"The maxim, that governments ought to train the people in the way
in which they should go, sounds well. But is there any reason for
believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the
right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves?"
Thomas Babington Macaulay
(1800-1859) [Lord Macaulay] 1st Baron Macaulay, British historian
"Southey's Colloquies on Society" par. SC.60
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Reader comments about this quote:
Government makes a very poor parent.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    Nope,none at all! The maxim quoted does work very well indeed - for dictators, plutocrats, theocrats, bureaucrats and those seeking power over others.
     -- John-Douglas, Nassau     
  • 1
    The proposition antecedently supposed as a basis of argument or inference - "governments ought to train the people" - is a concept diametrically opposing liberty, with its individual sovereigns', inclusive with inalienable rights, hiring servants to uniquely secure and enhance said inalienable rights. The maxim does NOT sound well ! ! ! Further, there is NO legitimate or historical reason for "believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves".
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    "The maxim" has a familiar ring. [ From memory and I can't quote chapter and verse, but ...] Train a child in the way that he should go and he will not depart from it. Biblical.
    Governments, Religions, even neighbors will tell each of us what to think, how to live, even how to die.
     -- Bob Leavitt, Charlotte, VT     
  • 1
     -- jim k, Austin      
    Most parents shouldn't be parents and most governments shouldn't try to be parents....
     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France     
  • 1
    Robert, that makes no sense.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    Temporal hierarchies, legacies of the Fall that they are, in their essential lovelessness, in their essential inhumanity exist, primarily, to serve and sustain themselves.

    It is the solemn obligation of parents to lead by example, and by doing so to cultivate in their children spirits of free inquiry and Individual Sovereignty.

    As it is written:

    "Train up a child in the way that he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

    ~Proverbs 6:22

     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    The Golden Rule, "He that has the gold, makes the rules"
     -- Robin Hood, Nottingham     
  • 1
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