DIRECTOR   Stangier Polipps


The doctrine of instruction, as it is now presented by its advocates in the United States, stands, 1 believe, thus : The representative ought as much as he is able truly to represent the wishes of his constituents, and if on any important question the views and desires of the majority of his constituents are made known to him in any manner which convinces him that it is really the voice of the majority, he ought either to obey, or, if he cannot conscientiously do so, to resign. An attempt is thus made to give to the representative a character between that of a representative and a deputy, the difference between whom, we shall presently consider more accurately. The chief arguments urged in favor of the above doctrine, and in fact, as far as my knowledge extends, the only ones, are these: That, could the people meet, as in ancient times, in the market, they would act for themselves, each according to his interest, and views, and that now, when the number of population or extent of country prevents them from meeting in a general and primary assembly, it is clear that those, who are sent for the mere sake of expediting the business, instead of the people's convening themselves, must speak as the people themselves would have spoken. The representatives are the speaking trumpets of their constituents, and no more. Secondly, which in fact is but the above in other terms, the representative is the V servant of his constituents, and how can he be called a servant, if he does not their will. See Tucker's Black stone, Appendix, 192, et seq., where judge Tucker quotes with entire approbation a passage from Burgh's Political Disquisitions, and from which it appears that both of them had in mind, when speaking of popular liberty, what was called in the first part of this work democratic absolutism, seeking for the essence of liberty in the entirely unrestrained execution of the will of the people, which is in practice, as matter of course, of the multitude or the majority ; but not in guarantees, checks and organic laws, opposite to the will of the power, whoever may be its holder. The question does not, indeed, seem to be solved, according to their own argument, in this manner; for the term people is in this case as in so many others, taken in different meanings in the same argument. First, when it is maintained that the representative is the representative of the people, the word is used as meaning the aggregate of all men of a certain society; a groundwork is thus obtained for the right of instruction; but when it comes to the most important point of the right of instruction, namely, the guidance of the individual representative, the word people does not mean any longer the aggregate of all the citizens as imagined in the market, but the small part only who elected the respective representative. If the representative is merely a speaking trumpet of the people, who can no longer assemble, it appears to me perfectly clear, that consistency would actually demand that he should I speak say three hours for a measure and one against it, if he has been elected by six thousand votes against two thousand, for these two thousand would or might have spoken in the general assembly, and laid their views before the assembly. I beg to observe that this is not advanced in a sportive sense, but gravely. If we shall have absolute democracy with agents, who do not speak for the minority, this minority loses all right which it had in the primary assembly.