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Reviving Self-Rule Ward

Government in the South

As a general rule, democracy does not grow with time. It usually comes into being as the result of some general uprising, and it is supported by the broader and more general popular will. But, with time, and because the larger population docs not usually continually watch for the encroachment of smaller groups, the course is reversed. Special interests find the more general rule to be inconvenient. Decisions by the wider population are feared, and factions scheme day and night to limit the acts of the majority that might threaten their own cause.

And so, from generation to generation, a countermovement sets in. What was the substance of democracy becomes form only. Democratic safeguards become ceremony. Eventually the same evils that provoked the multitude to act to protect their liberties again prevail. What begins as the rule of the many becomes, by the mandate of history, the rule of the few. For this reason the people must, from time to time, renew their rights.

Great changes have taken place since the moment when America committed itself to democracy. Although the United States has continually made adjustments to its institutions, the question remains as to whether our politicians have rendered the constant attention necessary to make democracy not simply a remote and guiding idea, but an actual practice. As one generation passed away and another took over, as foreigners became citizens and became the majority, have...

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