It appears hardly necessary in analogizing the Union to mention the often condemned final clubs, although much of Mr. Lament's criticism of the latter is doubtless deserved. The connection is not apparent. No social club attempts to do any of the many publicly beneficial things which the Union does constantly. Nor can an organization so large as the Union ever replace the intimacy and closeness of the small club, for which members are naturally selected by virtue of congenially and likeness of interests. Competition such as was implied by Mr. Lament's, between the Union and the final clubs is obviously as impossible as would be rivalry between the "Shamrock III" and the Leviathan for the trans-Atlantic passenger traffic.
And since by their very nature the clubs involve a comparatively small number of men, their effect on the Union must always be negligible; similarly, the harm done by their narrowness, their snobbishness and their own little rivalries cannot be great. It is true that representatives of the University who often loomerage in the public eye, more than occasionally belong to final clubs, and from this it may be argued that the outside opinion of Harvard is unduly colored by the "undemocratic" stratum. But undergraduates, knowing the University as it is find it difficult to alarmed by the "vagaries of Public opinion; one expects it to be misled by surface appearances in any case; and this is no exception.
That the final clubs are undemocratic is certainly no new accusation; that is why they are so highly ex teemed by aspirants. That they exert a narrowing influence is not a necessary conclusion. The Union, however, need feel no trepidation nor concern on their account. It has its work, the most useful and important work conceivable, which is performs with great success. In its own field, it may assuredly consider itself the "best" at the University.