the assembled crowd may exercise a most tyrannical pressure, and that the extension of the scope of politics to all spheres of human interest and endeavour, without leaving any room for the process of casual and empirical activity, was the shortest way to totalitarianism. Liberty is safer in countries where politics are not considered all-important and where there are numerous levels of non-political private and collective activity, although not so much direct popular democracy, than in countries where politics take everything in their stride, and the people sit in permanent assembly. In the latter the truth really is that, although all seem to be engaged in shaping the national will, and are doing it with a sense of elation and fulfillment, they are in fact accepting and endorsing something which is presented to them as a sole truth, while believing that it is their free choice. This is actually implied in Rousseau's image of the people willing the general will. The collective sense of elation is subject to emotional weariness. It soon gives way to apathetic and mechanical behavior. Rousseau is most reluctant to recognize the will of the majority, or even the will of all, as the general will. Neither does he give any indication by what signs the general will could be recognized. Its being willed by the people does not make the thing willed the expression of the general will. The blind multitude does not know what it wants, and what is its real interest. " Left to themselves, the People always desire the good, but, left to themselves, they will always know where that good lies. The general will is always right, but the judgment guiding it is not always well informed. It must be made to see things as they are, sometimes as they ought to appear to them."

(d) THE GENERAL WILL AS PURPOSE The general will assumes thus the character of a purpose and as such lends itself to definition in terms of social-political ideology' a pre-ordained goal, towards which we are irresistibly driven; a solely true aim, which we will, or are bound to will, although we may not will it yet, because of our backwardness, prejudices, selfishness or ignorance. In this case the idea of a people becomes naturally restricted to those who identify themselves with the general will and the general interest. Those outside are not really of the nation. They are aliens. This conception of the nation (or people) was soon to become a powerful political argument. Thus Sieyes claimed that the third estate alone constituted the nation. The Jacobins restricted the term still further, to the sans-culottes. To Babeuf the proletariat alone was the nation, and to Buonarroti only those who had been formally admitted to the National Community. The very idea of an assumed preordained will, which has not yet become the actual will of the nation; the view that the nation is still therefore in its infancy, a " young nation ", in the nomenclature of the Social Contract, gives those who claim to know and to represent the real and ultimate will of the nation-the party of the vanguard-a blank cheque to act on behalf of the people, without reference to the people's actual will. And this, as we hopes later on to show it has, may express itself in two forms or rather two stages: one-the act of revolution; and the other-the effort at enthroning the general will. Those who feel themselves to be the real people rise against the system and the men in power, who are not of the people. Moreover, the very act of their insurrection, I e.g. the establishment of a Revolutionary (or Insurrectionary) Committee, abolishes ipso facto not only the parliamentary representative body, which is in any case, according to Rousseau, a standing attempt on the sovereignty of the people, but indeed all existing laws and institutions. For " the moment the people is legitimately assembled as a sovereign body, the jurisdiction of the government wholly lapses, the executive power is suspended, and the person of the meanest citizen is as sacred and inviolable as that of the first magistrate; for in the presence of the person represented, representatives no longer exist ". The real people, or rather their leadership, once triumphant in their insurrection, become Rousseau's Legislator, who surveys clearly the whole panorama, without being swayed by partial interests and passions, and shapes the " young nation " with the help of laws derived from his superior wisdom. He prepares it to will the general will. First comes the elimination of men and influences not of the people and not identified with the general will embodied in the newly established Social Contract of the Revolution; then the re-education of the young nation to will the general will. The task of the Legislator is to create a new type of man, with a new mentality, new values, a new type of sensitiveness, free from old instincts, prejudices and bad habits. It is not enough to change the machinery of government, or even reshuffle the classes. You have to change human nature, or, in the terminology of the eighteenth century, to make man virtuous. Rousseau represents the most articulate form of the esprit re'volutionnaire in each of its facets. In the Discourse on Inequality he expresses the burning sense of a society that has gone astray. In the Social Contract he postulates an exclusively legitimate social system as a challenge to human greatness.


(a) PREMISES AND CONCLUSIONS-THE DISCREPANCY THE idea of the natural social pattern as analyzed in the foregoing pages must appear unsatisfactory. It is an abstract- postulate, a shell without contents; nothing but a form. The social and economic concreteness, which alone could give it a substance, has been missing from the analysis. There has been much controversy on the amount of socialism in eighteenth-century thought. Some have found fully fledged socialism in it, others not a great deal of socialism, or no hint of socialism at all. The truly remarkable feature of eighteenth-century thinking is not the presence or absence of socialism, but the discrepancy between the boldness of the premises and the timidity of the practical conclusions, where the problem of property was concerned. The Marxist historian may well feel justified in pointing out that this discrepancy was due to the bourgeois background of the writers. They appealed to a sole principle of social existence, and to the equality inherent in natural rights, against the privileges of the feudal classes. They beat a retreat, when this political and philosophical postulate proved to carry with it a threat to property. When speaking of Man, it did not occur to some of our thinkers that the " canaille " was included in the term. Some even emphatically rejected the idea. Only the bourgeois was Man. Those beneath him were too ignorant, too brutalized, had too little share in maintaining society, to be counted at all. And yet, the socialist dynamism in the idea of the natural] system can hardly be denied. The very idea of a natural, rational order carried with it the implication of an orderly social pattern, unless it be held, as the Physiocrats did hold, that free economics are the very essence of the natural order, since they are bound in the end to result in perfect harmony. In the idea of the rights of Man, in the conception of the individual Man as the first and last so element of the social edifice, there was inherent the implication that all existing forms and interests may and should be upset and entirely reshaped, so as to give Man his due. On these principles property could not be regarded as a sacred natural right to be taken for granted. Everything could be remodeled at any time. The _gument was not, as it used to be, that the poor and unfortunate Citizen has a right to expect succor from the paternal royal Government, and in order to bring it the Government may override any interests. Man in the natural order does not ask for charity, he is the focus of the whole social and economic system. The egalitarian idea condemned unequal classes and privileges as an evil that came into existence in contradiction to the teachings of Nature and the needs of Man. Some writers went so far as to brand the existing State and all its legislation as a weapon of exploitation and a ruse of the haves to hold down the have-nots. Furthermore, if virtue was conformity to the natural pattern, its greatest enemy was clearly the spirit of selfish avarice engendered by private property. Not only avowed Communists like Morelly and Mably, but also Rousseau, Diderot and Helvetius were agreed that " all these evils are the first effect of property and of the array of evils inseparable from the inequality to which it gave birth". Diderot contrasted the " esprit de propriete " with the " esprit de communaute ". He admonished the Legislator to combat the former and to foster the latter, if his aim were to make man's personal will identical with the general will. Rousseau's eloquent passage on the first man who enclosed a plot of land with a fence, deceived his neighbors into the belief in the legality of his act, and thus became the author of all the wars, rivalries, social evils and demoralization in the world, is not more radical than Morelly's and Mably's obsessive insistence that property is the root cause of all that has gone wrong in lustory. Rousseau's condemnation of the laws as an instrument of the rich to make the poor accept exploitation and misery is a counterpart of Helvetius's statement that " the excessive luxury, which almost everywhere accompanies despotism, presupposes a nation already divided into oppressors and oppressed, into thieves and those robbed. But if the thieves form only a very small number, achy do not they succumb"-Helvetius asks-" to the efforts of the greatest number ? To what do they owe their success ? To the impossibility to make common causes (' se donner le mot ') in which the robbed ones find themselves." Helvetius was on common ground with most of his contemporaries, when he claimed that only a regime of State ownership, with money banished, offered a possibility of a legislation, stable and unalterable, calculated to preserve general happiness. He added his own utilitarian gloss. If it be true that man is motivated by self interest alone, he will in a country of powerful private interests be naturally attracted to serve those interests, instead of the national interests. Where the nation is the sole distributor of rewards, a person would have no need to serve any other interest than the national. In Rousseauist theory " the State by the reason of the Social Contract is the master of all its members' goods", since every citizen on entering the Social Contract has surrendered all his property to the State. He received it back to hold it as trustee of the Commonwealth, but his rights and powers are always subordinated to the overriding claim of the community. Rousseau would actually have wished to see all property concentrated in the hands of the State, and no individual admitted to any share of the common stock " save in proportion to his services ". Rousseau would have arranged that with the demise of the owner all his property should escheat to the State. He proposes in the Projet de Constitution pour le Corse the establishment of a large public domain. The State would alienate holdings to private citizens for a number of years on a trust. Government land would be i cultivated by a system of corve'es. All these ideas, however, were contradicted by the very writers who put them forward. Rousseau, Helvetius and Mably concurred that private property had become the cement of the social order, and the foundation stone of the Social Contract. Helvetius called private property " le droll le plus sacre ....dieu moral des empires". The inconsistency is the most flagrant in the case of Mably, whose manner of wrestling with it is, in spite of his extremism, i representative of the school as a whole.

(b) MORBLLY, THE COMMUNIST , The only consistent Communist among the eighteenth-century thinkers was Morelly. According to him, avarice, " cette pests universelle . . . cettefievre lente ", would never have come into being, if there had been no private property. All trouble in the world is born either of cupidity or of insecurity. If all goods were in common, and nobody had anything in particular, there would be no irritant for cupidity, and no fear of insecurity. All would naturally have worked for the common good, obeying their natural l desire for personal happiness, and inevitably contributing to the happiness of others. " Otez la propriete aveugle et l'impitoyable interet qui l'accompagne . . . plus de passions furieuses, plus d'actions feroces, plus de notions, plus d'idees de mal moral." Every moral, social and political evil is due to property, and no remedy short of the abolition of private property was possible. It is no use blaming accident or fate for the troubled conditions of states and empires. In the state of nature, where there is no private property, everything works with the regularity and precision of a clock. Morelly regards Communism as a practical proposition. This gives a peculiar complexion to his approach to the question of compulsion to induce man to conform to the general good. He recognizes that a transitional regime of " some severity " may be necessary to restore the natural Communist order. There is, however, no violence involved, he claims, in an attempt to bring man back to nature, which means to his true nature. The argument that human nature, as it has come to be under the influence of civilization and evil circumstances, cannot be changed, is false. This deformed, distorted nature of man is not his real nature. Nature, like truth, is constant and invariable. It does not alter because man has turned his back on it. The truth is that Morelly confuses liberty with security. Liberty, furthermore, is achieved according to him not in privacy or nonconformity, but in co-operation and in fitting into the collective whole so that the machine as a whole functions smoothly. The author of Code de la Nature firmly upholds the creed of Theodicy. Providence could not have delivered humanity to eternal chaos and hazard. There must be a conclusion after a long period of trial and error. This Messianic conclusion I will be the Communist state of nature. Morelly is one of the very few Utopian Communists who were not ascetics. In a striking passage he rebuffed Rousseau, without mentioning him by name, for his condemnation of the arts and civilization as producing immorality. He called Rousseau a cynical sophist. The arts have ennobled our existence. If they had also contributed to our deterioration, this was due solely to their association with the " principle venimeux de toute corruption morale, qui infecte tout ce qu'il touche". Morelly's Communist vision of the perfect society presupposes spiritual totalitarianism, in addition to perfect planning. The system of production and consumption would be based on public stores to which all produce would be brought, and from which it would be distributed according to needs. There would be an overall plan. Every city would fix the number of those who should take up a particular branch of science or art. No other moral philosophy would be taught than that which forms the basis of the laws. This social philosophy will have as its foundations the I utility and wisdom of the laws, the " sweetness of the bonds of I blood and friendship", the services and the mutual obligations) which the citizens owe to each other, the love and usefulness of labor, and the rules of good order and concord. " Toute metaphysique se reduira a ce qui a ete precedamment dit de la Divinite.'' Speculative and experimental sciences would be free, but moral philosophy " retranche ". " There will be one kind of public code of all sciences, to which nothing will ever be added in what concerns! metaphysics and ethics beyond the limits prescribed by the laws, added will be only physical, mathematical and mechanical dis coveries confirmed by experience and reason." Laws would be engraved on obelisks, pyramids and public squares. They would be followed literally, without the slightest alteration being permitted I Mably worked on the same premises and arrived at the same Communist conclusions as Morelly. But only in theory. While Morelly was a convinced optimist, Mably was a man of a morose pessimistic nature. His thinking was hampered and his position made most difficult by the hard core of his Catholicism. The juxtaposition of Catholicism and eighteenth-century categories of thought make Mably a singularly interesting case. His whole attitude was determined by a secularized idea of the fall of man and original sin. Hence his fundamental distinction between the ideally and solely true and just, and the half-truths, the semi justice and the palliatives of the world in which, for our sins, we are destined to live. Like a medieval moralist he wrote: " si notre avarice, notre vanite et notre ambition vent des obstacles insurmontables a un Lien parfait, subissons sans murmurer la peine que nous Britons." Mably was a Messianic type gone sour. If the element of original sin is left out, Mably easily qualifies as a prophet of Communist Messianism, and in fact he became the prophet of Babouvism. For Mably there is always in the background the vision of an ideal social harmony of egalitarian Communism projected into the golden age of a remote past or into the realm of a natural and a solely valid scheme of things. It is never quite clear whether the sinful disposition of man destroyed the original harmony, or whether the destruction of this harmony by private property and inequality has ruined man's innocence. Mably not only does not consider the original natural community of goods a chimera, but claims never to have ceased to be surprised that men abandoned that state at all. He can see nothing in mankind's history since then but one everlasting Walpurgis of the passions, of greed and avarice above all. This is a constant theme in his writings and is elaborated ad nauseam on every occasion. Although admitting that without the driving power of passion, nothing positive would ever have been achieved, Mably only reluctantly considers the passions as releasing creative forces, and seldom acknowledges the mystery, or what Hegel was to call " die List der VernunEt ", that evil ingredients are inseparable from the process of achieving good things. As if foreshadowing psychoanalysis, and following Hume, Mably seeks all motives of human action in dark urges, aggressive impulses, irrational aversions and inhibitions. Reason is always the handmaid of the passions. Conscious ideas and alleged evidence are at bottom rationalizations of our irrational urges,` " The passions are so eloquent, so lively and so active that they need no evidence to convince our reason, or to force reason to become their accomplice." " Wiles bravent meme ['evidence." The most imperious, indeed the common denominator, of all passions is self-love. A benevolent instinct in the state of nature, since the establishment of inequality and private property, self-love has erected a barrier between man and man, and when it seems to bring us together, it is only in order to arm one against the other. This state of things would continue until a " community of goods and equality of conditions has imposed a silence upon them ". This is the only arrangement that can destroy those particular interests which will always triumph over the general interest. Equality alone, without a community of goods, would be ephemeral, giving place within two or three generations to the same glaring inequalities, misery on the one hand, and luxury and exploitation on the other. But as this " plus haut degre de perfection " can hardly be expected, there is need to fix a regime for mankind in the state of sin. The first condition of some order in this sinful state is respect for property. Mably emphatically disclaims any intention of raising a " sacrilegious hand " against private property, under the pretext of producing the " great good ". In the early days all that tended to loosen the natural community of goods, and directly or indirectly to introduce private property, was an unmitigated crime. Once private property had been established, however, any law is wise which deprives the passions of every means or pretext of hurting or endangering the rights of property in the slightest degree. In the state of sin attacks on property are no less an expression of cupidity than the love of property. Mably thus becomes entangled in the gravest incongruities and contradictions. Property is the source of all evil, and yet he would protect it. In common with all eighteenth-century thinkers he takes human self-love for granted and man's desire for happiness as the basis for all social arrangements. He is at the same time deeply suspicious and contemptuous of human nature. Like his contemporaries he is a determinist, but at the same time overwhelmed by the anarchy and unpredictability of human passions. The outcome of these contradictions is the egalitarian Jacobin idea of ascetic virtue equated with happiness, and a thoroughly restrictive conception of economics. Man should be made happy. But happiness is not to Mably a release of vitality, but-a phrase destined to become a favourite with Robespierre, Saint-Just and Babeuf-" bonheur I de mediocrite "; " Nature has but one happiness in spite of the vagaries of societies ", and this it offers equally to all men. Resorting to psychological determinism, Mably declares that the fixing of an equal quantity of happiness is made possible by the essential likeness of human passions and similarity of their inevitable effects. He believes in " an art of government fixed, determinate and unchangeable, since the nature of man, whose happiness is the scope of policy, is connected with and depends on a fixed, determinate and unchangeable principle ". The safest road to happiness is the sentiment of equality, just as the sole criterion by which the laws should be judged is their contribution to the establishment of equality. Men and nations are under the same law: every type of hubris, be it exaggerated ambition or an over-great success, must end in ruin. And so the greatest happiness is to Mably the tranquillity of the soul, with passions at rest; the wisest policy-moderation and frugality; and the greatest strength-mediocrity that goes without ambition and scheming. In order to make man happy, the State must imbue him with the sentiment of virtuous equality. It must " regulate the movements of your heart ", to make you " contract honest habits, and defend your reason against the blows of your passions ". Legislation must keep our passions " under strict subjection, and by thus strengthening the sovereignty of reason, give a superior activity to the virtues". All legislation must start with a reform of morals. The supreme task of government is to employ the sacred violence which tears us away from under the sway of the passions. Mably's moral asceticism leads him to a denial of the value of culture. " A community which maintains moral purity will never allow the invention of new arts." To Mably the progress of the arts is tantamount to the progress of vice, and the work of artists is pandering to the caprices and vices of the rich and ostentatious. In all artistic endeavour Mably can see nothing else than a colossal waste of skill, effort and genius-and all to arouse a dangerous admiration. Hardly another thinker in modern times preached the doctrine of the incompatibility of the good and the beautiful with the same vehemence as this morose Abbe. " When I think ", he writes, " how disastrous all the agreeable accomplishments had been to the Athenians, how much injustice, violence and tyranny were inflicted upon the Romans by the pictures, statues and vases of Greece, I ask myself what use we have for an Academy of Fine Arts. Let the Italians believe that their ' babioles ' are an honor to a nation. Let people come to seek models of laws, manners and happiness among us, and not of painting. Rousseau and Mably agreed that there was nothing more dangerous than vice when brilliant. As could be expected, Mably's ideas on education are Spartan. The Republic should take away children from under the exclusive tutelage of their parents. Otherwise there is bound to arise a diversity of manners which would r,lilitate against equality. Mably thinks that as most people are " condemned to the permanent infancy of their reason ", being moved by " an instinct a little less coarse than that of the animals ", it would be dangerous to allow a free press or full religious toleration, until men were mature enough for it. It is true that freedom of thought could not flourish under censorship. But it would only be safe to grant freedom of discussion to the learned, for their errors would be no danger to society, and would only stimulate discussion. It was an error on the part of the newly-established United States of America to grant freedom of political expression to its people, still so much imbued with the bad ideas and habits of the Old World. And yet Mably would not agree that he was advocating a system of oppression. He wrote in the best eighteenth-century fashion that the aim of society was nothing else than to preserve for all men the rights which they hold from " the generous hands of nature ". The Legislator had no other commission than to impose duties which it was essential for everyone to carry out. " You will easily perceive how important it is to study the natural law . . . the law of equality among men. Without such study, morality, without certain principles, would run the risk of erring at every step." Mably claimed to be a staunch upholder of the dignity of man, which should be " inviolably respected " in every human being. Similarly Rousseau, having laid down a blueprint of a totalitarian regime for Corsica, triumphantly concludes that the measures prescribed by him will secure to the Corsicans all possible freedom, since nothing would be demanded of them which is not postulated by nature. As applied to economics this philosophy of virtuous happiness means ascetic restrictionism. Here Mably found himself on common ground with other contemporaries. If you cannot abolish property, you must watch over it. " La propriete . . . ouvre la porte a cent vices et a cent abus," wrote Mably, " il est done prudent que des lois rigides veillent a cette forte." Rousseau claimed for the State the right and power " to give it (property) a standard, a rule, a curb to restrain it, direct it, subdue it and keep it j always subordinate to the public good ". He wished the individual ~ to be as independent as possible of his neighbour, and as dependent as possible on the State. Precisely because the individual has the supreme right to a secure existence, the State must have both the means of securing it, and the power of putting a check on those who claim or attempt to have more than their due by robbing others. Rousseau supplied Babeuf with his main catchword, when he commanded the State to see to it that all have enough and nobody more than enough. Hardly any of the thinkers with whom we are concerned thought of economics in terms of expansion and increase of wealth and comfort. Their primary consideration was egalitarian social harmony, and the defense of the poor. Derived from this was something like the medieval monk's fear of the appetites divitiarum I inf Colitis, the anti-social passion, which kills the virtuous love of the general good. This expressed itselfin two ways, in the demand for restricting the size of property by legislation, and in the outspoken condemnation of the rising industrial and commercial civilization. Mably wanted large fortunes to be continually broken up by legislation. He wished to fix a maximum of property to be allowed to a citizen, and also preached the idea of an agrarian law: the redistribution of the land on an egalitarian basis. Rousseau taught that no citizen should be so rich as to be able to buy up another, and none so poor as to have to sell himself He advocated a progressive income tax to check the growth of fortunes and, like Mably, was in favor of taxing luxury as heavily as possible. There is no n1ore baffling feature in French eighteenth-century social philosophy than the almost total lack of presentiment or understanding of the new forces about to be released by the Industrial Revolution. Few saw in the expansion of trade and industry a promise of increased national prosperity. Most treated it as the excrescence of the acquisitive spirit on the part of a small, selfish and unscrupulous class; not a possibility of improvement for the workers, but a new I way of degrading and enslaving them. All were agreed in considering the people on the land as the backbone of the nation, indeed the nation itself. Rousseau thought that an agricultural society was the natural home of liberty, and Holbach believed that only those who owned land could be considered citizens. Rousseau wanted I the " colon " to lay down the law for the industrial worker. In his I famous speech on England Robespierre took it for granted that I the English nation of merchants must be morally inferior to the . agricultural French people.

All feared and despised commerce, big capital cities and urban civilization in general. Rousseau called industry " cette partie trop favorisee ". Holbach saw in commerce a social enemy. All the recent wars, he claimed, had been caused by the greed of commercial interests and had as their aim markets and the advantage of a small part of the nation. " The capitalists and big merchants have no fatherland !" was the universal cry. They pay no heed to the national interest, their sole consideration is private, antisocial profit. " Negociants avides et qui n'ont d'autre patrie que leurs coffees."" " La tranquility, l' aisance, l es interets les plus chers d' un etat vent imprudemment sacrifices a la passion d'enrichir un petit nombre d'individus." All this happens because the money that commerce brings in is regarded as an instrument of power and happiness. All forget the inflation caused by the surplus of money, and the people's hardships that ensue from it. National credit is one of the most pernicious inventions. " Rien n'est plus destructeur pour les maeurs d'un people que ['esprit de finance." The memory of the Law disaster and other financial and commercial scandals was still fresh. Far from desiring to extend man's personality by inspiring him with new aspirations and needs, far from seeing the value of civilization in diversity and variety, most eighteenth-century political writers -moralists in the first place-condemned industry and commerce for precisely provoking new and " imaginary needs ", and stirring up man's caprices: " desire extravagants . . . fantaisies bizarres d'un tas de desccuvres." Mably coupled in this condemnation also the arts and crafts. He saw " millions of artisans occupied with stirring up our passions ", and providing us with things which we would be only too happy not to have heard of And here Mably, the fanatical egalitarian, and preacher of the sacred dignity of man, makes the astonishing suggestion that the whole class of artisans Al workers should be excluded from the right to exercise national sovereignty, " especes d'esclaves du public . . . qui vent sans fortune, et qui, ne subsistent que par leur industrie, n'appartiennent en quelque sorte a aucune socic'te ". These classes are condemned to cater for the vices and caprices of the rich, they depend on the favors of their employers, and thus are too debased and too ignorant to partake in the formation of the national will. They lack the dignity, independence and freedom necessary for a Legislator, and have no interest in the maintenance of the social framework Holbach wrote in almost precisely the same terms. Mably urged the Legislator to deal with the " slaving " classes kindly, for otherwise they may easily become the enemies of society. Mirabeau complained that all attention was being paid to the large factories called " manufactures reunies", where hundreds of workers would work under a single director, and hardly any thought to the so very numerous workers and artisans working on their own. " C'est une tres grande erreur, car les derniers font seuls un objet de prosperite rationale vraiment important ". The " fabrique reunie " may enrich one or two entrepreneurs, but the workers in it will for ever remain wage earners neither concerned with nor benefiting from the factory as such. In a " fabrique separee " no one will get rich, but many a worker will be comfortably off, and a few industrious ones may manage to collect a little capital. Their example will stimulate others to economy and effort, and thus help them towards advancement. A slight rise in the wages of a factory worker is of no consequence to the national economy: " elles ne seront jamais un objet digne de l'interet des lots." No one was so radical in his demand for State control and interference with trade as Mably. He particularly advocated control of the corn trade, and thus made an important contribution to the discussion before and during the Revolution on this most vital sector of the French economy. Like Rousseau, he loathed foreign trade. Its sole motives were greed and luxury. It destroyed the righteous spirit of the virtuous Republic set up by Calvin, for Calvin's Geneva and Sparta were Mably's and Rousseau's inspiration. As moral and political considerations were to them at bottom the same, they viewed economic, especially commercial, expansion as a peril not only to morals, but also to liberty. Mably regarded commerce as " essentiellement contraire a ['esprit de tout bon gouvernement ". Encourage avarice and luxury under the pretext of favouring commerce, and all laws that you make to strengthen your liberty would not prevent you from becoming slaves. Mably defiantly asserts that the effect of all his restrictions will be to benumb and enfeeble (engourdir) men. " C'est ce que je souhaite, si par cet engourdissement on entend l'habitude qu'ils contracteront de ne rien desirer au-dela de ce que la Loi leur permet de posseder." As to the objection that some people would rather flee the country than submit to laws engendering torpor, Mably's answer is that those whose passions are too strong to obey salutary laws had better go soon, as they are enemies of the Republic, its laws and its morals. " But nobody will flee; the tyranny of a government and magistrates sometimes drive out people, but just laws, on the contrary, attach them to their country by dint of their austerity. And so once more the theory has come full circle. The postulate of liberty should have suggested the release of spontaneity. Instead, we are faced with the idea of the State acting as the chief regulator, with the purpose of enforcing ascetic austerity. The initial and permanent aim was to satisfy man's self-interest, acclaimed as the main and laudable motive of action, and at the end a brake is imposed on all human initiative. Liberty has been overcome by equality and virtue; spontaneity and the revolt against traditional restrictions, by the postulate of the natural social harmony. There is the same incongruity in eighteenth-century economic thinking as there is in its approach to political ethics. Eighteenth-century thinkers spoke the language of individualism, while their preoccupation with the general interest, the general good and the natural system led to collectivism. They did not intend men to submit obediently to an external principle standing on its own, but so to mould man that he would freely come to think that principle his own. The same applies to the social-economic sphere. The writers in question certainly abhorred the idea of industrial concentration, and the vision of great multitudes of workers under the umbrella of a large State-owned or private concern. That meant slavery and the degradation of man's~dignity. They wanted to see as many as possible, all if possible, become free and independent small farmers and artisans. Even Communists, like Morelly and Mably, considered economic organization in terms of contributions by individual producers to the public stores, and the distribution of the products to the individual consumers. Eighteenth-century thinkers wished somehow to combine etatism and individualism, with the State acting as a brake upon excesses of inequality, or as regulator and provider, or as the guarantor of social security to the poor and weak. They lived before the age of large-scale industry and industrial centralization. Few of them also had any feeling for the image of a nation engaged in a mighty productive effort. Man was primarily a moral being to them. Ofthe major Revolutionary figures Sieyes and Barnave were the first to think in terms of a collective productive effort. The industrial expansion under Napoleon arid the Restoration alone gave a great impetus to this line of thought. And yet, the eighteenth-century restrictionist attitude, essentially sterile and reactionary, is less interesting and less important for what it says than for what it fails to say. It fails to run out its course, it halts timidly in the middle. Impelled by a revolutionary impetus of total renovation, and by the idea of a society reconstructed deliberately with a view to a logical and final pattern, it nevertheless shrinks from throwing into the melting-pot the basis of social relations, property. Eighteenth-century thinkers did much to undermine the sanctity of property, and tO make the State the chief arbiter in the economic life. They shrank from drawing the final conclusions and tried to be as conservative as possible. But the nnpetus of the idea was too strong. The French Revolution came with its Messianic call and its economic and social strains and stresses. The awakened masses, carried along by the idea of universal happiness, could not grasp why the Revolution should be only political and not social. They could not understand why the Legislator, so omnipotent in all other spheres, should not have the power to subdue the selfishness of the rich and to feed the poor, and in general should not be able to solve the social problem on the pattern of the natural scheme and in accordance with the " necessity of things ". The very idea of democracy appeared to imply an ever closer approximation to economic equality. A purely formal political democracy, without social levelling, had no me;lllill~ in the eighteenth century, brought up as it was on the ideas of antiquity. It was a later product. Jacobin dictatorship was caught unprepared by these whirlwinds. It had to improvise a half-way house. Carried on by the Messianic urge and their vague vision, the Jacobins, like their eighteenth-century teachers, lacked the courage to make a frontal attack on the property system. This is why the " reign of virtue " postulated by them appears so unsatisfactory and so elusive an ideal as almost to be meaningless, and why the dictatorial social and economic policies which necessity imposed upon them were adopted by them with so much reluctance. Nobody realized better than Saint-Just that an irresistible dynamism was driving the Jacobins into a direction of which they had hardly dreamt In the begs ng. As we shall see, Babeuf and Buonarroti discovered that the Jacobin half-way house was a heart-break house. It was necessary to go the whole way towards a State-owned and State-directed economy. The solution of the economic problem was the condition oftheJacobin Republic of Virtue. The Thermidorian reaction learned a similar lesson from Jacobin dictatorship, but drew the opposite conclusions: property must become the rock of the social edifice, and social welfare must be put outside the scope of state politics. It may be said that the French Revolution followed stage by stage the teachings of Mably, but in a reverse order. Out of his despair of ever seeing the solely valid Communist system established, Mably developed a whole series of practical policies for the state of sin, which had a deep influence upon the course of the Revolution. Babouvism was a Mablyist conclusion derived from the failure of these policies, when tried, to solve the problems of society, and a vindication of Mably's original promise that all reforms would be ineffective without the abolition of property. Only, while Mably thought the latter a hopeless dream, Babeuf and his followers resolved that the Revolutionary changes had brought it into the realm of practical politics, and that the failure of the Revolutionary palliatives had indeed made it inescapable. I Mably's political thinking-a subject not within the scope of this work as such-could be presented as a series of layers, each of which corresponded to and inspired a particular phase of the Revolution. He laid down a prophetic blue-print of the initial stage of the Revolution. Accepting the division of society into estates and classes as an unavoidable evil as long as men could not " all be brothers ", he foretold that by reasserting their particular interests and liberties the various orders would isolate and weaken royal despotism. The Parliaments would become the " anchor of salvation ", and the crisis forced by them would compel the King to summon the Estates General. These would establish themselves as a National Assembly meeting at fixed periods. The Constituante learnt from Mably the principle of the absolute supremacy of the Legislature over a weak, despised and always suspect royal executive; and the sacredness of the principle of parliamentary representation, direct democracy having been rejected by Mably as a regime which gives rein to an anarchical, capricious and ignorant multitude. The Jacobins took from Mably, not less than from Rousseau, their idea of virtuous, egalitarian happiness.

