"In framing a government, which is to be administered by men over men,
the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government
to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control
itself."
by:
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
Source:
The Federalist; Feb.8, 1788
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Reader comments about this quote:
This is obviously a tough -- if not impossible -- task. The current govt. -- and probably a few before it-- is obviously out of control. How do WE control it, when it can't control itself????
 -- Sr_Reek, Corozal, Belize, Central America     
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    We must take control back from government ... one representative at a time.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    If a government first does not have Self Control over it's own affairs, it can not Properly OR Fairly execute control of the governed! Either you are part of the Reform Movement or you endorse government as is....in my opinion.
     -- Contemporary American Patriot, USA     
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    There were 2 trains of thought; one, was a government with men over men and the other was servants of sovereigns with sufficient ability to administer law and render justice. Both concerned themselves with the government controlling itself. The American experiment, that of equal sovereigns winning out (no men over men), was such a novel concept that no language on earth, including English, had words to describe the concept. By way of example: to govern creates a mental image of men over men. There is no term that relays a mental image of representative servants administering law, justice, and the otherwise political affairs for individual sovereigns, united in equality. That experimental foundation has been lost to vain sound bites and uncontrolled governmental overlords.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Democracy was and is the answer. The framers construction of a system where the state appointed Senators was a travesty (one of several) of government controlling itself. The Amendment requiring that the individual(s) governed must vote to choose their Senator returned the nation to a greater degree of democracy and control over government. Madison is correct and Americans have done a pretty good job governing themselves and governing their government. In 222 years we have had smooth transitioning of government, never a dictator or a resort to armed conflict over government. Democracy has kept it this way.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Our government is now, and has been for sometime, completely OUT of control.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Waffler we just elected a dictator.
     -- warren, oalthe     
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    Democracy was and is mob rule in a cheap suit. Mike you hit on an important term: "Govern" It immediately implies authority without bounds. That's why I advocate a system of administration, not by election but by professional merit. The positions should be well paid to discourage graft and the holder of those position held completely accountable for non professionalism. So an election is never necessary and as long as an administrator is doing his or her job things are fine. There would be one hell of a lot less waste.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Self control by the governed or the government is BS. As Nixon said trust but verify. Taxpayer's need to be audited as do government agencies. Being held responsible is a required fact of life.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    The purpose of government is for those who run it to plunder those who do not. Throughout history, governments have used violence, intimidation, coercion, and mass murder to enforce this system. But governments' first line of "defense" is always a blizzard of lies — about its own alleged benevolence, altruism, heroism, and greatness, along with equally big lies about the "evils" of the civil society, especially the free market.~ Thomas J. DiLorenzo
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    You have a little bit of a point Carlton. Like the founders had a good thing going but the framers of the Constitution really screwed it up. They gave representation to property rights in slaves and they gave The State the right to appoint representatives to the Senate. The people, the individuals of this great country slower took the government back to the principles of the Declaration and the founders. It took a Civil War and a bunch of Amendments to straighten out what the framers did view evil compromises. Maybe it was all they could do in 1787. That some want to go back to a government based on property and STATE power rather then "all men are created equal" is beyond me.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, truth, freedom, liberty, and a full explanation of history are all beyond you. Slavery was an economic factor that was to be done away statutorily and the war between the states had nothing to do with slavery. Slavery was a major social issue, especially with those who wished to further punish, economically, the South for not going along with the Northern State's destroying of the Constitution. I've already answered your idiot's statement on the 17th Amendment. The 13th through the 16th Amendments also all rob liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, you said----"There is no term that relays a mental image of representative servants administering law, justice, and the otherwise political affairs for individual sovereigns,"------In the quote Madison speaks of enabling the government to control the governed. This is misleading because the Constitution does not allow the (as you said there is no term