"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"The greatest security in a Republic"

Alexander Hamilton on the best defense of the American system of government, namely respect for the laws that govern us: 
If it were to be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest security in a Republic? the answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws -- the first growing out of the last.  It is by this, in a great degree, that the rich and powerful are to be restrained from enterprises against the common liberty -- operated upon by the influence of a general sentiment, by their interest in the principle, and by the obstacles which the habit it produces erects against innovation and encroachment.  It is by this, in a still greater degree, that caballers, intriguers, and demagogues are prevented from climbing on the shoulders of faction to the tempting seats of usurpation and tyranny.
- Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), Tully No. III, Aug. 28, 1794, reprinted in Alexander Hamilton:  Writings (Library of America:  2001), pg. 830.

Of course, it helps if those laws are themselves respectable.

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