On the very eve of Thermidor Saint-Just brings with him copies of Mably to the Committee of Public Safety, and distributes them anions his colleagues, the other dictators of Revolutionary France, in order to win them over definitely for hisplanofenthroningvirtue, and thereby completing and insuring the regeneration of the French people, and the emergence of a new type of society. Finally, Babouvism adopted Mably's Communism, while the post-Therrnidorian regime based the exclusion of the propertyless from political life also on Mably's precepts.


Mais elle existe, je vous en atteste, ames sensibles et puree; elle existe, ce tte p assion tendre, imp erieuse , irresistible , to urment et deli ces de cceurs magnanimes, cette horreur profonde de la tyrannic, ce zele compatissant pour les opprimes, cet amour sacre de la patrie, cet amour plus sublime et plus saint de l'humanite, sans loquel une grande revolution n'est qu'un crime eclatant qui detruit un autre crime; elle existe, cette ambition genereuse de fonder sur la terre la premiere Republique du monde; cet egoisme des hommes non degrades, qui trouve une volupte celeste dans le calme d'une conscience pure et dans le spectacle ravissant du bonheur public. Vous le sentez, en ce moment, qui brDle dans vos ames; je le sens dans la mienne. ROBESP1ERRE

(a) THE REVOLUTIONARY ATTITUDE ON the threshold of the French Revolution the Revolutionary forces found their chief spokesman in Sicyes. The author of the most successful political pamphlet of all time-the Communist Manifesto, whatever its delayed influence, had little effect when it appeared-summed up eighteenth-century political philosophy with a view to immediate and practical application. For the first time in modem history, and perhaps in history altogether, a political pamphlet was consciously and enthusiastically seized upon by statesmen and politicians, indeed by public opinion in the widest sense of the word, as a complete guide to action; not just as an analysis of ~ reality by an acute mind, containing wise reflections and stimulating I ideas, the way in which a political pamphlet would have been treated in the past. This in itself was an event of incalculable importance. It was a signal of the new importance acquired by ideas as historic agents. In the past ideas mattered little as factors in political change. Deeply rooted respect for tradition and precedent worked for stability and continuity. Under a traditional monarchy the administration was recruited from the aristocracy, or civil service families. Government was a question of management by those to whom it was a traditional occupation. With the replacement of tradition by abstract reason, ideology and doctrine became all-important. The ideologists came to the fore. Moreover, ideas had reached the masses. Statistics have been I adduced to show that the works of the philosophers were neither widely distributed nor widely read in the years before the Revolution, and the influence of eighteenth-century ideas upon the Revolution has been seriously questioned. On becoming acquainted with the Revolutionary literature one is almost tempted to answer that statistics is no science. The prevalence of philosophical canon books in libraries or the number of their actual readers is in reality no index to their influence. How many people in our own days have actually read the Capital of Marx or the works of Freud ? Few however would deny that the ideas propagated in these books have entered contemporary thinking and experience to a degree that defies measurement. There is such a thing as a climate of ideas, as ideas in the air. Such ideas reach the half-literate and semi-articulate second, third or even fourth hand. They nevertheless create a general state of mind. Tocqueville found many references to the " rights of man " and the " natural order " in peasant cahiers. From the point of view of this inquiry Sicyes's writings of. 1788-9 deserve special attention in that they embody the Revolutionary eighteenth-century philosophy as a still undivided complex. There is no explicit suggestion of a fissure yet. The schism into two types of democracy was to develop soon. The question is whether Sicyes's pamphlets of that period suggest the possibility of a split, and whether one can discern in them a tension between incompatible elements. This is not an easy question to answer. It requires a good deal of detachment. Sieyes's ideas of the early period of the Revolution have become part and parcel of Western European consciousness and have entered into the woof of modern liberal-democratic thinking to an extent which makes it difficult to bring home how revolutionary they were at the time they appeared, and to realize the far-reaching totalitarian-democratic potentialities immanent in them. Yet, these very ideas, which became a landmark in the growth of liberal democracy, were calculated to set the modern State on the path of totalitarianism. They helped to initiate that process of ever-growing centralization that leads to the totalitarianism of facts, towards which the modern State has been moving for the last century and a half They also marked a decisive advance in the direction of the totalitarianism of ideas based on an exclusive creed Sieyes's postulate of a rational regime in place of the slavish acceptance of established and time-hallowed incoherence, and of; arrangements long void of meaning; his rejection of the old idea that government was the King's business, while that of the subjects was to give their loyalty and yield taxes; his condemnation of privileges; the demand that the Estates General, based on feudal class distinctions and convoked to help the King to solve the problem I of the deficit, should give place to a National Assembly representing the sovereign nation, and called upon to apply its unlimited powers to the total reshaping of the body politic; Sicyes's raising of the homogeneous nation-above orders and corporations-to the level of the only real and all-embracing collective entity-all these ideas now so widely accepted as axiomatic were of the utmost revolutionary significance at the time, and, moreover, released a dynamic force, which soon swept beyond the conscious objectives of those who set it in motion, and is to-day more powerful than ever. The absurdities, incongruities and abuses of the ancient regime were indefensible. Sieyes's impatience with, and contempt for, the old parchments, the cult for precedent, the " extase gothique " of " proof " hunters and timid slaves of " facts ", cannot fail to win sympathy. -But it must not be forgotten that this clash of attitudes, stripped of grotesques and stupid, selfish conservatism, on the one side, and of compelling verve, on the other, marked the beginning of the fundamental and fateful conflict between two vital T attitudes, not in the sphere of abstract thought alone, but in the I realm of practical politics as well. One stands for organic, slow, ! half-conscious growth, the other for doctrinaire deliberateness; one for the trial-and-error procedure, the other for an enforced solely valid pattern. The Legislator, writes Sieyes, " dolt se sentir presse de sortir enfin de l'effroyable experience des siecles . . . enjoin" denser des vrais principes". There is no respect in this attitude for the wisdom of ages, the accumulated, half-conscious experience and instinctive ways of a nation. It shows no awareness of the fact that strictly rationalist criteria of truth and untruth do riot apply to social phenomena, and that what exists is never a result of error, accident or vicious contrivance alone, but is a pragmatic product of conditions, slow, unconscious adjustment, and only partly of deliberate planning. These are the principles, exclaims Sieyes, or we must renounce the idea of a social order altogether. When contrasting the character of an art peculiar to politics (the " social art") with the descriptive nature of physics, Sieyes foreshadows Marx's famous dictum by saying of politics that it is " l'art plus hardi darts sa vol. se propose de plier et d'accommoder les fan's a nos besoins et a nos jouissances, il demande ce qui dolt etre pour l'utilite des hommes.... Quelle dolt etre la veritable science, celle des fan's ou celle des principes ? " This approach determines his judgment of the British Constitution. That so vaunted chef~'ccavre would not stand an impartial examination by the principles of a " veritable political order". A product of hazard and circumstances rather than of lights, " un monument de superstition gothique" (the House of Lords), in the past regarded as a marvel, it was in fact nothing but an " echafaudage prodigieux " of precautions against disorder, instead of being a positive scheme for a true social order. This type of absolutist approach caused Sieyes to become the first exponent of what we propose to call the Revolutionary attitude. It is an answer to the question as to what attitude a Revolution, which claims to realize a solely valid system, should take to the representatives of the past scheme of things, and to opposition in general. From one angle, it is the problem of Revolutionary coercion. Sieyes was clear in his mind that a Revolution had the characteristics of a civil war, and was in its nature income with compromise or any kind of give-and-take. The attacked old system and its representatives benefiting from so many vested interests could not be expected to dissolve of their own volition. However old and decrepit a man may be, Sieyes says, he will not willingly abandon his place to a young man. There must be a removal by force. The representatives of the two privileged estates, the nobility and clergy, will thus try to distract the attention of the Third Estate by small concessions such as, for instance, the offer to pay taxes equal to those paid by the latter. In order to stave off the attack on their privileges they will talk of the necessity of reconciliation between the classes. All these ruses, Sieyes insists, must not overshadow the fundamental fact of the life-and-death struggle between the two systems, which the new and old social forces represented. The two camps had no common ground, for there could be no common basis for oppressors and the oppressed. It was impossible to call a halt in 1789: it was imperative to go either the whole way, or backward, abolish privileges altogether, or legalize them. It was impossible to bargain. No class willingly renounces its power and privileges, and no class can expect fairness or generosity from the other, or even conformity to some general objective standard. Thus in Sieyes's opinion the Third Estate could rely only on its own courage and inspiration. " Scission" was therefore the sole solution: a Revolutionary break and the total subordination of the few to the many. Furthermore, a Revolution has not accomplished its task even when it has abolished the powers that be which prevent the will of the people from being expressed and prevailing, and has enabled it with no delay or subterfuge of any kind to speak and to fix the mode of existence it desires. An equally and perhaps more important objective is to prevent the old system from coming back. The old forces are bound to try to worm their way back by all means. Sieyes therefore lays down that the Third Estate shall be barred from sending members of the two privileged orders as their representatives. Should not, the question may be asked, people be permitted to act foolishly, if they choose? No, they must not, for the question of the National Assembly and the general good are involved. It would, Sicyes maintains, be like electing British Ministers of State to represent Frenchmen at the French National Assembly, at a time of war. The nobles are aliens, enemy aliens of the Third Estate, that is to say, of the French nation, to the same degree as members of the British Cabinet. The implication of Revolutionary dictatorship is clear. The provision, however necessary at the moment, may be regarded as a thin end of the wedge pierced into the framework of popular sovereignty, on the very eve of its triumph.

This is the more remarkable, since the whole burden of Sieyes's case for a rational principle in politics and for the revolutionary replacement of one system by another is the theory of the unlimited sovereignty of the people. The " veritable political order " is realized by the will of the people becoming the sole source of law, in place of the power of the King and authority of tradition. When the nation enters upon its own, and assembles to speak its mind, all established laws and institutions are rendered null and void. The situation in 1789 was that the King had summoned the Estates General for a particular purpose-to remedy the deficit; and under certain conditions and rules-the three orders were according to custom to deliberate separately. Sicyes urged the Estates General, or at least the Third Estate, to declare themselves an extraordinary I National Assembly and to act like men just emerging from the state I of nature and coming together for the purpose of signing a Social Contract. He thus wanted the Estates (or Assembly) to act in a Revolutionary way, as if there had been no laws and no regulations before then. The nation was the sovereign. Once assembled it I could not be bound by any conditions or prescriptions. It would | be alienating its very being, if it was. The nation expressed justice I by the mere fact of its being and willing. " La volonte rationale . . . n'a besoin que de sa realite." An extraordinary National Assembly, such as Sieyes wanted the Estates General to become, embodied this national will in the raw, being not just a representative body, but Rousseau's people in assembly really; while an ordinary National Assembly laid down by the constitution created by the Extraordinary Assembly-an ordinary representative body-would be bound by the rules fixed in the Constitution. The Extraordinary Assembly may and would, of course, for convenience' sake declare most of the existing laws valid till their replacement by new ones, but this expedient in no way affected the principle. Who is the nation ? Sicyes answers: all the individuals in the forty thousand parishes of France. These individuals, stripped of all their other attributes and affiliations, like membership of a class, profession, creed or locality, have the common attribute of citizenship and the same interest in the common general good. " Les volontes individuelles vent les seals elements de la volonte commune." Whoever claimed a position different from that assigned by common citizenship is the enemy of all other citizens and of the national good. The most dangerous enemy of the latter is esprit He corps, the sectional interests of groups, whether these groups were traditional privileged orders, social classes or corporations with a special status. The existence of groups implied partial selfish interests. The common national will was formed by the concurrence of individual wills alone, and was falsified and destroyed, indeed could not even be brought forth, where sectional interests were operative. Thus the Estates General in its old composition could not claim to be more than an " Assemblee clericonobilijudicielle ". It constituted a body where representatives of three separate nations met, and negotiated, but could not form one national representation, voicing one common national and one general interest. So far Sicyes is interpreting Rousseau. Now the Third Estate-and this is Sicyes's original contribution occasioned by the all-important controversy of the hour-comprised the crushing numerical majority of the nation, all those who had no pretensions to privilege or status different from that implied in common citizenship, all those, moreover, who by their skill and effort maintained the social fabric. They were therefore the nation. The privileged orders were aliens, an encumbrance, an idle limb. The nobles might as well go back to the Franconian swamps and forests, where they claim to have come from originally, and leave the freed old Roman stock alone. They would thus seal their claim to be a superior race. Sicyes's egalitarian conception of a monolithic nation and unlimited popular sovereignty was an argument for the elimination of feudal privilege and regional incongruities. It was, however, calculated to open the way to that democratic centralization, under which the long unhampered arm of the central power resting on the idea of a single national interest, and carried by the energy of popular feeling, sweeps away all intermediate clusters of social activity whether functional, ideological, economic or local. The problem becomes more acute in the light of Sieyes's two reservations: first, that the people should not be allowed to act foolishly against its own interest, and second, that in order that the nation may become a monolithic entity, nonconforming groups should be eliminated. This would mean that unlimited popular sovereignty, although in theory resting with the totality of the nation alone, may come to be redeposited in a part only of the nation, which claims to constitute Blue real monolithic people, and to embody the single national interest. According to Sieyes, the basis of all social order is equality. The sense of equality is also the essence of happiness, because it silences pretentious pride as well as envy, vanity and servility. Equality is L a postdate of reason as of justice. The cleavage of society into r unequal parts, oppressors and oppressed, has come into existence in contradiction to the dictates of reason and fairness. Sicyes employs the famous simile of the law as the centre of an immense globe and the citizens placed, without exception, in the same distance on the circumference. But here comes the vital shift. The whole trend of thought becomes deflected by the question of property. it'

(C) PROPERTY The aspects of Sicyes's thought emphasized till now, such as I the absolutist doctrinaire temperaments Revolutionary coercion. egalitarian centralism, the conception of a homogeneous nation, contained totalitarian implications. The question of property pushes Sieyes's ideas back firmly on the path of liberalism. The law in the focus of his globe must not, he states, interfere with the citizen's use of his innate or acquired faculties and more or less favorable chances to increase his possessions. ". . . N'enfle sa propriete de tout ce que le sort prospere, on un travail plus fecond pourra y Router, et ne puisse s'elever, dans sa place regale, le bonheur le plus conforme a ses gouts et le plus digne d'envie." From the point of view of the law, economic inequality had no more significance than inequality of height or looks, difference of sex or age Moreover, in the tradition of Locke, private property is presented by Sicyes as the very essence of liberty, as only an extension of the property of one's person, and of man's freedom to employ his faculties and labour. " La propriete des objets exterieurs on la propriete reelle, n'est pareillement qu'une suite et comme une extension de la propriete personnelle." The right of first occupation is, again in the spirit of Locke, only a specific personal right to the deployment of skill and effort. It gives the first occupant an exclusive right of ownership, from which others are shut out. The outcome of this conception of property as a natural right is the liberal conception of the role of the State: to allow men to follow their economic pursuits, without hindrance, and to interfere only when an attempt on a man's property is made by his neighbor. The role of the State is to insure safety; not to grant rights, but to protect them. " Tous ces individus (on the circumference of the globe with the law in its centre) correspondent entre eux, ilk s'engagent, its negocient, toujours sons la garantie commune de la'] loi; si dans ce mouvement general quelqu'un vent dominer la personne de son voisin ou usurper sa propriete, la lot commune reprime cet attentat, et remet tout le monde a la meme distance Belle meme." Only once or twice does Sieyes seem to reflect uneasily on the advantage unequal property accords to its owners. On one occasion he remarks that most property was still with the privileged orders. He hastens, however, to reassure his readers that he has no intention of touching property. It is a natural right. Sieyes's conception of property leads him to the most flagrant violation of his egalitarian principles, even in the political sphere. So eloquent in the condemnation of privilege and group interests as an insult to human dignity and the immoral foe of the national interest, Sieyes is brought to make the distinction between two kinds of rights, natural and civil. Preservation and development of the natural rights is the purpose for which society has been formed; while political rights are those by which society is maintained. Hence the distinction between active and passive citizens. The latter have only natural rights, the right to the protection of their persons, liberty and property. They have no part in the formation Of the public powers. This is reserved to the active citizens alone. 'They alone contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the public weal. They alone are " les vrais actionnaires de la grande entreprise sociale ". The term is highly significant. Society is reinterpreted from a moral and political arrangement based on the natural rights of man into a joint stock company. Sieyes's conception of property is more conservative than any so far encountered in this essay. The reason is not far to seek. The earlier thinkers, spinning their ideas in a vacuum, with little faith in putting them into practice, could be radical, although even they flinched from drawing the final conclusion. Sieyes was writing guides for immediate action. Sieyes, like so many architects of the Revolution, felt the urgency of reaffirming the sanctity of property while opening all the other floodgates of the Revolution.


(a) LEGALITY AND THE SUPREMACY OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PURPOSE SIEYES was one of those who caused the initial absolutist impulse of the Revolution to spend itself in the abolition of the feudal Monarchy. The shock became so to say absorbed in a system of balance, established by the Constituent Assembly and consecrated by the Constitution of 1791. The new order was in a sense the negation of the basic ideas of a " veritable political order ", in the name of which the Revolution of 1789 had been accomplished: the sovereignty of the people and the rights of man. A hereditary Monarchy with the power of veto was retained, and the poorer strata of the nation were disfranchised. The idea of a solely valid social order, underlying Sieyes' attitude in 1788-9, gave way to the claim that the Revolution had accomplished its task in that it had released the social forces, till then suppressed, and created the conditions for those forces to reach a harmonious balance by themselves. That a major force, namely the poor, the majority of the nation, had not been given a chance to enter the contest was conveniently overlooked. The whole subsequent development of the Revolution may be described as a struggle between two attitudes, one based on the idea of balance and the newly established legality, and the other emanating from the idea of the primacy of the Revolutionary purpose, and implying the legality of Revolutionary coercion and violence (Jacobinism). Certain dates and e-vents stand out as decisive in this struggle. The bourgeois system of balance came to an end on August 10th, 1792, as a result of an armed coup by the disfranchised elements under the leadership of the Insurrectionary Paris Commune. The coup was carried out in the name of the primacy of the Revolutionary purpose, against the established legal authorities, above all the Legislative Assembly, which had been elected on the basis of a property qualification. The Monarchy, which had never recovered from the shock it had received as a result of the King's fight a year earlier, was abolished. The distinction between active and passive citizens ceased to exist. The last remaining feudal dues, which the Constituent Assembly had retained on the grounds that they were derived from property relations and not from personal dependence, were soon finally annulled. The last conclusions were thus drawn from the original premises of the Revolution of 1789, which had been whittled down into the Constitutional Monarchical and bourgeois compromise: the undisputed supremacy of popular sovereignty, and the equal rights of man. It could thus be said that the Revolutionary purpose, which was enthroned by the unlawful events of August, 1792, the brief dictatorship of the Commune, the massacres of September, 1792, and the Ministry of Danton, was embodied in these two ideals. The same could not be said about the Revolutionary purpose which, on June 2nd, 1793, led to the attack on the Convention, culminating in the expulsion of the Girondist deputies. The latter had been duly elected on a free ballot, and till a very short time earlier commanded the majority of the Convention. The Jacobin Revolutionary purpose in this case was the salvation of the Revolution. The Revolution meant to the Jacobins the Republic one and indivisible, and the defense of the welfare of the masses, menaced by tendencies running counter to their ideological and administrative centralization, and aiming at the preservation of established economic (bourgeois) interests. The dictatorship of the Committee of Public Safety and the declaration of the Revolutionary Government which followed the June coup implied the claim that at that stage the Revolutionary purpose had come to be embodied in a single party, Jacobinism, representing the true will and the real interest of the people, or rather the popular masses. The terrorist Jacobin political and economic dictatorship was an improvisation precipitated by war,-economic emergency internal treason and party strife. With the passing of the imminent military danger, and the destruction of the Enrages llebertists and Dantonists, the first two groups representing anarchical social violence, and the latter a wish for a return to legality and some form of balance, the dictatorial regime should have come to an end. The Revolutionary purpose, which was its justification, seemed realized with the defeat of its enemies. Robespierrist dictatorship and terror continued. The question of the Revolutionary purpose, involving the question of the purpose of the terror, assumed thus a new and vital significance. It could no longer be summed up as unrestricted popular sovereignty. Social policies alone and as an end in themselves did not exhaust it either. It thus came to signify the reign of virtue, the idea of an exclusive and final scheme of things. But this conception was not something new or improvised. It was there in Jacobinism from the start, as a postulate. It only reached self awareness during the regime of terror, to Hash at once with the ideas of liberty and popular self ¿expression, values with which it had for a long time been identified, to be soon defeated on Thermidor gth by a reaction reasserting the idea of balance, and to re-emerge in a flicker of total self-awareness in the plot of Babeuf in 1796. ... (is) JACOBINISM-MENTAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ELEMENTS The driving power of Jacobinism, or as for the purposes of this study it would be more correct to say, !Robespierrism, was the vague, mystical idea that the way to a natural rational and final order of things had been opened by the French Revolution. " Nous voulons, en un mot, remplir les vccux de la nature, accomplir les destine de l'humanite, tenir les promesses de la philosophic, absoudre la providence du long regne du crime et da la tyrannic." This Messianic attitude of Robespierre and his followers must be constantly borne in mind, otherwise the whole significance of I Jacobinism will be lost. It was incompatible with the acceptance of the theory of balance, and implied an absolute, dynamic purpose, to be pursued in all circumstances, and imposed. For the understanding ofJacobinism it is vital to remember that abstract, collective concepts were to them not abridgments, combinations of ideas, or guiding maxims, but almost tangible and visible things, truths that stand on their own and compel acceptance. " Eternal principles ", the " natural order ", " the reign of virtue " had an all-important meaning to Robespierre and Saint1ust, just as such concepts as " classless society ", " the leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom " have to an orthodox Marxist. Hence disagreement could not be considered by them as mere difference of opinion, but appeared as crime and perversion, or at least error. It was usual for Robespierre to preface his statements with the explicit premise that as there could be only one morality and one human conscience, he felt sure that his opinion was that of the Assembly. In his famous clash with Guadet on the subject of Providence and Divinity Robespierre declared that believing, as he did, that all patriots had the same principles, it was impossible that they should not admit the eternal principles voiced by him. " Quand j'aurai termine . . . je suds sur que M. Guadet se rendra lui-meme a mon opinion; yen atteste et son patriotisme et sa gloire, chases vaines et sans fondement, si elles ne s'appuyaient sur'les verites immuables que je viens de proposer." In the circumstances such words were, of course, tantamount to blackmail. This mental attitude was interwoven with certain psychological peculiarities. Robespierre was quite incapable of separating the personal element from differences of opinion. That every polemical argument became in Robespierre's mouth a torrent of personal denunciation may be explained by his implicit conviction that as there is only one truth, he who disagreed with it was prompted by evil motives. But less explicable seems Robespierre's habit of declaring himself a victim of persecution, of embarking upon a dirge of self-pity and of invoking death as solace, every time he was opposed. Here we are faced with a paranoiac streak, a strange combination of a most intense and mystical sense of mission with a self-pity that expressed itself in an obsessive preoccupation with martyrdom, death and even suicide. It is the psychology of the neurotic egotist, who must impose his will-rationalized into divine truth-or wallow in an ecstasy of self-pity. The refusal of the world to submit becomes to such a nature a source of endless anguish, usually rationalized into a Weltschmerz. At every setback or humiliation, the world grows instantly dark, deformed and contorted with pain. Its order begins to appear wrong beyond remedy, and all men banded together in an evil plot. A similar mentality is discernible in Saint-Just, Robespierre's junior colleague, the philosopher of Jacobin dictatorship, I and one of its most formidable representatives. After the failure to get elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1792, because he had not yet reached the prescribed age of twenty-five, Saint-Just wrote this passionate, astounding letter: " I have been impelled by a republican fever that devours and eats me up. You will find me great some day . . . I have a feeling that I can soar above the rest in this age. Adieu ! I am above misfortune. I will bear everything, but I will tell the truth. You are all cowards, you have not appreciated me. My palm will rise nevertheless and perhaps obscure yours. Infamous creatures that you are. I am a rogue, a rascal, because I have no money to give you. Tear out my heart and devour it; you will become what you are not. Great ! O God ! Must Brutus languish forgotten, far from Rome ! My decision is made meanwhile. If Brutus does not kill the rest, he will kill himself." At a later date, as one of the dictators of France, Saint-Just wrote that on the day he would become convinced that it was impossible to give the French people " mceurs douces, energiques, sensibles et inexorables pour la tyrannic et ['injustice", he would stab himsel¿C ¿ Few confessions could equal the one found in SaintJust's Institutions Repu~blicaines. A youth of barely twenty-si3;, compelled to " isolate himself from the world ", he " throws his I anchor into the future, and presses posterity to his heart ". God, the protector of innocence and virtue, had sent him on the perilous mission of unmasking perverse men surrounded by fame and fear He was destined to pUt crime into chains, and to make men practice | virtue and probity. "J'ai laisse derriere moi toutes ces faiblesses, je n'ai vu que la verite dans l'univers, et je l'ai cite. Les circumstances ne vent difficiles que pour ceux qui reculent devant le tombeau. Je "'implore, le tombeau, comme un bienfait de la Providence, pour n'etre pas temoin de l'impunite des forfeits ourdis contre ma patrie et l'humanite. Certes, c'est quitter peu de chose qu'une vie malheureuse, dans laquelle on est condamme a vegeter le complice ou le temoin impuissant de crime . . . Je meprise la poussiere qui me compose et qui vous parle; on pourra la persecuter et faire mourir cette poussiere. Mais je defie qu'on m'arrache cette vie independante que je me suds donne dans les siecles et dans les cieux." The breath-taking incongruity between the invocation to death as solace and the role of executioner-in-chief of the author is only equalled by another strange contrast, that between Saintlust's atrocious denunciations of opponents and his sentimental declamations. The terrible indictment of Danton opens with the uncanny enunciation: " il y a quelque chose de terrible dans ['amour sacre de la patrie, il est tellement exclusif, qu'il immole tout saris pitie, sans frayeur, sans respect humain, a l'interet public." In another speech the Republic is said never to be safe as long as a single opponent is left alive, and the sword is brandished against not only the opponents, but also the "indifferents ". But this does not prevent Saint-Just from weaving the blissful dream of a cottage on the banks of a river, from appealing to Frenchmen to lox e and respect each other, and from imploring the Government to let everyone find his own happiness. This is a self-righteous mentality which is quite incapable of self-criticism, divides reality into watertight compartments and adopts contradictory attitudes to the same thing, making judgment wholly dependent on whether it is " me ", by definition representing truth and right, or the opponent who is associated with it. I:.

