Words From The Past
Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it. -- Woodrow Wilson, speech at New York Press Club (9 September 1912), in The papers of Woodrow Wilson, 25:124 (from here)
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Here we have one man's explanation of what motivates a corporation. Consider that a corporation is a government chartered entity. Therefore, a corporation exists only so long as the government tolerates it. And what is corporation composed of? People. In one respect, a corporation is a soulless entity. If the people who own, run, and work for a corporation think of nothing more than what is required to make a profit, then their corporation will act as an amoral beast. Similarly, government can also behave as an amoral beast. Like a corporation, government too is collective composed of people. Citizens own government, leaders run government, and civil servants work for government. What is less clear is what motivates government. Profit clearly motivates a corporation, but what motivates government? The answer, I think, is power, the currency of government. Nonetheless, both government and corporations seem to operate checks upon their behavioral extremes. What are those checks? That, my friends, is each of us. So long as we as the owners of government and as the stockholders of corporations insist upon moral behavior, we can restrain the excesses of both government and corporations.