No Comment, Quotation — February 5, 2008, 12:00 am

Hamilton on the Balance Between Liberty and Security

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Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 8 (Nov. 20, 1787) in The Writings of Alexander Hamilton, p. 191 (Library of America ed. 2001).

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