But the rulers may forget their function and convert a power intrusted to them to selfish ends. Since the individual is not wholly institutionized, but remains, as he should, a human being, the ordinary human tendencies persist even in the leader. When students go on a trip to represent some organization in their school, they rarely fail to make the most of the opportunities to eat, to see sights, and to get the luxuries of travel at the cost of their companions at home. This is all natural enough; they would not be normal young people if they did otherwise. But are they scrupulous to confine their expenses to things which are necessary or contributory to the purposes of their trip? One student alone may, but a group usually will not, as any teacher who has been on such trips knows well enough. The scrupulous ones will be overborne by the jibes and clamor of the others. Will the debaters add to their efficiency by riding in the parlor car? Will the delegates be keener parliamentarians if they give the head waiter at the hotel a handsome tip? Does the honor of the school require that the delegation to the oratorical contest take a carriage to travel two blocks? Such items are plausible enough to appear in expense accounts, and circumstances might be conceivable that would justify them; but when they are challenged and have to be defended, the discussion is likely to be serio-comic.

These young people of course are thoughtless. In their eagerness for new experiences they forget how heavily the taxes bear on their fellow students. But back of this is their lack of standards; rational principles to guide them are only in process of formation in their minds. They have read some and seen a little of how others travel, giving special attention to the rich or distinguished. Now that they have some distinction themselves they try to play the role. If the school orator should come out first in the interstate contest, his fellow students might think the better of him for riding in the parlor car, and taking a carriage to travel two blocks, even though they pay the bills. On such occasions a popular impression easily runs to extravagance in financial as in other matters.

In situations like these the duty of teachers, faculty committees, and other older persons is to help the students to a better point of view rather than to exercise repression. Get them to agree upon some of the standards before the trip is taken, perhaps while the funds are being raised to defray the expense. Require the presentation of itemized bills. Keep to the tradition of having all bills go through a certain formality before they are paid, with the possibility of consideration at an open meeting. Have an auditing committee, with at least one faculty member on it, to go over the accounts of all student organizations at the end of the school year. By means of such devices deliberate public opinion, working intelligently for the general welfare, displaces mere popular impression as a regulator; some effective check is held on thoughtless selfishness. No class in civics can equal experience like this in forming ideals for the management of public business.

Among ruling classes that are at all permanent - and this obtains to some extent among students - standards become established to regulate these delicate matters in which the narrow interests of a class of functionaries may conflict with public interest. Instead of letting the king and his cronies help themselves out of the public treasury, as was once the practice, there is now an allowance, called in England the "civil list," for the personal expenses of the members of the royal family. And so officials of all kinds - legislators, inspectors, supervisors, teachers - and the people who support them avoid trouble by having definite rules to govern all cases as far as possible. Sometimes the rules are established by law, but more often by precedent among the officials themselves. In the latter case enforcement depends largely on each man's professional honor backed up by the public opinion of the class.

The ruling class fixes the privileges, emoluments, and scope of activity of all the classes in the institution, its own included, also the relations between the various classes. Of course there are limits set by precedents, the power of other classes, the fear of possible consequences, and the necessity of doing everything ostensibly for the benefit of the institution. But the tendency is inevitable to fix these matters in the interest of the ruling class. It follows therefore that no ruling class can be trusted with irresponsible power. An occasional person may be, but a class never.

Each class or profession which attracts to itself many of the talented of each generation is quite sure that, if only society would submit to its guidance, all would be well. Yet the simple truth is that no one element is wise enough to be followed without question. The trouble is not any lack of ability, but the bias to which it is subject by reason of its esprit de corps or its distinctive work and manner of life. In spite of itself its judgment becomes warped by its special psychology. ... - American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 23, p. 801, Ross, "The Principle of Balance."

Much of the misery of the world has been due to the misdirection of the mastering and hunting instincts. Both are strong, and both are likely to operate crudely and to extremes. It is a bitter fact that apparently not two men in ten can be given unlimited powers as rulers, generals or school-masters without grave risk that they will abuse it by hounding those whom they happen to dislike or those whom public opinion puts in a class below man, to be hunted or driven. - Thorndike, Education, p. 86.

When we published our high school annual the class authorized the business manager to take a trip to Minneapolis at our expense. He had relatives in that city at whose home he stayed, but when we questioned the amount of his bill he said that of course he had to eat and sleep while there! An itemized account was never rendered.

Two boys in a high school served as managers of basketball. They quietly allowed themselves a dollar a week apiece as compensation, although they posed before the school as doing the work out of pure patriotism. When the principal showed them that such conduct was just plain grafting, and placed before them the alternative of either arranging their accounts so that this compensation would appear in their report to be rendered to the school, or else of restoring the entire amount to the treasury, they chose the latter.