"To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude,
that the fiery and destructive passions of war, reign in the human breast,
with much more powerful sway, than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace;
and, that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility,
is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character."
Alexander Hamilton
(1757-1804) American statesman, Secretary of the Treasury
writing as "Publius," in _Federalist No. 34,_ January 5, 1788
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
...the fiery and destructive passions of war, continue with our war against Iraq.
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    The end does not justify its means - the war in Iraq is the cause of a new reign of terrorism - bring our boys and girls home - all we are doing is creating a hell hole and the longer we are there the deeper it with go. I support out troops Bring them home. Hate and revenge are the harbingers of war and the world already has plenty of that.
     -- Robert, Sarasot     
    Gosh Robert it was such a nice place before we got there was it not?? And the last time I checked, all the major terrorist attacks on this country occurred before we invaded Iraq. What world do you live in? If you actually supported "our boys and girls" you might actually listen to them say let us finish the job. You are just another socialist Bush hater.
     -- helorat, Milton     
    I believe Hamilton was speaking more in terms of domestic and national issues. It was the feeling of the day that an independent America should avoid at all costs entanglements with foreign nations -- in particular that of Musselmen (Muslims). The point being raised is that a healthy distrust of the passions of men is necessary in order to preserve the liberties of the people and their states. Thus the Constitution was written in the context of granting government limited and enumerated powers with limited jurisdictions that do not supersede that of the states and the people themselves.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Eric Engstrom, Wichita, KS      
    This has long been thought to be true, but scientists have proven otherwise. Turns out that organized killing is a result of social conformity -- a conformity established by a few -- always the few who never risk the killing or being killed. Aggression may be biological, but war is social. New and better social methods (and better governments) can eliminate war, just as they have eliminated cannibalism, lynches and witch burning. But evil on a mass scale is taught, is contrived by deception and spread through demagoguery and ignorance. To kill thousands or millions is the result of moral insanity, not of human nature.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
  • 1 1
    Science has far from proven otherwise. It seems that even chimpanzees engage in war with other "tribes" of chimpanzees. Is it societal pressure that leads them to war? War is a base instinct in human beings and better social methods and governments will not fix the problem because those methods and governments are made up of flawed human beings. Power will always corrupt eventually, and corruption leads to war.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 1
    Dick, there is no reasoned thought in what you write. You say people are aggressive by nature, blame war on socialism, then proceed to say we need more socialism. New and better (a more socialist) government continues to put us into more wars (i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq). Socialism collapses under its own weight, i.e. Nazis (National Socialists) and USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). You can't keep restricting people and expect them to conform. I expect more liberty, more freedom, less government and less socialism. If you want fewer wars, keep our troops inside our own borders, butt out of international politics (we are NOT the world's police), and get back to the Republic we are supposed to be ... not the socialist country you are pushing.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
    Hamilton’s here judgement and conclusions are flawed ab initio. Human physiology tends to lend itself to an aggressive nature (eyes narrow forward focused, limb positioning, a carnal man functionality - anatomy for the creature’s temporal self preservation). Such does not lend itself to a fiery and destructive passion of the mind, heart or soul. Historical study has found that the soul and psychology of the individual can be encouraged to become as the benevolent King of Eternity with love of fellow man - at peace and prosperity. Such can calculate the nobility of the human character. It has also been demonstrated that a herd mentality (democracy, socialism, helot, serf, slave etc.) can be taught to accept compelled compliance, government licensing, victimless crimes and larceny with impunity (2nd plank of the communist manifesto, Social Security, police state confiscations, no perfected allodium / absolute property ownership, etc.) Said democracy, socialism, etc. naturally implants, through violations of the being, a powerful destructive passion and sway to parrot a form of destruction and war. Government that holds sacrosanct the nobility of the individual sovereign, each person’s inalienable rights and liberty for all, at the laws of nature and of nature’s God - history demonstrates the human character to excel with an existence of peace, prosperity and love.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I doubt Hamilton would have approved of the war in Iraq, after all the president didn't get a declaration of war from congress in that conflict. Read the Federalist Papers.

     -- Don Lee, Hercules     
    Read Voltaires Candide and you may change your mind.

     -- Don Lee, Hercules     
    Hamilton was observing the standing armies of Europe and all over the world, the first slavery American had to win. Read Voltaire's Candide.

     -- Don Lee, Hercules     
    Throughout our species history the consensus has been able to divert attention from the great visionary. In the final analysis, in the final option, however, it will be clear to everyone that the man of tranquil peaceful disposition will take leadership.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?

    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2024 Liberty-Tree.ca