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THE ENGLISH REPUBLIC!--A sound that once had made great hearts throb audibly, a name at which the swords of heroes had leaped from their scabbards. But now
Some will grow pale with rage and ill-dissembled fear, that a countryman of them who judged a king and who condemned royalty should dare even with 'bated breath' to whisper of a Republic. Some will wonder at the folly of such a dream. Some will babble of 'felony.' The utilitarian liberal, seeing that there is put forth no feasible scheme for disposing of the Guelph family, that he is offered no prospect of a percentage on the tarnished gilding of royalty, will sneer at 'quixotism' and 'impracticability '; and the utopian, who expects 'figs from thistles,' forgeting their very flavour, who hopes by some providential sleight of hand to find republican results under monarchical institutions--he too will murmur in his dreams—how immoderate! extremely impracticable !'
I write, careless of the hate of fanaticism, fearless of either ridicule or ' prosecution.' I will be earnest enough to command the respect of the bigot, serious enough to outface the insolence of the scoffer, and bold as faith in God may make me to meet, if need be, the last. Impracticable as it may seem, I will not even lose hope of teaching some utilitarian to believe in principle, of convincing some utopian of the idleness of his endeavours. But I do not write for these. I write because, -notwithstanding 'free-trade,' non-intervention, 'constitutional' compromise (every one for himself,' 'let alone,' 'get what you can'),—and other prevalent atheisms, I believe that there are yet some men in England, besides Thomas Carlyle, who respect the worth of Cromwell; some men who honour the memory of Milton (I say it reverently) for something more than that one of his Poems called "Paradise Lost;' some few who hold sacred the grave of Pym and Eliot and Hampden, and who, it may be, spite of the baseness now crawling over England, can remember that the name of Russell was once honourable, and that neither Sydney nor Russell perished 'feloniously' to procure the advent of a Dutch king or to establish the miserable finality of Whiggisin.
I write because I believe that among the many earnest men at work for special and partial reforms there must be some who can spare time and thought toward forming a national party: because I believe that there are some few earnest men wise enough to be desirous of substituting for our present anarchy and neglectfulness a real government, a power capable of ruling the nation.
I write, not in a fit of mere boyish enthusiasm, eager to be called a Republican because men I love and reverence--Mazzini at their head-are Republicans; but because I believe in their principles, because to believe necessitates an attempt to realize belief through action, because I think tható every divorce between thought and action is fatal' to the integrity of a man's nature, because I understand the life of a true man to be an apostleship,--and therefore I dare not do otherwise than write and endeavour in all honest ways, that, even if my purpose fail, my life may ever be worthy of my faith.
The purpose with which I commence this work is, by expounding republican principles (such as I have learned them, chiefly from him who is the Apostle of Republicanism), by making my countrymen acquainted with the views of Republicans abroad, and giving them correct versions of the current events of the great European struggle for Republicanism (of which 1848 and 1849 have been but the first campaign), and not omitting to remind them of their own old republican wisdom when England taught the nations how to live, to revive among them the smouldering fire of English heroism, that faith in God and Man which led their fathers to victory. Desirous, not of renewing the form of Puritanism, but of revivifying the soul of earnestness which marked the brief day of our Commonwealth as the grandest period of English history, I shall essay to show wherein we Republicans of the nineteenth century may imitate the worthiest of our race, in what we ought to advance beyond them; and so I would in some way help to establish a Republican Party, really a Young England, to be the heralds and leaders of the Republic, the beginning of the future Nation.
For now there is no English nationality. There was a nation when an Alfred ruled the people; a nation when an Elizabeth scattered the Invincible Armada; a nation when our royalest Protector could strike down tyranny at home and throw his shield over the oppressed of distant lands. But there is no English nation now. A horde of traders, every man's hand against his neighbours, where combination is almost unknown except for purposes of plunder,—is that a nation? A nation,—and trampled on by creatures too ashamed of their imbecility to confess it even to each other ! A nation,--whose rulers are daily convicted of incapacity, of falsehood, of every conceivable meanness! A nation,—whose poor die by thousands! A nation,—without education! A nation, in whose life is no harmony or order, whose heart is torn with ceaseless contention of class against class, whose 'prosperity' means ruin to the majority, whose 'peace' is successful trickery, or infamous cowardice, whose 'honour' is a bye word to the world !-Is it not so? Ask our millions of workmen what combination means in England. Ask any of our • rulers' what any others of them are. Ask the betrayers of the Bandieras, the accomplices of Szela and Odillon-Barrot, or the presenters of his portrait’to Palmerston; ask any of our "statesmen' or diplomatists, to disclose the villanies, the lies, to which they have listened and complacently replied. Question the mere men of figures concerning Irish famine and the means by which the English labour-market is supplied. Ask the State-reporters of mines and factories, ask the private strivers for education, what the Government' does there. Ask any one at home what “prosperity means; but dare not ask a foreigner the signification of English 'peace' and honour.'