(c) THE DEFINITION OF THE GENERAL WILL The Jacobin absolute purpose was not to be imposed externally. It was held to be immanent in man and sure to restore to man his rights and freedoms. It was realizable only in the collective experience of active popular self ¿expression. Jacobinism was not satisfied with acquiescence. It insisted on active participation, and condemned neutrality or indifference as vicious egoism. Jacobinism did not ask for obedience, it wanted to exact living, active communion with the absolute purpose. Robespierre declared it to be the duty of every man and citizen to contribute as much as was in his power to the success of the sublime undertaking of the Revolution: the re-establishment of the inalienable rights of man, which is the sole object of society, and the sole legitimate motive of revolutions. Man must sacrifice his personal interest to the general good. He must, so to say, bring to the common pool the part of public force and of the people's sovereignty which he holds, " on Lien il dolt etre exclu, par cela meme, du pacte social". Needless to add that whoever wants to retain unjust privileges and distinctions incompatible with the general good, and whoever wants to arrogate to himself new popovers at the expense of public liberty, is the enemy of the nation and of humanity.

This was the central problem of Jacobinism: the dilemma of the single purpose and the will of men. It could be defined as the problem of freedom, conformity and coercion in a regime which claims to achieve two incompatible aims, Liberty, and an exclusive form of social existence. It is at bottom Rousseau's problem of the general will, with an equally strong emphasis placed on active and universal participation in willing the general will as on the exclusive nature of the general will. Saint-Just came to grips with the issue in a striking passage at the end of his remarkably moderate, even complacent exposition of the Revolutionary ideals in his book of 1791, L'Esprit de la Revolution et de la Constitution (of 1791). He sets out there to answer a presumed challenge as to whether the new Constitution was the will of all. Saint-Just's answer is firmly negative. It would be impossible he goes on to say, that the change of the Social Contract should not divide into two camps, the " fripons " or the egoists, who stand to lose by the change, and the unfortunates who were oppressed under the old compact. But it would be an inadmissible abuse of the letter of the law to consider the resistance of some criminals as a part of the national will, since such resistance could not claim to be a legitimate opposition. Saint-Just goes much further. As a general rule, he declares, every will, even the sovereign will, inclined to perversion, is nil. Rousseau had not said all, when he described the general will as- incommunicable, inalienable, eternal. The general will, to be such, must also be reasonable. In this respect Saint-Just quite mistakenly " corrects" Rousseau. The author of the Social Contract did not intend to say anything different from what Saint Just goes on to say, namely, that a will may be tyrannical, even if willed by all, and that it would be no less criminal for the sovereign to be " tyrannized by himself" than by others. For in this case, the laws flowing from an impure source, the people would be licentious, and each individual would be both a tyrant and a slave. " La libertc' d'un peuple mauvais est une perfidie generale, qui n'attaquant plus le droit de tous ou la souverainete morte, attaque la nature qu'elle represente." The objective content is equally essential for the concept of liberty. " Liberte ! Liberte sacree ! "-exclaims SaintJust-" tu serais peu de chose parmi les hommes, si tu ne les rendais qu'heureux, mais tu les rappelles a leur origine et les rends a la vertu." Liberty deserves to be loved only to the extent that it leads " to simplicity through the power of virtue ". Otherwise liberty is nothing but " the art of human pride ". Clearly, the spontaneously expressed will of man or people cannot as such claim to be taken for granted as the exercise of sovereignty. All depends on its objective quality, on its conforming to the general good, the reasonable general will, and virtue; all three in fact meaning the same thing, an objective standard. Who is to define it ? By what is it to be recognized ?, How rigid or how flexible a-standard is it l~:elv to bet Tllese are the vital, but unanswered, questions. At a later date in the debate on the Constitution of 1793, SaintJust enunciated a totally different definition of the general will and one which shows an unmistakable awareness of the dangers irreverent in the earlier conception. Saint-Just seemed now to remove all objective quality from the general will, reducing the question to a matter of counting votes and interests, all of which are explicitly recognized as valid. Moreover, the postulate of objectivity is violently assailed. " La volonte generate, proprement cite, et dans la langue de la liberte, se forme de la majorite des volontes particulieres, individuellement recueillies sans une influence etrangere; la loi, ainsi former, consacre . . . l'interet general, de la majorite des volontes a du resulter celle des interets." Saintlust condemns the substitution of what he calls " a speculative will " for the real general will, of the philosophical view (" vues de ['esprit") for the interests of the corps social. " Les lois etaient ['expression du gout plutot que de la volonte generate." Thus if the actual, expressed will of the people is not taken for the general will, and some allegedly objective, external idea is proclaimed to constitute the general will, the general will becomes depraved. Liberty no longer belongs to the people. It becomes a law alien to public prosperity. This is Athens voting at its twilight,without democracy, the loss of its freedom. This idea of liberty, Saint-Just declares, if it prevails, will banish freedom for ever. He goes on to make an eloquent and terrible prophecy, which events vindicated tO the letter. `' Cette liberte sortira du cceur et deviendra le gout mobile de ['esprit; la liberte sera concrete sons toutes les formes de gouvernement possibles; car dans ['imagination, tout perd ses formes naturelles et tout s'altere, et l'on y cree des libertes comme les yeux creent des figures dans les nuages . . . Dans vingt ens le trdne soit retabli par les fluctuations et les illusions Fortes a la volonte generate devenue speculative."

It took less than twenty years for Napoleon to make the claim that he embodied the general will of the French nation and to find theoretical support for it. I Where does Saint-Just after all take his stand ? Is the general will to him what is actually willed by the people in flesh, whatever its contents, " la volonte materielle du people, sa volonte simultanee", the aim of which, as he says, is to consecrate the active interest of the greater number, and not their passive interest ? Or I does the general will need the attribute of objective truth to become the general will, in which case the actual count of votes takes a second place behind the objective doctrine embodied in the Enlightened ? Neither Robespierre nor Saintlust ever stated their position quite unequivocally, but the latter attitude is implicit in their whole approach. As will be shown, Saint Just箂 definition of the general will, made in the course of the Constitutional debate in 1793, came not as an answer to the challenge of a " speculative " idea claiming to constitute the general will, but as an argument in a debate on the mode of organizing the expression of popular sovereignty. Robespierre's insistence on the exclusion of those who do not bring with them to the common pool and common effort their part of popular sovereignty, is a clear indication of his attitude. It is proposed to examine in the coming pages the development of the Jacobin attitude on this point throughout the Revolution I as illustrated by the thought of the two leading and most representative figures of Jacobin dictatorship, Robespierre and Saintlust. (d) THE IDEA OF BALANCE-SAINT-JUST The evolution of Robespierre's thinking on this matter is more interesting and more elaborate than that of Saintlust. He wrestled with the problem for a much longer time than his younger friend, who, when he arrived on the central Revolutionary scene, found the dilemma largely resolved by circumstances. Robespierre was active at the centre of affairs from the very earliest days of the Revolution. Up to the period of the Convention Saint-Just was only an impatient onlooker of the great events from his native little town, and no more than a local Revolutionary activist. This may explain why in the case of Robespierre the outline of his future intellectual development is discernible quite early, whereas in the case of Saint-Just the passage from complacency in his book of 1791 to Revolutionary dictatorial extremism in 1793 appears abrupt and almost unexpected. Saint-Just made the passage from obscurity to supreme power in one leap. A fundamental difference between Robespierre and Saint-Just is revealed by a comparative analysis of their views in the preConvention period. In spite of the far-reaching totalitarian implications of Saint Just箂 above quoted definition of the general will, contained in his book on the 1791 Constitution, the underlying attitude of the work is the orthodox view of the day that the I Revolution had been accomplished in the sense that it had liberated the social forces and enabled them to set themselves freely into a harmonious pattern, the essence of which is balance. Robespierre was never prepared to adopt this approach. To him the aim of the Revolution had not been achieved by giving the social and political forces a free play to reach a balance. He was not prepared to be content with letting the forces out and watching them. His whole attinlde is dominated by the idea of a dynamic purpose. The Revolution constitutes the unfolding of this purpose. There is no question of a balance of forces. The decisive fact is the deadly struggle between two forces, Revolution and counter-revolution, -hick between themselves sum up the whole of reality. " The omission of what you could do would be a betrayal of | trust . . . a crime of lese-nation and lese-humanity. More than that: if you do not do all for Liberty, you have not done a thing. There are no two ways of being free: either you are entirely free or return to be a slave. The slightest opening left to despotism w511 re-establish soon its power"-declared Robespierre in the debate in the Constituante on the franchise on August IIth, 1791, when hotly opposing the followers of the ideology of equilibrium, who adopted the mare d'argent as a qualification for eligibility to the Legislative Assembly. It may be convenient to throw a glance at Saint-Just's ideas in 1791 first, before proceeding to Robespierre. The contrast between the idea of balance and of Revolutionary purpose will thus be brought into sharp relief. Saint-Just speaks in glowing approval of the 1791 principles. I France had produced a synthesis (coalise,) of democracy (e'tat civil), I aristocracy The legislative power), and monarchy (executive). In the best tradition of Montesquieu, Saint-Just explains that a large country like France must have a monarchical regime, as a republic would not suit it. At all events, the new Constitution was the nearest possible approximation in the conditions of France to a popular regime, with a minimum of monarchy, notwithstanding the formal supremacy of the executive power, necessitated also incidentally by the people's love for the King. The new regime appears to Saint-Just to be eminently safe because of the essential sanity of the French people: presumption, which characterizes the English people and prevents the establishment of democracy in England, is not the principle of French democracy; violence is not the essence of French aristocracy; and justice, not caprice, is the characteristic of the new French monarchy. " Le chef d'aeuvre de l' Assemblee Nationale est d' avoir tempers cette democratic." The golden balance, the right measure between a popular and despotic regime, has been achieved. The nation has been given the degree of liberty necessary to its sovereignty, legislation has become popular through equality, and the monarchy had retained only enough power to be a vehicle of justice. " The legislators of France have devised the wisest equilibrium." Wisdom could not place too strong a barrier between the Legislative and Executive. But the deliberations of the Legislature should be submitted for royal acceptance so that the particular interests of the two powers should cancel each other out. An eye watching over the lawgiver himself, a power able to arrest his arm, is needed. This role can best be performed by an executive-head who does not change, and is the repository of laws and principles, which the instability of the legislators should not be allowed to upset. It would be absurd to consult the people in these deliberations, because of the slowness of the procedure, the people's lack of prudence, and its vulnerability to evil influences. " Where the feet think, the arm deliberates, the head marches." This is indeed | out of tune with the plebiscitary tendencies of the 1793 Constitution. The judiciary, the best regulated and most passive organ of the State, should be vested with the supervision of the exercise of sovereignty. Saint-Just's views on equality in 1791 are particularly significant Complete equality like that established by Lycurgus-an equality suitable for the poverty of a republic-would produce a revolution I or engender indolence in a country like France. The land would have to be divided and industry suppressed. A free industry was however the source of political rights, and inequality in fact has always given birth to an ambition that is " vertu " in itself. There is no social harmony with all men socially and economically equal. Natural equality would confuse society. There would be no authority, no obedience, and the people would flee to the desert. I While abolishing abuses, the legislators have wisely respected interests. " Et l'on a Lien fait; la propriete rend l'homme soigneux: elle attache les cccurs ingrate a la patrie." | As to political equality-the only form of equality suitable for I France, a country built on commerce-its essence lies not in equal strength, but in the individual's having an equal share in the sovereignty of the people. Unlike Robespierre, Saint-Just nevertheless fully approves the division into active and passive citizens. The completely indigent class who would be classified as passive citizens and deprived of franchise is not large and would not be condemned to sterility, and the Constitution would benefit by not becoming too popular and anarchical. Possessed of independence and a chance of emulation, the poor will enjoy the social rights of natural l I equality, security and justice. The legislators had taken a wise course in not humiliating the poor, while making opulence unnecessary. It did not occur to Saint-Just or to most of his contemporaries to inquire how many people were to be disfranchised under the scheme. He is content to observe that the inequality established by the division into active and passive citizens does not offend natural rights, but only social pretensions. Saint-Just's analysis of the problem of the individual versus the State anticipates Benjamin Constant's distinction between the legislators of antiquity and the spirit of modern liberty. The ancients wished that the happiness of the individual should be derived from the well-being of the State, the moderns have an opposite attitude. The ancient State was based upon conquest, because it seas small and surrounded by inimical neighbors, and the fate of the individuals thus depended on the fortunes of the republic. ! The vast modern State has no ambitions beyond self-preservation and the happiness of its individual citizens. Following -Rousseau closely, Saint Just declares that the severity of the laws should correspond inversely to the size of the territory. The Rights of Man would have proved the undoing of such small city-republics Las Athens or Sparta. France, who has renounced conquests, is strengthened by the Rights of Man. " Ici la patrie s'oublie pour ses enfants." The future prophet of the " swift sword " cannot forgive Rousseau his justification of the death penalty. " Quelque veneration que m'impose l'autorite de J. J. Rousseau, je ne te pardonne pas, o grand homme, d'avoir justifie le droit de mort." For if the right of sovereignty cantos be transferred, no more can man's right over his own life. Before passing a death sentence, the Social Contract should be altered, because the crime on which sentence was given was the result of an alteration in the contract. A repressive force cannot be a social law. As soon as the Social Contract is perverted, it becomes null and void, and then the people must assemble and form a new Social Contract for its regeneration. The Social Contract is, according to Rousseau, made for the preservation of the partners; indeed, but for their conservation by vertu and not by force, says Saint-Just. In the circumstances of 1791 Saint-Just had no perception that his theory of balance was in the long run hardly compatible with his idea of the predicated general will. At all events, he presupposed an extremely wide area of common agreement, and consequently the margin of illegitimate opposition WE thought by him to be so narrow as not to deserve serious attention As the common area, upon which the play of social forces could be allowed to move, grew narrower, the predicated general will became more rigidly defined, and the exclusions more numerous

At first, the dynamic purpose of the Revolution was to Robes Pierre the unhalted advance towards the complete realization of, the democratic ideal. Freedom of man and unrestricted popular sovereignty were supreme purposes. In the earlier phase of the Revolution, Robespierre was profoundly convinced that the people's I will, if allowed free, genuine and complete expression, could not I fail to prove identical with the true general will. " L'interet do people c'est le Lien public . . . pour etre bon, le people n'a besot que de se preferer lui meme a ce qui n'est pas lui." With thi, conviction of Robespierre's went the all-pervading consciousness of a deadly struggle between the popular Revolutionary purpose anvil the forces opposed to it, which could not be resolved by compromise, but only by total victory and subordination. The liberation of man; the dignity of the human person; government of the people, by the people, and for the people-meant things very real to Robespierre. They were almost tangible, visible objects to him. There is a ring of genuine fervor in Robespierre's condemnation of the traditional distinction between rulers and subjects, ruling classes and oppressed classes, and in his impatient anger with snobbish pretensions, and with contempt for those beneath oneself It is important to emphasize that, like Rousseau, Robespierre, when speaking of man's dignity and freedom, means - the absence of personal dependence, in other words, equality. Rousseau had said that man should be as independent as possible of any other person, and as dependent as possible on the State. uman dignity and rights are degraded, when man has to acknowledge another man as his superior, but not in equal dependence of all on the collective entity, or the people, on ourselves in brief. Throughout the ages, Robespierre says, the art of government was I employed for the exploitation and subjugation of the many by the few. Laws were designed to perfect these attempts into a system. ~ All the legislators, instead of endeavoring-to release the popular I forces and satisfy their longing for freedom, dignity, happiness and I self-government, have always thought in terms of governmental power. Uppermost in their minds were precautions against popular I discontent and insurrection, convinced as they were that the people I are by definition bad and mutinous. " L'ambition, la force et la | perfidie ant ete les legislateurs . . . asservi raison." They proclaimed reason to be nothing but folly, equality to be anarchy. e vindication of natural rights became to them rebellion, and ~ nature was ridiculed as a chimera. " C'est avous maintenant de faire I la votre, c'est a dire de rendre les hommes heureux et libres par vos lots." Robespierre denounced all references to the Roman tribunate. This ancient and so much vaunted institution implied the people's bondage. As if the people needed special advocates to plead on its behalf before some superior powers and a higher tribunal ! The people had no desire of going on strike on the Mountain, and wait there till its grievances had been answered. The people was the master in its own house, and not a client or upplicant. It intended to stay in Rome and expel the tyrants. and so we see Robespierre almost alone in the Constituent Assembly fighting for universal suffrage. There was no stronger advocate of the principle of popular election of all officers of State, administrative, judicial and other. He laid the greatest emphasis upon the spread of political consciousness in the masses, and encouraged its expression through the various channels-popular societies, the press, petitions, public discussions, demonstrations, and even extra-legal direct action by the people. Robespierre's determined stand against the- death penalty and his fervent defense of the unrestricted freedom of the press were not only a struggle for values good in themselves, but a fight against the instruments of traditional governmental tyranny, and for means of popular self-expression. It was in the very nature of a government " not of the people " never to be satiated with power. Every government " not of the people " was a vested interest against the people. The evils of society never come from the people, always from the government. " C' est dans la vertu et dans la souverainete du people qu' it faut chercher un preservatifcontre les vices et le despotisme du gouvernement." The first object of a Constitution is to protect the people from its own government and their abuses. Robespierre was of course out of tune with Montesquieu's idea of the Separation of powers, reaffirmed by the Constituent Assembly. For whatever the Constitutional devices for subordinating the Execut*e to the Legislature adopted by the Assembly, there remained nevertheless in the 1791 Constitution the fact of a permanent head of the Executive, unelected, primeval, so to say, in the same way as the people was in regard to the Legislative power. The British system appeared to Robespierre a fraud and a plot against the people. In the past, in the era of bondage, the idea may have been to temper tyranny by creating tension between the various governmental agencies and sowing discord among the various powers. But the aim of the Revolution was to extirpate tyranny altogether, and to let the people rule. Robespierre was at heart a Republican before he ever knew it. Robespierre was filled with a constant anxiety not to allow the agencies of power to fall into the hands of the Executive. In those hands they were bound to become anti-popular counterrevolutionary forces. There could be little hesitation for him as to what attitude to take up on such questions as the royal veto and the royal sanction for Legislative decrees. In his determination to neutralize the Executive's power to do harm, Robespierre fought to deprive the King of every possible prerogative. This was consistently his line on every issue that came up in the great constitutional debates of 1791 on the reform of the French State. He was, for instance, against the royal command of the National Guards. He violently condemned the employment of the old Markhaussee and its officers, recruited from the Armee de tigne under royal command, for police duties and functions of justice of the peace (regular judges of the peace were to be elected). Robespierre demanded that military courts be composed of an equal number of officers and men, for otherwise the courts martial, consisting of officers alone, would be punishing patriotic soldiers, under the guise of penalties for indiscipline. In all the incidents which occurred in the first two or three years of the Revolution between popular demonstrations and the police Robespierre invariably took the side of the former, accusing the authorities and the police of counter-revolutionary designs, provocation or ill-will. As if by definition any popular riot was the expression of the people's righteous anger, and every action of the authorities counter I revolutionary. The question as to who is- the nation, and who is not " of the nation ", whether the nation is the sum total of persons born on French soil, a community of faith, or is equivalent to the people as a social category, is not yet decided. It was to unfold itself gradually. But already at the time Robespierre's conception of the nation had no room for corporate bodies. The nation, as Rousseau and Sieyes had taught, recognized no other components than individuals. The nation thus composed was a collective and yet monolithic personality, with one interest and one general will. Corporate bodies equated with partial wills were not " of the nation". They were directly opposed to, or at least at variance with, the general good. Although not a militant anti-clerical, Robespierre would not thus allow the Church to continue as a separate corporation. He supported the idea of clerical marriage, and insisted that bishops should be elected not by the clergy alone, but, like any other public servants, by the people of the diocese, spiritual and lay. Robespierre demanded guarantees that the National Guards not only would not fall under the control of the administration, but would be prevented from forming an esprit de corps. Officers were to be changed every two years. External marks were not to be worn off duty. Robespierre demanded an elected jury for civil cases in the same way as for criminal cases because he feared the esprit de corps which a professional body of judges was bound to develop. Robespierre made no protest against the ban on trade unions in the famous Loi Le Chapelier promulgated in defense of the homogeneity of the national will and the notional interest. It was only gradually that Robespierre came to brand a social class as being not " of the nation ". Sieyes had condemned the privileged orders for placing themselves outside the national community. After the abolition of feudal privileges, it became a sign of good Revolutionary sentiment to emphasize the unity of the French nation and to depreciate anything that might discriminate for or against any part of the community by assigning to it a special status. The French nation was composed of Frenchmen, and not of classes or castes. Even before this principle was finally violated by the disfranchisement of the poorer classes, Robespierre became acutely aware of the fact that national unity was giving way to a split into two warring social classes, the haves and the have-nots. He was at first desperately anxious to prevent it, not only by vehement opposition to the mare d'argent. He fought for the admission of the poor into the National Guard, insisted on the eligibility of the poor as members of jury, made a determined and successful stand against a ban on petitions by passive citizens. He repeatedly warned the Assembly that if the agencies of power were to be reserved to one class, they would inevitably become instruments of class domination and oppression. France would become divided into two separate nations, and the subjugated people would feel no obligation to their country. They would become aliens. He scoffed the defenders of the mare d'argent, attributing to them the idea that " human society should be composed exclusively of proprietors, to the exclusion of men ". Robespierre was to go throb a fateful evolution in this respect. Having started with passionate opposition to the exclusion of the lower strata from the body of the sovereign and politically active nation, an opposition based on the idea of the sacred and equal rights of man; he finished by declaring the popular masses alone the nation, and by virtually outlawing the rich, if not the bourgeoisie as a whole. The " nation " came to be identified with the " people ", " this large and interesting class, hitherto called ' the people ' . . . the natural friend and the indispensable champion of liberty . . . neither corrupted by luxury, nor depraved by pride, nor carried away by ambition, nor troubled by those passions which are inimical to equality . . . generous, reasonable, magnanimous and moderate . Far from accepting the idea of equilibrium between the social forces, Robespierre labours under an acute awareness of a mortal struggle which is being waged with no respite. The counterrevolution is conceived by him as an actual, or latent, permanent conspiracy. It is lurking in the dark corners, scheming, plotting, waiting only for an opportunity, insidiously preparing its forces. Robespierre cannot help viewing every issue, even prima facie a neutral problem, from the same and sole angle of the opportunities it offers, and the perils it holds out, to either of the two combatants. Whatever widens the area of popular sovereignty and democracy is a gain for the Revolution, a position won on the road to victory, a defeat and loss to the counter-revolution. All the same, although Robespierre has a permanent dynamic objective, and not just a pragmatic party programme, he is also a tactician. In a war the objective is fixed, but the tactics may change. No tactical move should be judged in isolation and on its own; the wider context is what determines the significance as well as the moral character of a particular move. And so Robespierre, the tactician, at times considers a slight retreat an improvement of the democratic position. He declared himself the defender of the Constitution of 1791, many provisions of which he had originally opposed bitterly. He frowned upon premature Republican propaganda. A believer in popular direct action, he is conscious of the ambushes and provocations that the counter-revolution is scheming, end wares the people not to expose itself, while the enemy is too strong, to the charge of anarchy, calling for suppression by police action. Robespierre may be regarded as the father of the theory which operates with the basic distinction between a people's war and a counter-revolutionary war. Brissot and the Girondists wanted war, because they hoped that a national emergency, heightened by proselytizing enthusiasm, would sweep away all counter-revolutionary sentiment and plotting, unite the nation, and then carry the Revolution across Europe. True to his general line of thought, Robespierre judged the question of war from the angle of the irreconcilable conflict between Revolution and counter-revolution. It seemed to him clear that in the case of war, the armed forces, the concentration of wartime powers, the patriotic anxiety and pride engendered by a national emergency, were bound to be utilized by the counterrevolution as weapons to crush the Revolution, in alliance with foreign courts. Robespierre himself would- have liked to turn the war into a people's war, that is, into an opportunity for the establishment of a popular regime based on Revolutionary stringency and military discipline. This could open the way to purges, and to a complete reshuffling of the officer corps and the administration, and perhaps sweep away the throne altogether. Robespierre never ceased to think and feel that " if we do not destroy them, they will a~mihilate -us ". " They " were not necessarily men, individuals, although the tone of violent personal invective and denunciation is I calculated to suggest this, but a criminal system as such, collective forces, of which the individual criminal was only a representative sample. Thus after the flight of the King, Robespierre is less concerned with the King's actual offense than with the lesson of more general significance contained in the flight: the fact that Louis could not have made his escape, if there had been no powerful forces to encourage and help him. The-existence and strength of these forces, just revealed, was what mattered most in Robespierre's opinion. This attitude determined Robespierre's conception of justice as it found an expression in his speeches on the reform of the judicial system. and above all on the trial of the King. The problem is of fundamental importance. Is there such a thing as objective, independent justice based upon a code that has nothing to do with the tug of war between contending social and political forces; and employs the sole criterion of strict evidence ? Or is justice to be considered in reference to the political struggle that is on, as a weapon of the victorious party ? Robespierre clearly inclined to the latter conception. It was not cynicism on his part, not a disbelief In objective justice altogether. On the contrary He was only convinced that all justice was, in the widest sense of the word, embodied in one party, and none in the other, by definition. The question of evidence was really secondary. Whether the actual crime was actually committed in the way envisaged in the criminal code was not all that mattered. What really mattered more was that it could, and in all certainty would, have taken place, given the opportunity. Man does not matter by himself either way, only as a part of a system. And the system as a whole is a crime and a standing conspiracy. " A King cannot rule innocently." Louis must die that the Republic should live. " Une measure de salut public a prendre, un acte de providence rationale a exercer" (Robespierre). As early as October, 1790, Robespierre was instrumental in setting up a supreme court to deal with charges of lese-nation. The Tribunal was to have the power to destroy all counter-revolutionary designs, and be composed of " friends of the Revolution". Judges were to Robespierre magistrates of the Government; in a free country, functionaries elected by the people. Their domain and the basis of their judgment was not a special science of jurisprudence, but the laws of the Constitution. " Indeed, the word jurisprudence ought to be struck out of the French vocabulary:- {ll a state possessing a constitution and a legislature the courts need no jurisprudence but the text of the law." Thus the nation as the source of all laws was to be the sole interpreter of the Constitution and sole censor over the courts, and not some independent body. This line of thought was to lead to the precedence given under the system of terror to patriotic conscience and popular instinct over legal competence and legal proof. Furthermore, in this whole approach there is already implied the Terrorist concept of " suspect ", a person being considered guilty, before having been convicted on any particular charge, simply because of member ~ ship of a class of people, and because of past affiliations. On the 1 eve of his death on the guillotine one of the architects of Jacobinism, t Desmoulins, was to discover the enormity of this conception of justice. " It n'y a point de yens suspects, it n'y a que des prevenus de delits fixes par la lot," he wrote Chapter Three VOLONTE UNE

