13 February 2009

In contrast with Rush Limbaugh...

David Hume saw no unqualified advantage in a single, huge, nation
Extended governments ...soon become absolute....A large government is accustomed by degrees to tyranny; because each act of violence is at first performed upon a part, which, being distant from the majority, is not taken notice of, nor excites any violent ferment. Besides, a large government, though the whole be discontented, may, by a little art, be kept in obedience; while each part, ignorant of the resolutions of the rest, is afraid to begin any commotion or insurrection. Not to mention, that there is a superstitious reverence for princes, which mankind naturally contract when they do not often see the sovereign, and when many of them become not acquainted with him so as to perceive his weaknesses. And as large states can afford a great expence, in order to support the pomp of majesty; this is a kind of fascination on men, and naturally contributes to the enslaving of them. -- David Hume, "Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences"
Rush Limbaugh, and other believers in the mystical union of states who also think they believe in small and limited government, should consider that the larger the territory to be governed the larger the government must be. As my professor of ancient Roman history once said in a lecture: The Roman Republic disintegrated because they discovered they could not rule an empire with a republican form of government.

Quite obviously, the lesson is that had the Romans wanted to preserve their liberties, they should have let their empire go.

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James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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