"How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, impelled as it were by an irresistible fate of despotism."
James Monroe
(1758-1831), 5th US President
speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
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Reader comments about this quote:
I don't know what else I could add to such an astute in the obvious / accurate observation. From originating concepts of a body politic made up of sovereign individuals with inalienable rights; to, the Constitution; to, the occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land, Monroe's observation is exacting.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 5
     -- dr hamid ibrahim, KUALA LUMPUR      
    The seeds of the destruction of every civilization, seeds such as are present at its very inception, are the frailties that inhere in Fallen Human Nature.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
     -- Ronw13, Oregon      
    Mike is right; this quote needs no explanation
     -- Warrdoc, Elk Grove     
    It appears to be so, unfortunately. Jefferson said there ought to be a rebellion every 20 years as a check against centralized power. We could really use a crop of statesmen like the American founders, but the seats of power in the US government have been overrun by authoritarians of all stripes, while the stewards of liberty have been disempowered, weakened, and even ridiculed for their 'selfishness' and 'greed.' The tree of liberty is getting thirsty...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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