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In which the Founders were human, and not always right - Habemus plus vis computatoris quam Deus
Ramblings of a Unix ronin
In which the Founders were human, and not always right

Alexander Hamilton once said, in a speech to the New York Ratifying Convention in 1788,

"I will venture to assert that no combination of designing men under heaven will be capable of making a government unpopular which is in its principles a wise and good one, and vigorous in its operations."

Sadly, in this statement he was rather naive; because when the mob have decided that come hell or high water, they deserve bread and circuses, they will tear down any government, however wise and good, if by doing so they can put in place one that will provide them with bread and circuses out of the public treasury — which is to say, at other people's expense.  Any sufficiently glib-tongued and charismatic demagogue has always been able to make any government unpopular, if he can just convince the mob that it is not giving them as much for free (which is to say, again, at other people's expense) as they deserve.

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Current Location: Gilford, New Hampshire

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ithildae From: ithildae Date: October 19th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I counter that a wise and good government will not give room to the discontents that allow demagogues. Bread and circuses from the public is not a function of a good and wise government, once started, it is like danegeld.
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