Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mere Instrument

James Madison presidential $1 coin, obverseWherever 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 the 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.

-- James Madison (16 March 1751 - 28 June 1836), 4th US President, co-author, with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, Father of the US Constitution, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson (17 October 1788)

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