Utah State University Faculty Honor Lectures
The Faculty Association, Utah State Agricultural College
Political Process, Democracy, Democratic System
The a priori basis on which this discussion rests is that individual human freedom is desirable. The defense of this thesis is not extensive nor profound-it is rather elementary and personal. There is a further assumption, for which limited historical argument is made, that freedom, the sine qua non of political life, is best achieved and cherished in the atmosphere of parliamentary democracy. There is recognition that such freedom is limited and controlled, but there is full acceptance that in degree it does and should exist.
The argument then proceeds to the analysis of the essential element in a democratic system which makes even limited freedom possible. This element is compromise-accommodation. We are free not because we want others to be free but primarily because we can only achieve our own freedom and our own purposes by making agreements with others. ConHict of interests is the human condition-the peaceful conciliation of conHicts is the magnificent role of politics.
Merrill, Milton R., "The Political Process" (1956). Faculty Honor Lectures. Paper 40.