A hundred years ago Nov. 26, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (November 26, 1921): Democracy and sedition(From an Editorial)

Sedition as an offence against the State must necessarily depend for its criminality upon the meaning of the State-concept. When, as in the days of Louis XIV the political creed enforced by authority was ‘I am the State’ it was treason to go against the personal will of the monarch or incur the displeasure of his favourite advisors. But with the decline of monarchy and the fall of the few, the popular will was enthroned in political matters and the idea of the State was freed from the trammels of tradition, ignorance and prestige. The state ceased to be the stronghold of any power exercising person or class and was recognised as a self-determined and self-determining organization of individuals having equal political rights. The doctrine of democracy established the sovereignty of the people as the foundation of political philosophy and reduced the status of state-officials, from the administrative head downwards from that of masters to one of servants appointed by the consent of the people and removable at their will. According to this doctrine the state or the system of Government was not solely an agency to “rule” over or control anybody but the organised embodiment, the collective personification of the rational will and freedom of the individuals constituting it for their personal evolution and self realisation. Thus in a properly constituted state satisfying the canons of this advanced theory, the conflict between the people and the Government cannot exist or recur since the former is recognised as the fountainhead of all authority, the ultimate, though not always the immediate, creator and controller of the latter.

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