There is a library of literature on this one topic of society and the individual, whether society exists for the individual or the individual for society, and the general tendency is to take an extreme view, though both are correct. Herbert Spencer was the champion of the individual, but the general trend is now the opposite, and thinkers are beginning to express fear of the dangers of " unbridled democracy." As a matter of fact the fear existed in our constitutional convention, and Prof. J. Allen Smith, in his new work, "The Spirit of American Government," shows how this undemocratic force has created a government of checks and counterchecks, in which it is practically impossible for the majority to make ill-considered changes, or oppress the minority. The increasing democratic spirit which he favors, and which he shows is thwarted by the Government, is, in reality, the danger recognized by visitors from countries where it does not exist. Many Americans actually believe that they have the same democratic right to murder aggressors as existed among our neolithic ancestors - a right which has long since been taken away from us by the social organism which alone has the right to say which of its component units shall be destroyed.
It is now generally recognized that the disruptive force which caused the success of the American Revolution, was this same "unbridled democracy." The colonists demanded more rights than Englishmen, the great majority of whom did not possess the franchise, and were taxed without representation. In a sense the Revolution was the conflict of these two antagonistic forces of organization, and as one writer aptly suggests, it was the irresistible meeting the immovable. Prof. Sydney George Fisher, in his recent work on "The Struggle for Independence," argues that the mother country did deal with the colonists most maternally, but was really in the position of the modern factory owner who would be ruined if he granted all that the laborers demanded, and there was no other cause except to "shut down." Professor Fisher shows that the same conflict is still going on in the British Empire, and he might have added that it will go on everywhere forever. It was amazing foresight, then, which led our Constitution makers to guard against the democratic force which created the nation. All this does not alter the fact already enlarged upon, that George III and his short-sighted ministers did, in reality, attempt to strengthen the home organism at too great an expense of the colonial units who were in a position needing more liberty and rights than the people at home.
It is certain that in our future "United nations of the world" there will be two political parties exactly like our republican and democratic, or like the conservative and liberals. One will be an international party struggling for the organization of the great new organism, increasing its powers at the expense of the units or nations. The national party will struggle to preserve the health and vitality of the unit nations to keep the international from taking too much. Indeed, this cleavage existed in the Hague Convention.
Again we see how far-reaching is the condition of overpopulation due to a normal struggle for existence in modern civilization. It seems destined to cause the organization of all mankind into one huge organism, for in no other way than by such subordination of self can we exist in those dense masses bound to exist in the future as the result of our increasing ability to produce more food. Nevertheless, the constant overpopulation will keep up the struggle of individual against individual, and the two forces of centralization and democracy will exist forever.