(a) DIRECT DEMOCRATIC ACTION IT is not surprising that as a faithful disciple of Rousseau Robespierre was not prepared to recognize the decision of a representative assembly as expressing the kind of popular will which is identical with the general will. Parliaments were in the same category as other vested interests and corporations, although formally emanating from the choice of the people., A representative assembly elected on the basis of a property qualification, such as the Legislative ¿# ¿ Assembly, was certainly not " of the people ". Without, as he stated, going the whole way with Rousseau, nevertheless Robespierre could not reconcile himself to the idea that an assembly, once elected, even if chosen on a free ballot, was sovereign and its authority unquestionable. The absolute independence of a parliamentary assembly was " representative despotism". There is always the danger that the people might be afflicted with as many enemies as it had deputies. Robespierre's motion of self-renunciation on the ineligibility of members of the Constituent to the Legislative Assembly was motivated by the fear that if the same people were elected, the Legislative Assembly would become a permanent vested interest. Robespierre searched for safeguards- against " representative despotism ". They were two: constant popular control over the Legislative body, and direct democratic action by the people. Robespierre dreamt of an assembly hall with a public gallery large enough to contain twelve thousand spectators. Under the eyes of so large a sample of the people, no deputy would dare to defend _anti-popular interests. On the one hand, Robespierre insisted that any obstacles put in the way of the people in a free choice of representatives were useless, harmful and dangerous. On the other hand, he strongly approved of any rule that was calculated to protect the people from the " misfortunes of a bad choice ", and the corruption of its deputies. At one time Robespierre demanded a fundamental law whereby at fixed and frequent intervals the primary assemblies would be called upon to pass judgment upon the conduct of their deputies. These assemblies were to have the power to revoke their unfaithful representatives. Moreover, once in session, the primary assemblies would act as the sovereign in council, and use the opportunity to express their views on any matter concerning the public good. No power could interfere with the exercise of direct popular sovereignty by the nation in council. " Ce pen d'articles tres simplex, et pulses dans les premiers principles de la Constitution suffiront pour l'a~ermir et pour assurer a jamais le bonheur et la 1iberte du people francats. Robespierre fdlminated particularly against an alliance between the Legislative and the Executive, which to him could only mean a plot against the people. The exercise of executive powers by an elected body was to Robespierre the worst of all despotisms, an oligarchy. He dreaded most the modern system, where a cabinet emanating from the majority of the assembly works in close touch with, and is supported by, its own party. He was himself later in 1793 to become the father of the theory of Revolutionary government exercised by the Convention through committees, a system, as he put it, as new as the Revolution itself, not to be found in any treatises on political science. With an eye on the Rolandist Ministry, the Incorruptible condemned in severest terms the state of affairs in which party leaders and members of the cabinet manage everything behind the scenes in caucuses and ministerial conclaves. Under such a system the will of the people becomes falsified, and the majorities achieved by such machinations are illegitimate. The laws voted upon in this way represent a fictitious, and not a genuine, expression of the general will. The general will, constant and pure, the sole depository of which is the people, must neither be arrogated by a party-cum-cabinet plot to perpetuate " representative despotism ", nor become identified with the selfish impulses of ephemeral assemblies. Robespierre expressed impatience with the acceptance of numerical majority in the assembly as sovereign. The general will, the will of the truly popular majority, is not identified with I parliamentary majority or minority. The majority in the real sense is where the true general will resides, even if that will happens to be l expressed by a numerical minority. There was only one step from this essentially anti-parliamentary proaramme to the justification of direct popular action in the name of the sacred principle that the people have not only a right, but the duty, to resist oppression and despotism, to rise actively against the plots of government and I treacherous intrigues by unfaithful representatives. " It is vital for Liberty to be free to exercise reasonable censorship over the acts of the Legislative body. The National Assembly itself is subject to the general will, and when it contradicts it (the general will), the Assembly can no longer continue to exist.". The mandatories of the people have to be placed in a position that would make it impossible for them to harm liberty. As the people of Paris were nearest to the seat of power, they and their representative bodies, the Commune and the Sections, were duty bound to act as the watchdogs of the millions of people in the provinces. This was Robespierre's attitude in the crisis of August 10th, 1792, as well as in the events which a year later caused the exclusion of the Girondist deputies from the Convention, when the President of the Convention, the Jacobin Herault de Sechelles, yielded to the armed insurgents with the words that the force of the people was identical with the force of reason. On May 26th, 1793, Robespierre said in his speech at the Jacobin Club that " when the people is oppressed, and when it has nobody to rely upon but itself, he would be a coward who would not call upon it to rise. When all the laws are violated, when despotism has reached its climax, when good faith and shame are trampled upon, then it is the duty of the people to rise. T hat moment has arrived: our enemies are openly oppressing the patriots; they wish, in the name of law, to plunge the people into misery and bondage.... I know of only two modes of existence for the people: to govern itself, or to entrust the task to mandatories." The popular deputies who wish for responsible government are being oppressed. The people must come to the Convention to protect them against the corrupt deputies. " I declare," exclaims Robespierre, " that having received from the people the mandate' to defend its rights, I regard as oppressor him who interrupts me, or refuses me the right to speak, and I declare that alone I put myself into a state of insurrection against the president and all the members sitting in the Convention. Contempt having been shown for the sans-culottes, I put myself into a state of insurrection against the corrupt deputies." Three days later, again at the Jacobins, Robespierre went further: " Si la commune de Paris, en particulier, a qui est confie specialement le vein de defendre les interets de cette I grande cite, n'en appelle point l'univers entier de la persecution dirigee contre la liberte par les plus vils conspirateurs, si la commune de Paris ne s'unit au peuple, ne forme pas avec lui une etroite alliance, elle viole le premier de ses devoirs." An uprising of the people follows a pattern and has its technique. Of the representative institutions of the people of Paris, the Commune and the Sections, only the Commume was an elected and clearly defined body. The Sections were the public meetings of the inhabitants of the various districts. The direct democracy was a casually assembled body of men. The Sections were assiduously attended and dominated by the Revolutionary activists and enthusiasts, in fact by a small minority. At the moment of crisis a Central Revolutionary Committee of the Sections is formed, usually strengthened by provincial activists, federes who happen to be in Paris. The members of this Insurrectionary Committee are in every case obscure, third- and fourth-rate people. For it is supposed to be an uprising of the anonymous, inarticulate masses. In the background are the Jacobin leaders to direct, give inspiration and define the programme. The Central Insurrectionary Committee of the people in insurrection create a Revolutionary Commune by replacing the old one, or by declaring the existing body to have become Revolutionary. Such a declaration marks, as said once before, the outbreak of the uprising of the sovereign people against oppression. The people are now to exercise directly their sovereign rights. The elected representatives of the National Assembly must stand aside or yield to the will of the represented. This is the pattern followed on August 10th, 1792, and May 31st to June 2nd, 1793. On the earlier occasion Robespierre calls upon his Jacobin friends to ', engage their sections to let the Assembly know the real will of the people; and in order to discover that will, to maintain relations with the popular societies", that is to say the clubs, where popular opinion is formed. Robespierre repeats the same call on May 8th, 1793. His speeches on the eve of the two insurrections constitute the political plank of the insurgents, whether they refer to them or not. On August 15th, 1792, Robespierre, who is not a member of the Assembly, heads the deputation of the insurgent people to the Legislative Assembly to remind the representatives of the people that the people is not " asleep ". The popular demands in 1793 to expel the Girondist deputies, to limit the franchise to sans culottes, to arm sans culotte Revolutionary armies everywhere to watch over l the counter-revolutionaries, and to pay poor patriots for duties per formed in the defense of liberty, come straight from Robespierre's | earlier statements. On June 8th, 1793, when an attempt is made by Barere at the Convention to cancel the emergency state of insurrection in Paris, Robespierre insists that the insurrection must be made to spread to the whole country, because the country could no longer suffer the " disorder that had been reigning". The popular Revolutionary authorities, the Comite's de surveillance and the Revolutionary armies must remain to maintain order, safeguard I freedom and keep the aristocrats in check. | Robespierre did not deny that such direct action by self-appointed guardians of the people's freedom entailed anarchical violence. But the attitude of justice of the peace did not befit the solemn nature of a Revolution and the supremacy of the Revolutionary purpose. Revolutionary events have to be judged by the Convention " en legislateurs du monde", declared Robespierre on November 5th, 1792, in his speech against Louvet, who tried to indict him for his part in the events of the last few months, and accused him of aspiring to dictatorship. A Revolution cannot be accomplished without Revolutionary violence. It was not possible " apres coup, marquer le point precis ou doivent se briser les fiats de ['insurrection populaire ". If one particular act of popular violence and coercion was to be condemned as illegal, then all other Revolutionary events, the Revolution root and branch, would have to be declared a crime. " Why do not you put on trial all at the same time, the municipality, the electoral assemblies, the Paris Sections, and all those who followed our example ? For all these things have been illegal, as illegal as the Revolution, as unlawful as the destruction of the throne and of the Bastille, as illegal as liberty itself." These were unanswerable arguments, once the people was recognized as the supreme and permanently active agent in politics. The " people " became here a vague mystical idea. At one moment it appears as an avalanche forging ahead, swallowing up all in its way, acting with monumental ruthlessness. At another Robespierre presents it as modest, magnanimous and humane, the depository of all virtues, schooled in the school of sorrow and humiliation. No knots of power or nests of influence were to be left to hamper the march of the people, or distort its self espression.

As late as spring, 1793, Saint-Just showed himself still obsessed I with the sacredness of the principle of unlimited popular self expression and the fear of governmental power appropriated by a small group of rulers. The occasion on which; he- voiced these sentiments was the discussion on a draft of Constitution submitted on behalf of the Girondists by Condorcet. The plan contained two important features: a Legislative Assembly elected indirectly by departmental councils, and an Executive Council on a direct popular vote Both suggestions were rejected by Saint-Just in the name I oaths indivisibility of the general will, the only guarantee of a I " vigorous government " and a " strong constitution ", very characteristic and strange epithets for a system under which the Executive was to have no power at all. The Girondist project of an Executive Council elected directly by the people appeared to Saint-Just the most dangerous threat of all to the unity of the Republic and popular sovereignty. The Legislative and the Executive would not only both be elected, and thus rivals, but the latter, being derived from direct election, would be endowed with a higher prestige than the indirectly chosen Assembly. Moreover, whereas in the past the Ministers were outside the Executive Council, and did not form a cabinet deliberating together and acting as a collectively responsible I body, the new project laid down that the Executive Council and the I Ministers were to form one and the same body. In short, the Council was to be an elected, deliberating body, executing its own decisions. " Le conseil est le ministre de ses propres volontes . . . sa vigilance sur lui-meme est illusoire." Apart from the heresy of an elected Executive, the elected Ministers enjoying also parliamentary privilege, the people would also be without any guarantees against them. The Ministers would shield each other through Ministerial solidarity, and the Legislature would remain without powers, and indeed, without anything to do, since the Executive Council was also to be a deliberative council. In two years, Saint-Just thought, the Assembly would be suspended, and the Executive Council would reign supreme and without restrictions of a fundamental law. The Council would have enormous powers at its ' disposal. Its members would be the true representatives of the people, the armies would be under its control, all means of propaganda, intimidation and corruption in its hands. Only powerful and famous men known to each other would be elected to form in due course a hereditary body of patricians sharing between themselves the Executive power. All hope for a people's government would have to be given up. There would again be rulers and subjects. I Saint-Just's own plan envisaged an Assembly elected by direct . suffrage, and an Executive Council chosen by secondary electoral assemblies, and subordinated to the Assembly. The Executive Council and the Ministers were to be forbidden to form one body, and furthermore the Ministers, who were to be especially appointed, were to be forbidden to form a cabinet, in case they should become a " cabal". Saint-Just went so far as to forbid the Assembly to divide itself into committees, to appoint special commissions from its own members, except to report on special matters, or to carry out delegated functions. No way was to be opened for the development of partial wills. The general will of the sovereign must not be falsified by distilling or diluting processes. The general will is one and indivisible. The Jacobin type of democratic perfectionism suet as was partly embodied in the Constitution of 1793, especially in regard to plebiscitary approval of laws voted by the Legislative and to the people's right to resist oppression, was calculated to lead to anarchism: a direct democracy with thousands of sections throughout France itI permanent session, bombarding the National Assembly with resolutions, protests, petitions, and above all deputations with the right to address the House; revoking and reselecting deputies; a permanent national referendum broken up into small local plebiscites; an Executive always suspect, and with no power to act; a Legislative bullied and blackmailed by outside and frequently armed interEcrence; finally, sporadic outbreaks of popular violence against eons stitutional authorities; massacres such as the September massacres of the suspects, with the people's instinct as the sole judge of their necessity and timeliness, and the sole sanction to give them legality and justification. This democratic perfectionism was in fact inverted totalitarianism. It was the result not of a sincere wish to give every shade of opinion a chance to assert itself, but the outcome of an expectation that the fruit of democratic sovereignty stretched to its limit would be a single will. It was based on a fanatical belief that there could be no noise than one legitimate popular will. The other wills stood condemned a priori as partial, selfish and illegitimate. The ancients have already understood, and indeed witnessed, the phenomenon of . . . extreme democracy leading straight to personal tyranny. Modern experience has added one link, the role of the totalitarian-democratic vanguard in a plebiscitary regime, posing as the people. The fervour and ceaseless activity of the believers, on the one hand, and intimidation practiced on opponents and the lukewarm, on the other, are the instruments by which the desired " general will " is made to appear as the will of all. Only one voice is heard, and it is voiced I with such an insistence, vehemence, self-righteous fervour and a tone of menace that all the other voices are drowned, cowed and silenced. Robespierre was the chief engineer of this type of popular self-expression in the elections to the Convention in Paris during the undisputed dictatorship of the Insurrectionary Commune' with " vote par appel nominal ", open voting, ban on opposition journals, publication of names of people who had signed royalist petitions, the scrutiny of electoral lists, and the exclusion of electors and 'elected thoughr unorthodox. The result was that only a small -minority Qf the Paris voters recorded their vote, in some sections lordly more than a twentieth of the electorate. Only a tenth voted in the whole of France. The Jacobin Constitution of 1793 was approved by barely two million votes out of the seven entitled to vote. In Paris nobody voted against, in the departments only fifteen to sixteen thousand. It was at once suspended and put into a glass case in the hall of the Convention. Let the people speak, for their voice is the voice of God, the voice of reason and of the general interest ! Robespierre clung with tenacity to his faith in the equation of liberty and virtue, but even his faith had to give way to the painful realization that this may not always be the case. He thus put up a ferocious and successful fight against an appeal to the people on the fate of Louis XVI, demanding first guarantees that " bad citizens, moderates, feuillants and aristocrats would be given no access " to the primary assemblies and would be prevented from misleading and playing upon the tender feelings of the people. For the aim is not to let the people speak, but to insure that they vote well, and bad voters are excluded. Saint-Just considered that an appeal to the people on the fate of tile King would- be tantamount to a writ for restoration of the 'Monarchy. Anti-parliamentarian under the Legislative Assembly, Robespierre became in'tirne a staunch defender of the supremacy of the Convention, especially after the expulsion of the Girondists. He opposed bitterly the suggestion that the Convention should dissolve, after having voted the Constitution of 1793, for the preparation of I which it had been elected. The purified Convention (after the expulsion of the Girondists) would be replaced by envoys of Pitt and Coburg, he claimed. At one time a defender of the principle | that the Sections should remain in permanent session, he later helped to reverse 1t.i The argument was that after the people had won and ~ obtained their own revolutionary popular government, there vitas I no need any more for direct democratic supervision and vigilance. I The permanence of the Sections, which formerly secured such control, would now be an opportunity for counter-revolutionary intriguers I and idlers to corrupt public opinion and to plot against the Government, while the good honest sans~ulottes were away in the fields and workshops. Robespierre came to admit to himself that the people could not be trusted to voice its real will. In his famous confidential Catechism Robespierre declared that the gravest obstacle to Liberty and the greatest opportunity for the counter-revolutionary forces was the people's lack of enlightenment. One of the most important causes of the people's ignorance was the people's misery. When will the people become enlightened? he asked himself When they have bread and when the rich and the Government will have ceased to hire perfidious journalists and venal speakers to mislead them. This line of thought carries with it far-reaching implications, which were to be fully grasped and systematized by Babeuf and the Egaux. What in effect Robespierre was saying was that as long as the people were hungry, dominated and misled by the rich, their recorded opinions could not be taken as reflecting the true VAIi11 of the sovereign. ~ From the point of view of real democracy and the true general will the task was therefore not just to let the people speak, freely and spontaneously, and then to accept their verdict as final and absolute. ~ It was first to create the conditions far a true expression of the popular will. This involved the satisfaction of the people's material needs, popular education, and above all the elimination of evil influences, in other words, opposition. Only after that would the people be called to vote. There could be no doubt about the way they would vote then. In the meantime the will of the enlightened vanguard was the reef will of the' people. There was thus no necessary inconsistency between the earlier emphasis on the active and permanent exercise of popular sovereignty and the later dictatorial policies of the enlightened vanguard - Robespierre and his colleagues. The general will commanded different attitudes at different times. It spoke every time through Robespierre. There was the need to mobilize and to stir the masses in order to enable the Revolutionary vanguard to carry out the real will of the people. Once the vanguard had come into power, it must be given freedom to realize that will in all its purity. The a priori consent of the masses to what the vanguard would do may be taken for granted, and if so,, the perpetuation of popular political activity, unnecessary in the new conditions, would only, as said before in another context, give a chance to counter-revolutionary cunning.

(b)LIBERTY AS AN OBJECTIVE PURPOSE The nearer the Jacobins were to power, the stronger grew their insistence on the conception of liberty as a set of values and not as merely the absence of constraint. The general will acquired an objective quality, and the reference to the actual exercise of popular sovereignty as the essential mode of arriving at the general will came to be less often repeated. It is only fair to the Jacobins to emphasize in this connection the supreme crisis of the Revolution, which they were called upon to face in 1793. The country was in deadly peril from invasion. The federalist uprisings in Lyons, Bordeaux, Toulon, Marseilles, Normandy and elsewhere, the success of the Vendeean revolt, the breakdown of the circulation of commodities, the inflation caused by the collapse of the assignats, the paper money, combined to create an atmosphere of fanaticism, fear, excitement, suspicion and general emergency. Yet, these factors, grave no doubt as they were, could not in themselves account for the regime of terror, without the permanent totalitarian disposition of Jacobinism. Without the fanatical, single-minded faith in their embodying the sole truth, the Jacobins could not have found the courage and strength to build up and sustain their regime of terror. Without their ever more narrowly defined orthodoxy, there would have been no need to brauld so many as, and indeed to turn so many into, enemies of the Revolution. The Terror continued unabated even after the decisive victories of the Revolution over all its enemies, external and internal, n October, 1793. It fell to Saintlust, as rapporteur on the most important issues of the Revolution in the years 1793-4, to start the ! process of redefining the Revolutionary idea of liberty. His first major pronouncement on this matter was the famous speech on supplies, November 23rd, 1792. The alarming state of French finances and economy in general I was attributed by Saint Just to the " essor " of liberty that followed the outbreak of the Revolution, and to " la difficulte de- retablie I l'economie au milieu de la vigueur et de l'independance de ['esprit public. L'independance armee contre l'independance n'a plus de loi, plus de juge . . . toutes les volontes isolees r''en obligent aucune." Liberty was at war with morality arid order. There was a danger of anarchy. To counteract this anarchy of isolated wills, Saintlust at first resorted to grand invocations of national solidarity and to the argument that the interests of everyone had become so intertwined with the fortunes of the Revolution that its collapse would spell tuliversal doom. " I1 faut que tout le monde oublie son interest et son orgueil. Le bonheur et l'interet particular vent une violence a l'ordre social, quand ils ne vent point une portion de l'interet et du bonheur public. Oubliez-vous vous-memes. La revolution fran,caise est placee entre un arc de triomphe et un ecueil qui' nous briserait tous. Votre interet vous commande de ne point vous diviser." Whatever the differences of opinion among the patriots, the tyrants would not take any notice of them. " We win together or perish together." The self-interest of everyone commands him to forget his personal good. Personal salvation is only possible through general salvation. All personal interest and welfare must be sunk in the general pool. ~ From this appeal to the enlightened self-interest of everyone, Saint-Just comes to the idea of a Republic that represents objective values of its own, and in such an integrated form as to prevent the independence of wills. The Republic envisaged by him would " embrace all relations, all interests, all rights, all duties " and would assure an " allure commtme " to all parts of the State. Liberty, the opposite of independence, becomes now " l'obeissance de chacun a l'harmonie individuelle et homogene du corps entier". This con-' ception is translated into a " Republique une et indivisible . . ,1 avec l'entiere abstraction de tout lieu et toutes personnel ". The unity and indivisibility of the Republic is thus transformed into something that is prior even to the Social Contract. It Is an essential part of the objective general will and liberty, out of the reach of the transient will of passing mortals. The whole comes before its components. . " A Republic, one and indivisible, is in the very nature of liberty; it would not last more than a moment, if it was based upon a fragile convention between men." This was another reason for Saint-Just's vehement opposition to Colldorcet's draft of the 1793 Constitution. The Girondist project envisaged a Legislative elected indirectly by departmental councils, Id not by the " concours simultane de la volonte generate " and ~le peuple en corps ". A deputy elected that way, Saintlust maint~ined, would represent orily the portion of the people who voted for hirn, sandlot the indivisible nation. All the deputies coming together as representatives of the fractions of the people would not constitute a legitimate majority; they would not express or embody the general will, but would form a congress, instead of a National Assembly. The majority in a congress derives its authority from I the voluntary adhesion of the parties. The sovereign thus ceases to exist, as it is divided. A general will obtained that way is a " speculative", not a real will. Those who will must do so primarily as aspects of an indivisible entity, and not as possessors of partial wills. The nation is an organic, indivisible entity, and not a conglomeration of mechanically joined particles. If each department was understood to represent a portion of the territory, with the portion of the people inhabiting it in possession of sovereignty over that province, the " droit de cite du people en corps" would become undermined and the Republic would be broken up by the slightest shock, such as the Vendeean rebellion. The territorial division was solely a geometrical division for electoral purposes, not even for administrative reasons. The a priori unity of Frenchmen was the basis and symbol of the unity of the Republic, not the territory, and certainly not the Government, because this would mean a Monarchy. Praising Saint-Just's views, one of the deputies remarked that his draft of the Constitution would make it possible for Frenchmen to settle down as a French nation, and to observe their obligations to one another, even if they were evacuated to a foreign territory. The instinct for national unity emerged stronger than the logic of the Social Contract. If the essence of a nation is what Renan was to call some eighty years later " le plebiscite de tons les jours ", in Luther words the active and constantly reaffirmed will to live together and under the same law, then the right of secession could not be withheld. The Jacobins preached the former, but passionately denied the latter. ;? They had to postulate an a priori will to form an indivisible entity, as they were too cosmopolitan and rationalist in I their outlook to admit a historic, racial or any other irrational basis for national unity. This conception of French national unity, when confronted with I l the Revolutionary attitude to old Europe, was calculated to involve France in one of those permanent wars which spring from a | conflict of irreconcilable ideas on relations between nations. Such a war is usually the outcome of the attitude of " heads I win, tails you lose " adopted by a Revolutionary power preaching a new doctrine of international relations, not based on reciprocity. On the basis of the voluntary, non-racial and unhistorical conception of nationhood Revolutionary France, rationalizing her interests and her desire for expansion, claimed-true, not without some hesitation-to have the right to admit into the Republic foreign provinces on her borders, like Savoy, Nice, the cities on the Rhine, Belgium and others, which had expressed freely or had been brought to voice, the wish to be united to the French Republic. Coupled with the French proclamations of November Igth and December I5th, 1792, that France would hasten to help any people rising against its King and feudal system, this attitude amounted to an invitation to any foreign commune or province to break away from the body of the nation, the State entity. A partial will was thus set up against the general will of the whole. France was to become the cause and engineer of the disintegration of nations and annexed of their severed parts, in the name of the right of any group to express and act on its general will. At the same time the Convention declared the death penalty for any attempt to divide French territory or to Cedric any part of the " Republique une et indivisible ". The implication was that in Republican and democratic France a general national will had already crystallized, while no such will could have crystallized in the countries under the feudal system. Furthermore, as Europe was in any case heading towards a unified free form of government, the beginning might as well be made by joining the liberated parts of Europe to France. It would thus be possible to give them protection, while offering to France, the champion of the unity of free peoples against the dynastic tyrannies which have kept the European peoples divided, an increase of strength in the struggle for universal liberation. This meant endless war with old Europe, without prospect of an agreement on any common basis. No halt was in sight. For it must have soon appeared clear to the I more acute Revolutionaries-among them indeed Robespierre- that in fact the free will of men, instead of being a tangible and reliable criterion for nationhood, was in fact very shifting ground. Hence the idea of natural frontiers. Although no doubt part of French tradition. and an expression of a rationalized desire for expanded and safer frontiers, the idea of natural frontiers was meant also to be a safety valve, a signpost to the French themselves, and a kind of assurance to the nations of old Europe that there was a halt to the French claims to the right of annexing peoples who had offered themselves for reunion. France would not go on annexing parts of other states for ever, for she had come to believe in the c.~stence of a national entity, which must not be broken by the partial will of parts. The basis of this national entity was no more l ~ the will of the passing generation, but something of a more permanent character-the facts of nature and history, which together have fixed unmistakable frontiers to nations in the form of rivers, mountains and seas. The concomitant of this recognition of a natural and historical basis of national unity was the declaration of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, the spread of anti-alien feeling and the campaign against foreign agents and spies L in France-as a reaction to earlier proselytism.

