Jefferson’s Three Stages of Government
by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics
We are moving toward government by sheer force. This is the third and final stage of government as identified by Thomas Jefferson. Traditionally, government begins to lose power and as it does, it tightens the noose around the economy. FATCA is the classic example of the final stage – Government by Force. There is never the realization that the best means to govern the people is by reward the same as you train a dog or a fish to do tricks. If you train by force (punishment) you end up with the animal eating the trainer and in human terms that is civil unrest or revolution.
“Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable.
- Without government, as among our Indians.
- Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one.
- Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics.
To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions [sic] of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful [sic] rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine [sic] necessary for the sound health of government.”
– Letter of Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Paris, January 30, 1787