skip to content

Ron Manners’ ideas
and adventures
Read More

Today’s guest writer, and birthday boy, is Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826). Jefferson was the third President of the US and principal author of The Declaration of Independence. After working on the Constitution, he was asked what form of government he was delivering. He is reported to have said, “Gentlemen, I give you a Republic, if you can keep it.”

From the mouth of Mr Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson MannwestThomas Jefferson had a quotation for any occasion; many of these would describe both American and Australian government. I’m sure that his collection would contain the following:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labour of the industrious.”

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of taking care of them.”

“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others?” Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”

“My reading of history convinces me that most had government results from too much government.”

“History, in general, only informs us of what had government is.”

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”

“Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on office, a rottenness begins in his conduct.”

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.”

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”

So that’s how Jefferson felt about government. How do you feel?


Leave a Reply