(C) THE RIGHT OF OPPOSITION; OUTLAWING OF PARTIES ., The a priori idea of national unity, however, far from serving as a basis for a national reconciliation founded on a common past, gave rise to a process of eliminating from the national body the elements thought to be inassimilable to the new principle of French national existence. Saint-Just's " Rapport sur la necessite de declarer le gouvernement revolutionnaire jusqu'a la paix ", made on October Ioth, 1793, seas a turning point in this respect. . It is a far cry from that conception of liberty which takes for granted the right of every individual to express his particular will, |.nd to defend his particular interest spontaneously and without external constraint. It is very remote from the confident belief that if everyone forms his will on his interest, the general will would result from a majority of wills. A new principle which " hence forth should never depart from the minds of those who govern" is declared: the Republic " will never be founded till the will o] the sovereign has constrained the royalist minority and ruled ove' it by right of conquest". 矰epuis que le people fran,cais a manifesto sa volonte tout ce qui est hors le souverain est ennemi." There was nothing~between the people and its enemies but the sword. Those who Could not be governed by justice, must be ruled by the sword. " Vous ne parlerez point la.meme langue, vous ne vous entendrez.3amais. Chassez-les done ! " And he meant it literally, for the plan proposed by him a little later envisaged the eventual expulsion of all suspects, as well as their total expropriation,~ in other words the total liquidation of a class. Saint-Just invokes the principles of democracy in this connection. " Il leur faut la puissance, qui n'appartient ici qu'a la d¿C ¿mocratie." The idea of democracy implied here contains no reference to the right of opposition, to individual liberties or toleration, and clearly revives the ancient Greek view of democracy as the victory of the mass of the underprivileged over the privileged minority, and the suppression of the latter by the former. Severity is an essential element of a free democratic regime, and plays a greater part there than in a tyrannical state. " There is no government which can preserve the rights of citizens without a policy of severity, but the difference between a free system and a tyrannical regime is that in the former that policy is employed against the minority opposed to the general good, and against the abuses or the negligence of the authorities, while in the latter the severity of the State power is directed against the unfortunates delivered to the injustice and the impunity of the powers." A weak government was ultimately oppressive to the people Saint-Just thought. " It is just that the people should in its turn rule over its oppressors", for " tyrants must be oppressed". All the wisdom of a government consisted in the elimination of the party opposed to the Revolution and in making the people happy at the expense of the vices of the enemies of liberty. The surest means of establishing the Revolution was to turn it to the benefit of those who support it, and to the destruction of those who fight it. Robespierre said the same things, and almost in the same words. There were no divergencies between the Incorruptible and Saint-Just, after they were brought together by the latter's election to the Convention. " There are no other citizens in a Republic "Capote Robespierre, `` than republicans. Royalists . .- . conspirators arena nothing but aliens, or rather enemies.'' Social protection was the duel of the citizen. But a citizen was not just everyone born G,11 French soil. Only he was a citizen who was spiritually identified with the substance that constituted French nationhood, the general: N;ill`-' The enemies of the people could not possibly be offered an opportunity of distorting and sabotaging the people's will. Neither the necessity of national unity, which commands men to sink their differences in the face of external danger, nor the idea of the legitimacy of the natural divergencies of opinion had any validity. There were only the people, and the people's enemies. k Domptez par la terreur Ies enemies de la liberte . . . vous aver raison comme fondateurs d' une republique. Le go uvernement de !a Revolution est le despotisme de la liberte contre la tyrannic." Both tyranny and liberty employ the sword, but the only resemblance between them is that the blade in either hand shines similarly. What about the right of opposition ? Nothing was more calculated to exasperate Saint-Just and Robespierre than this argument, the claim of an opponent to a right to oppose the regime as a right to resist oppression. Resistance to oppression was a sacred right and duty in a tyrannical state, but once the regime of liberty had been established, once the people had come into their own, the claim to resist " oppression" by the new order was mockery or perversity, or sheer selfishness, defiant of the general good. " Let the people claim its liberty, when it is oppressed, but when liberty is triumphant, and when tyranny has expired, that one Could forget the general good in order to kill his country by preference of one's personal good, this is mean villainy, punishable hypocrisy !" The claim of the aristocracy that its destruction by the people was an act of dictatorship was a revolting abuse of terminology. The people and tyranny !-it was a contradiction in terms. " The people is no tyrant, and it is the people that now reign." " Toutes, les idees se confondent ": a " fripon " condemned to the guillotine invokes the right of resistance to oppression ! Robespierre fulminated against justice of the people being called 'barbarism or oppression. " Indulgence pour les royalistes ! . . . grace pour scelerats.... Non ! grace pour ['innocence, grace pour les faibles, grace pour les malheureux, . . . grace pour lthumanite !" It is absurd to say that a free government of the people can be suppressive- because it is vigorous. " On se trompe. La question 'eat mal posee.'- Such a government oppressed only what was evil, and was therefore just. A Republican government rested o the principle offs' vertu ', or terror. It was true that force made no right, but-it may well be that it was indispensable for making justice and reason respected. Not only traitors, but also the indifferent, the passive, who were doing nothing for the Republic, must be punished. The people's cause must be supported as a whole, for those who pick holes are disguised traitors. " Un patriote soutient la Republique en masse, celui qui la combat en detail est un traltre.... Tout ce qui n'est pas respect du people et vous (Convention) est un crime." As the aim of an anti-federal government of the people was the unity of the Republic not for the profit of those in power, but for the benefit of the people as a whole, no isolationist tendency could be tolerated in an individual. Such isolationism would be as immoral in the civil sphere as federalism was in the political sphere. " Lorsque la liberte est fondee, il s'agit de ['observation des devoirs envers la patrie, il s'agit d'etre citoyen." There could be no reason and no excuse-as there was in the past-for isolating oneself in order to preserve one's independence. Saint1ust insists more than once the only difference between liberty and independence to do evil. For liberty was in the last analysis not freedom from constraint, but a set of objective and exclusive values. Independence from these values implied vice and tyranny, bondage to egoism, passion and avarice. " L'idee particuliere que chacun se fait de sa liberte, scion son interet, produit l'esclavage de tons." According to Robespierre it was wrong to regard terror as pale repressive violence, resorted to without reference to the general principles governing a Republic. It was only accentuated justice- nothing but an emanation from and special facet of the principle of virtue-not a special principle. ~ " La terreur n'est autre chose que la justice prompte, severe' inflexible; elle est done une emanation de la vertu; elle est moins un principe particulier qu'une consequence du principe general de la democratic applique aux plus pressants besoins de la patrie." Similarly Saint-Just declared that a Republican government had vertu as its principle; if not terror. " Que venlent ceux qui ne veulent ni vertu ni terreur ? " Elsewhere he said that a Revolution needed a dictator to save it by force, or censors to save it by virtue. Virtue, the elusive personal quality, the least tangible of all criteria, was fast becoming the decisive criterion, when the new splits were no longer caused by class differences or royalist loyalties. The doomed wicked were to Robespierre the assassins from within, in the first place, the mercenary scribes (journalists) allied to kill public virtue, to sow discord and to prepare a political counterrevolution by means of a " contra-revolution morale ". Journalists could expect no quarter from the former defender of unrestricted liberty of the press. The idea of a sole exclusive truth, which is the basis of the rigid and fixed conception of Republican virtue, excludes the possibility of political parties representing honest differences of opinion. According to Saint Just it was precisely in a regime of Liberty -such as he claimed to be representing-and one based on absolute truth and virtue, that parties and factions were an anachronism, and a criminal one. Factions had a useful function in the " ancient regime ", they contributed to the isolation of despotism and weakened the irt'duence of tyranny. " They are a crime to-day, because they isolate liberty." Liberty is attained only when the general will can express itself as an entity, as the sole and undivided sovereign deliberating on the common good of the people as a whole. The curiosity awakened by party controversy, the corruption engendered by party strife, distracted the hearts and minds from the love of country and single-minded devotion to its interests. " Every party is therefore criminal, because it makes for the isolation of the people and the popular societies, and for the independence of the government. Any faction is therefore criminal, because it neutralizes the power of public ~vittue.... The solidity of our Republic is in the very nature of things. The sovereignty of the people requires that it should be one . . . it is opposed to factions -Every faction is therefore an attempt on sovereignty." Saint-Just is quite unable to see in the parties an instrument for expressing and organizing the various trends in public opinion He only sees the people, on the one hand, and the parties conspiring against it, on the other. He called upon the people and the Convention to govern firmly and to impose their will upon the " criminal factions ". The description of the evils of a multiple party system is strikingly reminiscent of the evils now adays att bused to a single party regime. It deserves to be quoted in full " Pride engenders the factions. The factions are the most terrible poison of the body politic, they put the life of the citizens in peril by their power of calumny; when they reign in a State, no person is certain of his future, and the empire which they torment is a coffin; they put into doubt falsehood and truth, vice and virtue, justice and injustice; it is force that makes law.... In dividing the people the factions put party fury in place of liberty; the sword of the law and the assassins' daggers clash together; no. one dares to speak or to be silent; the audacious individuals, who get to the top in the parties, force the citizens to choose between crime and crime." -: As to himself and his friends, Saint-Just would reject witl; indignation any imputation that they, too, were a party. They were the very people itself This he declared in his last and undelivered speech in defense of Robespierre. He looked forward in that speech to the day when the Republican Institutions would eliminate for ever all parties, putting " human pride under the yoke of public liberty ", and the " dictatorship of justice ". He prayed fervently that " the factions may disappear so that liberty alone would remain ". " The fondest prayer a good citizen can pray for his country, the greatest benefaction a generous nation may derive from its virtue, is the ruin, is the fall of the factions." For after the struggle for unfettered sovereignty of the people had been won, the supreme aim was the unity of will. " 11 faut une volonte une," wrote Robespierre in his carpet. " That it should be republican we want republican ministers, republican papers, republican deputies, a republican government." The external war was a mortal malady, but the body politic was ill from revolution and the " division of wills ". Like to Rousseau, a political party was to Robespierre the function of a private interest. ' The factions are the coalition of private interests against the general good." -For there is such a definite quantity as the general good: "The concert of the friends of liberty, the complaints of the oppressed, the natural ascendancy of reason, the force of public opinion do not constitute a faction." Incapable of adapting himself to the idea that differences of opinion were a normal phenomenon and not unnatural, an expression of egoism, perversion, or stupidity, Robespierre was quite shaken at the moment of his greatest triumph, when after the fall of the " factions ", the Girondists, the Hebertists and the Dantonists, he was faced with new strains and new differences. He was appalled at the idea that there should still be differences, and divisions of opinion. He declared that wherever a line of demarcation made itself visible, wherever a division pronounced itself, " la il y a quelque chose qui tient au salut de la patrie ". It was not natural that Were should be separation and division among people equally animated | 9'y-the love for the public good. " It n'est pas naturel qu'il s'eleve I une sorte de coalition contre le gouvernement qui se devoue pour le sahlt de la patrie." It was to him a symptom of a new malady, because the Convention had of late been voting decrees on the spot. It Lad been showing unanimity on the sacred principles. There were no more factions. The Convention, with a trained discerning eye, had been going straight ahead and hitting its target unerringly. The postulate of unanimity as the only natural principle among patriots implied the postulate of unity in action. The question presented itself: how would democracy work, without parties ? There is no direct answer to this from Saint-Just, but what he had to say on the subject of educating public opinion and organizing the sovereignty of the people clearly re-echoes Rousseauist formuLe and deserves to be quoted in full. It was doubtless the vision of a plebiscitary democracy (or dictatorship), where the people are asked to answer with a clear " yes " or " no " obvious questions, the answer to which could hardly be in doubt. " As all are incessantly deliberating in a free state, and public opinion is affected by many vicissitudes and stirred by caprices and various passions, the legislators must take care that the question of the general good is always clearly put, so that when deliberating all should be able to think, act and speak in the spirit and within the framework of the established order . . . in harmony. It is in this way that the Republic truly becomes one and indivisible, and the sovereign is composed of all hearts carried forward to virtue." Unless the question was put and answered in this circular | way, society would be delivered to strife, selfishness and anarchy. Another indication about Saint Just箂 ideas on the subject may be gained from his complaint that the laws and decrees passed by the Convention had been deteriorating as their projects had ceased to be the subject of preliminary examination and discussion at the Jacobin Club. Clearly Saintlust thought it inadvisable to have the Convention without guidance from an extra-parliamentary body of censors.

(d) THE THEORY OF REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT Robespierre's answer to the problem is contained in his theory of the Revolutionary Government, and has the merit of precision "J'avoue que mes notions en politique no ressemblent en rien a celles de beaucoup d'hommes," he said about his theory. He said, as we have seen, that it was new as the Revolution itself, and could not be found in any of the theoretical treatises. It was the product of the Revolution, shaped on its lessons, and a theory that reversed whatever was left of Robespierre's earlier ideas on the separation of powers and his enmity towards the Executive. The function of a government was according to Robespierre to direct the physical and moral forces of the nation towards the purpose for which it was instituted. Thus while the aim of a constitutional regime was to preserve the Republic, that of a Revolutionary Government was to found it. A constitutional regime can be established only in conditions of victorious and peaceful liberty. A Revolutionar; ! Government implies the war of liberty against its enemies. Old defends civil liberty, the other public liberty. A constitution Government has as its task the defense of personal freedom agairus~ the encroachments of governmental powers; a Revolutionary regime must defend public liberty, embodied in the Revolutionary Government, the actions. It owes protection to peace of citizens, nothing but death to enemies of public liberty. " Cell; qui les (Revolutionary violent measures) nomment arbitraires ou tyranniques vent de stupides sophistes on pervers qui cherchent i confondre les contraires." The Revolutionary Government me<! have the powers and the machinery to act with rep city, urea cambered by any-Gad checks and legal niceties, to mobilize a) forces of the nation, and to hit ruthlessly and powerfully.

VOLONTE UNE I9 means that the barrier between the Legislature and the Executive must be broken down so as to insure prompt action. Government action must no longer be slow and complicated as it was in the past, when nothing but informal and casual contact was maintained between the two branches of the administration. Robespierre had moved very far from his savage denunciation of the " intrigues " between the Rolandist Ministry and the Girondist leaders in the Assembly, and from the principle that no deputy could be a Minister L of State. What Robespierre was proposing was government by I a Committee emanating from the Convention. All executive powers, rendered practically unlimited Owing to the Revolutionary character of the Government' were to be handed over to a " faithful commission ", " d'un . . . patriotisme epure, une commission si sure que lton ne poisse plus cacher ni le nom des trustees ni la frame des trahisons." It was to be a Committee of the most faithful and most ruthless. This was the conception underlying the regime of the Committee of Public Safety and Jacobin dictatorship, a regime designed to make the Revolutionary purpose triumph at all costs, and not to realize liberty in the sense of free self-expression; a system which replaced the principle of popular choice by the principle of the infallibility of the enlightened few in the central body acting in a dictatorial manner through special agents appointed by themselves. " The two opposite genii . . . contesting the empire of nature, are in this great period of human history interlocked in a mortal combat to determine irretrievably the destinies of the world, and France is the stage of this redoubtable struggle. Without, all tyrants are bent upon encircling you; within, all the friends of tyranny are banded in a conspiracy: they will go on plotting, until _all hope will have been wrested from crime. We have to strangle internal as well as the external enemies of the Republic, or perish with her; and, in a situation like this, your first maxim of policy must be the guiding principle that the people shall be led by reason, but the enemies of the people by terror "-thus spoke Robespierre. War ! The state of war ! This means a state of emergency, above all an atmosphere of " rise and kill him, or he still kill you". If you credit your opponent with such a fixed resolution, you are free of all obligations towards him, legal, moral or other. Doing justice, observing the code of law, become L meaningless; sheer mockery, when demanded. The supreme law is salvation achieved by the annihilation of the enemy. The war is global; global, for the theatre of operations is global; global, because all lives, all possessions and all values are involved, all assets and all means mobilized. This being so, the war has no fixed or limited front. It is not the battlefield alone where the fight takes place. Every preventive action taken to weaken the enemy, to sow confusion in his ranks, to impoverish him or to undermine his morale, to uncover his flank or to deceive and to get him into a trap, is legitimate, is a laudable act; indeed, a sacred duty. From the point of view of those engaged in the battle on your own side, the fact of war changes the whole scale of values. A war entails direction of the war-operations by a supreme command acting in strictest secrecy, with all possible speed, employing every means of surprise, not hampered by any checks or control; furthermore, by a supreme command composed of men especially, or rather exceptionally, qualified for the task: endowed with the gift of leadership, trustworthy, ruthless, energetic and pure. In short, all emphasis comes to be placed on personal qualities, Robespierre elusive quality of virtue. The democratic test of election, of preliminary, reiterated and confirmed authorization for the democratic execution by appointed, supervised and responsible leaders of decisions publicly debated, clearly defined and resolved upon, relegated into the background. It is impossible to debate in public' or to prescribe how to act in the heat of battle, under the impact of unforeseen mortal contingencies. The men in the supreme command will know best how to act. Authorization to and control of leaders must make place for implicit trust, a priori consent, unconditional obedience. The relationship between the leaders aM the led assumes the character of a personal relationship. However much a salvationist creed may try to ignore the personal element in the realm of pure theory, in so much as in course of time it evolves into a war of the elect against the condemned, it must resort to the personal leader-saviour, endowed with unique qualities, eliciting filial love and obedience from the led. The latter are soldiers in a global struggle. Soldiers do not argue, but carry out orders. Sometimes these orders seem contradictory, often outrageous, but the soldier must assume that however inexplicable and wrong they may appear in the narrow context surveyable by him, they form part of the grand strategy of the global war, and thus are perfectly logical and desirable moves, when viewed from the point of view of the whole. And so the suspension of personal judgment is a categorical imperative, and the very opposite of characterlessness and moral nihilism. The personal element becomes all-important for another reason. If the power of the supreme command must be so boundless, its action so rapid and ruthless, placed in wrong hands it will surely become the most terrible power for evil, in proportion to the means at its disposal. " Plus son pouvoir est grand, plus son action est libre et rapide; plus il doit etre dirige par la bonne foi. Le jour ou il tombera dans des mains impures ou perfides, la liberte sera I perdue; son nom deviendra le pretexte et ['excuse de la contrerevolution meme. Son energie sera celle d'un poison violent." Hence the supreme and sacred duty of watching over the men holding the rudder, of purging the supreme command all the time from the contaminated ~or contaminable. Who will perform the task ? Certainly not the ordinary soldiers. The result would be anarchy. They have not in any case the means of knowing what is going on in the headquarters. It must be the purest of the ensemble at the supreme command, in fact the strongest. This is the reason for Robespierre's maniacal insistence on the personal purity of the leaders of the Revolution, of his obsessive campaign against the " corrupt ". These were in in-is eyes more dangerous than the open counter-revolutionaries, because they could as it were by one move turn the Revolution into counter-revolution. Impure, corrupt, was, of course, considering Robespierre's mentality, any one who opposed him or differed from him, or showed an open mind and receptive spirit to things outside the orbit of ascetic Jacobin virtue. Nearly everyone felt in peril when listening to Robespierre's denunciation of the unnamed impure in the Convention and on the two supreme Committees who must be weeded out, and to Robespierre's " woe, woe to him ~o names himself ". In the circumstances of war, in face of the - afi~iost cosmic stakes, and the titantic powers at hand, the sole means of purging an impure was of course killing him, just as the sole defense by the impure was to kill the accuser. " I1 faut guillotiner, ou s'attendre a l'etre "-as the shrewd and adroit Barras put it. A brief outline of the regime of the Committee of Public Safety will bring home the antithesis reached by the Jacobin idea in the course of the Revolution.

The Jacobin dictatorship was an improvisation. It came into existence by stages, and not in accordance with a blue-print. At the same time, it corresponded to, and was the consequence of, a fixed attitude of mind of its authors, intensified and rendered extreme by events. The Comite de defense (generate) set up on January 1st, 1793, was the immediate parent of the Committee of Public Safety. It was made to sit en permanence on March 25th Reorganized and strengthened, it entered on April 6th upon its unbroken and undisputed reign as the Committee of Public Safety. Its duties were to supervise and accelerate the work of the Provisional Executive Council, and it had powers to suspend the orders of the Council and to take any steps it considered necessary for the defense and safety of the country, and to have them executed forthwith by the Council. Although it emanated from the Convention, was responsible to it and was appointed originally only for executive duties, the Committee of Public Safety soon acquired an absolute ascendancy over the Convention, deprived the Executive Council of all powers, and in fact as well as, in the Course of time, ~ law brushed aside all institutions of elected democracy. On October 10Th, I7g3, the Executive Council, Ministers, commanding generals and -all constituted authorities were placed under its supervision. The Representatives on Mission, with practically unlimited powers and subordinated directly to the Committee, were the arms of the latter in the provinces. The decrees of April 8th and 30th, 1793, gave them powers to supervise " most actively " the agents of the Executive Council, the armies, army supplies, to prevent sabotage and the squandering of public money, to fight defeatism and attempts on morale, and to keep up the Republican spirit in the army and in the rear. On a motion of Billaud-Varenne on November I8th, 1793 (28 Brumaire), they were granted powers to supervise and overrule local authorities, and to prosecute local officials for defaults, and to replace them without elections, it being implied that the local Jacobin Club would be consulted. Following Danton's intervention of a few days earlier, the Convention on December 4th (I4 Frimaire) appointed national agents to the smaller administrative units with similar overall powers as those held by the Representatives, held directly from the Committee of Public Safety. These agents were to replace the elected procureurs- syndics of districts and procureurs de Commune, and their substitutes. They were vested with powers of enforcing laws, of tracking down sabotage and incompetence, of purging the local administration and the local Comites de surveillance whose task was to watch over aliens and suspects. The national agents as " agents of the whole people " were to replace local representatives brought to power by " the influence of family fortune" and family ties. A decree of 5 Brumaire suspended election of municipal bodies altogether. This extreme form of centralization based upon the contrast between the oneness of the national interest and the singleness of the general will, on the one hand, and the partial character of the regional units, on the other, reached thus its climax in a centralized dictatorship of a small body, simultaneously a part of the Legislative and an Executive. " Le depot de Execution des lois est enfin confide a des depositaires responsables" was Danton's comment. This dictatorship was a single party dictatorship. Its laws and decrees clearly envisaged the closest co-operation between the agents of the dictatorial Committee and the local popular societies, that is to say, the Jacobins, a network of societies, with no place in the Constitution or in the official framework of administrative institutions. At the same time all public meetings other than of Jacobin clubs were forbidden as subversive of the unity of the government and tending to federalism. All Revolutionary armies, which had been raised locally *om among the zealots and maintained at the expense of the rich to watch over counter-revolutionaries and to combat federal uprisings, were dissolved, to leave only the Revolutionary army of the Convention common to the whole of the Republic. On April 1st, 1794 (I2 Germinal), Carnot moved that a vast country like France could not be governed by a government which was not in the closest and permanent touch with the various parts-" ramasse et dirige ses forces vers un but determine ". The Committee of Public Safetv should therefore be the organ which does all the thinking, proposes all major measures _ to the Convention, and acts on its own in urgent and secret matters; , a plan that would seem unexceptional to-day to people accustomed ~ to centralized cabinet government, but extraordinary at the-im~ r it we as expounded. On April 2nd the Provisional Executive 1 Council was abolished. The Committee of Public Safety remained the supreme and sole executive body with twelve especially appointed commissions under it. The sample of the sovereign people, Paris, was destined to lose the special position for which the Jacobins had fought so hard against the G*ondists, in the advance towards extreme centralization. The law of I4 Frimaire forbade the formation of any central committee of the Sections. All the insurrections and journe'es of the earlier days were hatched in and carried out by the ad hoc organized central Committees. To deal a blow against the Hebertists, who were the masters of the Commune, the Sections were forbidden to correspond with the Commune, and were instructed to maintain direct contact with the Committee of General Security, the auxiliary body of the Committee of Public Safety. Only three months earlier (September sth) the Sectional assemblies had been renovated and given powers to arrest suspects. The same law had fixed two Section meetings per week-which was already a restriction of the principle of permanence-and a salary of forty sons for every attendance so as to attract and enable the right type of sans-culottes to be there. Hebert and his friends paid with their lives for the last attempt at a popular insurrection made before 9 Thermidor against the Convention and the Committee of Public Safety, after the Hebertists had been denounced by Robespierre for their violent actions against religious worship. Hand in hand with centralization went the organization of terror. The vital decrees were passed in the later part of March and early in April, 1793, and were largely due to Robespierre and Marat, the latter having consistently agitated for personal dictatorship " to save liberty by violence ". Whole groups of people were outlawed. People who took part in counter-revolutionary riots and persons seen with a white ribbon or other royalist and rebellious insignia were deprived of such legal safeguards as criminal procedure and jury; if apprehended and found guilty, they were to be execute! within twe~r-h`~ Emigres were outlawed, banished for ever, and their goods confiscated, and enemies of the Revolution and aristocrats were put " hors de lot". The law on the " din arming of suspects " defined as " suspects" not only members of the outlawed classes and their families, like the nobility and Irk fractory clergy, but anyone recognized as such by the authorities. The law on the suspects of September I7th went a step further.

