Monday, January 17, 2011

Wisdom from Durham

In justifying a greater degree of independence for the colonies of British North America, Durham suggests that

The colonists may not always know what laws are the best for them, or which of their countrymen are the fittest for conducting their affairs; but, at least, they have a greater interest in coming to a right judgement on these points, and will take greater pains to do so than those whose welfare is remotely and slightly affected by the good or bad legislation of these portions of the Empire. If the colonists make bad laws, and select improper persons to conduct their affairs, they will generally be the only, always the greatest, sufferers; and, like the people of other countries, they must bear the ills which they bring on themselves, until they choose to apply the remedy.

While he doesn't seem have a lot of faith in the 'colonists,' I do think his broader point makes some sense.

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