The Nature of Power
It is the Nature of Power to be ever encroaching, and converting every extraordinary Power, granted at particular Times, and upon particular Occasions, into an ordinary Power, to be used at all Times, and when there is no Occasion, nor does it ever part willingly with any Advantage. – John Trenchard, Cato’s Letter No. 115
This quote is particularly relevant when it comes to discussions of civil liberties with regard to current events. We are in an endless war with terrorism, involving a grab for power that goes further than even Trenchard may have imagined. As a perpetual war, the war on terror serves as a justification not just for an initial gain in power, but for a perpetual gain. Each and every encroachment on liberties should not be taken lightly, when permanence is already an intrinsic characteristic of the encroachments.