Tuesday, October 02, 2007

An Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States, By John Taylor

...Against the oppressions of Mr. Adams’s hereditary representatives, nations have no remedy but physical strength; against those of temporary representatives, the moral force of opinion suffices. The first remedy can never be legally exerted, because no government will make laws to punish itself; to avoid which, these hereditary representatives invariably disarm the people, and so make the remedy for the coercion of this virtual representation quite nominal. Its use is moreover prohibited by the dreadful avenger of rebellion. Restrained by the dangers which beset it, the physical strength of a nation moves only in the paroxysm inspired by long suffering or extreme peril; and it is to the overthrow of reason, by this paroxysm, that the frequent disappointments of national exertion, to enforce virtual responsibility, are to be ascribed.

By our policy, actual responsibility is preferred to virtual, or to speak correctly, nominal. Conscious of the danger arising from the physical force of mercenary troops, it insists upon the necessity of securing to the nation the only safe protector of moral or political power, in an armed militia; to prevent responsibility from rebelling against nations, by the same means used by monarchs and orders, to prevent nations from rebelling against them. Under the protection of the physical power of a militia, the moral or political power reserved by our policy to the people, acts legally and peaceably, by opinion and election; and the reason of the nation can have recourse to a degree of reflection and deliberation, unattainable during the confusion, the dangers, and the crimes of civil war. Without a sound militia, all popular rights, including election itself, must become tenants at will, of monarchical or aristocratical landlords....


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