"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents."
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
letter to Thomas Jefferson
(Oct. 17, 1788), THE PAPERS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 19 (Julian P. Boyd ed., 1958).
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Reader comments about this quote:
The first sentence makes sense but after that it gets a little convoluted.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    The more constituents on Government subsistence the bigger chance of Government Tyranny. Welcome to 2016.
     -- Ken, Spokane     
  • 2
    Very good point! Things are in the state they are in because the majority is not standing up for the rights of others. Politics today is the art of opinion-making so that they will always have the support of the majority even when they are breaking the Law of the Land. That is why our government can wage undeclared wars, tax our properties and labors over and over, force toxins into our food, water, and medicine, and tell us lies that we like to hear. In the end, we are becoming enslaved because the majority is demanding it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    It can be. Pure democracy as an example is flagrantly antithetical to the laws of nature and of nature's God, morality related thereto, prosperity for the many and inalienable right, liberty and justice for all. More often than not though, it is as was observed in the Declaration of Independence: "all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed"
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
     -- Mary, MI      
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