… is from a passage in John Milton’s 1660 tract, The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, as found on page 231 of Will & Ariel Durant’s 1963 volume, The Age of Louis XIV:
Should one entrust the commonwealth to those to whom nobody would entrust a matter of private business?
DBx: Milton here warned against the danger of democracy giving to people the power to govern the affairs of their fellow human beings – power that those fellow human beings would not voluntarily entrust to those who exercise it. And this general point implies this more specific one: If Jones cannot persuade enough of his fellow human beings to voluntarily entrust their funds to him for his business enterprise, there is no good reason to believe that Jones’s business idea is sound.
Put differently, there is every reason to believe that if the only way Jones can acquire the resources he needs for his business enterprise is to seize them from others, Jones’s idea stinks and he should be ridiculed for his impertinence and for his disrespect for the rights of others.