that relays the mental image) administrational structure of a self governed people to control the self governed at all. The term "government" implies power over the self governed and this is where confusion, because of the lack of a term to call our founder's unique creation, allows the ignorant to get away with a myriad of what they call justifications that show we must obey our administrational servants because the Constitution (they say without thought) gave the administration the power to govern us. This is a mistaken idea that those who desire administrative control over the sovereign individual exploit to the fullest to cover up and deny the truth that we are supposed to be free, sovereign, self governing individuals and that are structual form of administration was created to protect the self governing form of rule and the rights (laws of nature) that establish self government as the law of the land with the adoption of our Constitution. Every facet of our Constitution is structured to protect the natural principle of self government from the arbitrary exercise of power other governments eventually end up using once corruption slithers in and in our case, the corruption is evident in that statesmen no longer represent our self government but represent special interests and their desire to control individual self governors. To accomplish this they usurp power beyond constitutional limitations and so gain that control. All of this manipulation violates their oath of office. I also believe the term "statesman" is used by the same special interests to imply states rights (which no state possesses) in the same way as the term government is used to imply power over the self governed. I bring this up because too many patriots are out there calling our administrative structure a governing body which plays right ino the hands of those that argue for "government" control of the rights of the individual which is EXACTLY what our administrative structure was created to prevent. At times I find it a bit difficult to find the right words when the use of the term government would be so easy to use but being forced to deal with the fact of the self governing nature of our constitutional structure without a "term" to describe it, the clarification must be understood by patriots and they must stop using the term government to describe our structual design of administrative servants given the job of protecting the self governing principle of natural law our Constitution is supposed to protect. 3 stars only because of the confusion the quote causes.
     -- Anon     
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    Anon, I whole heartedly agree. Other terms such as law - law of the land, etc. are equally archaic and misleading. Codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes are all man's creation to administer the law. Such administrative tools when called law only enforce and enlarge despotism. Languages have grown out of societies where the rulers were absolute and as God (creator of the universe and eternal or natural law), their word was called and enforced as law, as though it had/has the same material impact and natural consequences. The US founders understood the difference and gave us a glimpse of the lawful representative organization they were putting forth with such words in the Declaration of Independence as "among the powers of the earth", "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God", and "endowed by their Creator". The more we misuse the terms, the more we lose the concepts of freedom and liberty. I've never understood the Wafflers of the world that love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude (being a slave to the collective - and worse), better than the animating contest of freedom, and promoting new definitions of words (losing the original concepts of freedom and liberty) to support their tyranny of choice.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike----Thanks for your insight not just here but from all your posts. The tide of ignorance is rising so all we can do is keep bailing and keep our life preservers on.
     -- Anon     
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    Hey, Anon, what happened to that optimism you said you supported when giving Sobran a thumbs down for saying we could never get our Constitutional rights back? The tide of ignorance is NOT rising, the power over the ignorant may be being exercised, but more and more people are learning the truth. I don't care if Obama has promised government money to citizens in order to get elected, a $500 check ain't gonna cover it, baby, especially since the debt obligation of each citizen is in the hundreds of thousands! Not everyone is as stubborn as Waffler -- many when confronted with reality may get sick to their stomachs, may wish they had never learned the truth, may be shocked to find that what they were taught was a lie, but in the end, they will face it because now the mystery is over, and when you put the actions of the current and previous administrations into context, we see that these guys are drunk with power and are the willing dupes of a Banking cartel which has taken over this country and most every other country. The banking cartel protect themselves first, centralize more and more power into their hands, and hide behind the scenes while making Obama-Bush puppets dance. The GOP furthers the military industrial complex and the seizing of the control of foreign resources (often referred to as American interests) while the Demons take aim at free trade, private property, and personal responsibility. But the goal is the bankers' goal: total global ownership of the wealth and property of the people, in other words, slavery to the banks forever. Don't think so? The average American owes more than he owns -- what he owes he owes to the Fed whether directly