It declared suspect all who had befriended tyranny, federalism and counter-revolution by deed, word or by the way of personal I relations; persons who failed to pay their taxes; people not I furnished with cartes de civisme from their Sections; suspended or dismissed officials; nobles, their relatives and relatives of e'migre's; persons unable to bring evidence of their rightful means of earning a living and of their patriotic conduct in the past. Concierges had earlier been ordered to post the names of the inhabitants of the houses in their charge, and private homes were opened to search. The decree of March 2Ist set up in every commune Comite's de surveillance, recruited from the most faithful and charged with general supervision over aliens and suspects, drawing up lists of the latter, and revising the certificates of " civisme ". On March 28th a syccial law fixed the death penalty for journalists and pamphleteers calling for the dissolution of the Convention, the re-establishment of the monarchy, and attacking -the people's sovereignty. On April 1st the parliamentary immunity of deputies to the Convention was suspended. The Revolutionary Tribunal was properly set up, after having had a fleeting existence as Tribunal Criminal Extraordi1'aire, on April 5th. It was on that day freed from the supervision by the special Conventional Committee, to which its predecessor was subject. Moreover the need for Conventional authorization to start proceedings was waived. Denunciation by one of the established authorities or by an ordinary citizen was to be a sufficient ground, except in case of deputies, commanding generals and similar high dignitaries. The jury was to vote and make its declarations publicly and " a haute voix ". There was no appeal, and the punishments were death and confiscation of property. The month of October, which saw the Republic triumphant on all war fronts, instead of seeing the Terror abate, marked its intensification against the leading political groups and personalities in opposition. The signal event was the trial and execution of the twenty-two Girondist deputies expelled from the Convention on June 2nd, among them Vergniaud, Gensonne, Brissot, Lasource (Roland committed suicide, Mme Roland was guillotined). They were delivered by the . Convention to the Tribunal on a unanimous vote, and were sentenced unanimously after proceedings lasting three days, the time thought sufficient for the jury to have their " conscience sufficiently enlightened ", so as to be able to dispense with further examination of evidence and witnesses. Four days were also thought sufficient to enlighten the conscience of the jury on the crimes of Hebert, Momoro, Vincent, Anacharsis Cloots and their friends, sentenced on March 24th, 1794. Danton, Desmoulins, Philippeaux were sent to the guillotine about a fortnight later, also at the end of four days, after the Convention had at the instigation of Saint Just voted them unanimously " hors des debate ", as guilty of plotting to destroy the Revolutionary Government and restore the Monarchy. Political centralization focused in the Committee of Public Safety was followed by judicial centralization focused in the Revolutionary Tribunal in Paris. Saint-Just carried, in April, a motion that all persons accused of conspiracy wherever they be should be brought before the Revolutionary Tribunal in Paris. The decree of May I 8th (29 Floreal), proposed by Couthon, the third, crippled member of the Robespierrist triumvirate, and executor of the rebellious city of Lyons, suppressed all Revolutionary Tribunals and Revolutionary Commissions outside Paris. Then on dune 10Th, 1794, came the famous laws of Prairial-suggested by 'Couthon. They marked the-crowning point of the Terror and were based on the axiom that the annihilation of the enemies of the Revolution took prudence- over formal justice. 'Any kind of evidence, material, noral, or verb al " que p cut naturellement ob tenir l' assentiment de it esprit juste et raisonable" was declared acceptable as legal evi`''lence, the need for examining witnesses being dispensed with. The right of the defendant to plead before the Revolutionary Tribunal was suspended. The right to denounce conspirators and persons guilty of " incivisme" was accorded to all citizens. The right of delivering suspects to the Tribunal was extended to the two Committees (Public Safety and General Security), the Public Prosecutor, Representatives on Mission and the Convention. The Convention was deprived of its exclusive right of handing over deputies to the Tribunal. This measure sent a shudder down every spine in the Convention. It drove those who felt themselves most menaced, Fouche, Ta]lien, Barras, Freron, to desperation, and together with the disagreements between the Robespierrists and their colleagues on the execution of Saint-Just's laws of Ventose on the expropriation of the suspects and the distribution of their property to poor patriots, brought down Robespierre and his system on 9 Thermidor. Although the Robespierrists were outdistanced in sheer terrorist passion by those who destroyed them, they were nevertheless among the chief apostles of Terror. The redoubtable ' , Bureau de Police, the special and most exclusive department of the l I Committee of Public Safety, set up to keep a watch and prosecute in the first place civil servants, was presided over by them, especially Saint-Just. As early as August pith, 1793, Robespierre formulated the philosophy of Terror by demanding that the Revolutionary Tribunal be freed from all encumbrances of old-fashioned legal restraints to pass death sentences, the only type of punishment appropriate in the circumstances of treason. Jacobin dictatorship rested~wo pillars: the fanatical devotion of the faithful, and stringent orthodoxy. The combination of the two was the secret of Jacobin strength, and a new phenomenon in ~,nodern political history. Having started as a movement for popular self-expression and permanent debate, to share in joyous , communion the experience of exercising popular sovereignty, Jacobinism soon developed into a confraternity of faithful, who must lose their selves in the objective substance of the faith to regain their souls. Submission became in due course release, obedience was turned into freedom, membership to the Jacobin clubs became the outward sign of belonging to the elect and pure, participation in Jacobin fetes and patriotic rites a religious experience. Inside the clubs there was going on an unceasing process of self-cleansing and purification, entailing denunciations, confessions, excommunication and expulsions. The dictatorship of the Committee of Public Safety was thus no mere tyranny of a handful of men clinging to power and In possession of all the means of coercion, no mere police system in a beleaguered fortress. It rested on closely knit and highly disciplined cells and nuclei in every town and village, from the central artery of Paris to the smallest hamlet in the mountains, composed of men only waiting with enthusiastic eagerness for a sign, no more to express their spontaneous urge for freedom, but their Revolutionary exaltation through obedient and fervent execution of orders from the centre, the seat of the enlightened and infallible few. In the way of pure improvisation there grew up in Revolutionary France an unofficial organization of French democracy, duplicating as it were the official organism and its parts, manning the Revolutionary armies, and the Comite's de surveillance, engaging in the task of what Robespierre called " colerer " the sans-culottes, that is to say the task of indoctrinating and making them ready to deal with the wicked rich, the federalists and other counter-revolutionaries, often, again as Robespierre urged, especially staying behind, when others had been sent to the front, to watch the rear and fight the internal enemy; dominating by their ceaseless vigilance all assemblies, managing all elections, providing, as instructed, the right Interpretation of all events. The official dogma claimed that the Jacobins were the people 1 They could possible regular as a partial will, as just a party like other parties. Robespierre had said that the " Jacobin society was ' by its very nature incorruptible. It deliberated before an audience of a few thousand' persons so that its whole power lay in public opinion, and it could not betray the interests of the people." Camille Desmoulins had earlier in the Revolution called the popular societies the inquisitorial tribunals of the people. He used the term with fervent approval. What he meant to say was that they were the open forum for ideas to be scrutinized, clarified and purified through free and continuous discussion. Desmoulins lived to' realize to the full the horror of the popular inquisition which'he so enthusiastically helped to build up. It was in the course of that dramatic clash at the Jacobin Club, when Robespierre, who earlier had half patronizingly, half menacingly admonished him not to be so flexible and volatile in his opinions, called for the burning of Camille's Vieux Cordelier, the proofs of which Desmoulins was in the habit of showing to the Incorruptible for approval. " Burning is no answer," whispered the darling of the Revolution. And so the postulate of plebiscitary popular sovereignty came to fruition in the rule of a small fraction of the nation; the idea of unhampered popular self-expression in an ever narrower path of exclusive orthodoxy, and a ban on the slightest difference of opinion and sentiment. It is enough to read the records of the Jacobin Club in the last months before Thermidor, the indicting speeches of Robespierre and Saint1ust or the references given by Crane Brinton in his study on the provincial Jacobin societies to realize to what lengths this process had gone. To have remained silent on some past and half ¿forgotten occasion, where one should have spoken; to have spoken where it was better to hold one's peace; to have shown empathy where eagerness was called for, and enthusiasm where diffidence was necessary; to have consorted with somebody whom a patriot should have shunned; avoided one who deserved to be befriended; not to have shown a virtuous disposition, or not to have led a life of virtue-such and other " sins " came to be counted as capital opulence, classifying the sinners as members of that immense chain of treason comprising the foreign plot, Royalism, federalism, bureaucratic sabotage, food speculation, immoral wealth, and vicious selfish perversion. Special lists were drawn up for aspirants to admission and affiliation to elicit answers as to the attitude taken up in the past to, and as to the present appreciation of, every event of the Revolution. The ascendancy of Robespierre appears from the Jacobin records to have become truly religious. A disapproving word, a mere glance from the Incorruptible were enough to ensure the immediate expulsion of any speaker whom Robespierre felt to have gone a little too far, even though only a few seconds earlier tile orator had been wildly applauded. Virtue had been " put on the agenda " to confound the wicked. Robespierre and Saint-Just were the " apostles of virtue ", as the insurrectionary Manifesto of the Commune on 9 Therrnidor called them. It is important to throw a glance at least at the evolution of foreign policy in the Revolution from the angle of the global war for liberty. Similarities between the two spheres, internal and external policy, abound. The Revolution, bred on a humanitarian philosophy, started on a most pacifist note. Men were deeply convinced that the natural state among nations was that of peace. All trouble came from the dynasties in pursuit of selfish aggrandizement. They divide nations and cause all wars. Hence the famous declaration, which the realistic Mirabeau viewed with such skepticism, that France renounces war as an instrument of national policy and expansion. The complex factors, political and psychological, conscious and unconscious, which created in France an almost universal desire for war against, old Europe, cannot be analyzed here. Clearly, the dynamism of a Messianic creed was spilling over. There was hardly a person among the Revolutionaries who was not, when the war broke out, convinced that FronrP had tar' with and would do nothing to sublusrate nations and seize their territory. For the Revolution was fighting a common global struggle for the liberation of peoples from the yoke of dynastic tyrannies, and for a harmonious union of nations. When liberating alien territory, France would not interfere with the wishes of the liberated population, and would not impose any regime. .But these good intentions were doomed to remain an academic postulate. ~ loo free a people, to enable it to make a free choice, what the Revolution proclaimed its duty to do, obviously entailed the immediate abolition of the feudal system,-and the introduction of the principle of popular sovereignty. -- Such an initial step could not be termed non-interference. As the war was global, France could not possibly leave feudal enemies in power and at large to sabotage her war effort and stab her in the back But also from the point of view of the local Revolutionaries, who found themselves in a situation similar to that of the French Revolutionaries fighting their own counter-revolutionaries, only aggravated by the fact of collaboration with a foreign power, there was the supreme necessity of suppressing the counter-revolutionary enemy by all means. France was shedding her blood, spending her energies and impoverished resources; she was on the brink of bankruptcy and famine, with inflation running wild-who could demand from her that she should also bear the costs of liberating other peoples ? Indeed, it was only fair that they should pay for I l their liberation themselves. " The war must pay for itself" The foreign nations must accept the dreaded worthless French assignat. The feudal lords, the Church, the rich in general must be soaked I L The confiscated feudal property would come into the hands of the lower orders, while the poor would be spared impositions and taxation. Whole classes would thus become vitally interested in the victory of the Revolution, and a tremendous social and economic Revolution would have been achieved: " Guerre aux chateaux paix aux chaumieres " was the famous formula of Cambon. The i war is global-this was the underlying thesis of the famous Declar- | ation of November Igth, 1792, that France pledges herself to hasten to assist every people wishing to become free. It was a blank e cheque given to any rebellion in any part of the world, and from I the point of view of old Europe, an imperialist French provocation I designed to foment rebellion everywhere in order to justify French aggression and conquest. ~ On December 1st came the extension of the November' l VOLONTE UNE ~ 3 I Declaration. It declared that a liberated population, which failed to adopt the institutions of liberty and popular sovereignty, thereby declared itself a friend of tyranny and an enemy of France in the global war. A time limit was later set for the liberated peoples to show convincingly where they stool And so the freedom of choosing liberty, which the Revolution set out-to give to the nations, became transformed into an obligation to choose liberty. But the French were far from admitting to themselves-or to others-that they were violating the freedom of the liberated populations. There could be no doubt about the ultimate wishes of the peoples concerned. They were terrorized by their old masters, timid and backward, and they must be freed, without regard to their inhibitions. Popular assemblies must be summoned to adopt by acclamation the institutions of liberty. Naturally, feudal and clerical reactionaries must be excluded and prevented from intimidating the people and falsifying its true will. In Belgium and elsewhere Revolutionary leadership was weak and inexperienced, and the masses under the spell of the Church. French commissars must therefore be sent to arrange elections, and to take charge of affairs, till the liberated people will have given itself a free Constitution, and shown ability to live in accordance with it. The global war, requiring a Revolutionary regime at home, necessitated a similar regime towards the peoples abroad, in order to force the nations to be free: " Ce pouvoir revolutionnaire qui n'est qu'un pouvoir protecteur de la liberte politique a son berceau," as Brissot put it. In 1790, Burke lamented the disintegration of the French body politic by the spirit of anarchical individualism. In 1796, he stood aghast before a wholly new phenomenon: a State as an " armed doctrine ", quite unlike any ordinary community, whose growth is haphazard, whose movements are hampered by the inertia or resistance of infinite interests, traditions and habits, and " which makes war through wantonness, and abandons it through lassitude ". Revolutionary France " is struck out at a heat . . . systematic . . . simple in its principle, it has unity and consistency ~ perfection ; it Is able to mobilize men and resources and to subordinate all to the single principle of its being-" the production of force ", to further the cause of the Revolution. " Individuality . is left out of their scheme of government. The state is all in all." 1 .


(a) THE POSTULATE OF PROGRESS AND FINALITY No longer necessary as a defensive weapon, the Terror was gradually becoming an instrument for the enthronement of a positive purpose. This purpose was the natural and harmonious system of society prophesied by the philosopher. The existence of such an order was a certainty. It had been on the way since the first days of the Revolution. It would have been there already, if it were not for the selfishness and perversion of some people. In fact to Robespierre victory in the national war was not the main purpose. He feared a too speedy and too victorious end to the war. It would knock the bottom out of the Terror, as " it is natural to slumber after victory ". The enemies of the people wishing to detract popular attention from their crimes, were endeavouring to concentrate all eyes on the victories in the external war. But the real victory will be the one which " the friends of liberty will win over the factions". " C'est cette victoire qui appelle chez les peoples la paix, la justice et le bonheur." A nation does not become illustrious by beating down foreign tyrants and enchaining other peoples. " Ce fut lo sort des Domains et quelques autres nations; notre destinee, beaucoup plus sublime, est de fonder sur la terre ltempire de la sagesse, de la justice et de la vertu." In brief, to enthrone the exclusive Jacobin pattern. kit is vital for the understanding of Jacobinism to remember all the time that the Jacobins sincerely and deeply believed that their terrorist dictatorship, even when maintained for no compelling reason of defence, was nothing but a prelude to a harmonious state of society, in which coercion would become necessary. The regime of force was merely a provisional phase, an inescapable evil at a deeper rev&1 and within a broader context no dictatorship at al: Jacobinism was nurtured on a deep eighteenth-century faith in man, his essential goodness and perfectibility, and on the belief continuous social progress, at the end of which there was some terminus of social integration and harmony. Not a permanently pessimistic conception of man and society bred Jacobin Terror, but an impatient hope, exasperated by obstacles, which ardent faith refused to acknowledge as natural or inevitable. The mixture of Messianic hope and despairing doubt gives to the Jacobin attitude a peculiar passionate urgency and poignancy. There is grandeur in it, as well as monumental self-deception and naivete. Robespierre and Saint-Just seem to vibrate with the faith in a short cut to salvation. " It is time to fix clearly the aim of the Revolution and the terminus (terme) at which we wish to arrive," declared Robespierre solemnly in one of his last speeches. He was proposing to " take the universe into confidence about the political secrets of the French people ", and to map out the goal across the maze of pragmatic and so often contradictory moves and incongruous happenings: " idee simple et importance qui semble n'avoir jamais ete aper,cue". When laying down the scheme of the Republican Institutions for the Utopia of the future, Saint-Just in the same spirit expressed his astonishment that nobody had thought of the scheme before. He could hardly believe that truths so obvious, principles so salutary, remedies so imperative, measures so practicable, should not have occurred to anybody before. Both he and Robespierre, like most of their generation, firmly believed that legislation was an easy science. All evils and all diversity of regimes were the result of the mistaken view that it was a difficult art. Men's hearts could be formed by laws. Men were meant to realize their destiny and achieve happiness in a harmonious social system, easily brought about by legislation and education. Their faith was, however, checked by the disconcerting and dismal fact that things so obvious, simple and necessary failed to be applied throughout all the centuries of man's career on earth. Robespierre paraphrased Rousseau's famous opening paradox of the Social Contract, declaring in his great speech on Religious Ideas that while Nature NvaS telling us that man was born for liberty, the experience of centuries showed him everywhere a slave; while man's rights were engraved in his heart, his humiliation was writ large across history. Surveying the annals of man, Saint-Just similarly concluded with dismay that " all arts had produced their marvels, only the art of government has produced nothing but monsters ". " D'ou vient melange de genie et de stupidite ? " asks Robespierre in reference to the wonderful progress of the arts and sciences, and man's total ignorance of the elementary notions of political morality, of his rights and duties. Robespierre's answer is that all the rulers of the past, bent upon nothing else than upon retaining their power, had nothing to fear from scientists and artists, but very much from " philosopher rigides et defenseurs de lthumanite ". They could afford to encourage the former, but had to persecute the latter. The Revolution was in this respect an apocalyptic moment in history, the most important event in the career of man upon earth, totally different from such episodes as the Cromwellian and American Revolutions, outbreaks prompted by local grievances and driven by limited aims. The French Revolution had as its aim " to put back the destinies of liberty in the hands of truth which is eternal, rather than into the hands of men who pass". This juxtaposition and this contrasting of an objective and eternal truth with the passing character of man should be noted. " Vous commencez une nouvelle carriere ou personne ne vous a devances." On more than one occasion did Robespierre proclaim that Revolutionary France was thousands of years ahead of all other nations. " All must be changed in the moral and political order," exclaims Robespierre, and his words are re-echoed by Saint-Just. At the moment of the Revolution, the world resembled the globe, half of it was already enlightened, while the other part was still plunged in darkness. And here faith and desperate anxiety alternate. At first there was boundless hope. Thus in his speech in the Constituante on the unrestricted freedom of the press, Robespierre claimed that the time had come for all truths to be spoken out- " routes seront accueillies par le patriotisme ". As late as July 8th, 1792, Robespierre hoped that the regeneration of the French people could be accomplished without bloodshed. After the execution of the King he still hoped that after this " great exception " the death penalty would no longer be applied. As late as February, 1793, 14 claimed that the new order was already so deeply rooted in French society that no real reaction was possible. Human reason had been on the move for quite a time " slowly and by detours, and yet surely ", and now the world was witnessing the wonderful spectacle of " a democracy affirmed in a vast empire ". " Those who in the infancy of public law and in the midst of servitude have been stammering contrary maxims, did they foresee the marvels accomplished in one year ? " Quite a different mood is expressed in Robespierre's last speech, where he confessed to see only dupes andiripons in the world, and only very few generous men loving virtue for its own sake and disinterestedly desirous of the people's happiness. A similar sentiment is expressed in a striking passage in Saint-Just's Institutions Republicans written some time in 1794. Its epigrammatic style breathes an uncanny air, the air of the Terror at its height. " No doubt, the time to do good has not yet come. The particular good that one may do is a palliative. We have to wait for a general evil that would be great enough for public opinion to experience the need of proper measures to do good. That which produces the general good is always terrible, or appears bizzare, when started too early. The Revolution should halt at the perfection of happiness and public liberty by the laws. Its tides have no other objectives, they must overthrow all that opposes them." " People speak of the height of the Revolution ? Who will fix it ? There have been free peoples who have fallen from greater heights." The elation at what had been so miraculously achieved, the amazement at ideas having become flesh, are matched by the anxiety lest men falter, and " intrigue " succeeds in overpowering virtue for generations. It is " now or never", for in case of failure the reaction would be commensurate to the distance covered by the Revolution, as if the Revolution were about to reach the peak of a sharp slope. If there was no advance to the summit, there would be a headlong fall into the abyss. Passionate faith enmeshed in anxiety and despair breaks forth time after time. Repeatedly Robespierre and Saint-Just declared that this or that decree or purge was the last, the very last, and the one sure to inaugurate the natural order. " If only they had thought of that particular thing, the l'~stitutions Republicaines, all the evils might have been avoided, all the crimes would not have happened !" exclaims Saint-Just.

(b) THE DOCTRINAIRE MENTALITY Here we are face to face with the Messianic doctrinaire as a historic phenomenon. He is a compound of two things, inner fanatical certainty, and what may be called a pencil sketch of reality. The pencil lines represent the external facets of social existence, in fact the sinews of the institutional framework. The flesh of the intangible, shapeless living forces, traditions, impondErables, habits, human inertia and lazy conservatism are not there. They are ignored. Left out of account are also the uniqueness and the unpredictability of human nature and human conduct, which result either from the irrational segments ill. our being, or from man' egotism. The Revolutionary doctrinaires convinced that his pencil sketch is the only real thing, that it sums up all that matters. He experiences reality, not as an inchoate static mass, but as a denouement, a dynamic movement towards a rational solution. The amorphous fleshy mass is unreal, and can be brought into shape in accordance with the pencil pattern. It is not something that is, but something that fails to be, that is not yet what it should be. Similarly, human idiosyncrasies and peculiarities that interfere with the rational working of the systematic, abstract pattern are not something that must be taken for granted, but an accident to be prevented, removed or avoided. Nor is the fact that a triumphant doctrine is after all embodied in the living personalities of those in charge, and is thus bound to receive their personal imprint and become distorted, ever noticed. Hence patterns of Left totalitarianism are so universalist in their character, and ignore completely national and local characteristics, just as they seem completely unaware of the problem of the personal element in leadership and oblivious of the place of the actual human personality in the working of politics. It is their nemesis and one of the ironies of history that the personal leader, like a dens ex machina, is thrown up by the movement of realization to become its most vital factor and its embodiment, the head of the militant confratemity of the elect in its struggle against all the powers of darkness. When the Revolutionary doctrinaire is thwarted by the inchoate, " unreal " mass of flesh and the " irrational " egotistic behaviour of men, his impatience turns into exasperation. The resisting forces appear a dumb, stupid mass that will not budge, for no other reason than sheer obstinacy, or-in the case of individuals-perversion and egoism. This resistance appears to the Revolutionary the more baffling and exasperating, because at the great moment of the Revolutionary climax of popular self-expression the enthusiasm appeared to be so general, so active and so single-minded. The fact is that the Revolutionary spasm is in the emotional sense a magnificently simplified formula of existence reduced to a single emotion, as the pencil sketch is in the intellectual sphere. The undiluted Revolutionary ecstasyls of very short duration. Soon men drift back into the morass of obtuse conservatism, selfishness or neutral privacy. The impatience and violence of the rationalist doctrinaire soon turns the initial mass enthusiasm into resentful hostility towards the Revolutionary pattern. It has always happened in modern Revolutions that as the inner dynamism of the pencil-sketch Revolution continued to throw forth ever more extreme doctrinaires, the inarticulate masses grew increasingly more indifferent and hostile to the Revolutionary endeavour. The case of religion in the French Revolution is the classical example of the clash between the rationalist doctrine and the forces of irrational conservatism. No other factor was so fatal to the Revolution as the attack on the Church. The new, ever increasing rigidity of the pattern has always resulted in sharper and sharper clashes, greater fissures and splits at the top. Fanatical dictatorship causes the problem of human egotism to grow more acute in relation to the advance of Gleichschaltung. And so it happened that many a Revolutionary who started with and put his trust in the institutions of a pencil-sketch doctrine to solve all problems, hoping that conditions and men would fall in by themselves into the harmonious whole, ended with a desperate determination to create like Moses a new type of man and a new people. At the beginning of the French Revolution there was the Declaration of the Rights of Man, at its height Saint-Just's Institutions Re'publicaines, Robespierre's cult of the Supreme Being and the Lepeletier scheme of Spartan Education, adopted by the Incorruptible after the Revolutionary nartyr's death. The doctrinaire never thinks of the pencil sketch in terms of coercion. It is not intended to interfere with freedom; on the contrary, it is designed to secure it. Only the ill-intentioned, the selfish and perverse can complain that their freedom is violated. They are guilty of sabotage, refusing to be free, and misleading others. They cannot be given freedom to do their evil deeds, for they are at war with the pattern of freedom that continues to unfold itself till its full realization. Liberty can be restored only after this has come to an end, only when the enemy has been eliminated and the people re-educated, that is to say, when there will be no longer any opposition. So long as there is opposition there can be no freedom. " The Revolution will come to an end ", said Robespierre in the Speech on the Principles of Political Morality, " in a very simple Nay, and without being harassed by the factions, when all people will have become equally devoted to their country and its laws. But we are still far from having reached that point.... The Republican Government is not yet well established, and there are factions." The Revolutionary Government has two objects: the protection of patriotism and the annihilation of aristocracy. The goal will never be achieved as long as the factions continue to sabotage the effort. " It will be an impossible thing to establish liberty on unshakable foundations as long as any individual can say to himself: ' if to-day aristocracy is triumphant, I am lost.' " The " institutions sages " of the Utopian pattern can be founded only on the ruins of the incorrigible enemies of liberty. Robespierre used in this context the term democracy. It meant to him, on the one hand, a form of government, and on the other, a social and moral pattern. As a form of government it signified, innocuously enough, a state of things where the sovereign people, guided by laws made by itself, was making by itself all that it could do by itself, and through chosen representatives what it could not do by itself Robespierre came out strongly against direct democracy on this occasion. There was no need for it any longer; the people had trustworthy representatives. As a social and moral pattern democracy was the only system capable of fulfilling the wishes of Nature, realizing the destinies of mankind, and making good the promises of philosophy by the enthronement of egalitarian virtue, which is another name for the universal preference of the general interest over the private good, for love of country and equality and the death of egoism. The reign of virtue could not be established as long as there were parties, which were by definition selfish factions. And so to obtain the rule of virtue the war of liberty against tyranny must first be brought to an end, the factions annihilated, and the storm of the Revolution overcome by the Revolutionary Government. " Votre administration dolt etre le resultat de ['esprit du gouvernement revolutionnaire, combine avec les principes generaux de la democratic." Liberty has however no meaning without freedom to oppose, and without there being anybody to oppose. The vision of unfettered freedom at the end of the days, and the prophecy of the cessation of the conflict between freedom and duty, in spontaneous obedience without a sense of constraint, turns out to be a fiction, I wherever there is an idea of a fixed pattern ofthings to be enthroned by a sustained effort.

Saint-Just would have passionately repudiated any suggestion of dictatorship as a permanent form of government. It is baffling to read on the same page expressions of the human liberal eighteenth century spirit, juxtaposed with the most bloodthirsty denunciations. What Saint1ust had to say on power might have come straight from the pen of Lord Acton. " Power is so cruel and evil that if you release it from its inertia, without giving it a direction (regle), it will march straight on to oppression.... One wants to be rigid in one's principles, when destroying an evil government, but it is rare that one should not reject the same principles, to substitute for them one's own will, as soon as one comes to govern oneself" Saint-Just professed to be particularly fearful of a provisional form of government, since it was based upon the suppression of the people, and not on law or natural harmony. It was an invitation to any usurper to establish a tyranny by the promise of peace and order, and an excellent excuse to crush all opposition. In the Constitutional debate he warned the Convention that even the rights of man and constitutional liberties could become a weapon in the hands of a " gentle tyrant " who had designs on the freedom of the nation. Not force, but wisdom, should be used in dealing with the people, for the people were essentially good and just, and could be governed without being enslaved or becoming licentious. Man was born for peace and happiness and for life in society. His misery and corruption were the results of insidious laws of domination, and of the doctrine of man's savage and corrupt nature. Having let themselves be persuaded by the tyrants that they would destroy each other if left free, the peoples bent their heads to the yoke of despotism and grew demoralized under its corroding influence. " Every people is made for virtue . . . it should not be forced it should be led by wisdom. The French are easy to govern; they want a mild constitution.... This people is lively and suited for democracy, but it should not be worn out too much by the encumbrance of public affairs. It should be governed without weakness, I but also without constraint." I Fundamental in all this is Saint-Just's conviction that there was an inherent harmony in society. The task of a government was not to unpose its own will or its own pattern upon a society, but to remove the impediments to that harmony, a purpose for which to terror had been instituted. Harmony was bound to come into its own, when all elements of social existence had been put in their proper place. " Le government est plutot un ressort d'harmonie que d'autorite." The abolition of tyranny was bound to bring man back to his true nature. " Item la tyrannic du monde, vous y retablirez la paix et la vertu." The people would find its happiness by itself The Government's task was not so much to make men happy as to prevent them from becoming unhappy. " Do not oppress, that is all. Everybody will know how to find his own happiness." A people once infected with the superstitious belief that they owed their happiness to their Government would not present it for long. Crowds thronging the antechambers of tribunals and state offices were eloquent evidence of the rottenness of the Government. " C'est une horreur qu'on soil oblige de demander justice." The private lives of citizens should be interfered with as little as possible. " The liberty of a people is in its private life; do not disturb it. Disturb no one but the evil-doers." Force should be used only to protect the " state of simplicity' against force itself, and nothing should be imposed except probity, and respect for liberty, nature, human rights and the national representation. , There was meant to be a social order in which men's sentiment and actions would by themselves set themselves into so harmonious a pattern that all coercion would be superfluous. With laws to his nature, man would cease to be unhappy and corrupt. Ev having become alien to his interests, justice would become the permanent and determining interest and passion of all, and libert would reign supreme. The Revolutionary task is to make " nature and innocence the passion of all hearts". Such a change can b brought about earlier than people think, declares Saint-Just. This faith is deeply rooted in the eighteenth-century premises -- reaffirmed by Robespierre in his speeches on the Revolutionary order. The Revolutionary aim was to vindicate the idea of costar pragmatism on earth, and so arrange things that all that was moo would also be useful and politic, and what was immoral would b impolitic, harmful and counter-revolutionary. Robespierre distinguished-in line with Rousseau-two kinds of self-love, one v and cruel, which seeks one's own exclusive good in the misery o others, and the other, which, generous and benevolent, confounds in our well-being with the prosperity and glory of the country. Of the marriage of the natural order and man's virtuous disposition there would be born the identity of the personal and general good. Real democracy would thus come into fruition, since men would be obeying nothing but their own virtuous disposition, and would not need the master, who is indispensable where virtue is not natural and spontaneous. The supreme aim of politics was therefore, as Mably maintained, to direct human hearts, to educate men, to repress the " moi personnel " and the proclivity for small, petty things. According to the direction given to human passion, man could be elevated to the skies or debased to the lowest pit. " Le but de toutes les institutions sociales, c' est de les diriger vers la patrie, qui cst a la fois le bonheur public et le bonheur privet" If politics were to the eighteenth century a question of ethics, the problem of the rational and final social order was a question of attuning hearts. This was the vital discovery made by the Jacobins, after the disappointment with popular sovereignty and its institutions as virtue-releasing forces. the new and continuing disagreements could not, or at least could no longer or not fully, tee explained iZI terms of the conflict between Royalism and Revolution or between ruling and ruled classes, and there were many factors to obscure the social and economic problem. " A quoi se reduit done cette science mysterieuse de la politique et de la legislation ? A mettre dans les lois et darts l'admir,Zistration les vcrites morales releguees dans les livres des philosopher, et appliquer a la conduite des peoples les notions triviales de probite He chacun est force d'adopter pour sa conduite privee." AD is reduced to a question of morality, and consequently education. All the rest will follow, claims Saint-Just. Objective factors are left out of account, only human consciousness matters. The irrational anti-social, anarchical elements in man are considered accidental; only the rational and social part of human nature is acknowledged as real and permanent. The former exist, for surer but can be made to efface themselves before the latter. Man, an] I consequently society as a whole, may be shaped anew-" Quel est is but ou nous tendons ? " asks Robespierre. His long answer may be treated as mere verbiage and turgid preaching. But, once , more, Robespierre believed that the vision he was spinning was f something attainable, real, and full of precise, compact meaning. sl" The passage from crime to virtue " to be accomplished by the Revolution meant to Robespierre a real event, a turning point, new birth, a definite date, like the passage from a class society to classless society was to mean to Communist Messianism. The aim is " the peaceful enjoyment of liberty and equality-; the reign of that eternal justice, the laws of which are engraved not on marble or stone, but in the hearts of all men, even in that of a slave who forgets them or a tyrant who denies them. We want an order of things where all base and cruel passions would be chained all the benevolent and generous passions awakened by the laws, where one's ambition would be to merit glory and to serve his country; where distinctions have no other source than equality itself; where the citizen is subordinated to the magistrate, the magistrate to the people and the people to justice; where the country insures the well-being of every individual, and where every individual enjoys with pride the prosperity and glory of his country; where all souls grow greater through the continuous interchange of republican sentiments, and by the need to merit the esteem of a great people; where the arts would be the ornament of that liberty which ennobles them, and commerce the source of public wealth and not only of the monstrous opulence of a few houses. We want to substitute in our country morality for egoism, probity.for honour, principles for habits, duties for good manners, the empire of reason for the tyranny of fashion, the contempt of vice for the contempt of misfortune; pride for insolence, greatness of soul for vanity, love of glory for the love of money; good men for good companyment for intrigue, genuus for bet esprit, truth for brilliance . . . a people magnanimous, powerful, happy, for a people amiable, frivolous and miserable, that is to say all the virtues and all the miracles of the Republic for all the vices and absurdities of the Monarchy." Has there ever been such a state on earth ? Throughout the centuries of uninterrupted tyranny and crime, history knows only of one brief spell of liberty in a tiny corner of the earth-Sparta " brille comme un eclair dans les tenebres immerses." This is the key to the understanding of Robespierre and Saint-Just: Sparta as the ideal of liberty. " Let us beware of connecting politics with moral regeneration -a thing at present impracticable. Moralism is fatal to freedom "- wrote Desmoulins. For the creation of this ideal Robespierre falls back upon the civil religion and Saint-Just upon a Utopian scheme of moral legislation called by him Republican Institutions. In both cases the motive is despair in the spontaneous will of man as the sovereign agent. More than disillusionment-desperate fear. Man had to be remade.

