[By a mistake of the printer this report was omitted from yesterday's paper. EDS.]
There was a good audience to meet Mr. Bradford Monday night at his lecture "Political Science as a study in Universities." He began by explaining the distinction between political science and political economy. The latter, he said, deals with employment, capital, wages, currency, and tariff questions; but the former confines itself to the universal suffrage, forms of government, and the conduct of government. Political science is of a very recent date, and is better known in England than anywhere else. The history of France is very interesting in this respect, showing the continual progress towards government by the people. Our constitutional history is entirely confined to the making of constitutions, and there has been no study of its subsequent working. But there is much ground for study in our town and city government, and also a deplorable lack of knowledge on the subject. It is the duty of all of us as citizens to study and also to take action in this subject. The great failure of Mr. Wendell Phillips' later life was owing to his having no knowledge of political science, and hence wasting his powers.
The whole history of popular government shows a steady progress. Out of anarchy arose despotism, and from despotism the people have been revolting ever since. In England this struggle has been slow; in France marked by successive revolutions. Our constitution in the anxiety to do away with all danger of a "one man power," went to the other extreme and entirely separated the legislative from the executive, but did not define the powers of each. Thus the legislative body has gained the whole power, and it does nothing but fight over the spoils. The responsibility is so divided among the committees that lobbying can kill any bill, however important. In State affairs the same trouble exists, especially in Massachusetts. The governor has no power, and no responsibility. Boards and commissions, paid and directed by the legislature, control everything in the State, and are entirely irresponsible. Thus there is no common system in the government, since everybody is independent of everyone else. General Butler when he brought up this point, was elected, for the people wanted to know what was happening in these boards and commissions. He said that if he was elected he would look them up. But when he was elected he could do nothing. The boards were responsible only to the legislature, and the majority there voted as a party measure against any investigation. And besides this there is a council over him, also locally elected. But in the next election Gen. Butler did not stick to his point, but ran the campaign on egotism, and so lost. This is the danger of our system. All individuality is lost in committees.
Again from this campaign we learn that the people cannot be appealed to on intricate questions of political economy. They must have a definite point to decide on or two men to choose between, and then their decision or their choice can be relied on. We must therefore throw the power and with it the responsibility on one man; with our frequent elections there is no danger in this. We must have leaders in the legislative bodies, and the heads of departments are the proper persons for such leaders. Our State governments should have all officers dependent on the governor so that he is responsible for the whole policy.
Thus there is urgent need of our universities educating their young men on this subject, and showing them the need of action and how to act. But there is also need of care lest they become scornful of universal suffrage. For to deal with all the important problems of the present day, such as the relations of labor and capital, is a calling fit for any man.