Monday, April 05, 2010

The power of the representatives cannot be greater than that of the people they represent

I picked up a book called, "Selective Writings of Thomas Paine" at a local Goodwill store this past weekend. There are several well known writings in this book that was published in 1945 such as: "Common Sense" and "Death and Taxes".

But I found a great quote in a writing known as, "Government, Banks, Money"........

"Therefore, in order to know how far the power of an assembly, or a house of representatives can act in administering the affairs of a republic, we must examine how far the power of the people extends under the original compact they have made with each other; for the power of representatives is in many cases less, but can never be greater than that of the people represented; and whatever the people in their mutual, original compact have renounced the power of doing toward, or acting over each other, the representatives cannot assume the power to do, because, as I have already said, the power of the representatives cannot be greater than that of the people they represent."
(bolding mine)

Thomas Paine (Government, Banks, Money)

Thomas Paine is often cited as a radical revolutionary member of our founding fathers. I wonder how he would view (based on the above quote) our "representatives" today in light of the recent health care vote?


Joe A. said...

He'd be ticked off. You shouldn't tick off a revolutionary ex-pirate!

Nohm said...

Wayne, it seems that you're implying that Paine wouldn't be happy with the representatives regarding the health care vote.

If this is correct, then why exactly do you think he'd be unhappy with the representatives?