No government ought to exist for the purpose of checking the prosperity of its people or to allow such a principle in its policy.
It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.
The great inlet by which a color for oppression has entered into the world is by one man’s pretending to determine concerning the happiness of another.
The greater the power the more dangerous the abuse.
Power gradually extirpates from the mind every humane and gentle virtue.
The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
Those who have been intoxicated with power … can never willingly abandon it.
One of the first and most leading principles on which the commonwealth and the laws are consecrated is, lest the temporary possessors and life-renters in it, unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors or of what is due to their posterity, should act as if they were the entire masters, that they should not think it among their rights to cut off the entail or commit waste on the inheritance by destroying at their pleasure the whole original fabric of society, hazarding to leave to those who come after them a ruin instead of a habitation — and teaching these successors as little to respect their contrivances as they had themselves respected the institutions of their forefathers.
The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion.