Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Power, Wisdom, and Goodness

...there must be Power, Wisdom, and Goodness, subsisting in one Degree or other, in every Government worthy to be so called, let the exterior Form of it be whatever it may.

For Example, without Power the very Idea of Government is annihilated; and there are no traces of it left.

Without Wisdom to conduct this Power towards some certain End, or Object, the Thing itself would not be Power, in a moral sense, but blind Impulse, or mechanic Force.

And without Goodness to influence and incline the Operations both of Wisdom and Power towards some benevolent Uses, conducive to public Happiness, the Efforts of Wisdom would in effect be Knavery, Trick, and Cunning; and the Display of Power mere Tyranny and Oppression. There must therefore be a Coalition, or Cooperation of all three, in order to form a Government fit to rule over such a Creature as Man.

Josiah Tucker, A Treatise Concerning Civil Government (1781), Part II, Chapter III.

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