President Theodore Roosevelt; Opening of the Jamestown Exposition; Norfolk, VA, April 26, 1907
“We of this mighty western Republic have to grapple with the dangers that spring from popular self-government tried on a scale incomparably vaster than ever before in the history of mankind, and from an abounding material prosperity greater also than anything which the world has hitherto seen.
As regards the first set of dangers, it behooves us to remember that men can never escape being governed. Either they must govern themselves or they must submit to being governed by others.
If from lawlessness or fickleness, from folly or self-indulgence, they refuse to govern themselves then most assuredly in the end they will have to be governed from the outside.
They can prevent the need of government from without only by showing they possess the power of government from within.
A sovereign cannot make excuses for his failures; a sovereign must accept the responsibility for the exercise of power that inheres in him; and where, as is true in our Republic, the people are sovereign, then the people must show a sober understanding and a sane and steadfast purpose if they are to preserve that orderly liberty upon which as a foundation every republic must rest.”
[President Theodore Roosevelt; Opening of the Jamestown Exposition; Norfolk, VA, April 26, 1907]
“As regards right to interfere with contractual obligations of another, ‘absolute rights’ which individual may exercise without reference to motive are rights incident to ownership of property, rights growing out of contractual relations, and right to enter or refuse to enter contractual relations.”
“By the ‘absolute rights’ of individuals is meant those which are in their primary and strictest sense, such as would belong to their persons merely in a state of nature, and which every man is entitled to enjoy, whether out of society or in it. The rights of personal security, of personal liberty, and private property do not depend upon the Constitution for their existence. They existed before the Constitution was made, or the government was organized. These are what are termed the ‘absolute rights’ of individuals, which belong to them independently of all government, and which all governments which derive their power from the consent of the governed were instituted to protect.”