Skip to comments.Diseases of the Body Politic - Noah Webster (1786)
Posted on 09/30/2009 8:36:51 PM PDT by Loud Mime
That the political body, like the animal, is liable to violent diseases, which, for a time, baffle the healing art, is a truth which we all acknowledge, and which most of us lament. But as most of the disorders incident to the human frame are the consequence of an intemperate indulgence of its appetites, or of neglecting the most obvious means of safety; so most of the popular tumults which disturb government arise from an abuse of its blessings or an inattention to its principles.
A man of a robust constitution, relying on its strength, riots in gratifications which weaken the stamina vitae; the surfeiting pleasures of a few years destroy the power of enjoyment; and the full fed voluptuary feels a rapid transition to the meager valetudinarian.
Thus people who enjoy an uncommon share of political privileges often carry their freedom to licentiousness, and put it out of their power to enjoy society by destroying its support.
Too much health is a disease which often requires a very strict regimen; too much liberty is the worst of tyranny; and wealth may be accumulated to such a degree as to impoverish a state. If all men attempt to become masters, the most of them would necessarily become claves in the attempt; and could every man on earth possess millions of joes, every man would be poorer than any man is now, and infinitely more wretched, because they could not procure the necessaries of life.
I could not find a html source for this document, so typed it from the text. More is available at the linked source. I recommend that the reader see book's index.
Founder’s Writings - Ping
thanks for the link.
BUMP. Too bad the average politician today has about 1/1000th of the innate intelligence of our founders.
"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to theConstitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.
Where are men of such wisdom and character today when we need them more than ever?
Since we’re on the subject of diseases of the body politic, Mr. Jefferson wrote a word or two about those — and where they originated. He was spot on!
An astute student of history and human nature, Thomas Jefferson, predicted what we see happening here in America. As ambassador in France, he witnessed the run up to the FIRST socialist/communist revolution there. He penned the following observations concerning what would happen HERE should that socialism come to the United States. He CORRECTLY predicted that we would become an increasingly contentious and litigious people as we shouldered one another out of the way to get OURS from the public trough and the trough would soon be empty.
He also knew where the bulk of the problem would originate.
That whirring noise you may hear coming from that mountain in Charlottesville, Virginia is Mr. Jefferson getting up to around 3600 RPM.
(A 6 minute video with this information may be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypLu49pq3bI)
As I understand it, at the time of the drafting of the Declaration, Mr. Jefferson originally wrote Life, Liberty and PROPERTY (meaning that ones right to freely acquire, use and dispose of his property to the extent doing so did not violate the same to others was a Creator endowed right. Because slavery viewed humans as property, the phrase Pursuit of Happiness was adopted instead to avoid at least for the time being — the inevitable debate on that subject.
“The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIX, 1782. ME 2:230
I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one another in large cities as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe.” —Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. Papers 12:442
“I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice.” —Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800. ME 10:173
“Our cities... exhibit specimens of London only; our country is a different nation.” —Thomas Jefferson to Andre de Daschkoff, 1809. ME 12:304
“Everyone, by his property or by his satisfactory situation, is interested in the support of law and order. And such men may safely and advantageously reserve to themselves a wholesome control over their public affairs and a degree of freedom which, in the hands of the canaille of the cities of Europe, would be instantly perverted to the demolition and destruction of everything public and private.” —Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1813. ME 13:401
“An insurrection... of science, talents, and courage, against rank and birth... has failed in its first effort, because the mobs of the cities, the instrument used for its accomplishment, debased by ignorance, poverty, and vice, could not be restrained to rational action. But the world will recover from the panic of this first catastrophe.” —Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1813. ME 13:402
“I fear nothing for our liberty from the assaults of force; but I have seen and felt much, and fear more from English books, English prejudices, English manners, and the apes, the dupes, and designs among our professional crafts. When I look around me for security against these seductions, I find it in the wide spread of our agricultural citizens, in their unsophisticated minds, their independence and their power, if called on, to crush the Humists of our cities, and to maintain the principles which severed us from England.” —Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:120
‘That the political body, like the animal, is liable to violent diseases, which, for a time, baffle the healing art, is a truth which we all acknowledge, and which most of us lament.’
Very true. Unfortunately, the USA is flat on its back in bed with a temperature of 104, a thready pulse, and an awful case of the galloping trots.
Meanwhile, the Democrats, as always, advocate a spine-ectomy.
Actually, I believe that the Democrats of today are selling out the United States for their own personal profit. They have a spine, for now.
What follows this mess will probably be what has followed every other tyranny. Hopefully we can stop them before it decays to that level.
Thanks for the wonderful quotes; it took some time and I’m sure that the other FReepers love the content as well.
