Westel Woodbury Willoughby.

The American political science review online

. (page 50 of 77)
Online LibraryWestel Woodbury WilloughbyThe American political science review → online text (page 50 of 77)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

The second regular meeting was held in May, 1920. So the new organ-
ization is now well established as a focal point for humanistic scholars
of the world. The objects of the union were expressed in the first call
as follows:

(1) "To establish, maintain, and strengthen among the scholars of
the allied and associated states corporate and individual relations which

1 The constitution of the American Council of Learned Societies was ratified
by the American Political Science Association in March, 1920.

Digitized by



shall be sustained, cordial, and efficacious, and which shall, by means
of regular correspondence and exc^hange of communications and by the
periodical holding of scientific congresses, make for the advancement
of knowledge in the various fields of learning.

(2) "To inaugurate, encourage, or direct those works of research
and publication which shall be deemed most useful to the advance-
ment of science and most to require and deserve collective effort."

The constitution as adopted at the October meeting estabUshed as the
governing body of the union a committee of two delegates from each
country, who should hold at least one meeting a year. The committee
elects the officers of the union to manage its affairs in the period be-
tween sessions, and to supervise the permanent secretariat established
at Brussels, the headquarters of the union. New members may be
admitted by a three-fourths vote of the delegates, and it is to be hoped
that German and Austrian scholarship will soon be represented on the
committee. The administrative expenses of the union are met by an
equal assessment on its members, which at present amounts to 2000
francs (Belgian) each; but the funds to carry out projects of work are
to be raised by the members.

The function of the union is to give these projects the guaranty of
careful consideration by a responsible international group of scholars,
who will pass not only on the value of the work, but upon the possi-
bilities of its being carried out. The procedure is planned to allow
careful consideration. Projects must be submitted to the member
societies or academies before being brought up at a meeting of the com-
mittee, so that each local body can decide which are of greater interest
from its point of view and which it can aid in carrying out, either by
providing personnel to do the work, or by securing the necessary
financial support. The delegates bring to their committee meeting
the opinions of their local groups as to local wishes and possibilities
and can select, as a result of the world-wide referendum they represent,
those plans for research or publication which not only will be most
valuable in their scholarly results, but will also most readily command
financial support or for which qualified workers can be best found.

Eleven academies representing humanistic learning or the human-
istic side of general academies have joined the union: France, Great
Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Greece,
Poland, Russia, and Japan. The academy of Sweden "will be glad
to join the union when it is possible to invite all the countries to par-
ticipate in it;" that is, it will join with the German and Austrian

Digitized by



The United States was represtoted at the first meeting by Pro-
fessor Charles H. Haskins of Harvard and Professor James T. Shotwell
of Columbia, and the cooperation of America was not only desired by
the Europeans, but was felt to be a duty, as well as a privilege, by the
American scholars to whom the call was communicated. A serious
difficulty arose in the United States. There was no legally recognized
body of scholars representing the humanistic studies, and correspond-
ing to the academies of European countries. A similar situation arpse
in Great Britain in 1902, when the scientific men were represented in
the International Association of Academies through the Royal Society;
but there was no means of getting representation for the other branches
of learning. Consequently, the British Academy for the Promotion of
Historical, Philosophical, and Philological Studies, usually termed the
British Academy, was formed to meet the need, and is now a member
of the Union Academique Internationale.

In this country, although there is no national academy, there are
active societies in each field of humanistic study — societies, many of
them, with a long record of useful work and an acquired right to con-
sideration. Appreciating the actual situation, a pecul»arly American
device was hit upon to set up a body which could represent this coun-
try in the union. Instead of endeavoring to establish an academy
composed of a comparatively few men, whose choice would have
seemed arbitrary to many of those left out, a federation of the existing
societies was effected, and the American Council of Learned Societies
devoted to Hmnanistic Studies, termed for short the American Council,
was formed in Boston in September, 1919. Great credit is due Mr.
Waldo G. Leland, secretary of the American Historical Association,
whose ability and enthusiasm are largely responsible for the successful
outcome of the September meeting.

The council is composed of two delegates from each constituent
society, who meet at least annually. It elects its own officers and
appoints and instructs the American representatives in the interna-
tional union:. Its current expense and the annual assessment paid to
the union are covered by a small sum assessed on each member society
in proportion to membership. The Institute of International Educa-
tion, through its director, Dr. Duggan, has generously assumed the
clerical expense of the council and has provided it with office accommo-

The first meeting of the council was held on February 14, 1920, in
the rooms of the institute in New York. Eleven societies sent dele-

Digitized by



gates: the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences, the American Antiquarism Society, the American
Philological Association, the Archaeological Institute of America, the
American Historical Association, the American Economic Association,
the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological
Society, the American Oriental Society, and the Modem Language
Association of America. All these societies are now members of the
council. The American Philosophical Association and the Society of
International Law were invited to join; the first has postponed discus-
sion until its next meeting, the second decided not to join.

