MACAULAY ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT
A wise man values political liberty because it secures the persons and the possessions of citizens; because it tends to prevent the extravagance of rulers, and the corruption of judges; because it gives birth to useful sciences and elegant arts; because it excites the industry and increases the comforts of all classes of society. Some theorists imagine that it possesses something eternally and intrinsically good, distinct from the blessings which it generally produces. They consider it not as a means but as an end; an end to be attained at any cost. Their favorite heroes are those who have sacrificed for the mere name of freedom, the prosperity -- the security -- the justice -- from which freedom derives its values.
--from "On Mitford's History of Greece"It is the fashion to say, that the progress of civilization is favorable to liberty. The maxim, though in some sense true, must be limited by many qualifications and exceptions. Wherever a poor and rude nation, in which the form of government is a limited monarchy, receives a great accession of wealth and knowledge, it is in imminent danger of falling under arbitrary power.
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