Important Quotes - PING!
bflr - thanks
In truth, America is too large, and should be broken up into smaller republics.
Thank you for that wonderful excerpt. I keep “Democracy in America” handy as a reference finding him to be incredibly prophetic and topical. It would serve us all to heed his reminders. We have yielded to mob rule in an institutional sense rather systemically by amending the Constitution to permit an income tax and by permitting the direct election of what was to be the representative of the states and the states’ political interests, i.e. senators. Again, thanks.
One of those most brilliant essays ever written.
Thanks for the post. Our republic has both a horizontal axis in the division of power (Legislature, Executive Judiciary) and a vertical axis (Federal-State) and within the vertical axis power is fragmented at various levels from county and municipal government to local school boards. Power is atomized in corporations and universities through boards of directors and faculty committees etc. What no one envisioned was the massive development of a fourth and largely unaccountable branch of government- the administrative branch. This development more than anything else skews the paradigm of the Framers.
Reasons for the Bill Of Rights reference bump! ;-)
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.
An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known, and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very hall of government itself.
For the traitor appears no traitor.
He speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in hearts of men.He rots the soul of a nation.
He works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city. He infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.
First there is the concept that there are individual retained rights over which power to regulate has not been delegated to government.
10th Amendment - “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”
Then there is the concept of actional trespass as force or violence with consequence of injury to liberty, security, property and relative equality of rights. There is the maxim of law regarding property: “sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas” - - each one must so use his own as not to injure his neighbor- This means the individual has liberty bounded only by the equal rights of others.
Then there is the limitation of government regulation
to the protection of the public from substantial injury to the general public health, safety, morals and “welfare”. With the distinction that regulation to advance the “public welfare” is constrained by Fifth Amendment limitations and just compensation for the taking of private property to advance the legitimate public good.
Regulation for anything else such as community concensus, promotion of a popular behavior, lifestyle choice or belief is an encroachment upon individual freedom.
Then there is the heritage of the “rights of Englishmen” at the foundation of our inherited legal tradition and carried forward through the principles of stare decisis. (Vote, jury trial, etc.)
The founders intentionally created a Republic and not a democracy to weaken the tyranny of the majority over the individual. Then they separated powers among three seperate branches of government. They also set up a system of federal “dual soverignty” with a State and a National government, where the national did not have power over the State - each having seperate powers to regulate individual action. They also delegated the national distinct enumerated authorities, carving it from the original powers of the States.
All of this fractured power was to protect the individual and maximize individual freedom/liberty. In contrast, the French felt that the individual surrendered his natural rights for superior civil rights and was subject to the rule of the majority.
Since its creation, the tendancy has been to move from what we were given to a more “democratic,” hierarchial and regulatory America to the sacrifice of individual liberty.
This is precisely why our founders rejected the idea of a democracy out of hand (They called it mob rule) a chose a republican form of government instead.
Someone needs to let the news readers on TV in on this fact.