The proposition that the people are the best keepers of their own liberties is not true. They are the worst conceivable, they are no keepers at all; they can neither judge, act, think, or will, as a political body.Yet this is what most of the OWS folks are trying to accomplish with their consensus groups and refusal to appoint leaders. There is danger in such a system, which is the reason the Founders created a representative democratic republic instead of a participatory democracy.
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.Again, showing the genius of the checks and balances ingrained in every part of our government--to protect ourselves from ourselves. Everyone sins and is capable of malice, especially after becoming drunk on power.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.Such is why we have a republic. But even a republic is not infallible...
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.In other words, even with the safeguards put in place the population has to exercise personal restraint to make things work. These restraints are most often derived from the moral and ethical pathways common to all religions.
The above are of course from John Adams, circa early 1800s. There really isn't anything new under the sun.. aside from the latest iPhone.