The American Pohtical Science Association was represented by
Professor Henry Jones Ford, of Princeton, and Mr. J. P. Chamberlain,
of Columbia University. The council elected as its first officers, Pro-
fessor Charles H. Haskins, of Harvard, chairman; Professor John C.
Rolfe, of the University of Pennsylvania, vice-chairman; Professor
George M. Whicher, of Hunter College, secretary. These three, and
Professor Allen A. Young, of Cornell, and Professor Hiram Bingham,
of Yale, constitute the executive committee. Professor James T.
Shotwell, of Columbia University, and Mr. William H. Buckler, of
Baltimore, were appointed delegates to the May meeting of the inter-
national union.

American membership in this imion is thus based on recognition of
the existing American societies, which include practicaUy all students
of subjects coming under the jurisdiction of the international body.
The members of the council are not a self-continuing body of scholars
more or less arbitrarily selected, but are chosen by the suffrage of their
peers in the fields which they represent. This democratic organization
has the double advantage of corresponding to our American theory c^
representation and of resting the support for the international move-
ment on the wide basis of the ten thousand members of the constituent
societies, rather than on the forty or one hundred immortals who would
constitute an academy.

The moral and social value of the expression of the international
solidarity of learning contained in the union needs no argument. The
League of Nations is now in being and it is fitting that the international
democracy of learning should have an organ through which it can
express its desires to the council of the league and can aid that body in
settling questions which interest the scholars of the world. Already
an international committee of archaeologists has framed regulations
in respect to excavations in the territory of the former Turkish Empire,

Digitized by



regulations which will probably be attached to the treaty with Turkey
and will be applied by the mandatories who will hold portions of that
territory. Under the Ottoman regime, permits to excavate in that
archaeological golconda were obtained through national or personal
influence, a condition which seriously hampered effective work and
caused much resentment. The existence of an active international
organ of scholars will be a safeguard against breaches of the regula-
tions, once they are adopted.

Such work, however, is only a small part of the field. Students of
political science will be especially interested in the possibilities of
joint action in urging governments to a more Uberal policy in opening
their archives to study; in standardizing reports, especially in respect
to labor laws, where the international right of inquiry as to the enforce-
ment of international labor treaties will tend to this end; in securing
cooperation in studies of government activities such as budget systems,
parUan^entary committee systems, in regard to which general infor-
mation is so abundant, exact knowledge so rare and so hard to acquire,
without the cooperation of local students and administrators. When
the world was essentially agricultural, problems of political science
might have been considered largely local. Now that the world is
becoming industriaUzed, and on a machine basis, even as to farming,
problems are increasingly international in scope, as the international
regulation by treaty of labor and migratory birds shows, and in the
methods applied by local laws in settling them, witness the world-wide
spread of workmen's compensation and other forms of social insurance.

Teachers and students of political science recognize the operation
of the law of imitation in legislation; they protest only against blind
iscceptance of foreign institutions or ostrich-like refusal to accept
them on the report of more or less biased observance. The inter-
national union offers the means of extending and strengthening the
work of such groups as the International Association for Labor Legisla-
tion and the International Association against Unemployment, and
therefore of rendering a great service, not only to international good
feeling and learning, but to practical understanding of governmental
and legal institutions as they really exist.

J. P. Chamberlain.

Columbia University,

Digitized by




Harvard University

Law in the Modern State. By L£oN Dtjgxjit. Introduction by
Harold J. Laski. (New York: B. W. Huebsch. 1919. Pp.
xliv, 248.)

During the recent years Professor Duguit has figured conspicuously
in the realm of theoretical jurisprudence because of the extent to
which his views regarding the sovereignty and personality of the state
have differed from those commonly accepted. Considerable portions
of Professor Duguit's writings have appeared in English translations.
In the volume of the Continental Legal History Series entitled The
Progress of Continental Law in the XIX Century is included a transla-
tion of his Les Transformations G^irales du Droit Priv^ depuis le Code
Napolion; in the volume of the Modern Legal Philosophy Series entitled
Modem French Legal Philosophy are to be found selections from his
UEtat: Le Droit Objectiv et la Loi Positive; and the November, 1917,
issue of the Harvard Law Review was devoted exclusively to his study
The Law and the State. Now, in the volume under review, American
readers are presented with a translation by Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Laski
of another of Duguit's shorter works.

