Departure from Principle and the Abusive State of Man—Jefferson


A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, and to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.

Source: Excerpt from Thomas Jefferson letter to Samuel Kercheval; Monticello, July 12, 1816.

They Were Believers is a project of Steve Farrell and Self-Educated American