Monetary Decisions of the Supreme Court

By Gerald T. Dunne | Go to book overview

III
Public control and individual freedom

No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.--Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Up to this point monetary authority has been considered in terms of its possessor, an analysis that is manifestly incomplete. Far more pertinent is the question of its exercise, since power necessarily involves the implicit or actual use of physical force against person or property. Within limits there is nothing pernicious about this. On the contrary, it is precisely the governmental monopoly of such force that underpins civilization. Without such force a political organization turns into a debating society, as the Articles of Confederation abundantly proved. Hence, the continuing and besetting problem of power is not its existence, but its magnitude, and the very division of governmental power between local and national instruments is but a means to a larger end of setting some tolerable limit upon force itself. Indeed the di-

-65-

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Monetary Decisions of the Supreme Court
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • I - The Money Power: Background and Origin 3
  • II - The Nation And the States 23
  • III - Public Control And Individual Freedom 65
  • Synopsis of Cases 104
  • Bibliography 109
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