"A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a republic,
and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it,
without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace."
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
The Federalist No. 46.
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Reader comments about this quote:
Does that last line remind you of any particuliar government, maybe the one we have inside the beltway right now.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 4
    Absolutely everything we "Don't" want is described here by a man who had the best interests of Americans at heart. Take heed America.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 3
    This quote states clearly and emphatically the state of our government today!
     -- Rev. Carter A. Dary, Madison,WI     
  • 4
    Enemy checklist: a standing army, CLOSE. an enslaved press CHECK! and a disarmed populace NEXT. AHH, then my job will be done!.
     -- Anonymous, USA     
  • 2
    I would like to know the justification for the US military these days -- according to the US Constitution, no army is to be commissioned for more than 2 years. If so, then how do the People justify their government's military bases all around the world, with nearly a million troops stationed and in battle in a dozen different 'operating theaters'? Will the People ever demand their government obey the rules we have set up for them? Who will enforce them? Without the power of succession, there is no check upon the federal government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 3
    The founders were incredible students of human nature. Time and again we find all their warnings accurate to threats we face.

    Government agencies getting more weaponized, a corrupt press and a push to take 2nd amendment rights are as great a threat as they were when Madison made these comments.
     -- J Allen, Arlington, Va.     
  • 4
    Even more so today... more cake and more circus, is always top on the menu...
     -- RBE, Florida     
  • 3
     -- Ronw13, Oregon      
    A government resting on the majority is a democracy, not a republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it. The de jure republican form of government (Article IV Section 4, U.S. Constitution) are individual sovereigns united with servants hired to represent inalienable rights. Servants are not to represent the "PERSON" (for each person, his needs, aspirations, beliefs, etc. are different) but rather, individual inalienable "RIGHTS' which are equal to each person and the law. The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land has 4 branches - namely; executive, legislative, judicial & media (ecclesiastical propagation malefactors). The immense standing army extends the executives bidding (Congress has become all but irrelevant).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    That is a fake quotation. It is not in Federalist No. 46, or in any other of the Federalist Papers. I can find no source for it other than unsourced quotations all over the web. Its language is also not characteristic of Madison or the era. Conclusion: Its a fake.
     -- David, Rochester MI     
  • 1
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