Essay On Responsible Government

In the matters which most immediately affect private life, power should remain in the hands of the citizens, or of the several states - not in the possession of federal government. Americans have no official cards of identity, or internal passports, or system of national registration of all citizens - obligations imposed upon citizens in much of the rest of the world.

This freedom results from Americans' voluntary assumption of responsibility.

A time comes, in the course of events, when abruptly there is a most urgent need for men and women ready to fulfill high and exacting and dangerous responsibilities.

And if there are no such citizens, then liberty can be lost.

We have become a nation obsessed with rights, forgetful of responsibilities.

In an age of seeming affluence, a great many people find it easy to forget that all good things must be paid for by somebody or other - paid for through hard work, through painful abstinence, sometimes through bitter sacrifice.

closer centralization; a steadily growing bureaucracy; State power and faith in State power increasing; social power and faith in social power diminishing; the State absorbing a continually larger proportion of the national income; production languishing; the State in consequence taking over one 'essential industry' after another, managing them with ever-increasing corruption, inefficiency, and prodigality, and finally resorting to a system of forced labor.

Then at some point in this process a collision of State interests, at least as general and as violent as that which occurred in 1914, will result in an industrial and financial dislocation too severe for the asthenic [weak] social structure to bear; and from this the State will be left to 'the rusty death of machinery' and the casual anonymous forces of dissolution." Modern civilization offers a great variety of diversions, amusements, and enticements - some of them baneful.

In matters of public concern, it was the original intent to keep authority as close to home as possible.

The lesser courts, the police, the maintenance of roads and sanitation, the levying of real-property taxes, the control of public schools, and many other essential functions still are carried on by the agen­cies of local community: the township, the village, the city, the county, the voluntary association.

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