"It has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom, to say, that government is a compact between those who govern and those that are governed: but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be, that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist."
Thomas Paine (more quotes by Thomas Paine or books by/about Thomas Paine)
(1737-1809) US Founding father, pamphleteer, author
Constitution, Democracy, Freedom, Government, Independence, Liberty, Power, Republic, Responsibility, Sovereignty, Trust, Usurpation