28 October 2008

Wise Words

"Almost all the governments, which exist at present, or of which there remains any record in story, have been founded originally, either on usurpation or conquest, or both, without any pretence of a fair consent, or voluntary subjection of the people." --David Hume, "Of the Original Contract" (1748)

"In actual history, it is a notorious fact that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, in short, force, play the greatest part." --Karl Marx, Das Kapital, vol. 1 (1867)


Anonymous said...

I find the Hume quote particularly striking. So many people seem to automatically assume that democracy, as a form of government, is ideal. However, both present times and history are filled with examples of democracies that have enacted unjust, harmful policies. It's not unreasonable to think that a more authoritarian/dictatorial form of government, relying upon the right principles, could do a better job of governing than that of a democracy.

MCW said...

Marx missed the point. It is the fear of force that drives relationships and policy like nothing else.