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effective; therefore it must be able to command the physical force of the nation, so that the nation, in order to accomplish these ends of its being, must have instrumentalities or agents through which to express its will, and employ its force. These constitute its government.
Every government consists of a certain framework of what are sometimes styled institutions, but more generally, in modern phrase, offices, together with the persons who at any given time perform the functions assigned to these offices. In theory we may separate the offices from the officers, but actually, in examining the government of a country, the two must be considered together. We may discuss the office of President of the United States, or of France, as something distinct from any one filling it, but in the actual conduct of affairs there must be always a living agent to perform the duties of the office. It is proper to speak of the government of the whole nation, or of the government of a particular portion of its territory. For instance, the expression “the government of the United States " means all of the offices and all of the incumbents of these offices pertaining to the federal branch of our governmental system. Or, if we speak of the government of the city of New York, we mean the offices and their incumbents provided for that particular political territory. The government is not the mass of the people, nor, in our system, is it the constitution or the separate States, but it is, as stated, the offices and those filling them. It is true that the term government is frequently used in a more limited sense in current political literature, as, for instance, when it is said such or such a scheme is a “government measure," or, “the government is in favor of such and such a policy.” Here is meant the small number of officials who have a controlling voice in the direction of governmental affairs; but when treating of the science of politics, we must confine our definition to the organs—meaning thereby the offices and officers—by means of which the nation or its subdivisions express the organic will or wield the force of the whole or the part, as the case may be. It is not necessary to particularize the very many ways in which at different times and among different peoples the will of the nation has been expressed and enforced through Emperors, Kings, Consuls, or Dictators, or through councils, or parliaments, or congresses, or to enumerate the host of inferior officials who have been subordinate to them. It is sufficient now to call attention to the underlying principles, which will be described more fully later in treating of the differentiation of functions, that whatever the system of government, it is made up of a body of persons who are each doing one of two things, either expressing the will of the particular community, or wielding its force in order to execute this will. Sometimes, it is true, the same person is performing both functions, but then he combines two distinct attributes of the political body.
THE FORCE OF THE NATION.
The government of every nation rests on the total physical force of the nation. The function of a government, as already suggested, is both to express and to execute the will of the state. If the government cannot enforce the execution of its laws within the nation, then the nation ceases to be sovereign. And if a majority or plurality of voters, as the case may be, determines for the time being the will of any given state, it is primarily because such majority or plurality represents the preponderance of physical force.
When the will of the nation has been announced in the law, through the organs of the government empowered to make the declaration, the next question is, who shall enforce it? It will be seen at once that he who executes the law is subordinate to those who formulate and announce the law, because he does what a superior commands him to do; consequently he is not the sovereign. In order to make the will or command of the nation effective, it must either be acquiesced in or enforced. In fact, in all nations there must exist the ability to carry out the law by the exercise of physical force, and if need be, of the entire physical force of the nation. It may be said that physical force is at the basis of every political community, whether independent or dependent. This force is either active or dormant ; generally the latter, lying as it were in the background, but ready to be aroused if any exigency demands. The whole political structure of every community rests, in a large sense, on physical force. If the body politic cannot bring the combined force of its members to bear upon any one of them in order to compel obedience to the commands of the sovereign of that body, then it cannot be said to be an independent political community, for it lacks one of its characteristic elements. Not only is an independent political community the embodiment of physical force, but, as regards its members or citizens, is, as has been suggested, an absolute despotism. If the sovereign in the nation makes a command, and any of the members of the state refuse to obey it, and the remaining members resuse to furnish the physical force to compel obedience, then the person or body of persons making such command ceases to be sovereign.
This has sometimes been styled the mere police theory of government, but in asserting that physical force is the basis on which all government rests, it must be understood in the sense that when any independent political community maintains a form of government—that is, provides an agency through which the sovereign in that community may express its commands—it necessarily, in order to make these commands effective, more than mere idle fulminations, places at the disposal of the sovereign whatever of physical force the community possesses for the purpose of compelling obedience to the commands. If such were not the case, the functions of every government would cease. It is not, of course, affirmed that every act is the exercise of propelling force. On the contrary, by far the larger part of government action is merely regulative. The reserve force may be compared to the banker's fund which is only to be drawn upon in cases of emergency; without this fund, however, he would be insolvent; and so a government unable to command its reserve is a mere form without vitality.
Laws are made by the legislature with penalties in case of disobedience. It is true that these are, in most instances, obeyed, not through fear of the penalties, but really because the law-making power has enacted them. It is certainly true that most people do not refrain from stealing because there are laws with penalties for the offence. The mass of people in civilized communities have the law-obeying habit. Still, it may be that, out of ten thousand, only one will violate a statute ; but unless all the physical force of the state can be brought to bear, if necessary, to enforce the sanctions of the violated law on this one, the state has not, in fact, a government.
It is certainly not to be overlooked that very much of the mechanism of every government is provided for by laws without penalties, or, apparently, very inadequate ones. The postal system, for instance, consists of elaborate arrangements for the reception and distribution of letters. It is designed and administered entirely as a convenience to the citizen. No one is compelled to avail himself of its instrumentalities. If one does not comply with its rules, as in not prepaying the postage on a letter, he merely loses the advantages of its expeditious service. Yet at proper points this service is guarded by adequate penalties. Severe punishment is inflicted upon robbers of the mail, or for the opening of letters by unauthorized persons, or for carrying letters not stamped, on mail routes. The whole service moves, as it were, from its own volition ; but, in fact, is held up, one may say, by the passive force of the community.
So with the complex body of rules regulating procedure in courts of justice. A person whose legal rights have been invaded may quietly submit to the wrong, or he may seek redress by a civil remedy in the courts. His action or non-action is entirely voluntary. If he chooses