For a long lasting, secure, and large government, those who design its constitution must presume that the people who will make up the government will be evil. (In addition, they must make arrangements so that losers leave and winners do not push the losers too far.)
You should not make this presumption about your neighbors, friends or people from whom you buy groceries, or indeed about any stranger in general. As a practical matter, most people are decent and friendly. Moreover, groups of people are more likely to get together, to organize spontaneously, when the people start with an assumption of friendliness.
The people in local government need watching, but it is well to presume they are good and decent, too.
But a national government is different: the kinds of people who want to govern and who can gain the resources and other kinds of influence may, mostly be good people, but there is the danger that they will not all be intrinsically virtuous.
The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations, which many say had an influence on the writing of the United States Constitution, specifies virtue as a factor for candidates:
This is appealing: clearly, we all want those who govern to be `wise, honest and worthy of confidence'.
Unfortunately, we may be fooled by crooks who pretend to be `wise, honest and worthy of confidence'; or those who actually virtuous may make mistakes.
Hence, the only form of government that is likely to last is one in which other forces, with different motivations, have the power and the legal right to stop an action.
As I wrote in A Topical Issue: the United States and Iraq:
In addition, it must be possible to throw people out. That is what elections are for, getting rid of incumbents.
This means that losers must be willing to lose,
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