17 May 2012

He Said It: Calhoun

"The powers which it is necessary for government to possess, in order to repress violence and preserve order, cannot execute themselves. They must be administered by men in whom, like others, the individual are stronger than the social feelings. And hence, the powers vested in them to prevent injustice and oppression on the part of others, will, if left unguarded, be by them converted into instruments to oppress the rest of the community. That, by which this is prevented, by whatever name called, is what is meant by CONSTITUTION, in its most comprehensive sense, when applied to GOVERNMENT." 

--John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government (published posthumously in 1851); quoted in Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun, Ross M. Lence, ed. (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1992), 9.

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