Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on July 11, 2021

in History, Philosophy of Freedom, Virginia Political Economy

… is from James Madison’s October 17th, 1788, letter to Thomas Jefferson:

Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is cheifly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents. This is a truth of great importance, but not yet sufficiently attended to….

DBx: Madison here wisely warned Jefferson that majority-rule democracy, standing alone, provides no good protection against oppression and rights-suppression by government.


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