Democracy Corrupted: John Adams

Liberty Letters Quote of the Day, John Adams 1786

But when a new race of men grows up, these, no longer regarding equality and liberty, from being accustomed to them, aim at a greater share of power than the rest, particularly those of the greatest fortunes, who, grown now ambitious, and being unable to obtain the power they aim at by their own merit, dissipate their wealth, by alluring and corrupting the people by every method; and when, to serve their wild ambition, they have once taught them to receive bribes and entertainments, from that moment the democracy is at an end, and changes to force and violence. For the people, accustomed to live at the expense of others, and to place their hopes of a support in the fortunes of their neighbors, if headed by a man of a great and enterprising spirit, will then have recourse to violence, and getting together, will murder, banish, and divide among themselves the lands of their adversaries, till, grown wild with rage, they again find a master and a monarch.


Source: John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States, Letter 31, 1786.