From the April 2003 Idaho Observer:
The Most Dreaded Enemy of Liberty
by James Madison, August 1793
James Madison was the father of the Constitution and the fourth president of the United States. Though his comments regarding war as a dreaded enemy of freedom were made 210 years ago, can anyone refute their timeless accuracy or deny their relevance to current events?
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. . . . [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and . . . degeneracy of manners and of morals. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. . . .
Note: To fully appreciate how far off our constitutional course our leaders have taken us, consult The Federalist Papers. A version of The Federalist Papers in Modern Language Indexed for Today's Political Issues, edited by Mary Webster, is available for $19.95 by contacting the Merril Press at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (425) 454-7009.
Human nature has not changed over time; our innate tendencies toward greed and pettiness are only magnified by modern conveniences. Likewise, the relationship between people and governments has not changed over time; technology simply makes capitalizing on man's frailties easier and more efficient. (DWH)
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