In all of his works Duguit repeats and stresses the importance of
his denial of the state's sovereignty and personality. Of the acuteness
of Duguit's anal3rtical powers there can, in general, be no doubt, and it
therefore became a matter almost beyond understanding that he should
fail to continue to appreciate the real nature of the doctrines which
he attacks. By some sort of intellectual idios3mcrasy he seems to have
been rendered incapable of distinguishing between the ideas of per-
sonality and sovereignty as legal concepts, and, therefore, divorced
from questions of actual power, moral right, or political expediency.
Failing to make this distinction, or, at least, to keep it clearly and
ever present in his mind, he expends his energies in tilting at mere
windmills of his own imaginative envisagement. He has a chapter


Digitized by




in the book under notice, entitled ''The Eclipse of Sovereignty" in
which he never once really proceeds against the principle, found in all
modern systems of constitutional jurisprudence, that the judicial
tribunals of a country must accept as law the doctrines automatically
declared by the political departments of the government, when acting
within the spheres alloted to them by the constitution, and that to
the constituent or constitution making organ no absolute legal limits
may be set.

It may be added, there appears in the writings of Mr. Laski an
almost equal confusion of thought. In his introduction to the volume
under review, he does indeed admit that Duguit's doctrine is worthless
from the juristic point of view, but, apparently, does not see that, this
being so, the doctrine is without any value at all; for he (Mr. Laski)
goes on to emphasize the political importance of Duguit's denial of the
state's sovereignty. This political importance, however, can only be
deemed arguable if it be frankly admitted that Duguit is attacking not
the sovereignty of the state as a legal or constitutional proposition,
but only the moral justification or political expediency of certain of
its acts.

As for the denial of the personality of the state, Duguit is here again
controlled by the desire to avoid ascribing inherent or absolute powers
and interests to the state, — a result which he seems to think follows
from predicating juristic personality of the state. Curiously enough,
this denial of the state's personality brings Duguit into company with
the school of writers represented by Gierke in Germany, and Maitland
and Figgis in England, who assert the "reality" of the personality of
corporations, and deny that this personality is a mere figment of the
jurist's brain. Figgis was interested in the idea because he thought
that thus ''reality" could be asserted of the personality of corporations
other than the state, and, especially because, as thus conceived, the
Anglican Church might be given a status that would endow it with
original rights and powers, and therefore, within its proper sphere, be
placed upon a plane equally as high as that of the state itself. This
idea has also been attractive to the so-called political pluralists, among
whom Mr. Laski may be included. To these pluralists it seems
advantageous either to deny the personality of the state, as is done by
Duguit, or, by taking the other extreme, to exalt its personality into the
realm of reality but at the same time to assert, that, in this respect,
other corporate institutions, whether churches, trade-unions, or func-
tional organizations, have a real personality that should be respected.

Digitized by



In chapters following the one entitled *'The Eclipse of Sovereignty,"
Duguit discusses pubhc service, statutes, administrative acts, and
state responsibility. It is not possible, however, within the limits of
this review, to discuss the points attempted to be made, and frankly
it is the reviewer's opinion that they are scarcely worth discussing, so
barren are the results. Perhaps, however, it is but fair to the author
to quote the following paragraph in which he sums up his conclusions:

*'In public law we no longer beUeve that behind those who hold
office there is a collective personal and sovereign substance of which
they are only agents or organs. In government we see only those who
exercise the preponderant force and on whom, in consequence, there is
incumbent the duty of fulfilling a certain social function. It is the
business of government to organize certain services, to assume their
continuity, and control their operation. PiibUc law is thus no longer
the body of rules regulating the sovereign state with its subjects; it is
rather the body of rules inherently necessary to the organization and
management of certain services. Statute is no longer the covenant
of the sovereign state; it is the organic rule of a service or body of
men. An administrative act is no longer the act of an official who
gives commands or of a pubUc servant who fulfills a command; it is
always an act made in view of the rule of the public service. The
problems such acts involve are always submitted to the judgment of
the same courts. If the act violates a statute every affected person
can demand its annullment, not as a subjective right but in the name

of the legality that has been violated Thus pubhc law,

Uke private law, is coming to be interpreted reaUstically and socially.
Realistically, in its denial of a personal substance behind the actual

appearance It is a social conception, in that pubUc law

no longer has as its object the regulation of the conflicts that arise
between the subjective right of the individual and the subjective right
of a personified State; it simply aims at organizing the achievement of
the social function of government."

To those to whom conclusions such as these appear either true or
valuable, the book is recommended. The translation appears to be
well done.


Johns Hopkins University,

Digitized by



The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma. By Henry Adams.
(New York: The Macmillan Company. 1919. Pp. 311.)

The complacent optimism of the last half century has been derived
in no small part from the Darwinian implication that the vital powers
of man **have risen from lower to higher by the spontaneous struggle
of the organism for life" (p. 153). Upon this hypothesis, it has been
easy to erect the dogma of indefinite progress toward betterment.

In his "Letter to American Teachers of History," which was pri-
vately circulated in 1910 and which makes up more than a third of
the present volume, the late Henry Adams sought to beguile the atten-
tion of sociologists and historians from their fetich of evolution to a
momentary contemplation of the second law of thermodynamics and
some of its impUcations.

