A Civil Society

by Steve on October 2, 2012

We have become Atlantis, submerged beneath waves of slop, a once great society lost. In an effort to counter the barrage of political trash being slung about – like this, share that, nevermind if there is a shred of truth to it – I will be periodically pulling nuggets from the Federalist Papers and posting them here. Attributed to Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the essays were published between 1787 and 1788 in several New York newspapers to help explain the new Constitution.

But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? 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. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

Our founding fathers recognized the dangers of unchecked power and big government, read that last sentence again: “A dependence on the people is … the primary control on the government…”

We the people control our government. We fund it. We consent to be governed and the form we demand that government to follow is clearly outlined in the Constitution. Read it, understand it, and hold your government accountable for adhering to its words and meaning.

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