The Very Definition of Tyranny

Liberty Letters, James Madison, 1788

No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that … [t]he accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Were the federal Constitution, therefore, really chargeable with the accumulation of power, or with a mixture of powers, having a dangerous tendency to such an accumulation, no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal reprobation of the system.

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Source: James Madison, The Federalist Papers: No. 47, January 30, 1788.