One of my favorite books (of fifty or so) is “The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson.” His notes on Virginia were an excellent read....I posted something from them last year, or the year before.
Yes, he’s spinning in his grave; but he’s mad at the citizens who have allowed this tyranny to set.
Back in the early 90s, my wife and I drove to D.C. to visit our old stomping grounds. We lived there in the early 60s while in the USAF and my wife had a great job in an office overlooking the White House at 1701 Pennsylvania Ave. JFK stumbled out of Blair House in front of her one lunch hour and my very pretty, nearly 6’ tall lady turned his head. It wasn't later that we found out that she might have been in some danger. :-)
On the trip back, we toured Monticello. No crowds that day and as we walked down the hill toward the small graveyard between that grand home and the parking area, I asked my wife to go on ahead.
I stood alone at the wrought iron fence and gazed at the small obelisk marking Mr. Jefferson's final resting place. And as I contemplated that simple, austere marker and read the equally simple inscription, I thought about the condition of the Republic he and the others paid such a dear price to try to leave us.
Overcome by the moment -- I wept.
My visit to Mount Vernon hardened my resolve to finish a project of several years work. It goes to the publisher in finished form next week....after 23,956 re-writes.
The Wall brought me to tears. The politicians screwed up that war royally, like they’re screwing up our nation.
OUTSTANDING. Please let me know its title and where it will be available.
I couldn’t go to The Wall. I know some of the boys on it.
My tribute to one of them, Andy Shimp, is on the Virtual Wall here:
I had email exchange (below) with Joe Galloway shortly after seeing “We Were Soldiers.” I’m still pissed at how we wasted over 56,200 of our finest in a no-win fiasco. Then we did it again in Somalia and again a few weeks ago when superiors denied artillery support to our guys in a firefight in some crumby Afghan village. Couldn’t — you know — have civilians harmed even if they were loading mags and hauling supplies to the bad guys. Sure makes ME want to re-up!!
God bless and be safe. There are many dangerous folk abroad in the land and not all of them are with the government.
Thank you and Gen. Moore for allowing the film to be made and for working with Gibson
- one of the few people in Hollywood I trust - to keep the story as close to events as
was possible. How Hollywood COULD embellish la Drang is beyond me.
I spent nearly 4 years training young troopers to be Combat Engineers at Fort Belvoir
between ‘62 and ‘66. Some of THEIR names grace that black monolith on the Mall.
There must NEVER be another Viet Nam (or Somalia! - thank you, Bill Clinton) -
God bless you and General Moore for helping those of us who have never seen combat
to better understand the horror and sacrifice of war and the love between the men who
are consigned to them by politicians who send them off to misadventures like Nam with one
arm tied behind their backs.
McNamara popped up on the book tour circuit a while back promoting his mea culpa on
Viet Nam. Through clenched teeth, I watched him weep during one TV interview as he
declared that he KNEW the entire exercise was wrong as it unfolded - but did
NOTHING to try to stop it.
They are excavating a new, lower level of Hell for McNamara as you read this. It is just
With a silent prayer for ALL those who fight and die for this country, I extend warmest
personal regards to you and General Moore. May you both enjoy the remainder of what
I pray will long and peaceful lives.
Unlike most of us, you have earned them.
Reply from Joe Galloway of 10-21 -02
Nope, They are putting McNamara right in the same level with LBJ, and boy is LBJ pissed at him for all this whining around he’s been doing. He can bend his ear for all eternity, while they fan each other......
Thanks for your kind words about the book and the movie, I will share them with Gen Moore.
“joes” were an old gold coin.
Not sure I understand your post; the Democrats are selling out the country, but yet they HAVE a spine???
Sounds pretty spineless to me.
The wise person today who we all have access to on a regular basis is Thomas Sowell. I strongly recommend you seek him out on the Internet and benefit from his insight.
There may be wiser men that I am not aware of and therefore I don't have access to their wisdom. Please share the names of others you feel display wise and critical thinking.
Quite often, wisdom is merely the result of taking the time to think; you can quote me on that.
Couldn’t agree more. I’m very familiar with and a reader of Mr. Sowell — and Walter Williams, Herman Cain, Alan Keyes — there are others.
Those of us who oppose Obama on purely ideological and philosophical grounds are now regularly accused of being racists. Were any of the above named men — black men — run for high public office, I would do all I could to help them get elected over and above some fellow white guy who embraced the same FOREIGN IDEOLOGY Obama does.
Would that be REVERSE RACISM???
I no longer use the term “reverse racism.”
It is proven to be “revenge racism.”
Correction noted. Thanks.
You do not have to be an invertebrate in order to be evil.
No, but it helps.
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