“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.”
American politician and Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington
Hamilton was a founding member of the Federalist Party in post-colonial America, and he was significantly involved in the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
He observed, rightly enough, that “men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.” In simple words: human beings are not profoundly rational, civil, democratic, decent beings.
|Orwell's Animal Farm|
Hamilton was shooting duds when he argued that government is intended somehow to rationally, civilly, democratically and decently constrain the passions and actions of its citizens. As he knew very well, government consists of men and women who, in the main, are doing their best to stay in power so they can exercise authority.
The rational, civil, democratic, decent stuff is not their primary motivation.
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.