Mankind tends toward evil. Therefore, power must be separated. I am not aware of a single example of any of the founders of America believing that man was basically good. This is not cynical. It’s just the reality and has led to the most prosperous forms of government—and economics too.
Like the other founders, Thomas Jefferson said that power should be divided for everybody’s sake: “The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many…” No phone and pen there.
James Madison said, “All men having power ought not to be trusted.”
Ben Franklin said, “There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples’ money, then all their lands and then make them and their children servants forever.”
Alexander Hamilton wrote, “Til the millennium [when Jesus reigns on earth] comes, in spite of all our boasted light and purification, hypocrisy and treachery will continue to be the most successful commodities in the political market.”
In the early 20th century, Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton once wrote a letter to his newspaper on “what’s wrong with the world.” His essay was only two words: “I am.”
There’s a link between correct anthropology and good government. Those governments, like that of the U.S. (as the founders envisioned it), have given freedom because the founders acknowledged man’s corrupt nature.
In contrast, the former Soviet Union, as an opposite example, built their system of government on an atheistic, Marxist base—on the notion that man is basically good, but corrupted by capitalism and religion. Marx thought when the workers seized the means of production and the reins of government and imposed the worker state, then government would become unnecessary and wither away.
So the new Soviet man or woman was to be free from religious superstitions and from the curse of selfishness as found in capitalism with its emphasis on private property. Who created a better system? The communists or America’s founders? The answer is obvious.
Historian Paul Johnson said the 20th century state, in large part because of communism (which asserted the basic goodness of humanity) has proven to be the greatest killer of all time.
No wonder God sent a Savior to save us from our sins. Meanwhile, deals should take into consideration man’s nature as it really is, and not as it should be in someone’s playbook.