This selection appeared in the New Republic for October 22, 1924.
I CANNOT say that I am in the slightest degree impressed," Huxley told this country at Johns Hopkins in 1876, "by your bigness, or your material resources, as such. Size is not grandeur, and territory does not make a nation. The great issue, about which hangs a true sublimity and the terror of overhanging fate, is, What are you going to do with all these things?" Fifty years of the most feverish preoccupation with material development in the world's history, with its accompaniment of appalling social and industrial problems, have made Huxley's prescient inquiry the most pervasive and exigent question in American politics. Not that politics alone should be expected to furnish relief not even that political action can supply the chief forces for the making of a truly civilized commonwealth. But politics must be looked to for a good deal, not so much through the specific acts of government as in the ideals which it pursues and the spiritual atmosphere which it helps to generate. And the instruments of politics are parties.
I belong to the increasing body of Americans who cannot forget that parties are instruments, because we are not tied to parties by bonds as obstinate and irrational as ties of church. For us, during the last two decades, each presidential election has brought with increasing emphasis the question: To what ends are the two old parties instruments? Bryce asked this question with his inveterate persistence. Listen to the answer:
Neither party has, as a party, anything definite to say on these issues [which one hears discussed in the country as seriously involving its welfare]; neither party has any cleancut principles, any distinctive