In order that work may be done energy must flow from higher to
lower levels, as water does work when falling to sea level. The second
law of thermodynamics, announced by Thomson — slater Lord Kelvin —
in 1852, points out in effect that all of nature's energies are slowly con-
verting themselves into heat and vanishing into space, until at last
nothing will be left except the dead ocean of energy at its lowest pos-
sible level and incapable of doing any work whatever (p. 145). In
short, the universe is running down.

Adams has amplified his argument from the pages of astronomers,
geologists, physicists, biologists, even psychologists and historians,
until it would be a hardy or unveracious optimism that would not
confess a qualm from its perusal. The sun is cooling, or what is more
dismaying, maintains its heat only by cataclysmic condensations, and
may be getting ready for one of these at this moment. Nor does the
line which divides the organic from the inorganic arrest the universal
process of the ''degradation of energy" by its dissipation. The ani-
mal world expends the energy which the vegetable world draws from
the sun by restoring it in the form of heat, which is straightway dis-
sipated into cosmic space. True, with man there enters a new force,
thought; but can thought reverse the dissipation of solar energy?
As a matter of fact, man, though a late comer in a universe already
well on the way to bankruptcy, has proved himself a most reckless
spendthrift of the hoarded energies of eons. Besides, what is the
significance of the appearance of thought regarded simply as a mani-
festation of vital energy? "All organisms," Mr. Adams answers,
** would tend to develop nervous systems when dynamically ill-nourr

Digitized by



idhed/' so that ''thought appears in nature as an arrested — ^in other
words as a degraded — physical action" (pp. 242-243).

''History/' says Mr. Adams, "can be written in one sense just as
easily as in another." What vision of the historical process does the
degradationist point of view yield? Mr. Adams's answer also hints
another of his interests: "According to our western standards, the most
intense phase of human energy occurred in the form of religious and
artistic emotion, perhaps in the Crusades and Gothic churches, but
since then, though vastly increased in apparent mass, human energy
has lost intensity and continues to lose it with accelerated rapidity, as
the Church proves. Organized in society, as a volume, it becomes a
multiplied number of enfeebled units, on which, like the eye in insects,
reason acts as an enormously multiplied lens, converging nature's
lines of will, and taking direction from them, but adding nothing of
its own" (p. 229).

From the same point of view also he quotes the following passage
from Le Bon's volume on Crowds: "That which formed a people, a
unity, a block, ends by becoming an agglomeration of individuals
without cohesion, still held together for a time by its traditions and
institutions. This is the phase when men, divided by their interests
and aspirations, but no longer knowing how to govern themselves, ask
to be directed in their smallest acts; and when the state exercises its
absorbing influence. With the definitive loss of the old ideal, the race
ends by entirely losing its soul; it becomes nothing more than a dust of
isolated individuals, and returns to what it was at the start — a crowd"
(p. 252). To the same effect is his approval of Eduard Meyer's
dictum that "the whole mental development of mankind has, for
its preliminary assumption, the existence of separate social groups"
(p. 259). In a word, individualism has spelt dissipation of energy,

It is at this point that Mr. Brooks Adams takes up the story in his
somewhat diverting pages on the "Heritage of Henry Adams" (pp.
1-122). The question he poses is, where lay the responsibility for the
defeat of John Quincy Adams by Jackson in 1829? J. Q. Adams
himself clearly held God responsible and would have made no bones
f^bout saying so had he not been deterred by his respect for his mother's
feelings. Mr. Brooks Adams, however, with his brother's researches
before him, now feels that it was the second law of thermod3rnamics
which was to blame. So the decline of the Adams family is given its
necessary cosmic setting.

Digitized by



Readers of this volume are advised to omit the essay at the end,
entitled ''The Rule of Phase Applied to History." Henry Adams had
all the virtues of the great amateur — penetration, aloofness, style. It
is sad to record that in the end he did not escape the pitfall of most
amateurs. He began taking himself seriously, and that as a prophet!

Edward S. Corwin.

Princeton University.

The Defensor Pads of Marsiglio of Padua. By Ephraim Emer-
TON. (Harvard Theological Studies, Volume VII I. Cam-
bridge: Harvard University Press. Pp. ii, 81.)

Professor Emerton has, within the compass of some eighty odd
pages, given us the best extended summary in English of the political
and ecclesiastical theories of MarsigUo of Padua. To the task which
the author set for himself he brought a lifetime study of history, par-
ticularly along theological lines, and this has enabled him to make
those frequent comparisons and illustrations which others less well
schooled would find themselves unable to do. The pleasing style in

Online LibraryWestel Woodbury WilloughbyThe American political science review → online text (page 50 of 77)