(d) SAINT-JUST S INSTITUTIONS R~PUBLICAINES Saint1ust developed a mystical faith in the power of his Republican Institutions to check man's anti-social arbitrary urges, to regenerate the French people and to reconcile all contradictions in a perfect harmony founded upon virtue. They were to be the crowing of the Revolution, the seal upon the Revolution. " Un etat ou ces institutions manquent n'est qu'une Republique illusoire." They were the essence of a Republic, for the superiority of a Republic over a Monarchy was precisely in this, that the latter had no more than a government, while the former also had Institutions to realize the moral purpose. " C'est par la que vous annoncerez la perfection de votre democratic . . . la grandeur de vos vues, et que vous haterez la perte de vos ennemis en les montrant difformes a cote de vous." Clearly, he thought of the Republic in terms if not of the Church, at least of a spiritual community, and of the Institutions as inaugurating the " passage from crime to virtue ". In Saint-Just's last and heroic (undelivered) speech of 8 Thermidor in defence of Robespierre the Republican Institutions appear as the panacea that had fatally been ignored, and which alone, as said before, can save the situation, making all the difference between total damnation and total salvation. The factions will never disappear till the Institutions have produced the guarantees, put a limit to authority and put " human pride irrevocably under the yoke of public liberty ". Saint-Just implores Providence to give him a few days more " pour appeller sur les institutions les meditations dupeuple franc,ais". All the tragedy they had been witnessing would not have occurred under their rule. " ns seraient vertueux peut-etre, et ntauraient point pense au mal ceux dontj'accuse ici." The speech ends with a formal proposal for immediate consideration of the scheme of the Republican Institutions. Saint-Just's scheme of regeneration was intended to offer a cure for the corroding influence of power and the danger of the substitution of the ruler's personal will for the law as well as to shape a universal pattern of moral behaviour. The proposed Institutions were to lay down so precise and detailed a system of laws that no room would be left for arbitrary human action, or indeed for spontaneity. People would not be obeying men, but laws, laws of reason and virtue, and therefore of liberty. Politics would thus be entirely banished. " We have to substitute with the help of the Institutions the force and inflexible justice of the laws for personal influence. The Revolution will thus be strengthened; there will be no jealousies, no factions any longer; there will be no pretentious claims and no calumny . . . we have . . . to substitute the ascendancy of virtue for the ascendancy of men.... Make politics powerless by reducing all to the cold rule of justice." The Institutions would be a more effective brake on antirevolutionary tendencies than the Terror. For the Terror comes and goes according to the fluctuations of public opinion and sentiment, and the reaction to terror has normally been an excessive indulgence. The institutional laws would secure " a durable severity". The Institutions were calculated to make the art of government simpler, easier and more effective. For instance, more wisdom and greater virtue would be needed for the exercise of the only of censorship over conduct-an idea particularly dear to Saints Just-in a weak government than in a strong one, that is to say, in a regime based upon Institutions. For in a weak government all depended on the character of the men in charge, whereas in a strong regime the laws provided for everything and secured a perfect harmony, in excluding all the unpredictable elements in human behaviour. " Dans le premier, il y a une action et reaction continuelle des forces particulieres; dans le second, il y a une force commune dont chacun fait partie, et qui concourt au meme but et au meme Lien." In his fear of human egotism and, above all, of the competition between personalities, Saintlust devised a most paradoxical plan As there should be fewer institutions and fewer men in charge, and since it was essential that an institution should operate by its own harmony and without being thwarted by the interplay and clash of men's arbitrary wills, it was-he thought-important to reduce the number of people in the institutions and the constituted authorities In this connection Saint-Just called for a re-examination of collective magistratures like the municipalities, administrative bodies, Comity箂''rveillar~ce, etc., to see whether the placing of " the functions of these bodies in the hands of a single official in everyone of them would not be the secret of a solid establishment ofthe Revolution ". Into this context have to be set the nearly identical statements of Barere, Prieur de la Cote-d'Or, Baudot and Lindet, according to which Saintlust at a joint meeting of the two Committees on s Thermidor proposed the setting up of a government by " patriotic reputations (or deputations ?) pending the establishment of the Republican Institutions ". Barere quotes him as saying that it was imperative to hand over dictatorial powers to a man " endowed with su~lcient genius, strength, patriotism and greatness of soul . . . sufficiently imbued with the spirit of the Revolution, the spirit of its principles, its various phases, actions and agencies-to take upon himself the full responsibility for public safety and the n~aintenance of liberty . . . a man enjoying the favour of public opinion and the confidence of the people . . . " " Cet homme, je declare que c'est Robespierre, lui senl peut sauver l'lltat," SaintJust is reported to have said, in the spirit, one may add, of his famous statement-" il faut dans toute Revolution un dictateur pour sauver ['{tat par la force, ou des censeurs pour le sauver parla vertu". From both statements there is only a short step to the generalized theory of Revolutionary dictatorship as formulated later by Babenf and Buonarroti. A dictator " qui puisse repondre . . . du maintien de la liberte . . ."-the dictatorship of Robespierre would have been a " dictatorship of liberty". Fearing the competition of men, Saint-Just was thus driven back to the idea of one man. Believing in the power of institutions to achieve everything and to eliminate the rule of men, he had nevertheless to fall back upon the single-mindedness and smooth efficiency secured by a single mind. Saint-Just got himself involved in the inevitable contradictions presented by the two irreconcilable principles: sovereignty of the people and an exclusive doctrine. While anxious to expel the arbitrariness of man and all opposition by an all-embracing yet exclusive system of laws, Saint-Just was not less keen to preserve the active interest of the people in their own a¿C ¿airs. He abhorred nothing more than the monopolization of public affairs by bureaucracy, ambitious professional politicians and seekers of office. He feared nothing more than the indifference of the masses. He was to see this happen, and to admit to himself that very few people were interested in anything but their private affairs, and that most people took a " lache plaisir a se meter de rien ". The magistrate) were rapidly usurping the Government as well as the popular societies, destroying the young French democracy, whose very essence was the supremacy of the people and not of of licials. " Of done est la cite ? " he asked himself in despair. " Wile est preside usurpee par les fonctionnaires." A spirit of clique and caucus was abroad. The Terror has frightened away the citizens. I' La Revolution est glacee; tous les principes vent affaiblis; il ne reste que des bonnets rouges portes par ['intrigue. L'exercise de la terreur a blase le crime comme les liqueurs fortes blasent le palais" Saint-Just's community of the future is placed under the auspice' of the Supreme Being. " The French people ", he declares, " recog nize the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul." The temples of the civic religion, where incense would be burnt for twenty-four hours a day, were to be the communal centres of the Republic. All laws were to be announced there and all civil acts apart from special patriotic fetes-were to take place there and be the character of religious rites. Although all cults would be pe mitted, the external rites other than of the civil religion would b banned. The Institutions lay down a detailed scheme of a Spartan type for the education of youth by the State. The conduct of young people as of civil servants was to be publicly scrutinized every ten days the temple. Every person above the age of twenty-five was declare every year who were his friends and his reasons for breaks friendships. Friends would be held responsible for each other Disloyal and ungrateful persons would be banished. Prescription concerning marriage, military discipline, were similarly spartan! Solemn patriotic fetes were to inspire the people with civic piety and national pride.

(e) THE CIVIL RELIGION AND CONDEMNATION OF INTELLECTUALS Individual spontaneity has thus been replaced by the object) postulate of virtue; freedom by the (uncoerced) acceptance or obligation; the idea of liberty by the vision of an exclusive pattern. The other vital value in eighteenth-century philosophy, rationalism, svas in the end made to give place to mysticism. There was always the unresolved ambiguity in the eighteenth century, especially Rousseauist, juxtaposition of the two qualities of I the eighteenth-century ideal-its objective, eternal character, and | itS being engraved in human hearts. The unresolved ambiguity seemed to resolve the question of coercion. Since the objective truth was also immanent in man's consciousness, there was no external coercion in forcing him to follow it. There was also another ambiguity; on the one hand, the optimistic hope that man (or the people) rendered free, and thus also moral, would I see the truth and follow it; on the other, there was the fear of I human arbitrariness and hubris. It soon developed in the case of Robespierre into a distrust ofthe intellect. We saw him demanding that liberty be put into the hands of " the truth that is eternal ", instead of being in the hands of men who are passing creatures. Robespierre and Saintlust grew suspicious of the intellect, as well as of wit. The sophisms of the brilliant debater, the flexibility and individualism of the intellectual, appeared no less dangerous than the partial interests in the earlier days of the Revolution. Robespierre began to dream of " a rapid instinct which without the belated help of reasoning " would lead man to do good and shun evil. " La raison particuliere de chaque homme" was a sophist, too easily yielding to the whisper of passion and too easily rationalizing it. In one of his last speeches Robespierre made a violent attack on the intellectuals, the men of letters, who had " dishonoured themselves " in the Revolution. The Revolution was the achievement of the simple people carried by their instinct and unsophisticated natural wisdom. " A la honte eternelle de ['esprit, la raison du peuple en a fait seule tons les frais.... Les prodiges qui ont immortalise cette epoque ont ete operes sons vous et malgre vous." Any simple artisan had shown more insight into the rights of man than the writers of books, who, nearly Republicans in 1788, emerged as defenders of the King in 1793, like Vergnizud and Condorcet. Robespierre takes up the cudgels for Rousseau of the Profession de foi d'un Vicaire Savoyard against the atheism of the Encyclopacdists, and declares the battle to be resumed. On his orders the busts of Helvetius and Mirabeau in the Club are pulled down and broken. A war is declared on sophists.

The only power that can still the pernicious sophistic instill is religion, the idea of an authority higher than man, which the final sanction of morality. " What silences or replaces tl~ pernicious instinct, and what makes good the insufficiency of hum. authority, is the religious instinct which imprints upon our sq~ the idea of a sanction given to the moral precepts by a power Cat iS higher than man. A crude Voltairian attitude has been read into Robespierre`'~ utterances on the subject. He laid himself open to the charge of opportunist social utilitarianism by his clumsy statement that tell was not interested in religion as a metaphysician, but as a statesman and social architect, to whom what was useful in the world and good in practice was true, whatever its metaphysical validity. What Robespierre wanted to say was not that since the populace would not be moved by rational arguments to behave ethically, but by the fear of God, religion had to be simply invented for the sake of the social order. He wanted to say that in the light of cosmic pragmatism factual existencewas sufEiicientlyproved bylogical and pragmatic coherence. The postulate of justice and meaning in the universal and social order was a sufficient proof of the existence of Divinity Without Divinity, transcendental reward end punishment, the logical and righteous structure ofthe universe and society would be without a basis. The absence of such a logical cohesion was unthinkable, God therefore existed, and the soul was immortal. The test al social cohesion was truer and more vital than scientific, philosophical and theoretical tests. The life of a community was too solemn a fulfilment to be tossed about by blind forces, which mete out thi same fate to good and bad, patriots and egoists, and leave th oppressed with no consolation, victims of triumphant evil selfish ness: " this kind of practical philosophy which, by turning egoism into a system, regards human society as a war of cunning, success as the criterion of justice and injustice, probity as a matter oftaste " Morality is what it is, not because God has ordered it and we have to obey. We do not fulfil ourselves in the fruition of God The starting point and the sole and final criterion is the existence of men in society; the absolute postulate, the morality that sustains it The fully integrated community becomes thus the highest fulfilment, the highest form of worship. Providence hovers over it. |


(a) TEIE INCONSISTENCIES THE great dividing line between the two major schools of social and economic thought in the last two centuries has been the attitude to the basic problem: should the economic sphere be considered an open field for the interplay of free human initiative, skill, resources and needs, with the State intervening only occasionally to fix the most general and liberal rules of the game, to help those who have fallen by the wayside, to punish those guilty of foul play and to succour the victims thereof; or should the totality of resources and human skill be ah initio treated as something that should be deliberately shaped and directed, in accordance with a definite principle, this principle being-in the widest sense-the satisfaction of human needs. Whereas the latter attitude puts all stress on the injury caused to the weak by the cupidity of those who succeed in monopolizing all the resources, and on the disorder and confusion brought about by the lack of general direction; the former maintains that State-guaranteed social security would take away all incentive to exertion-the fear of poverty and the hope of gain and distinction- and thus cause a lowering of vitality and a weakening of all productive effort, in addition to the stifling of freedom by centralized regimentation. At bottom the whole debate centres round the question of human nature: could man be so re-educated in a socially integrated system as to begin to act on motives different from those prevailing in the competitive system ? Is the urge for free economic initiative nothing else than rationalized greed or anxiety, bound to die out in an order guaranteeing equal economic well-being, as the Collectivist ideology teaches ? It has been shown that eighteenth-century thinkers, while holding fast to the idea of a rational, not to say scientific, system of society, I fought shy of the latter conception of the social-economic problem, which would appear to have been inherent in the postulate of the natural order. Jacobinism may be regarded as the eighteenth century attitude on trial. The Jacobin inhibitions on the subject of property and their reluctance to face the social-economic issue on their own general premises were the main cause for the Utopian, mystical character of their vision of the final social order as the reign of virtue. In a sense the evolution of Jacobin thinking on the question of property throughout the Revolution would appear as a gradual liberation from inhibitions, effected under the impact of events, and leading to a total liberation in those post-Thermidorian Jacobins and Robespierrists who joined the plot of Babeuf, and reinterpreted the idea ofthe natural order into terms of economic communism. The Jacobins were not abreast with the masses in the Revolution. Carried away by the idea of the rights of man and the Revolutionary hope of salvation, and exasperated by famine and shortage, the masses confusedly and passionately clamoured that the Revolution should carry out its promises, that is to say, should make them happy. However anarchical and crude the agitation of the Enrages under the leadership ofJacques Roux and Varlet, however naive the socialism of such pamphleteers as Dolivier, Lange of Lyons, Momoro and others, the whole social movement in the Revolution derived from the Messianic expectation engendered by the idea of the natural order, and went beyond the spasmodic social protest and the clamour for instant relief. But these agitators, with or without a programme, successful or not as spokesmen of pressure groups, did not make policies. The Revolution was steered by the Jacobins at the vital period. ~ Their whole thinking dominated by the idea of a rational and natural order, the Jacobins were most reluctant to yield to the view that there was an inconsistency between a rational political-ethical system and free economics. The Revolution forced upon them lessons against their own grain. There was a definite social dynamism in the idea of unlimited popular sovereignty. The poor were the vast majority ofthe nation, and thus entitled to dictate conditions to the small minority ofthe rich. The issue received a definite social complexion with the exclusion ofthe poor from the active political life of the nation. It created the consciousness and sealed the fact of conflict. Moreover, owing to reminiscences of antiquity, the democratic popular ideal was always associated with the social radicalism of the great legislators of ancient Greece and Rome, Lycurgus, Solon, the Gracchi, with the abolition of debts owed to landlords, redistribution of land, and in general the rule of the poor over the rich. Moral asceticism had always glorified the austere virtues of the poor, and condemned the vices of wealth. The fact also was that as soon as the feudal system was abolished and the rule of wealth affirmed, the propertied classes, the bourgeoisie and the richer peasantry, having well benefited from the sale of confiscated Church property, began to wish for a halt to the Revolution. They felt their property and their new gains in danger of attack Fom Revolutionary dynamism. While they were turning against the Revolution, the Revolution was becoming more and more identified with the poor and propertyless, above all in the mind of Robespierre. And yet, the Jacobin attitude remained ambiguous and inconsistent to the end. The incongruities in it were only finally resolved in Babouvism. And so almost ironically the chain of laws and decrees which led to the establishment of an economic dictatorship, which violated every principle of private property and free economics, was started by the Convention on March I8th, 1793, with the unanimous vote of the death penalty against anyone proposing the lot agrafre or any plan " subversive of landed, commercial and industrial property ". As late as November, 1792, Saint-Just proclaimed in his famous and most gloomy speech on Supplies his dislike of " lois violentes sur le commerce ". He came out firmly ~ favour of free trade, and suggested that the Convention should place freedom of trade " sons le sauvegarde du people meme ", although he made the reservation that unrestricted economic liberty " une tres grande verite en these generate ", may require some reinterpretation in the context of the evils of Revolution. There was also the necessity of teaching virtue to a people demoralized by the crimes of the Monarchy. A year and four months later, on February 26th, 1794 (8 Vent6se, an II), Saint-Just made the meaningful statement that in the social domain the force of circumstances was leading the Revolution " a des resultats aux-quels nous n'avons pas tense ". He was proposing the confiscation of all the possessions of the suspects and their distribution to the poor on the ground that the right to property was conditional on political loyalty. In the last few months or weeks before their downfall the Robespierrists began dimly and reluctantly to perceive that their rational and final system, to have any meaning and to last, must carry with it a correspondmg change-over in the social and economic conditions. And so on the very eve of his execution (7 Thermidor, July pith, 1794)

Saint-Just coupled together in a flicker of comprehension the idea ofthe Institutions with a Revolutionary social programme: " creel des institutions civiles et renverser ['empire de la richesse ". But as will be shown, even in this resolve there were inherent reservations that were calculated to vitiate the general postulate. (b) CLASS Policy Political rather than social considerations gave rise to Jacobiu class orientation. Thus Saint1ust arrived at the conclusion that the Revolution was menaced by a fatal contradiction between the Revolutionary form of government and social realities. He dis. covered that the wealth of the nation was to be found in the may in the hands of the enemies of the Revolution. The working people, the real supporters of the new regime, depended for their existence on their enemies. The interests of the two classes being irreconcilable, the outcome could only be a class policy favouring the class supporting the Republic, and carried out at the expense of the possessors of wealth. To Saint-Just such a policy came to mean the realization of democracy. Robespierre's thinking evolved in a similar way. His famous Catechism opens with the question, " What is our aim? " As answer is-the execution ofthe Constitution in favour ofthe people " Who are the enemies ? " The answer is-the vicious and the rich, who are the same. To the question on the possibility of union of the popular interest and the interest of the rich and (their) government, Robespierre gives the laconic answer " never ". Th last question and answer was crossed out by the Incorruptible, be the very fact of it having beenjotted down shows where his though were wandering. In another of Robespierre's notes we read that all internal dangers came from the bourgeoisie. In order to defeat the bourgeoise " il faut rallier le people ". The people must be paid and maintained at the expense of the rich: paid for attendance at public assemblies, armed and maintained as Revolutionary are out of special levies on the rich whom they were to watch, finally subsidized and provided for by the Government at the expense of the producers and merchants. These were the premises ofthe economic dictatorship which came into being alongside the political terrorist dictatorship in 1793, and to the emergence of which Rotespierre and Saint-Just made a substantial contribution, although in a way only yielding to the violent pressure of the Enrages and the inescapable necessities of the situation: war, inflation and economic disintegration. The first series of decrees were issued on May 4th, 1793, after the assembly of Paris mayors and municipal officers had declared the people in " a state of revolution " till supplies had been secured, and demanded fixed prices for corn and what amounted to an abolition of the corn trade, in so far as mediation between producers and consumers was concerned. The decrees of the Convention ordered producers to make declarations on their produce, under penalty of confiscation. Private houses and stores were opened to search. Corn and flour were to be sold only on the public market. A " prix maximum " was fixed. A forced loan of a milliard francs, the first of the enforced loans and levies on the rich, was launched. On July z7th, 1793, on a motion of Billaud-Varenne (his Elements de Retpublicanisme deserve attention as an exposition of Jacobin social philosophy alongside of Saint-Just's Institutions Republicaines), the Convention voted the famous decree on the suppression of food speculation. This law put an end to freedom of trade and secrecy of commerce in practically all commodities except luxury articles. It was followed by a decree on the greniers d'ahondance, which fumed all bakers into State employees, although it failed to build up the State granaries. On September 28th came the law on the " general maximum ", fixing prices of all commodities and wages, to be supplemented, at least in Paris, by a system of rationing. In forcing sellers to sell at a loss, and without compensation, the law was no less a class measure than the progressive tax, the forced loans, the special levies on, and requisitions from, the rich, all designed to pay for the war and to maintain the poor. More than that, it was calculated to reduce small tradespeople and artisans to the position of wage earners. In fact, on I5 Floreal a decree was passed allowing for the mobilizing of all engaged in the production and circulation of goods of prime necessity. Penalties were provided for shirkers as guilty of conspiracy. On October wand, the three-man Commission des Subsistances was appointed to take over the economic dictatorship of the whole of France, and to put an end to the alleged sabotage and incompetence of the local authorities, who had been in charge of the execution of the economic decrees till then. From this there was only one step to the nationalization of industries.

The idea was not indeed quite absent from the minds of thol responsible for the social policies of the Revolution. So Chaumet~ urged the Convention " to concentrate its attention on raw material and factories, in order tO place them under requisition by fixing penalties for those holding or manufacturing goods who allow therr to be idle; or even to place them at the disposal of the Republic which has no lack of labour to turn them all to a useful purpose " As a Representative of the people on mission Saint-Just displayed an example of dictatorial action and class policy at their highest He would order houses of speculators, defaulters against the " maximum " and hoarders to be razed to the ground, he would| requisition in eight days s,ooo pairs of shoes and 15,000 shirtl (" dechaussez tons les aristocrates "), order the Mayor of Strasbour: to deliver on the same day IOO,OOO livres of the levy imposed uper| the rich for the benefit of the poor patriots, war widows and w: orphans; he would have the richest individual who had not paic his share of the nine million enforced loan within twenty-four hot exposed on the guillotine for three hours; double and treble th amount to be paid for any delay; seize in twenty-four hours z,oon beds, requisition all overcoats, and so on.

