The sadness and anger I feel about our current situation in America is that what we are going through as a nation was avoidable. It was completely foreseeable – and was actually predicted 226 years ago as the debate raged over the ratification of our Constitution. In February of 1788, James Madison (Publius) penned Federalist #51, stating:
“It is equally evident, that the members of each department should be as little dependent as possible on those of the others, for the emoluments annexed to their offices. Were the executive magistrate, or the judges, not independent of the legislature in this particular, their independence in every other would be merely nominal.
But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”
Is this not the embodiment of every governmental scandal? Is this not the primary reason that government should be small, temporary and with limited powers?
Madison knew that an overweening government with an entrenched bureaucracy was the most effective delivery system of man’s most corrupt, evil and corrosive desires – those being the desires to elevate themselves and to have control over other men.
Humans have the capacity for the greatest good and the most hideous evil. Such was, is and shall always be the dichotomy of the human condition.
Lord Acton was clearly correct – power does corrupt and absolute power does corrupt absolutely.
As we move away from a government constructed of people capable of self-governance based on spiritual laws to a society governed by malleable human laws enforced with Orwellian interpretation and draconian efficiency, corruption rather than conscience becomes the motivating force.
Progressives promise freedom and equality but history proves that they always default to coercion and tyranny in an attempt to control the people. Human nature can never be overcome by an external system as the progressives (communists) claim, it can only be subdued from inside through a spiritual conversion. Man is incapable of governing other men if he cannot first govern himself.
Herein lies the primary reason that progressives deny history. They do so because it predicts their failure.