September 04, 2009
Dept. of Nothing New Under the Sun

Here’s John Stuart Mill, writing in 1861:

If we ask ourselves on what causes and conditions good government in all its senses, from the humblest to the most exalted, depends, we find that the principal of them, the one which transcends all others, is the qualities of the human beings composing the society over which the government is exercised…

Again, how can institutions provide a good municipal administration if there exists such indifference to the subject that those who would administer honestly and capably cannot be induced to serve, and the duties are left to those will undertake them because they have some private interest to be promoted? Of what avail is the most broadly popular representative system if the electors do not care to choose the best member of parliament, but choose him who will spend most money to be elected? How can a representative assembly work for good if its members can be bought, or if their excitability of temperament, uncorrected by public discipline or private self-control, makes them incapable of calm deliberation, and they resort to manual violence on the floor of the House, or shoot at one another with rifles? How, again, can government or any joint concern, be carried on in a tolerable manner by people so envious that, if one among them seems likely to succeed in anything, those who ought to cooperate with him form a tacit combination to make him fail?

At least no one on the floor of our House is shooting at one another with rifles. Yet.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 04, 2009 04:02 PM
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George Washington killed a man and then wrote a written confession to save his neck and the Federalist John Adams wanted to be king and got Congress to create the Alien and Sedition Act so his critics could be deported and/or jailed. Be afraid of the Federalist Society and their companions, the current Republic Party. Benny Bache made those points very clear which led to the election of 1800 in which Thomas Jefferson and the party of the people remained in power for the next twenty eight years. Tangentially related, but to me it explains the importance of blogs like this one BBache was known to stretch a few points to make political hay and I'm becoming convinced that's the only way to fight despotism and fascism, both of which may be coming our way, or slowly becoming more prevalent -depending on how you view things. If the people don't take back control of the government there is no hope for a bright future. . Not only government officials, but the media itself is sold to the highest bidder, except for honest media like this blog. But they don't shoot horses anymore, just ask the man who used to be the conscience of the Senate, Paul Wellstone. And just exactly why did the guy who had the goods on Karl Rove die in that mysterious airplane accident. Inquiring minds would like to know.

Posted by: Buck on September 5, 2009 4:49 PM
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