L.T. Hobhouse's interpretation of liberalism [1911] is quite definite on this issue: 'democracy ... is the necessary basis of the Liberal idea'.3 Although all liberals today would subscribe to this position, probably no one who considers himself a liberal would be prepared to say, as Hobhouse does, that 'if the elementary rights are to be secured for all it may be that a semi-despotic system like that of some of our Crown colonies is the best that can be devised'.4 Today, it is the 'conservative' who believes that the preservation of rights in general is more important that the particular right to participate in the electoral

SENTIMENTAL LIBERALISM If we want to know what happened to nineteenth-century liberalism - why even Mill in presenting a philosophical statement of its principle (Utilitarianism) could not bring himself to apply it rigorously - we should consult

among liberals that the individual is threatened by the collectivity when liberty is considered as not 'opposed to discipline, to organization, to strenuous conviction as to what is true and just' (which was Hobhouse's view).