or indirectly -- every dollar he does have is a coupon issued by the Fed indicating how much money is owed for this coupon (Federal Reserve Note). Since no one is actually buying anything (because we are not using money but simply exchanging one debt obligation for another), the owners remain the same -- the Fed. The Fed owns your land, that's why you have to pay annual taxes on it or they take it from you. They own your labors and are therefore able to dictate how much you may make -- you do not have a choice -- we are taxed as high as the beasts of burden will bear. The military cannot buy one bullet without borrowing from the Fed, therefore, the Fed controls our military which is used mostly for undeclared wars in other countries -- and military spending is amazing, a 1 billion dollar plane can be blown up in an instant! Now the rouse is that the government is taking over the banks -- funny, since the banks took over the government already, what is really happening is that the banks are moving into the White House and the Capitol and implementing fascist nationalism as the form of governance over us. Obama is the globalist bankers' man -- look at his staff, all Wall Streeters, not a single blue-collar representative among them. Wake the fuck up, America!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The JURY is the final chance for the People to defend themselves against bad laws. As a systems analyst, I learned that it is the system that either makes or breaks an association of any kind. There should be no ambiguity -- in programming, the computer does exactly what it is told -- garbage in, garbage out. The 21st century populace of the world has a chance to define exactly the system of checks and balances based firstly on the natural-born rights of people. Currently, the system is corrupt, and is in fact now used funnel wealth and power away from the people to the controllers. Either we wish to have a system of control whereby each of us are beasts of burden for our masters, or we wish to have a system that protects us from any one person or group of persons from ensalving us all.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    E Archer, I didn't say that out of pessimism but rather optimism, but I do see how it could be taken that way. The rising tide is just an acceptance of the fact that, until enough wake up to turn things around, the corrupters of our self governing system of rule continue to grab more power on a daily basis. The bailing and life preservers mean waking people up but at the same time preparing for the worst. Not pessimism but prudence. I've always known truth will win out in the long run and thus the root of my optimism but, will the people wake up in time to avoid the worst? It can't be ignored that if enough were to wake up to actually become a threat to the banking cartel, we can only surmise what they may do when their power is challenged at that point. Lessons of history don't take into consideration the new ground we're on here with technological control that didn't exist in the past. Truth WILL win out but getting it back into its authoritive role again in America by either a peaceful revolution or a bloody one might not be as easy (I use the term loosely) as our forefathers had it. But, since we don't have anything in history to contrast with today's more complex situation, optimism points out that it's just as possible that once enough wake up, no matter what the ensuing result, we could clear the bastards out of there virtually overnight. Touche'! I agree 100% with the body of your post and the following one as well and also agree, wake the fuck up America!
     -- Anon     
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    From a good Democrat; "Government, in it's last analysis is organized force." Woodrow Wilson.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    Propitiation of grace granted by our Creator for the betterment of a born free sovereign individual. As with a state or individual. Mercy granted. Honesty to stand with the, charity to walk with the. If more were openly honest, with themselves and others, there would be less need for enforcement and mediation. Certain roots of behavior, greediness of gain at whatever the cost, destroy the liberty and freedom offered to all. Wisdom is known of her children. I am optimistic, and agree with Anon, but whether peaceful or blood drenched, change does come. Waking up is sometimes hard to do, it is best to rise early. but we see, that some wish the children to sleep in. WAKE UP AMERICANS. Claim your prize, of the right to be at liberty with freedom ! There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth. Woe to the O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning ! Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness ! Remember now thy Creator. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    You have all said it! though I would prefer the latter to be the former, i.e.; "....oblige it to control itself." You must have control and transparency of government before you have control of its people..... America now has total disregard for what the people think or say, as its become an oligarchy ruled by a few psycho maniacs. Its road to WWIII is paved with greed and tyranny. WWIII started with the US invasion of Afghanistan.
     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France     
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    Robert, true, but there are a league of nations working through and behind the curtain of control for global domination of economics and individualism. Democratic Socialism peppered with secular humanism. Man's domination of mankind by way of manmade laws. Transparency, frees people, that is why there is none.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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