(C) FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS ~ A class policy provoked by a Revolutionary and war-tim emergency may be nothing more than an empirical ad hoc police and need not entail deliberate and planned shaping of the social an economic life in tote. There are, however, clear indications thy Robespierre and Saint-Just felt themselves, however reluctantly, driven beyond such empiricism in the direction of integral planning in accordance with a definite principle. Thus in his speeches oil Supplies and on the Declaration of the Rights of Man (I79;'. Robespierre made the emphatic distinction between the old we), and the postulate of a new deal in the economic sphere, which would| correspond to the great political change-over that had taken plea l Robespierre objected to the approach of the Convention to tll problem, on the grounds that it accepted as the highest authorill the contradictions and vagaries of former royal ministers. Tl legislation of the first two Revolutionary Assemblies on this sulk had been in the old style, because the interests and the prejuce which were the basis oftheir policy had not changed. The defenders of hungry citizens and the spokesmen of the poor were in the eyes of the earlier Assemblies dangerous agitators and anarchists. The Assemblies and their governments employed bayonets to calm alarms and to still famine. Their idea of unrestricted freedom of commerce put a premium on bloodsucking. It was an essentially incomplete system, because it had no bearing upon the " veritable principle ". What was this principle ? ,It was that the question of supplies must be considered not from the angle of commerce, that is to say of the rich and the ruling classes, but from the point of view of the livelihood of the people. The distinction is of capital importance. It may make the difference between free economics and planned society. The awareness of the necessity of a fundamental principle is what matters most here. Thus in his speech on the Declaration, dealing this time not with trade but with the more fundamental problem of private property, Robespierre declared: " posons done de bonne foi les principes du droit de propriety." It was the more necessary as prejudice and vested interest had combined to spread a thick fog over the issue. It was in connection with the social problem that Saint-Just declared that those who made Revolutions by halves were digging their own graves, and spoke ofthe " quelques coups de genie ", which were still needed to save the Revolution, to make a " true Revolution and a true Republic ", and to render democracy unshakable, and Robespierre admonished the Assembly to remember that they were starting a new career on earth, " ou personne ne vous a devances ". Reechoing Robespierre, Saint-Just spoke in the fragments on the Republican Institutions of the need of a " doctrine which puts these principles into practice and insures the well-being of the people as a whole ". He reached this conclusion from another angle as well. He had realized the insufficiency of ethics and politics alone to insure a rational order. The enthronement of Republican vertu must proceed on a par with social and economic reform. These matters, he realized, " were analogous, and could not be treated separately ". The French economy, shattered by inflation and war, could not be stabilized, without the triumph of morality over avarice. At the same time moral reform could not be initiated in an atmosphere of general distress, and a pauper would never make a sel¿C ¿respecting proud citizen. " Pour reformer les mccurs il faut commencer par i contenter les besoins et l'intere~t." The Revolution could never be securely established as long as the poor and unhappy could be incited against the new order. The fundamental principle postulated by the Robespierrists referred to a postulate which was not concerned with the expansion of economic activity and the increase of wealth-values not much in favour with them, but with economic security for the nation, which in fact came to mean the masses Robespierre declared that the wealth of a nation was essentially common property, in so far as it supplied the pressing needs of the people. Only the surplus may be considered as individual property, to be disposed at will, speculated with, hoarded and monopolized From this point of view food must be regarded as being outside the sphere of free trade, because it concerned the people's right to and means of preserving their physical existence. Freedom of trade in this case would be tantamount to the right of depriving the people of their life: freedom of assassination. It mattered little whether non-essential goods had a free market, were hoarded and sold at a high price, for the lives of the people were not dependent on them It was quite natural for Robespierre to reject the view that property was made sacred and legitimate by the mere fact of its existence, its being established and time-honoured. There was a need for a moral principle as a basis for the idea ofproperty. Private property was not a natural right, but a social convention. A declaration consecrating all established property as natural would be a declaration in favour of speculators and the rich, and not for man and the people. The right of property must at least (like the more sacred, because natural, right to liberty) be restricted by the rights and needs of others. Property is a right to enjoy and dispose of that portion of the national wealth which is guaranteed by He law. Any possession or traffic violating the security, liberty, existence and property of others is illicit and immoral. The poor and propertyless had a sacred claim on society to a livelihood in the form of employment-the 1848 right to work-or social assistance. This was the debt the rich owed to the poor. This debt should be shed through progressive taxation, which would also tend to level possessions and income For as Robespierre had said in an early speech on the~right of bequest, the Social Contract, far from promoting Inequality, must be designed to counteract the tendency towards inequality and strive to restore by all means natural equality. It is vital to realize that what was meant here was not the right of the unfortunate pauper to charity and the duty of the Government to come to his assistance, but the idea that the needs of the poor were the focus and foundation stone of the social edifice. " The bread given by the rich is bitter," declared Saint-Just. " It compromises liberty; bread is due to the people by right in a wisely regulated State." Economic dependence of man on man stands condemned. The State must remove it. The State has the authority to employ, make changes and dispose of all the goods and assets which make up the nation's wealth, if private property is ultimately no more than a concession made by the State. SaintJust threw out a number of slogans which were to become the catchwords of Babeuf. " Les malheureux vent les puissances de la te r re, its ont le droll de p arler en maitre s aux go uverne men t s qui les negligent." The welfare of the poor was the primary task of government. " The Revolution will not be fully accomplished as long as there is a single unhappy person and pauper in the Republic." Very significantly Saint-Just, usually the least cosmopolitan of the Revolutionary leaders, strikes a solemnly propagandist note when dealing with the social problem. " Que ['Europe apprenne que vous ne voulez plus un malheureux ni un oppresseur sur le territoire fran,cais, que cet exemple fructifie sur la terre, qu'il propage ['amour des versus et le bonheur ! Le bonheur est une idee neuve en Europe !" This idea of happiness, seized upon by Babenf and nineteenth-century successors of Jacobinism up to 1848, was in its decant tone new and upon a totally different plane from the right to happiness of Locke and the fathers of the American Constitution, as well as from the right to social assistance recognized in the famous Report of the Duc de la Rochefoucauld in the Constituent Assembly. Saint1ust introduced a new and additional consideration to the analysis of the question of private property. He added to Robespierre's moral and social arguments a political consideration. The right to property, as said before, became for him conditioned on political loyalty. One who had shown himself an enemy of his country, that is to say a counter-revolutionary, had no right to possess property. Only the man who had contributed to the liberation of the fatherland had rights. The property of the patriots was sacred, but the possessions of the conspirators " vent la , pour tons les malheureux ". The practical and immediate applica tion of this principle were Saint1ust's famous lois de Ventose on the confiscation of the property of the suspects and its distribution among the poor patriots, the carrying out of which was prevented by the events of Thermidor, but which was designed to bring about a vast transfer of property, indeed a social revolution. And yet, the main feature of Jacobin thinking on the social problem was its lack of coherence. The Jacobin attitude shows unmistakable signs of embarrassment throughout. It has often been suggested that the more "socialist" utterances of Robespierre and Saint-Just were mere lip service, designed to counteract the agitation of the Enrages, and paid by men who were at heart typical representatives of the bourgeoisie. This was not really the case. Robespierre's statements expressing an anti-bourgeois class policy are to be found in his confidential notes, not intended for publication. Words of appeasement and reassurance directed to the possessing classes, in an incidentally nonchalant and contemptuous tone, appear in Robespierre's public utterances, but have no counterpart in his carpet. If a person's most genuine sentiments are those which he keeps to himself, it follows that not Robespierre's socialism but his conservatism is to be taken as an expression of opportunism. This does not, however, exhaust the case. What is quite clear is that neither Robespierre nor Saint1ust felt themselves to be part and parcel of the proletarian class fighting for its liberation against the propertied classes. On occasion Robespierre, it is true, could adopt a vocabulary not far removed from the language of the Enrages: if the people are hungry and persecuted by the rich, and can get no help from the laws which are supposed to protect them, they are justified " in looking afta themselves " against the bloodsuckers. He had nevertheless nothing but words of condemnation for the tactics and temperament of the Enrages, " who would cut the throat of any shopkeeper because he sells at high prices". He considered them crazy anarchists and tools of a counter-revolutionary conspiracy. The Robespierrist point of departure was not class consciousness, but the idea of social harmony based on the egalitarian conception of the rights of man. The aim was not the triumph of one class and the subjugation of the other, but a people where class distinctions have ceased to matter. The upper classes constituted a factor violating these principles, and had therefore to be brought to their knees. The mass of the people was thought to have no anti-social interests. It was virtuous and free from hubris and the vices engendered by wealth. Hence, on the one hand, what may be called the patronizing attitude of Robespierre and Saint-Just towards the proletariat and, on the other, their anxiety not to drive things to a breaking point. In a characteristic passage of a late speech, Saint1ust expressed his impatient disapproval of people of the artisan and working class who, instead of sticking to their jobs like their honest hard-working fathers, had completely yielded to their passion for politics, were thronging to public meetings and hunting for political jobs. In one of his last speeches and some time after the promulgation of the Laws of Ventose, Saint-Just urged upon the Convention the necessity of calming public opinion on the question of the security of property, especially ecclesiastical and emigre' property bought recently from the State. " It faut assurer tous les droits, tranquilliser les acquisitions; it faut meme innover le mains possible dans le regne des annuites pour empecher de nouvelles craintes, de nouveaux troubles." Robespierre felt a good deal of embarrassment that he, the moralist contemptuous of money, was being driven to make money appear the decisive factor in the social order. In this embarrassment there was, of course, also an element of fear, and a subconscious wish to evade the issue. He reassured the " ames de bone ", the haves, that there was no need for them to become alarmed for their property. The sans-cutoftes, following eternal principles and not considering the " chetive merchandise " a sufficiently lofty aim, did not ask for equality of goods, but only for an equality of rights and an equal measure of happiness. Opulence was not only the prize of vice, but its punishment. " L'opulence est une infamie," said Saint-Just. The children of a righteous and poor Aristides, brought up at the expense of the Republic, were happier than the offspring of Crassus in their palaces, taught Robespierre. Robespierre feared damning the propertied class as a whole, and without reprieve, for the sole sin of owning wealth. What mattered was the disposition of a man. In the good old tradition of Catholic homiletics Robespierre taught that a man may own much wealth, and yet not feel rich. He opposed on occasion a motion whereby members of the Convention would have to declare their fortune. He would not agree that that was the final test of patriotism. The test was a lifelong dedication to virtue and the people. Not even the visible signs of service, such as taxes paid, and guards mounted-Pharisaic phylacteries-were the criterion, but the disposition externalized in a general and continuous attitude. A very elusive test indeed. On one occasion Robespierre declared that " La Republique ne convient qu'au people, aux hommes de routes les conditions, qui ont une ame pure et elevee, aux philosopher amis de l'humanite, aux sansculottes ". He condemned the factions who had just suffered their doom for having tried to frighten the bourgeoisie with the spectre of the agrarian law and worked to separate the interests of the rich from those of the poor, by presenting themselves as the protectors of the poor. The ultimate test was virtue; only, while the people were virtuous almost by nature (and definition), the rich must make a great effort. Saint-Just endeavoured to give a more concrete meaning to virtue in the social sense. He declared labour an integral part virtue, and idleness a vice. There was, according to him, a direct relationship between the amount of labour and the growth of liberty and morality in a country. The idle class was the last support of the Monarchy: " promene ['ennui, la fureur des puissances et le degout de la vie commune." It must be suppressed. Everyone must be compelled to work. Those who do no work have no rights in a Republic. " It faut que tout le monde travaille ct se respecte." The postulate of a definite principle for the management of the economic life of the nation voiced by Robespierre and Saint1ust, although suggesting an effort at overall planning and direction by the State, turns Out to be something very remote from State ownership of the means of production, or collectivism. It envisages social security and the economic independence of the individual, guaranteed and actively maintained by the State. It is a mixture of restrictionism and individualism. It denies freedom of economic expansion out of fear of inequality and out of asceticism, and l yet is motivated by a secret wish to restore freedom of trade Robespierre rejected complete equality of fortune quite emphatic ally as a chimera, and a community of goods as an impracticable dream, running counter to man's personal interest. The lot agraere was a phantom invented by the knaves to frighten the fools The problem of social security was not to Saint-Just a questio of the dole and charity, not even of pensions, but of legislation to' prevent poverty. Man was not born for the alms-house, but to contented and independent citizen. In order to be so, everyone ought to have land of his own to till. Land should be provided for everyone, either through the expropriation of the opponents of the regime, or from the large State domain especially built up for the purpose. Only invalids should be placed in a position of receiving charity. The duty of the State was to give to all Frenchmen the means of obtaining the first necessities of life, without having to depend on anybody or anything but the laws, " et sans dependence mutuelle darts fetal civil". Security must be accompanied by equality, it too enforced by the State with the help of restrictive laws. There must be equality. There should be neither rich nor poor. A limit to the amount of property owned by one person would have to be fixed. Only those should be considered as citizens who possess nothing beyond what the laws permit them to own. Excessive fortunes would be gradually curtailed by special measures, and their owners would be compelled to exercise severe economy. Indirect inheritance and bequests should be abolished. Everyone should be compelled to stork. Idleness, hoarding of currency and neglect of industry should be punished. Every citizen would, in the scheme of the Institutions Republicaines, render an account every year in the cornInunal Temple of the use of his fortune. He would not be interfered with unless he used his income to the detriment of others. Gold and silver, except as money, would never be touched in Saint-Just's Utopia. No citizen would be allowed to acquire land, open banks or own ships in foreign countries. Austerity in food and habits was to be observed. For instance, meat was to be forbidden on three days of the decadi, and to children altogether up to the age of sixteen. The public domain, at Rousseau's advice made as large as possible, was to serve as a national fund to reward virtue and to compensate victims of misfortune, infirmity and old age, to fmance education, to give allowances to newly married couples and, as said before, to offer land to the landless. " Land for everybody "-this, if anything, sums up the Jacobin social ideal: a society of self-suff~cient small-holders, artisans and small shopkeepers. The combination of a small plot of land and virtue would secure happiness. Not the voluptuous happiness of Persepolis, but the bliss of Sparta. " Nous vous offrimes le bonheur de Sparte et celui d'Athenes de la vertu. . . de l'aisance et de la mediocrite . . . le bonheur qui nait de la jouissance de necessaire sans superfluity . . . la haine de la tyrannic, la volupte d'une cabana et d'un champ fertile cultive par vos mains . . . le bonheur d'etre libre et tranquille, et de jouir en paix des fruits et des mccurs de la Revolution; celui de retourner a la nature, a la morale et de fond la Republique . . . une charrue, un champ, une chaumiere a l'ab~ de la lubricite d'un brigand, voile le bonheur." Land ownership was in Saint-Just's reactionary Utopian vision the sole guarantee of social stability, personal independence and virtue. The reform envisaged in the Laws of Ventose on the confiscation of the property of the suspects and its distribution to poor patriots was to be a first step in the direction of an overall reform designed to give land (or some property) to everyone. The latter idea was formulated in the Institutions Republicaines written in Pluviose, that is to say, before the Laws of Ventose. There is no reference in the Institutions to the right to property being conditional on political allegiance. It would therefore be legitimate to conclude that the Ventose project was not merely another act of repression taken against the suspects or an ad hoc demagogical measure designed I to take the wind out of the sails of the Enrages, but was meant as a I part of a comprehensive social programme. It was appreciated as such by contemporaries as well as by the Babouvists. There is one aspect in Saint-Just's doctrine of " land for everybody", which had failed to receive the attention it deserves, and which goes to prove two important things. The first is the fact that however Utopian and fanciful the plan, it originated at least partly in the realities and difficulties of the hour, above all in the crisis in food supplies. Secondly, on closer scrutiny the plan, while prima facie bearing the character of a State-planned overall reform, turns out to be a policy designed to create the conditions for free trade. This is the measure of Jacobin inconsistencies and grave inner difficulties in the matter of property and economics. The exposition of the reasons for the establishment of a society of small-holders in the Institutions Re'publicaines begins with the difficulties in the circulation of corn. Easy circulation is essential where few owned property and few had access to raw materials In his inveterate dislike of restrictions on trade and deep reluctance to accept the fixing of" maximum" prices by the State, Saint-Just declared that grain would not circulate where its price was fixed by the Government. If it was " taxed " without a reform of conduct, avarice and speculation would be the result. In order to reform .

I conduct, a start must be made to satisfy needs and interests. Everyone must be given some land. Should there be a distribution of land on the lines of a lot agra~re, on the principle that the State had the power to change all property relations as it pleased ? No. Even the Laws of Ventose did not contain an attack on the principle of private property as such, but made it conditional only on political allegiance. Apart from his genuine faith in private property, Saint-Just was too much of a responsible statesman, too vitally interested in the success of the sale of national property and the policy of assignats, the Revolutionary paper money, which had the national property as its cover (ecclesiastic, emigre and other confiscated property) and u pon which the fate of the regime depended, to frighten the potential purchasers of national property into believing that their property was insecure and might be taken away from them. But Saint-Just himself gives the clue to his intentions in the famous sentence found among his papers: " ne pas admettre partage des proprietes, mais le portage des fermages." It appears that notwithstanding his desire that everyone should have some landed property in order to be happy and free, the redistribution of land was less important to him than its breaking up into small units of cultivation, units not necessarily held as an inalienable property, but as " fermages " on rent. The multiplicacion of such units seemed to Saint1ust the best guarantee of the free circulation of grain and of its reasonable price. The greater the number of sellers, the fewer the buyers, the better the supply, the lower the price. This reasoning is already to be found in Mably, the bitter opponent of free trade in grain, and in an article by Marat of September sth, I79I, which must have influenced Saint-Just, and which reveals striking similarities with Saint-Just's treatment of the subject. Marat suggested that landowners should be forced to divide their large property into small-holdings, without the Government resorting to the lot a~raire and to a redistribution of land. Marat's explanation of his plan would probably fill in the details of Saint-Just's thinking. Both seemed to be primarily concerned with the actual crisis of supplies, and the problem of satisfying the needs of the poorer classes. Neither of them liked the idea of keeping prices down by the law of maximum, for such a law in the opinion of both was calculated to ruin the producers and to discourage agriculture. A remedy was to be found in the law of supply and demand. Since the price of a commodity was determined by the proportion of buyers to sellers, it was essential to multiply thee number of farmers. Many journeymen could be transformed into small farmers. The number of sellers of agricultural produce would be immensely increased, and the number of buyers proportionately diminished. A healthy equilibrium and prosperity would be restored. Marat insisted that the State and not the landowners should have the power to select the farmers. State control I of leases was probably also envisaged by Saint-Just. Moreover, Marat envisaged a very large State domain which would farm out to landless peasants. In terms similar to those oq Saint1ust (about the correlation between the social realities and the form of government) Marat thought that his plan would bring the civil order nearer to the natural order by a greater facility of cultivation and a more equal distribution of the fruits of the land. In addition, it would re-establish the balance between the price of food and the price of manufactured goods, and finally abolish all monopoly in the fruits of the land. The more farmers there would be, the fewer the journeymen, and thus the wages of the journeymen would increase. On the other hand, the more farmers, the greater the competition in the sale of produce. Furthermore, the people on the land, assured of their needs, would be interested in getting the best value for their surplus " and the free trade in corn would be restored by itself ". It was this freedom of trade which most of the leaders of the Revolution were grieved to be compelled to restrict, and which, finally, by devious ways and State interference, they hoped to restore.

CONCLUSIONS Totalitarian democracy, far from being a phenomenon of recent growth, and outside the Western tradition, has its roots in the common stock of eighteenth-century ideas. It branched out as a separate and identifiable trend in the course of the French Revolution and has had an unbroken continuity ever since. Thus its origins go much further back than nineteenth-century patterns, such as Marxism, because Marxism itself was only one, although admittedly the most vital, among the various versions of the totalitarian democratic ideal, which have followed each other for the last hundred and fifty years. It was the eighteenth-century idea of the natural order (or general will) as an attainable, indeed inevitable and all-solving, end, that engendered an attitude of mind unknown hitherto in the sphere of politics, namely the sense of a continuous advance towards denouement of the historical drama, accompanied by an acute awareness of a structural and incurable crisis in existing society. [his state of mind found its expression in the totalitarian democratic Edition. The Jacobin dictatorship aiming at the inauguration of F reign of virtue, and the Babouvist scheme of an egalitarian communist society, the latter consciously starting where the former left off, and both emphatically claiming to do no more than realize eighteenth-century postulates, were the two earliest versions of modern political Messianism. They not only bequeathed a myth and passed on practical lessons, but founded a living and unbroken radiation. Totalitarian democracy early evolved into a pattern of coercion and centralization not because it rejected the values of eighteenth century liberal individualism, but because it had originally a too perfectionist attitude towards them. It made man the absolute point of reference. Man was not merely to be freed from restraints. 111 the existing traditions, established institutions, and social arrangements were to be overthrown and remade, with the sole purpose Of securing to man the totality of his rights and freedoms, and berating him from all dependence. It envisaged man per se, ipped of all those attributes which are not comprised in his Common humanity. It saw man as the sole element in the natural order, to the exclusion of all groups and traditional interests. T reach man per se all differences and inequalities had to be eliminate And so very soon the ethical idea of the rights of man acquired the character of an egalitarian social ideal. All the emphasis came be placed on the destruction of inequalities, on bringing down privileged to the level of common humanity, and on sweeping away all intermediate centres of power and allegiance, when the social classes, regional communities, professional groups or corporations. Nothing was left to stand between man and the State. The power of the State, unchecked by any intermediate agencies, became unlimited. This exclusive relationship between man and State plied conformity. It was opposed to both the diversity wed goes with a multiplicity of social groups, and the diversity result. from human spontaneity and empiricism. In Jacobinism individualism and collectivism appear together for the last time precarious<!l balanced. It is a vision of a society of equal men re-educated the State in accordance with an exclusive and universal patter Yet the individual man stands on his own economically. He con forms to the pattern of the all-powerful State inevitably, but al; freely. Communist Babouvism already saw the essence of freedom in ownership of everything by the State and the use of public fort to ensure a rigidly equal distribution of the national income, a' spiritual conformity. Man was to be sovereign. The idea of men per se went together with the assumption that there was some common point where men's wills would necessarily coincide. The corollary was tendency to plebiscitary democracy. Men as individuals, and groups, parties or classes, were called upon to will. Even partial was not the final authority, for it was also a corporate body wit an interest of its own. The only way of eliciting the pure general: will of men was to let them voice it as individuals, and all at the; same time. -I It was impossible to expect all men, especially those enjoying privileged position, to merge their personalities immediately m common type of humanity. Unlimited popular sovereignty Pa expected to offer to the unprivileged majority of the nation, the is to say to men nearest the idea of man per se, the power to overrule the minority of the privileged by vote, and if necessary by dire coercive action. This conception of the sovereignty of the peon .

I was inspired not so much by the desire to give all men a voice and a share in government as by the belief that popular sovereignty would lead to complete social, political and economic equality. It regarded, in the last analysis, the popular vote as an act of self identification with the general will. This conception of popular sovereignty asserted itself as soon as it began to be seen that the will of the majority would not necessarily be the same as the general will. So the seemingly ultra-democratic ideal of unlimited popular sovereignty soon evolved into a pattern of coercion. In order to create the conditions for the expression of the general will the elements distorting this expression had to be eliminated, or at least denied effective influence. The people must be freed from the pernicious influence of the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, all vested interests, and even political parties so that they could will what they were destined to will. This task thus took precedence over the formal act of the people's willing. It implied two things: the sense of a provisional state of war against the antipopular cements, and an effort at re-educating the masses till men were able to will freely and willingly their true will. In both cases the idea of free popular self-expression was made to give place to the idea that the general will was embodied in a w leaders who conducted the war with the help of highly organized bands of the faithful: the Committee of Public Safety governing in a Revolutionary manner with the help of the Jacobin clubs, and the Babouvist Secret Directory supported by the Equals. In the provisional state of Revolution and war, coercion was the natural method. The obedience and moral support given by a unanimous vote bearing the character of an enthusiastic acclamation became the highest duty. The suspension of freedom by the legalized Violence of Revolution was to last till the state of war had been replaced by a state of automatic social harmony. The state of war would go on until opposition was totally eliminated. The vital Act is that the Revolutionary suspension came to be regarded by the survivors and heirs of Jacobinism and Babouvism as far from having come to an end with the fall of Robespierre and the death of Babouf, and the triumph of the counter-revolution. In their view the Revolution, although overpowered, continued. It could not come to an end before the Revolutionary goal had been achieved. The Revolution was on, and so was the state of war. So long as the struggle lasted the vanguard of the Revolution was free from all allegiance to the established social order. They were the trusted of posterity and as such were justified in employing whatever mean`' were necessary to the inauguration of the Millennium: subversion I when in opposition, terror when in power. The right to Revolution I and the Revolutionary (provisional) dictatorship of the proletariat I (or the people) are two facets of the same thing. Extreme individualism thus came full circle in a collections pattern of coercion before the eighteenth century was out. AU t' elements and patterns of totalitarian democracy emerged or were outlined before the turn of the century. From this point of view the contribution of the nineteenth century was the replacement of the individualist premises of totalitarian democracy by franld collectivist theories. The natural order, which was originally conceived as a scheme of absolute justice immanent in the general wit of society and expressed in the decisions of the sovereign people was replaced by an exclusive doctrine regarded as objectively am scientifically true, and as offering a coherent and complete answer to all problems, moral, political, economic, historical and aesthetic Whether approved by all, by a majority, or by a minority, d' doctrine claimed absolute validity. The struggle for a natural and rational order of society soon came to be considered as a conflict between impersonal and amoral historic forces rather than between the just and the unjust. This tendency was confirmed by the increasing centralization of political and economic life in the nineteenth century. The organization o' men in the mass made it far easier to think of politics in terms o. general movements and disembodied tendencies. Nothing could be easier than to translate the original Jacobin conception of a conflict endemic in society, between the forces of virtue and those of selfishness, into the Marxist idea of class warfare. Finally, tub Jacobin and Marxist conceptions of the Utopia in which history W2' destined to end were remarkably similar. Both conceived it a. complete harmony of interests, sustained without any resort to form although brought about by force-the provisional dictatorship As a conquering and life-sustaining force political Messianism spent itself in Western Europe soon after 1870. After the Commune, the heirs of the Jacobin tradition abandoned violence and began to compete for power by legal means. They entered parliaments and governments and were incorporated by degrees into the life of the democracies. The Revolutionary spirit now spread east wards until it found its natural home in Russia, where it received a new intensity from the resentment created by generations of oppression and the pre-disposition of the Slavs to Messianism. Its forms were modified in the new environment, but no entirely new patterns of thought or organization were created in Eastern Europe. lee vicissitudes of the totalitarian democratic current in nineteenth century Western Europe and then in twentieth-century Eastern Europe are intended to form the subject of two further volumes of this study. The tracing of the genealogy of ideas provides an opportunity for stating some conclusions of a general nature. The most important lesson to be drawn from this inquiry is the incompatibility of the idea of an all-embracing and all-solving creed with liberty. The two ideals correspond to the two instincts most deeply embedded m human nature, the yearning for salvation and the love of freedom. To attempt to satisfy both at the same time is bound to result, if not in unmitigated tyranny and serfdom, at least in the monumental hypocrisy and self-deception which are the concomitants of totalitarian democracy. This is the curse on salvationist creeds: to be born out of the noblest impulses of man, and to degenerate into weapons of tyranny. An exclusive creed cannot admit opposition. It is bound to feel itself surrounded by innumerable enemies. Its believers can never settle down to a normal existence. From this sense of peril arise their continual demands for the protection of orthodoxy by recourse to terror. Those who are not enemies must be made to appear as fervent believers with tee help of emotional manifestations and engineered unanimity at public meetings or at the polls. Political Messianism is bound to replace empirical thinking and free criticism with reasoning by definition, based on a priori collective concepts which must be accepted whatever the evidence of the senses: however selfish or evil the men who happen to come to the top, they must be good and infallible, since they embody the pure doctrine and are the people's government: in a people's democracy the ordinary competitive, self-assertive and anti-social instincts cease as it were to exist: a Workers' State cannot be imperialist by definition. The promise of a state of perfect harmonious freedom to come after the total victory of the transitional Revolutionary dictatorship represents a contradiction in terms. For apart from the improbability-confirmed by all history-of men in power divesting themselves of power, because they have come to think themselves superfluous; apart from the fact of the incessant growth of centralize forms of political and economic organization in the modern world making the hope of the withering away of the State a chimera; the implication underlying totalitarian democracy, that freedom could not be granted as long as there is an opposition or reaction to fear, renders the promised freedom meaningless. Liberty vail be offered when there will be nobody to oppose or differ-in other words, when it will no longer be of use. Freedom has no meaning without the right to oppose and the possibility to differ democratic-totalitarian misconception or self-deception on this point is the reduction of absurdum of the eighteenth-century rationalist idea of man; a distorted idea bred on the irrational faith that the irrational elements in human nature and even " different experience: of living " are a bad accident, an unfortunate remnant, a temporal aberration, to give place-in time and under curing influences-t some uniformly rational behaviour in an integrated society. The reign of the exclusive yet all-solving doctrine of totalitarian, democracy runs counter to the lessons of nature and history Nature and history show civilization as the evolution of a multiplicity of historically and pragmatically formed clusters of soci existence and social endeavour, and not as the achievement of abstract Man on a single level of existence. With the growth of the Welfare State aiming at social security the distinction between the absolutist and empirical attitude a politics has become more vital than the old division into capital). and social-security-achieving socialism. The distinctive appeal ~ political Messianism, if we leave out of account the fact of America laissez-faire capitalist creed, it, too, deriving from eighteenth-century tenets, lies no more in its promise of social security, but in its having become a religion which answers deep-seated spiritual needs. The power of the historian or political philosopher to influence events is no doubt strictly limited, but he can influence the attitude' of mind which is adopted towards those developments. Like a psychoanalyst who cures by making the patient aware of his sup conscious, the social analyst may be able to attack the human urge which calls totalitarian democracy into existence, namely the longing for a final resolution of all contradictions and conflicts into a state of total harmony. It is a harsh, but none the less necessary task t drive home the truth that human society and human life can never state of repose. That imagined repose is another name for security offered by a prison, and the longing for it may in a sense be an expression of cowardice and laziness, of the inability to I face the fact that life is a perpetual and never resolved crisis. All that can be done is to proceed by the method of trial and error. This study has shown that the question of liberty is indissolubly intertwined with the economic problem. The eighteenth-century idea of a natural order, which originally shirked the question of I a planned rational economic order, assumed full significance and began to threaten freedom only as soon as it became married to the postulate of social security. Is one therefore to conclude that economic centralization aiming at social security must sweep away spiritual freedom ? This is a question which the progress of economic centralization has rendered most vital. This volume does not presume to answer it. Suffice it to point out that liberty is less threatened by objective developments taking place as it were by themselves, and without any context of a salvationist creed, than by an exclusive Messianic religion which sees in these developments a solemn fulfillment. Even if the process of economic centralization (with social security as its only mitigating feature) is inevitable, it is important that there should be social analysts to make men aware of the dangers. This may temper the effect of the objective developments.