12 December 2008

Interesting Post at Mudville...

From the Mudville Gazette, a great John Adams quote; here's a bit from the end that seems especially pertinent:
And the new Governments we are assuming in every part will require a purification from our vices, and an augmentation of our virtues, or they will be no blessings. The people will have unbounded power, and the people are extremely addicted to corruption and venality, as well as the great. But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe. (emphasis mine)

3 comments:

Carissa said...

They understood human nature very well, didn't they?

kannie said...

Absolutely!!! The more I learn, the more faith I have in the government the Founders set up, as opposed to what we've got now. And then my frustration turns over to that last bit about submitting all our hopes and fears to Providence... just keep doing what we know we should be doing, and we *will* be okay. *How* okay, temporally, we're not sure, but we'll be more protected than we would otherwise be. :-)

Carissa said...

Maybe you have already heard this one too:

"As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence." James Madison

They were wise enough to allow the people to govern themselves, and wise enough to know what the limits of power should be. Their solution was nearly perfect. It's a shame we don't follow it more strictly.