If there was no God but a Devil, if patriotism was a meaningless word and beastliest selfishness the height of virtue, what change need take place in England? The Nation is not. There is only a gloomy den of abominable hypocrisies, a wretched chaos, called England; and it is time for all brave true men who find themselves involved in it, and who believe that God sent them into it, not that they should join the evil-doers, nor yet that they should run away from the fear of evil, but that they should do manful work in endeavouring to remedy it,—it is time for all such brave true men to take counsel together and ascertain at least what is their first duty in the emergency.
And let no man impute to me a vainglorious part in thus coming forward to intreat my countrymen (many, I hope, far abler and nobler than myself) to rally around a banner of my uplifting. What matters, so long as he be true to the Cause, who unfurl the banner? God knows I have waited long enough, patiently enough, sadly enough, not solicitous to have this burthen laid upon metoward which I know not my strength or weakness, and praying that some one, fitted to lead the heirs of them who won what of freedom we yet have, might arise to stir the stagnant spirits of the slaves asleep upon our martyrs' tomb. I hear eloquent voices recommending this or that treatment for the
skin-affection of the universal cancer; I hear Wisdom crying in the streets, asking of the funds'; I hear loud enough, and often but too dissonant, chauntings of the theorists who have each his stereotyped prophecy of a particular millennium; and I hear the earnest wailing of some who should be our prophets, over the agonies of the present time: but of the Future,—what it shall be, and how it shall be,—I hear no English voice; nor see one English arm uplifted to point the way for me and others to follow.
Fit for the task, or not (let time and opportunity condemn me--nevertheless I will not falter), I Aling aloft the Banner of the Future, and ask-Who will stand by me for the restoration of the Commonwealth, for the foundation of the English Republic ? There only can I see a hope for the redemption and rejuvenescence of England.
It is toward that end that I commence this journal: wishing to make it an useful exponent of republican principles, a faithful record of republican progress throughout the world, an organ of propagandism and a medium of communication for the active Republicans of England. In fulfilment of the first object, in addition to a systematic republication of the official documents and expositions of the Central EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE, I shall include the writings of Mazzini, and others of the leaders of foreign democracy, and also our own authors from the time of the Commonwealth to now. The second purpose may be insured through my friends in the European republican party. The third must depend upon my readers. If the journal may stand, at least there will be a known centre and a voice for the party : it will be for themselves to determine how far they can use it. Such counsel and service as from time to time I may be able to offer shall not be wanting.
W.J. LINTON. December, 1850.
TO THE PEOPLES:
THE ORGANIZATION OF DEMOCRACY,
HE forces of Democracy are immense. God and his providential law, the aspira0
tions of thinkers, the instincts and the wants of the masses, the crimes and the
faults of its adversaries, combat for it. At every instant it gains a new focus ; it rises like the tide. From Paris to Vienna, from Rome to Warsaw, it furrows the European soil, it directs and binds together the thought of nations. Everything comes to its aid: the progressive development of intelligence, insurrectional intuition, battle or martyrdom. Evidently the times are ripe for the practical realization of its principle. That which, sixty years ago, was only the prevision of genius, is to-day a fact, the characteristic, the predominant fact of the epoch. The life of Humanity belongs henceforth, whatever may be done, to the faith which says, Liberty, Association, Progress for all, through all. The reaction well knows this; it no longer denies this holy device, but usurps it to falsify it; it no longer tears the flag, but sullies it; it no longer refutes its apostles, but calumniates them.
What is wanting to Democracy in order to triumph, and by its accession to substitute truth for falsehood, right for arbitrary power, harmony for anarchy, the pacific evolution of the common thought for the sad necessity of violent revolutions ? There is only one thing wanting, but that one thing is vital: it is ORGANIZATION.
European Democracy is not constituted. The men of Democracy are everywhere; the general thought of Democracy has nowhere a collective and accepted representation. Democracy bears the word Association written upon its banner, and it is not associated. It announces to Europe a new life, and it has nothing which regularly and efficaciously incarnates this life in itself. It evangelizes the grand formula--God and Humanity, and it has no initiative centre whence the movement sets out towards this end, no kernal where lic at least the germs of that alliance of peoples without which Humauity is but a name, and which only can conquer the league of kings.
