Deep Thoughts with James Madison - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 10-26-2007, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Deep Thoughts with James Madison

Just a few off the top. Wow.
A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.

A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.

All men having power ought to be mistrusted.

As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.

Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

Learned Institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

Such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.
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