Notes on John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government, () But “this [ social] state cannot exist without government”, and “In no age or country has any . A Disquisition on Government [John C. Calhoun, H. Lee Cheek Jr.] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This volume provides the most. A DISQUISITION ON GOVERNMENT. In order to have a clear and just conception of the nature and object of government, it is indispensable to understand.
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It would, perhaps, be more strictly correct to trace the conservative principle of constitutional governments to the necessity which compels the different interests, or portions, or orders, tovernment compromise—as the only way to promote their respective prosperity, and to avoid anarchy—rather than to the compromise itself.
But, it is no less true, that this would be a mere change in the relations of the two parties. It has, accordingly, in common with them, the same tendency to oppression and abuse of power.
A Disquisition on Government (1849)
The whole united must necessarily place under the control of government an amount of honors and emoluments, sufficient to excite profoundly the ambition of the aspiring and the cupidity of the avaricious; and to lead to the formation of hostile parties, and violent party conflicts and struggles to obtain the control of the government. These are the objects most eagerly sought of all others by the talented and aspiring; and the possession disquisitiin which commands the greatest respect and admiration.
The first and leading error which naturally arises from overlooking joohn distinction referred to, is, to confound the numerical majority with the people; and this so completely as to jjohn them as identical. After the overthrow of the monarchy and the expulsion of the Tarquins, the government fell exclusively under the control of the patricians, who, with their clients caljoun dependents, formed, at the time, a very numerous and powerful body.
It is only through an organism which vests each with a negative, in some one form or another, that those who have like interests in preventing the government from passing beyond its proper sphere, and encroaching on the rights and liberty of individuals, can cooperate peaceably and effectually in resisting the encroachments of power, and thereby preserve their rights and liberty.
John C. Calhoun: Disquisition on Government
The effect of the whole combined, even in the earlier stages of the process, when they exert calhoyn least pernicious influence, would be to place the control of the two parties in the hands of their respective majorities; and the government itself, virtually, under the control of the majority of the dominant party, for the time, instead of the majority of the whole community — where the theory of this form of government vests it. Such a state of things would, as far as we can see, lead to endless disorder and confusion, no less destructive to our race than a state of anarchy.
Far less attention has been paid to the interpretation and implementation of the U. It is thus, also, that the numerical majority, by regarding the community as a unit, and having, as such, the same interests throughout all its parts, must, by its necessary operation, divide it into two hostile parts, waging, under the forms of law, incessant hostilities against disquisitio other.
They who knew him well, need not to be told that, to these, he paid but slight respect. It is in this strict in more usual sense that I propose to use the term hereafter.
Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun – Online Library of Liberty
This concurrent majority not only serves as a necessary check on the dictates of the numerical majority, but is also the negative principle that distinguishes constitutional from absolute governments. And among the civilized, the same causes have decided the question of superiority, where other circumstances are nearly equal, in favor of those whose governments have given the greatest impulse to development, progress, and improvement; that is, to those whose liberty is the largest and best secured.
Charles de Secondat Montesquieu – – Lawbook Exchange. But, whatever advantages simplicity and facility of construction may give it, the other forms of absolute diqsuisition possess them in a still disquisitioj degree. Seeking a means by which such a desperate response could be avoided, Calhoun turned to the doctrine of interposition, which defended the right of a state to interpose its authority and overrule federal legislation.
The first question, accordingly, to be considered is—What is that constitution or law of our nature, without which government would not exist, and with which its existence is necessary?
By itself the right of suffrage can not counteract this tendency toward abuse by the majority. But if, on the contrary, cunning, fraud, treachery, and party devotion be the most certain, they will be the most highly prized, and become marked features in their character.
The one is the power of acting — and the other the power of preventing or arresting action. All constitutional governments, of whatever class they may be, take the sense of the community by its parts—each through its appropriate organ; and regard the sense of all its parts, as the sense of the whole.
Government must be able to repel assaults from abroad, as well as to repress violence and disorders within. The latter, by giving to each portion of the community which may be unequally affected by its action, a negative on the others, prevents all partial or local legislation, and restricts its action to such measures as are designed for the protection and the good of the whole.
But this does not impeach the truth of the principles on which it rests. Taxation may, indeed, be made equal, regarded separately from disbursement.
Online Library of Liberty
Like breathing, it is not permitted to depend on our volition. The American Constitutional Order: By this arrangement, the government was placed under the concurrent and joint voice of the two orders, expressed through separate and appropriate organs; the one possessing the positive, and the other the negative towers of the government.
And hence, as the latter would have neither hope nor inducement to rally the former in order to obtain the control, the right of suffrage, under such a government, may be safely enlarged to the extent stated, without incurring the hazard to which such enlargement would expose governments of the numerical majority.
But the difference in their operation, in this respect, would not end here. In the government of Great Britain, the three orders are blended in the legislative department; so that the separate and concurring act of each is necessary to make laws; while, on the contrary, in the Roman, one order had the power of making laws, and another of annulling them, or arresting their execution.
Individuals would have to be encouraged, by rewards, to become more selfish, and deterred, by punishments, from being too benevolent; and this, too, by a government, administered by those who, on the supposition, would have the greatest aversion for selfishness and the highest admiration for benevolence.
It may be readily inferred, from what has been stated, that the effect of organism is neither to supersede nor diminish the importance of the right of suffrage; but to aid and perfect it. On the contrary, its greatest praise — its proudest distinction is, that an all-wise Providence has reserved it, as the noblest and highest reward for the development of our faculties, moral and intellectual.
Between these there is the same tendency to conflict—and from the same constitution of our nature—as between men individually; and even stronger—because the sympathetic or social feelings are not so strong between different communities, as between individuals of the same community. With the increase of this difference, the tendency to conflict between them will become stronger; and, as the poor and dependent become more numerous in proportion, there will be, in governments of the disqkisition majority, no want of leaders among the wealthy and ambitious, to excite and direct them governmeent their efforts to obtain the control.
After these have thoroughly debased and corrupted the community, and all the arts and devices of party have been exhausted, the government would vibrate between the two factions for such will parties have become at each successive election. The result was such as might be expected. Here lies the evil: There is another error, of a kindred character, whose influence contributes much to the same results: And that the principle which would authorize an appeal from the decision of the highest judicial tribunal of a State to the Supreme Court of the United States, in cases where the constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States are drawn in question, would equally authorize an appeal from the latter to the former, in cases where the constitution and laws of the Disquisjtion have been drawn in question, and the decision has been adverse to them.
If the two be compared, in reference to the jjohn for which government is ordained, the superiority of the government of the concurrent majority will not be less striking.
From this, another striking difference calhonu. From the nature of popular governments, the control of its powers is vested in the many; while military power, to be efficient, must be vested in a disquisitiion individual.