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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 75 of the late Forrest McDonald’s 1985 book, Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution (footnote deleted):

John Taylor of Caroline put it succinctly: “The more a nation depends for its liberty on the qualities of individuals, the less likely it is to retain it. By expecting publick good from private virtue, we expose ourselves to publick evils from private vices.” Taylor went on to deal at length with the importance that the structure of political institutions had for republican liberty.

DBx: Private virtue is wonderful, and necessary for a society to be good. But private virtue isn’t sufficient. Also necessary are good institutions – institutions that, above all, check arbitrary power and disperse decision-making authority.

Pictured here is John Taylor of Caroline.

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