Universal democracy does not mean the wiping out of all grades among men, bringing every person down to an equality of commonplaceness. This idea is the product of ignorant and timid minds. The motive force of democracy is not envy.
Democracy glowers at present-day great folk not because it does not believe in aristocracy, but because it does believe in real aristocracy, and is out of patience with humbug superiority. The plutocrat of New York, the hereditary noble of London, and the kings of Europe, we do not feel pleasant toward them simply because they have no rational right to their glory.
There always have been and will be genuine kings of men, leaders, rulers, all the more powerful the less power they have. To them the common man is proud to look up, and to say “master.” But these are the very kind which would have more opportunity under democracy than under privilege.
Such are Dante, Shakespeare, Bacon; Lincoln, Gladstone, Mazzini; Wagner, Beethoven, Bach; Francis of Assisi, Luther, Wesley; Socrates, Plato, Kant; Pasteur, Metchnikoff, Koch and the like; and, over all, the “king of kings,” the Carpenter’s son of Nazareth, whose short life influenced mankind more than any battle, any dynastic change, any discovery.
We want the cheap, pewter kings of artificial convention to get out and give this kind a chance.