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The role of Government

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ravochol Posted: Tue, Jun 22 2010 10:18 AM

"[Government] ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.

~ James Madison, speaking at the Constitutional Convention

 

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The state is always composed of a minority of the opulent. ^_^.

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MaikU replied on Tue, Jun 22 2010 11:44 AM

It's wise words actually. Government protecs only minority of people, to be precise, the elite mostly, or to be more precise, those which are in the government or are just very very rich :) So yeah, I agree.

 

But I assume most people on Mises know this.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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ravochol replied on Tue, Jun 22 2010 11:52 AM

"So yeah, I agree."

You agree that it is or that it should be?  Madison seems to be arguing that the government "ought" to protect the rich from everyone else.

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If the word within square brackets was Governance then it would be correct.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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ravochol replied on Tue, Jun 22 2010 1:18 PM

"then it would be correct."

do you mean correct in fact or morally correct?

the full quote:

Mr. MADISON. We are now to determine whether the republican form shall be the basis of our government. -I admit there is weight in the objection of the gentleman from South Carolina; but no plan can steer clear of objections. That great powers are to be given, there is no doubt; and that those powers may be abused is equally true. It is also probable that members may lose their attachments to the States which sent them-Yet the first branch will control them in many of their abuses. But we are now forming a body on whose wisdom we mean to rely, and their permanency in office secures a proper field in which they may exert their firmness and knowledge. Democratic communities may be unsteady, and be led to action by the impulse of the moment. -Like individuals, they may be sensible of their own weakness, and may desire the counsels and checks of friends to guard them against the turbulency and weakness of unruly passions. Such are the various pursuits of this life, that in all civilized countries, the interest of a community will be divided. There will be debtors and creditors, and an unequal possession of property, and hence arises different views and different objects in government. This indeed is the ground-work of aristocracy; and we find it blended in every government, both ancient and modern. Even where titles have survived property, we discover the noble beggar haughty and assuming.

The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa, or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge of the wants or feelings of the day laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe; when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be jsut, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability. Various have been the propositions; but my opinion is, the longer they continue in office, the better will these views be answered.

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the statement is an ought statement already isnt it?

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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ravochol replied on Tue, Jun 22 2010 1:46 PM

do you think that's why they exist in fact then?

very interesting document as a whole, I must say;

"Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787"

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No, I don't

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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MaikU replied on Tue, Jun 22 2010 2:58 PM

You agree that it is or that it should be?  Madison seems to be arguing that the government "ought" to protect the rich from everyone else.

 

oh sorry, didn't notice that "ought" thing :D haha.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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