Thus spake John Adams during an oration in 1772. 26 years later, he personified that very danger when he signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts, which made criticizing the president and others in the federal government a crime. Adams showed us that government is the greatest threat to liberty because it always tends toward the destruction of the individual's natural rights.
One of 'Cato's Letters', explaining why unjust laws must be resisted immediately, or they will set the stage for additional encroachments, states:
"A nation has but two sorts of usurpation to fear, one from their neighbors and another from their own magistrates. Nor is a foreign usurpation more formidable than a domestic, which is the most dangerous of the two, by being hardest to remove and generally stealing upon the people by degrees, is fixed before is scarce felt or apprehended."
Coincidental then that 200 years later a form of government was introduced more formidable than that of our domestic government, is the hardest to remove and has managed to 'steal' itself upon us by degrees - but I digress.
Because government is such a dangerous concentration of power, those of us that believe in 'small government' recognize the absolute necessity of limiting domestic government power and dividing it into as many competing jurisdictions as possible. Competition would keep those multiple jurisdictions from becoming intolerably oppressive.
Central government has, over the years, gradually usurped our freedoms on the basis the political elite believe only they know what is good for us. This usurpation of our freedom and anonymity has been most marked when considering that 'catch-all' word: 'terrorism'. As a result central government controls most of our lives, in one form or another. In this respect, recall the words of James Madison who said:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation."
The words of Benjamin Franklin are also pertinent, when considering the loss of any aspect of liberty or freedom.
"Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety."All of which makes even more of a mockery the words of our politicians when they talk about 'devolution of power'. Devolution my a**e, they will still control us!