besides abstract reasoning another instrument—experience—by which he verifies the results of reasoning. And experience tells him that power is not merely a word, but an actually existing phenomenon.

To say nothing of the fact that not a single account of the combined action of men can omit the conception of power, the reality of power is shown us, not only by history, but by observation of contemporary events.

Whenever an event takes place, a man or men appear by whose will the event is conceived to have been accomplished. Napoleon III. gives an order, and the French go to Mexico. The Prussian King and Bismarck give certain orders, and troops go to Bohemia. Napoleon I. gives a command, and soldiers march into Russia. Alexander I. gives a command, and the French submit to the Bourbons. Experience shows us that whatever takes place, it is always connected with the will of one or of several men, who decreed it should be so.

Historians, from the old habit of recognising divine intervention in the affairs of humanity, are inclined to look for the cause of events in the exercise of the will of the person endowed with power; but this conclusion is not confirmed either by reason or by experience.

On one side reason shows that the expression of the will of a man—his words, in fact, are only a part of the general activity expressed in an event, such as a revolution or a war, and therefore without the assumption of an incomprehensible, supernatural force—a miracle—it cannot be admitted that these words can be the immediate cause of the movements of millions of men.

On the other side, even if one admits that words may be the cause of an event, history shows us that the expression of the will of historical personages in the great majority of cases does not lead to any effect at all—that is, that their commands are often not carried out, and, in fact, sometimes the very opposite of what they have commanded is done.

Without admitting divine intervention in the affairs of humanity, we cannot accept power as a cause of events.

Power, from the point of view of experience, is only the dependence existing between the expression of the will of a person and the carrying out of that will by others.

To explain the conditions of that dependence, we have, first of all, to reinstate the conception of the expression of will, referring it to man, and not to the Deity.

If the Deity gives a command, expresses His will, as the history of the ancients tell us, the expression of that will is independent of time, and is not called forth by anything, as the Deity is not connected with the event. But when we speak of commands that are the expression of the will of men, acting in time and connected with one another, we must, if we are to understand the connection of the command with the event, restore (1) the conditions of all the circumstances that took place, the dynamic continuity in time both of the event and of the person commanding it; and (2) the condition of the inevitable connection in which the person commanding stands with those who carry out his command.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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