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§ 14] INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL FORCES. 47
the old constitutions from change in the one case, or renders the new constitutions acceptable in the other. There must be a predominance of consent, and in case the community be divided, the supporters of the government must be stronger than its opponents1. They must also have force to maintain it ; for ' force is an absolutely essential element of all law whatever. Law is nothing but regulated force, subjected to particular conditions*.' Those classes, then, in which this element of force resides will naturally predominate and we arrive at the principle enunciated (with qualifications) by J. S. Mill : ' The government of a country, it - is affirmed, is in all substantial respects fixed and determined beforehand by the state of the country in regard to the distribution of the elements of social power. Whatever is the strongest power in society will obtain the governing authority ; and a change in the political constitution cannot be durable unless preceded or accompanied by an altered distribution of power in society itself.' Mill further defines the elements of power to be (besides the strength of numbers) property and intelligence and organisation ; and the power must be not quiescent but active power, actually exerted8. If we add to this definition the element of prescription, the strength which the undisputed possession of 'authority gives to a class, which has been for some time in control of government, we may accept
1 Ar. Pol. vi 12 1296 b 14 Set yap upeirrov elftu -rb ftov\6fievov /J.tpos rfy n-AXews tou /xt; /SouXo/ifrou tiivcu> rty iro\i.rtiav : of. iv 9 1329 a 11; viii 9 1309 b 16. Xen. Hell, ii 3 19 Theramenes says 6pw S6o tj/hos Ta tvavrub-toto irpaTTovTas, jStaidv re rr)V apxftv (to! tjttoco tuv
3 Sir J. F. Stephen, Liberty Equality and Fraternity*, p. 239. 3 Representative Government ch. 1.