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Madison – How Fear of Threats from Abroad is Used to Suppress Liberty

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alston-uriel

The management of foreign relations appears to be the most susceptible of abuse, of all the trusts committed to a Government, because they can be concealed or disclosed, or disclosed in such parts & at such times as will best suit particular views; and because the body of the people are less capable of judging & are more under the influence of prejudices, on that branch of their affairs, than of any other. Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions agst. danger real or pretended from abroad.

James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 13, 1798 in: Writings of James Madison, p. 588 (Library of America ed. 1999), in: The Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, vol. 2, p. 141 (J. Lippincott ed. 1865).

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