The quote from Bingham speaking to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia:
"We are deliberating here today upon a bill which illustrates the great principle that this day shakes the throne of every despot upon the globe, and that is, whether man was made for government or government made for man. Those who oppose this bill, whether they intend it or not, by recording their votes against this enactment, reiterate the old dogma of tyrants, that the people are made to be governed and not to govern. I deny that proposition. I deny it because all my convictions are opposed to it. I deny it because I am sure that the Constitution of my country is against it."
For individual empowerment to freely operate, men must govern and not be governed.
I would add that in order for one to govern appropriately, one needs to develop & nurture the critical intellect.
One can argue that an idea is one of the largest causes of death of man in the world. And only a person with a well developed critical intellect can sort through the issues to fully grasp this meaning. But, if one were to agree with this assertion, then it is incumbent on the individual to ensure that the idea they are advocating is well founded. I say this because I have witnessed (all too frequently) a person advocating a particular approach substantiated by a particular philosophy. Only to then take action against something that outright rejected that same underlying philosophy. This sends a conflicting message and can be undermining of one's efforts. One can work against such occurrences by instituting a process (similar to the concept of checks and balances) that I call the "reasonability test" where one assesses their approach for reasonableness. Those who fail the reasonability test take the soft-minded approach.
"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.