MR HERBERT SPENCER ON AMERICA.
' Mr Herbert Spencer, who is now on ; a visit t® the United States, has been ; .interviewed by the New York correspondent of the Standard , and has expressed his opinion at great length on ni the strength and weaknesses, the pre- !.; sent condition, and future prospects, of the Great Republic. He is, he says, ‘ - profoundly impressed by the grandeur £ bf its material civilisation, its huge
buildings, its immense stores and fac- -,■+ tones,; its railways and other modes of ; but he considers that it " resembles the Italian Republics of the 'Middle Ages too closely in its subset's vience to individuals. The individual who in America regulates the whole con-
•cem' 1 and dominates the ballot-box ,is the wire-puller or “ boss,” At the same time he sees on all sides the signs ■ of political corruption and insincerity. Education, he mournfully confesses, is no antidote to this bane, because the men who are responsible for the corruption—the bosses and ; the .wire--pullers themselves—are educated men. The real cause of the evil, exphined the philosopher whose distinction it is to have applied the doctrines of Darwinism to th# phenomena of human society, is that the laws of evolution have been violated in America, and that its natural processes, which are slow and :, safe, have been artificially outstripped. In other words, the American Constitution, which, as Mr Spencer points put,.was in the first instance made, and .did.hpt grow, as,according to Mclntosh, constitutions ought, has shot ahead too -fast s and too far. The philosopher, however, .will not allow that his confidence hi Republican institutions is shaken, and he avows $ belief or a hope thatin .America,all.wilL come right in . the future. Tlje. Republican form of Government, he declares, is the best and ever yet devised, but then it demands for its success the highest . type of human character. Till that is developed, therefore, it must, according to him, be a poor look-out for Republi- , canism, and on the whole Mr Spencer’s .. panegyric upon an anti-monarchical ' system‘will seem to most people very like a’ gospel of despair.
Permanent link to this item
MR HERBERT SPENCER ON AMERICA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 824, 21 December 1882
MR HERBERT SPENCER ON AMERICA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 824, 21 December 1882
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.