Saturday, February 26, 2011

John Adams on Democracy

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

As the world watches the unrest enveloping the middle east, with every one rallying around the call for democracy in a region that has essentially never experienced much liberty, perhaps it would be wise to give thought to what one wishes for. John Adams summed up democracy quite well in his 1763 essay on Man's Lust for Power.
"[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few." --John Adams, an Essay on Man's Lust for Power, 1763

Reference: Original Intent, Barton (338); original The Papers of John Adams, Taylor, ed., vol. 1 (83)
Democracy, as the ideal is a wonderful concept. In reality, given mankind's inadequacies, it is an unfortunate but necessity evil that we have governments to control our actions. The American republican form of government, one in which citizens are governed by the rule of law and not by the whims of a king or despot is likely as close to the "ideal" as the world will ever witness.

So as we hope the turmoil in the middle east results in the people of the region gaining more individual liberties  and a more representative form of self governance, the likelihood of this occurring is slim. What we should  hope for is stability, whatever forms of government develop in the various countries after the unrest subsides.

In the meantime perhaps the elected Democratic officials from Wisconsin who are hiding out in Illinois and abrogating their responsibilities will do the right thing and return to do their jobs.


  1. Maybe the Democrats in Wisconsin are representative of "The American republican form of government, one in which citizens are governed by the rule of law and not by the whims of a king or despot is likely as close to the "ideal" as the world will ever witness."

    If I am not mistaken you were arguing against the tyranny of the majority in regards to Obama and the democrats in congress just a few months ago...

    So you have a governor that won 52% of the vote (which is less that Obama had in 2008) on a platform of balancing the budget and lowering taxes...he never once mentioned busting unions...

    They tyranny of political deceit....

    As far as the middle east goes....its their country(s) and they can do whatever they think is best...

  2. They are duly elected senators. Their responsibility is to act as such. Not as spoiled children.

    with respect to Obama I suggest you point to my specific argument and post, Then we can discuss it.

    Call it busting union if you like. I see it a bit differently. Although Walker might be better served with a different method.

    I thought you were all for revolution and anarchy in the mid east in the name of democracy.

    Funny world.

  3. And I will continue to argue against the tyranny of the majority on a constitutional basis, as I have always done.


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