"When Government fears the people, there is liberty. When people fear the Government, there is tyranny." -- Thomas Jefferson
While I appreciate Jefferson's sentiment, I'm not sure if it is entirely correct. You'll have liberty when the government fears the people if and only if the government believes in the sovereignty of the people -- that the government works for the people and not the people for the government. Otherwise, fear will motivate them to bring on more oppression. Our Founders knew this and gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They were very wise people.