Returning to the Independence Day theme, I hope you’ll enjoy this description of the challenge the Founders faced as they debated the overhaul of the Articles of Confederation:

The problem of constitutional design was one of how to control the operation of self-interest within government while allowing government the ability to perform those tasks that its justification requires. Anti-Federalists and Federalists alike saw government as a Faustian bargain: an instrument of evil — granting power to some over others — was to be employed because of the good it might do, while evil would also result. Making the bargain worthwhile, both sides thought, was a matter of proper constitutional construction.

Richard Wagner (the George Mason professor, not our own Carolina Journal editor) wrote those words in the “Anti-Federalist” entry in American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (ISI Books, 2006).

I’ve read just a fraction of the book’s 626 entries. I’m looking forward to finding more gems like this one.