"Every citizen must look up to the laws, as his master, his guardian, and his friend; and whenever any of his fellow citizens, whether magistrates or subjects, attempt to deprive him of his right, he must appeal to the laws; if the aristocracy encroach, he must appeal to the democracy; if they are divided, he must appeal to the monarchical power to decide between them, by joining with that which adheres to the laws; if the democracy is on the scramble for power, he must appeal to the aristocracy, and the monarchy, which by uniting may restrain it. If the regal authority presumes too far, he must appeal to the other two. Without three divisions of power, stationed to watch each other, and compare each other's conduct with the laws, it will be impossible that the laws should at all times preserve their authority, and govern all men."
by:
John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
Source:
Defence of Constitutions, Vol I, LETTER XXXIV, 1787
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch11s10.html
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Reader comments about this quote:
I have no corporeal masters (organic / inorganic, real / illusionary, law or man)j ! ! ! The laws of nature and of nature's God need have no redress of grievances - it is what it is. Man's tyranny does need have a methodology to redress grievances. An appeal to a democracy is a demonic appeal to carnal gods (no matter the out come, favorable or otherwise) The current three divisions of power, stationed to watch each other are fighting to see who can be the most unlawful and destructive. All sovereign's rights have been exchanged to magistrates' license.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Today , we only have one "division of power", namely the person sitting in the oval office.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    The centralizing policies of the federalist party. Jeffersonian Republicans and even Hamilton of his own party were at great odds with Adams. Jefferson won the next election. Adams appointed John Marshall, which was a downfall for the common man of the soil.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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