Off the beaten path?
I lay no great stress on any other limitations of those monarchies; nor do I think any so essential to the liberties of the people, as that which placed the sword in the hands of the subject. And since in our time most princes of Europe are in possession of the sword, by standing mercenary forces kept up in time of peace, absolutely depending upon them, I say that all such governments are changed from monarchies to tyrannies. Nor can the power of granting or refusing money, though vested in the subject, be a sufficient security for liberty, where a standing mercenary army is kept up in time of peace: for he that is armed is always master of the purse of him that is unarmed. And not only that government is tyrannical, which is tyrannically exercised; but all governments are tyrannical, which have not in their constitution a sufficient security against the arbitrary power of the prince.
The subjects formerly had a real security for their liberty, by having the sword in their own hands.
It is pretended we are in hazard of being invaded by a powerful enemy; shall we therefore destroy our government? What is it then that we would defend? Is it our persons, by the ruin of our government? in what then shall we be gainers? In saving our lives by the loss of our liberties? if our pleasures and luxury make us live like brutes, it seems we must not pretend to reason any better than they. I would fain know, if there be any other way of making a prince absolute, than by allowing him a standing army: if by it all princes have not been made absolute; if without it, any. Whether our enemies shall conquer us is uncertain; but whether standing armies will enslave us, neither reason nor experience will suffer us to doubt. It is therefore evident that no pretence of danger from abroad can be an argument to keep up standing armies or any mercenary forces.
Note: Magna Carta and Trial by Jury is dated in the 13th Century, and this work by Fletcher is dated at 1697 or 17th Century.
On Trial by Jury:
That work is dated at 1852, just before the supposed "Civil War" in these Demented, Consolidated, Nationalized, States under the color of law.
In an up-side-down world, it seems, the flags aught to be flown the other way.
Returning to Fletcher:
Let us now consider whether we may not be able to defend ourselves by well- regulated militias against any foreign force, though never so formidable: that these nations may be free from the fears of invasion from abroad, as well as from the danger of slavery at home.
Now, here, there are words that may be of some present use, perhaps not to stoop down the level of argument of the sake of argument with dupes, slaves, and liars, criminals, with or without badges, but to focus mind and body into harmony or balance; as if self-governing was actually possible.
After the barons had lost the military service of their vassals, militias of some kind or other were established in most parts of Europe. But the prince having everywhere the power of naming and preferring the officers of these militias, they could be no balance in government as the former were. And he that will consider what has been said in this discourse, will easily perceive that the essential quality requisite to such a militia, as might fully answer the ends of the former, must be, that the officers should be named and preferred, as well as they and the soldiers paid, by the people that set them out. So that if princes look upon the present militias as not capable of defending a nation against foreign armies, the people have little reason to entrust them with the defence of their liberties.
I may be the one out of balance, of course, a given; however, in those words are the accurate measures of a Patented Absurdity.
If it be true, for example, that "we" have to fight "them" over there, so as to avoid the hazard of "us" having to fight "them" over here, then, that being a well established maxim of truth, here in these good ole' "United" States (dare to disunite and see what happens), land of the free, home of the braves, all true, very true, so, that being true, "we", by that thinking, have won, right?
"We," do not have to fight them over here, since "we" won, right?
"We" did not win, so now "we" have to search each other at the airports?
"We" did not win, so "we" have to lock down our cities and search each house for the enemy "we" failed to defeat over there?
If "we" did not win, over there, then by whose accurate judgement, honestly conveyed in English, from peer to peer, are "we" supposed to assess the possibility that the same dunderheads can be trusted to defend us at home?
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