It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.
John Philpot Curran
Speech upon the Right of Election for Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1790.
[Curran is also credited with “Evil prospers when good men to nothing.” as is Edmund Burke. But the quote cannot be definitely traced to either man.
This also reminds me of the quote which is most frequently attributed to the ACLU, “Liberty is always unfinished business.”
We see the effect of this truism all around us. “The active” are those who believe government is far more than a necessary evil (as I do). They believe it is a tool of good if not the source of all good. Hence they urge it on, run for office, and declare themselves “leaders” instead of public servants.—Joe]