Thomas Babington MacaulayThomas Babington Macaulay, (1800-1859) [Lord Macaulay] 1st Baron Macaulay, British historian

Famous Thomas Babington Macaulay Quote

“There is surely no contradiction in saying that a certain section of the community may be quite competent to protect the persons and property of the rest, yet quite unfit to direct our opinions, or to superintend our private habits.”

Thomas Babington MacaulayThomas Babington Macaulay
~ Thomas Babington Macaulay

"Southey's Colloquies on Society" par. SC.61

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

The section of the community who are best at protecting persons and property are "the people" themselves. Government does a poor job defending us, as demonstrated on 9/11. Government is worse at directing our opinions and habits.

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

I do agree with Joe insofar as my experience has let me know that 'police-ing' institutions, be it local authorities or national services, frequently, if not often, have their own ''administrative well being at the top of their list of priorities with their purported 'tasking' somewhere below that. There are clearly many exceptions to this 'norm' but sadly, unless there's overwhelming human tragedy at hand, too few in my opinion. The response to 9/11 by emergency services personnel was a time when 'tasking' was galvanized in an extraordinary, inspiring way. No one however, at that time, was concerned with directing anyone's 'opinions' or 'private habits'. That's a luxury reserved for times when there's nothing better to do.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

If it weren't for the police and the armed forces, your sorry asses would be screaming for help, while you were being abused in half a dozen ways at once. But we don't want them to dictate our values.

jim k, Austin

Interesting to note while the majority of Americans wanted no part of Obama care, we had it shoved down our throats anyway.

Mike, Norwalk

Ummmm, kinda sorta, almost

E Archer, NYC

It is indeed a challenge to keep busy-bodies from overreach. And deciding who is 'competent' or 'unfit' is really where the danger is. It sounds all well and good. Ah, yes, to have a wise and benevolent ruler who holds the happiness and care of his people above all else. Don't count on it.


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.