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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Aristocracy and Democracy—I

There are two opposite principles in society named Aristocracy and Democracy, but this is not all. The former always dictates and seeks to govern the latter which being ignorant cannot rule. By means of hypocrisy, it governs the masses, but it is not the only governing agent. Another element opposed to it also acts upon the minds of men. Science dictates to no man but proves all things, while the religion of science embraces all things. Neither of these contains that love of power and deceit which distinguish the two I have named. Priests govern the people through hypocrisy, but science requires not even a belief to establish itself and when it is understood its fruits are universal freedom and charity. Since it works out freedom, science is unpopular, for that, united with democracy, forms a perfect system of slavery. Disease is another combination of the same elements. The leaders of the medical schools, through the hypocrisy of their profession, deceive the people into submission to their opinions, while the democracy forge[s] the fetters which are to bind them to disease. Science which would destroy this bondage is looked upon as blasphemy when it dares oppose the faculty, and religion has no place in the medical science.

Likewise in the church, the religion of Jesus which is Science is never heard, for it would drive aristocracy out of the pulpit and scatter seeds of freedom among the people. Nevertheless, the religion of Christ is shown in the progress of Christian Science, while the religion of society decays in proportions as liberal principles are developed. Man's religion labors to keep Science down in all churches North and South by suppressing free discussion, for aristocracy will not hear anything tending to freedom. It wishes to govern democracy as it always has done by arbitrary power, for the masses are always in slavery either black or white. African slavery is recognized by state laws and these are endangered by striking at the constitution; therefore aristocracy opposes any discussion of slavery in politics, while democracy dutifully opposes any discussion of the same in the pulpit. This affects the white slaves at the North. So nothing was so tenderly handled before the war as slavery. There was no freedom of speech allowed unless it be in favor of the extension of slavery. This was white slavery and the opinions of democracy ruled. All men are more or less democratic for they are not wise enough to govern themselves and rush into aristocracy from fear. A man who denies all law and vindicates unrestrained freedom must depend on some arbitrary power.

Slavery is to elevate democracy but aristocracy aims to keep it in subjection. It is easy to distinguish them. One appeals to the people in their own element of prejudice and passion and tries to convince them that the other party seeks to enslave them. Science tries to open their eyes; it shows them how their masters are binding them, but this requires reason and they will not listen to it. So they continue to bind themselves with their own burden till they can't help themselves; then, kneeling down, they kiss the hand that oppresses them. Democracy will not apply as a name for liberty; it is counterfeit and deceives many. Throw away all doctrines that deceive or enslave man and democracy will break from its leaders and come forth in the field of science and religion.

February 1863

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