Thursday, 13 October 2011

The liberty that we take for granted

While researching something completely unconnected to this topic I came across these fascinating quotes from James Madison. He was the 4th US President, but it's not for his presidency he is best remembered, but rather for his work and contribution to the US Constitution.

Among the many volumes he wrote about liberty, the role and place of the State and the responsibilities of the people are these gems.

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

and then this masterpiece;

"It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad"

 and  further;

"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

Could Madison have been thinking of 9/11 and the infamous Patriot Act?

A.C. Grayling presents a tremendously powerful defence of liberty in his book Liberty in the age of terror