“Men are ambitious, vindictive and rapacious.” These are the words of Alexander Hamilton that have rung an eternal truth throughout the history of man. James Madison likewise explained:
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 of human nature. If men were angels, no government would be needed. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
To summarize these quotes, we do not have gods to govern us. We have to figure out a way where we stupid, ambitious, self-interested humans can govern one another without oppressing each other.
So are we humans capable of self-government? If our governors are to come from the citizenry, they must have at least the capacity to do good. If human beings are entirely degraded, selfish, and perverse, then the only thing that can restrain a society would be a despotic authoritarian government. It is impossible to have political self-government if we are incapable of personal self-government, so self-government implies that we have the at least the capacity to govern ourselves.
Publius believed that, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elected, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” So the founders of our country decided