David Hume declared that “in all governments, there is a perpetual struggle, open or secret, between authority and liberty.” While this is demonstrated is many different ways, it can be especially clear while looking at government. Throughout history it has been a continual struggle for countless different rulers to choose between their desire for liberty, and their desire for power. Some succeeded in sustaining liberty and virtue during their time of leadership, while others gave in to the influence of power; even some of the most virtuous rulers could not withstand the temptation to gain more control. This does not mean it is not possible to create a government that will uphold and maintain personal virtue and liberty; it does mean, however, that despite how good and virtuous a leader may seem, we must always be on the lookout for acts of tyranny and prepared to stop them as soon as they arrive. Every government will end in tyranny if the people neglect to uphold their own personal obligation to oppose the tyranny that threats them. The only thing that can keep a ruler from complete and total power is a piece of paper unless the people will do their duty and stand up for their liberty. Even in times of peace, even when it seems like nothing can go wrong, we must always be ready to defend our liberty, just as we would be ready to defend our own lives. Even George Washington taught that, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective ways of preserving peace.” Our liberty is already being threatened. It has been, and is continuing to be taken. If we are not yet prepared, we must prepare now, for the war is already upon us. If we fail to do so, we will live the rest of our lives in slavery; but, if we will strive to do so, liberty will be restored.