Wherever There is an Interest and Power …

American Founder: James Madison


Wrote American Founder, James Madison:

Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents. … Wherever there is an interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done, and not less readily by a powerful and interested party than by a powerful and interested prince. The difference, so far as it relates to the superiority of republics over monarchies, lies in the less degree of probability that interest may prompt abuses of power in the former than in the latter. (James Madison, Works 1:425)

Another reminder as to why the Founders gave us a balanced republic with divisions of powers (horizontal and vertical), checks and balances, mixed forms of representation, frequent elections, a Bill of Rights, and so forth.

The point is, power in the hands of men tends to corruption. The answer the Founders came upon, therefore, was to reject monarchy (the powerful and interested prince), to reject aristocracy (the powerful and interested few), and to reject democracy (the powerful and interested party – or many), and to give us a republic instead, a constitutional republic. Our inspired constitutional republic.

The Moral Liberal, Publisher and Editor In Chief, Steve Farrell is one of the original pundits at Silver Eddy Award Winner, NewsMax.com (1999-2008),  and the author of the highly praised inspirational novel Dark Rose.

Copyright © 2012 Steve Farrell.

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