Tag Archives: corruption

War: Enemy of Liberty <- James Madison

War Promotes the three enemies of liberty: Armies, debt, and governmental power. Eventually, we'll get around to making more army/money graphics.Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both.

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

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Posted by on October 7, 2009 in economic, Foreign Policy, Politics


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Great Men are Bad Men <- Lord Acton

henryVIII-24bI cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did not wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility.

All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.

Lord John Dalberg Acton, Letter to Mandell Creighton (1887)

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Posted by on October 1, 2009 in Politics


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Congress vs. the Bill of Rights

bill-of-rights-01Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today?
It wouldn’t even get out of committee.
– F. Lee Bailey, Newsweek, 17 April 1967
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Posted by on August 27, 2009 in Politics


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