If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. 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.
Source: James Madison: “The Federalist Papers”, No. 51, (1788).
Liberty Letters are researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary) by Steve Farrell. Copyright © 2011 Steve Farrell
The Moral Liberal recommends: James Madison: Writings: Writings 1772-1836 (Library of America)