THE AUTUMN OF MONARCHY

AFTER Louis XIV.'s death it took another seventy years of monarchy before the French Revolution arose to destroy it, and finally restore it in a heightened form as the rule of Napoleon. In modern government it is possible to see a contest between two principles, liberty and authority. Patriotism and efficiency may co-exist with either. Liberty, veiled in parliamentary and oligarchic forms, is familiar to us in England and modern France. Authority has been exemplified by Cromwell, Frederick of Prussia, Napoleon, the Emperor William II. of Germany, and Mussolini, among many others. It perhaps seems idle to seek for common features in such varied systems, but all emphasise the claims of the State in preference to those of individuals, and the importance of ends rather than of means. The justification of authority was, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Divine Right-usually hereditary, but to Cromwell given by revelation. During the eighteenth century, as the force of the divine appeal diminished, hereditary rulers began to justify their existence by surpassing even Louis XIV. in their efforts for efficiency and national power,while avoiding his excessive ostentation. During the nineteenth century the emphasis on duty and success grew still greater; the hereditary principle, though not extinguished, was weakened. Government business grew vast and technical; there have been permanent officials under all kinds of government, but bureaucratic power and its abuses have inevitably been greatest under despotism.