The increase in the freedom of ordinary men and women during the last two generations has taken place, not in spite of the action of Governments, but because of it. It has been due to the fact that, once political democracy had found its feet, popularly elected chambers began, under the pressure of their electors, to prescribe minimum standards of life and work, to extend public services, to pool surplus wealth and employ it for the common good, to confer a legal status on trade unions, and generally to treat their economically weaker citizens as human beings entitled to the opportunities, advantages, and security against unmerited misfortune, which had previously been confined to the economically strong. The mother of liberty has, in fact, been law.
That process was for long carried forward hesitatingly and with reluctance, by Governments which only half believed in it…. It involves, of course, a substantial enlargement of the activities of public bodies; and it is her...
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