The real Sam Adams
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:36:10 PM
Samuel Adams (September 27, 1722 - October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, politician, writer and political philosopher, brewer, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Adams was instrumental in garnering the support of the colonies for rebellion against Great Britain, eventually resulting in the American Revolution, and was also one of the key architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped American political culture. He was the second cousin of John Adams.
"The utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of wealth], and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional."
"Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason."
"Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty."
"The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
"A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security."
And one bonus quote from good ol' Ben Franklin: "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
Ah, those guys in the 1700s knew what they were talking about.