Scattered loppings of the tree whose large branches could and ought to shadow the whole European name, systems have divided and subdivided the parent-thought of the future ; they have parted among them the fragments of the flag; they live an impotent life, each on a word taken from our synthetic formula. We have sects, but no church; incomplete and contradictory philosophies, but no religion, —no collective belief rallying the faithful under one single sign, and harmonizing their labours. We are without chiefs, without plan, without order-word. One might call us detached bodies having formerly belonged to a great army, now dissolved by victory. But thanks to ourselves, the victory is yet with our enemies. Triumphant at first upon every point, the peoples, turn by turn arisen, fall one by one under the concentration of hostile forces, applauded like the dying gladiator if succumbing bravely, branded if they sink without resistance, but almost always misunderstood, and always rapidly forgotten. They have forgotten Warsaw; they are forgetting Rome,
It is only through organization that this state of things will cease. The day that shall find us all unit marching together under the eye of the best among us—those who have fought the most and suffered the most will be the eve of victory. On that day we shall have counted ourzelves—we shall know who we are we shall have the consciousness of our strength.
For that two great obstacles remain to surmount, two great errors to destroy: the exaggeration of the rights of individuality, the narrow exclusiveness of theories.
We are not the Democracy, we are not Humanity; we are the precursors of Democracy, the vanguard of Humanity. Church militant, army destined to conquer the soil on which should be elevated the edifice of the new society --we must not say I, but must learn to say we. It must be understood that rights are only the results of accomplished duties, that the theory is a dead letter whenever we do not practically translate its principle in our every-day acts; that individuality represents, above all, a mission to fulfil; liberty a means of conscientiously harmonizing our efforts with those of our brothers, of taking rank among the combatants without violation of our personal dignity. Those, who, following their individual susceptibilities, refuse the little sacrifices which organization and discipline exact, deny, in virtue of the habitudes of the past, the collective faith they preach. Besides, crushed by the organization of our enemies, they abandon to them that for which they had trafficked with the cause they had sworn to serve.
Exclusiveness in theories is the negation of the very dogma we profess. Every man who says, I have found political truth, and who makes the adoption of his system, his condition of fraternal association, denies the people--the sole progressive interpreter of the world's law, in order to assert his own I. Every man who pretends by the isolated labour of his intelligence, however powerful it may be, to discover to-day a definitive solation of the problems which agitate the masses, condemns himself to error by incompleteness, in renouncing one of the eternal sources of truth-the collective intuition of the people in action. The definitive solution is the secret of victory. Placed to-day under the influence of the medium we desire to transform, agitated in spite of ourselves by all the instinots-by all the reactionary feelings of the combat, between persecution and the spectacle of egotism given us by a factitious society built upon material interest and mutilated in its most noble faculties,-we can hardly seize what there is of most holy, most vast, and most energetic, in the aspiration of the soul of the Peoples. Drawn, in the depths of our cabinets, from the teaching of tradition—disinherited of the power which springs from the cry of actuality, from the I, the conscience of Humanity, -our systems cannot be, in great part, other than an anatomizing of corpses, discovering evil, analyzing death, but powerless to perceive or to comprehend life. Life, it is the People under emotion, it is the instinct of multitudes elevated to an exceptional power by contact, by the prophetic feeling of great things to do, by spontaneous, sudden, electrical association in the public place; it is action exciting to the highest all the faculties of hope, devotion, enthusiasm, and love, which slumber now,—and revealing man in the unity of his nature, in the plenitude of his realizing powers. The grasp of a workman's hand in one of those historic moments which initiate an epoch, will perhaps teach us more of the organization of the future, than could be tanght to-day by the cold and disheartened work of the intellcct, or the knowledge of the illustrious dead of the last two thousand years.
Is this saying that we ought to march forward without a banner? Is it saying that we would inscribe on our banner only a negation ? It is not upon us that such a suspicion can alight. Men of the people, long engaged in its struggles,—we do not dream of leading it toward the void. We march to the realization of equality and association upon this earth. Every revolution not made for all is to us a lie. Every political change which does not aim at transforming the medium, the element in which individuals are living, radically falsifies the educational tendency which alone can render it legitimate. But the point of departure and the point of arrival-- the end-once established, ought we to delay our march, to abdicate our conquest, and let our liberties be one by one taken from us, because all of us are not in accord as to the means which might realize our thought? Is