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"He who governs best, governs least"

Posted by  $  blarman 2 months ago to Philosophy
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I found this while doing some other research. Many attribute this quote to Thomas Jefferson or even Henry David Thoreau, but apparently it belongs to another gentleman entirely. I found the entire quote compelling in its truth and beauty.
SOURCE URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/09/06/who-first-said-the-best-government-is-that-which-governs-least-not-thoreau/?noredirect=on


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  • Posted by maxgeoac 2 months ago
    Douglas Adams I think puts it best:
    “The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
    To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
    To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
    Though the same can go for any elected official.
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    • Posted by  $  1 month, 4 weeks ago
      One comment I would make is that the authority of the President is directly linked with the size and number of bureaucracies created by Congress. The power of the President would revert back to what the Founders had in mind were we to disassemble many of the bureaus which currently make up our Federal Government.
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 months ago
      There's not much we can do about that, unless we are going to draft people into it against their will, but to watch and try to make sure we don't vote for those who are too much motivated by powerlust; and to limit their time in office--for instance, the 22nd Amendment.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 months ago
    In process control parlance, the proportional control (P) should be quite low when governing people; politicians like to control people (i.e. high P).
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 months ago
    John O’Sullivan was correct, that is why our forefathers only allowed government to do the one thing it was good at...initiatory force and that it be directed at those that would steal your rights, take your life and make what is civilized,.. uncivilized.

    It's funny. Let's turn this around. They, (those that would govern), govern themselves the least, that is why they are so bad and corrupt. That is why they are the mobs of demonocracies and it's all because they have no mind, no conscience and therefore...not human.

    It is their own failures to govern themselves that they project onto everyone else. Government is like a magnet to them.

    But our forefathers also recognized, that only a moral people, those with a mind to control their own temptations could govern themselves.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months ago
      "They, (those that would govern), govern themselves the least, that is why they are so bad and corrupt."

      Bingo!

      "only a moral people, those with a mind to control their own temptations could govern themselves."

      Best comment in the thread!
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 months ago
        Thank you.
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        • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 months ago
          There is a problem, though, when you start to define "moral" as including only those why believe in mystical religion.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 months ago
            No mysticism here, That would be: being moral out of fear of unseen forces...that was Bicameral man (humans), or one taught by those that have organized these understandings or teachings in a bicameral way...instead of...(as in the beginning of becoming conscious, aware of one' own behavior), because it's the right thing to do in your own self interest...regulate the harmful temptations of the bicameral brain.
            Morality in the latter sense would be: Not worshiping a person, place or thing, but just appreciating one's existence, Not taking money from georgie sorass to spew lies and cause chaos or taking a life that meant you no harm, and last but not least, selling a product that will not perform as you advertise or worse yet, will actually do harm. [Just a few examples]

            As I have studied and observed...even a conscious human, (unicameral/(having a Mind)) with reasonable control of his own behavior still battles the desires of the bicameral brain.

            It's a battle for control.
            The brain, compartmentalizes survival information and Automatically controls the necessary functions of the body, not to mention, is attracted to sweet and pleasurable things and in rare individuals... wishing to harm others for it's own pleasure.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 months ago
    Well, I can't go along with the idea that there should be no government at all. Neither do I believe in Original Sin. I do believe, however in this: Government is an agency of force. Are you ever justified in using force? Yes. When somebody has used force against you. Or is in the process of using it, or is getting ready to use it (as, for instance when his fist is coming at you),or has threatened or is threatening to use it. And that is what justifies government. And the proper functions of government are: to protect man (generic term; includes woman and child) against force (including fraud) and violence, and to punish same. Which can justify the legislature, the executive (to carry the laws out), the law courts, the police force, and the military; registration of property (for instance, Bureau of Patents and Copyrights) that it be not stolen, and registration of contracts (including marriage contracts) that they be not violated. And that's about it.
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