When Government Goes Bad

In the immediately preceding post we heard from Thomas Aquinas as to why government of some kind is essential given the way God created mankind. Aquinas’ reasoning on this point seems solid. But in our time of widespread government malfeasance (leading to increasing distrust of, and even open cynicism toward) our governments, we need substantial categories

Why Government (of Some Kind) Is Essential

A question that seems to burn in the minds of many in this time of governmental imprudence and overreach is, Why bother with government at all? Government on most levels seems increasingly to be characterized by moral intrusiveness, by economic aggressiveness, by technocratic manipulativeness.  Who needs it? Why ought not individuals be free – quite literally,

“The Very Definition of Tyranny”

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a  few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. – James Madison, Federalist 47 In this Federalist Paper, Madison takes on objections that the new Constitution fails to adequately distinguish the

“A Government Administered by Men Over Men”

James Madison writes of both the necessity of government that arises from human nature and of the necessity to control government that arises from human nature: It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices [separation and balancing of powers] should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself

If You Offend the People, You Lose Your Authority

The office of tribune in the ancient Roman Republic had been instituted to function as an inviolable guardian of the people. The person of the tribune was considered sacrosanct; he could not be removed from office or hindered in any way, he could veto any act of the Senate with binding force, and if any