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In the sentence

Universal suffrage by the whole people of representatives and rulers of the state -- this is the last word of the Marxists as well as of the democratic school.

can the word 'by' be replaced with 'for' with no change in meaning? If suffrage is a kind of right, shouldn't it be for people?

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    whole people of representatives is meaningless...universal suffrage would not normally be followed by "by" – Lambie Mar 23 at 16:52
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    Suffrage is a kind of "action" (that can be done by specified agents) here, not a kind of "right". – FumbleFingers Mar 23 at 17:46
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Here, suffrage is not used as "the right to vote", but in one of its alternative meanings: "the exercise of one's right to vote". (See the '3 also' definition at m-w.com.) The use of 'by' is actually key to indicating this meaning. The sentence could be rephrased as "100% voter turnout when electing representatives and rulers is the ultimate goal of both Marxists and the democratic school."

If you replaced by with for, you would be indicating suffrage as "the right to vote", but then the 'of' clause makes no sense: how do representatives and rulers relate to everyone having the right to vote?

  • Excellent answer. Thanks. – apadana Mar 23 at 17:33

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