The true sociological doctrines of modern times can be summed up in a few words: Recognizing that, in the political and temporal order, the only legitimate authority is the one to which the majority of the nation has given its consent; that are wise and beneficial constitutions only those for which the governed have been consulted, and to which the majorities have given their free approbation; that all which is a human institution is destined to successive change; that the continuous perfectibility of man in society gives him the right and imposes him the duty to demand the improvements which are appropriate for new circumstances, for the new needs of the community in which he lives and evolves.
No, it is not true that the political discussions, which were as sharp in both Canadas, were a fight between races. They were as rough in Upper Canada, where there was only one nationality, than here, where there were two. The majorities of both of them were uninterested friends of rights freedoms, and privileges due to all the English subjects. They were voluntarily exposing themselves to lie full slanderings, to dangerous angers, to sanguinary revenges sometimes, from egoistic minorities, by themselves weak, but supported by the strength of the baionnettes paid with the gold of the people, but everywhere directed against the people.
The privileged people always think that the prayers and the complaints against the abuses which benefit them are an invitation to repress them by violence.
Proud, just and enlightened men, whose convictions are intense because they are the result of strong studies and long meditations, have faith in the empire of reason, and it is for reason alone that they ask the correction of the abuses. Their efforts are addressed to all, to the powerful ones initially, to inspire them sympathy for the people that are suffering and that were impoverished by the abuses. They present them with glory and happiness to conquer, if they know how to render the society of their time more prosperous and more moral that it was it in the times which preceded. They address them initially and preferably, because their mind being more cultivated, they would be better prepared to be able to consider questions of general interest under all their various aspects, and to solve them quickly and correctly when selfishness does not blind them. They address the masses after, to say them that the sabre is not in their hands, but that reason is the richest and most invaluable of divine gifts and that it was separated almost equally amongst all, that the culture of the mind can centuplicate its fruitfulness and strength; that to clear the land one needs physical strength enlightened by experience, but that in order to make good constitutions and good laws, and to apply them wisely, it is necessary to have before all a strong reason, enlightened not only by serious studies, but above all by a real devotion to the country, and the absence of any personal covetousness of ambition or interest. Here is what could seen before, here is what has since become so rare, now that fortunes acquired at the expense of the public and personal honor, have become so numerous! How badly do these reproaches of propensity to violence come from those who constantly have recourse to violence to prevent the free discussion of political or social questions, physical violence by means of the law, moral violence by the anathema!
Papineau was 81 years old when he appeared at the Institute in 1867
Papineau Bio See https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/qc/manoirpapineau/decouvrir-discover/natcul1/a
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