„We ought to consider what is the end of government, before we determine which is the best form.“

—  John Adams

1770s, Thoughts on Government (1776)
Contexto: We ought to consider what is the end of government, before we determine which is the best form. Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all Divines and moral Philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow, that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.

Obtenido de Wikiquote. Última actualización 3 de Junio de 2021. Historia
John Adams Foto
John Adams11
segundo presidente de los Estados Unidos 1735 - 1826

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—  Jeremy Bentham, libro An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Fuente: An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789; 1823), Ch. 1 : Of the Principle of Utility
Contexto: Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.

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Contexto: There is an error into which most of the speculators on government have fallen, and which the well-known state of society of our Indians ought, before now, to have corrected. In their hypothesis of the origin of government, they suppose it to have commenced in the patriarchal or monarchical form. Our Indians are evidently in that state of nature which has passed the association of a single family... The Cherokees, the only tribe I know to be contemplating the establishment of regular laws, magistrates, and government, propose a government of representatives, elected from every town. But of all things, they least think of subjecting themselves to the will of one man.

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Welche Regierung die beste sei? Diejenige, die uns lehrt, uns selbst zu regieren.
Maxim 353, trans. Stopp
Variant translation by Saunders: Which is the best government? That which teaches us to govern ourselves. (225)
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