A Disquisition on Government

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But that constitution of our nature which makes us feel more intensely what affects us directly than what affects us indirectly through others, necessarily leads to conflict between individuals. Each, in con sequence, has a greater regard for his own safety or happiness, than for the safety or happiness of others; and, where these come in opposition, is ready to sacri fice the interests of others to his own. And hence, the tendency to a universal state of conflict, be tween individual and individual; accompanied by the connected passions of suspicion, jealousy, anger and revenge, — followed by insolence, fraud and cruel ty — and, if not prevented by some controlling power, ending in a state of universal discord and confusion, destructive of the social state and the ends for which it is ordained. This controlling power, wherever vested, or by whomsoever exercised, is government.

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