All Men Having Power Ought to be Mistrusted

1910.2.1 001

Glade by the Sea by Frederick Ballard Williams

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

“It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

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

“The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

James Madison rocks, doesn’t he?

james madison

JAMES MADISON BIOGRAPHY

18 thoughts on “All Men Having Power Ought to be Mistrusted

  1. Totally rocks. Thank you Adrienne.
    In those troubled times (Increasingly concerned about France and Europe) such words help feed a reflection. They also remind me of others I read in Brooklyn under somebody’s statue:
    “Ours is a government of laws not of men”.
    (They still kinda left women out of it back then, but the idea in all its conciseness is extremely powerful)
    PS: Though personally not in favour of guns (been in the military, know how to use all sorts of weapons, just don’t like ’em) the last sentence by Maddison made me wonder… 🙂
    Have a lovely week-end.
    Brian

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    • I guess my attachment to the second amendment in the US comes from knowing my family members fought at Lexington and Concord. My father was a heroic cop. So I tend to see guns as safety and weapons used against tyranny.

      There are definitely pockets in the US where guns are a huge problem but I think the bigger problem is the lack of fathers in so many families today. Don’t even get me started on how men are undermined! My pet peeve! 🙂

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      • (I do prefer the first over the second amendment, but that’s a matter of writing…) 🙂 Like I said, that phrase “jarred” me, as a very different perspective. Having lived most of my life abroad, I have seen very different “regimes” of politics. And the American or European systems are quite frankly the only ones that work. With a lot in common. And a few differences such as the second Amendment. Now about you pet peeve, do you mean “the father figure” has been undermined? And/or the fact that many households (in America/Europe) are monoparental (i.e. just the mother?) (Do indulge your pet peeve) Take care my dear.

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      • Agree totally, and expanding, there is a growing lack of Authority (whoever exercises it). No limits, no boundaries are given to children and the young. Sounds reactionary? Maybe. I constantly see brats just waiting for someone to give them boundaries. When my daughters were little, some times I would say no, though I agreed, just so they could “fight/argue” their point. 😉 Be good Adrienne.

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    • If you like that last sentence (and I do too) maybe you will also like this one:

      “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.” Adolph Hitler, April 11 1942

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

    This is the only quotation above that I disagree with. Governments consist of individuals. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Unfortunately the constitution has not done a great a job in that regard.

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