The State is an Artificial Body

Charles Sumner, “Oration,” The Grandeur of Nations: An Oration, (Boston: The American Peace Society, 1845), p.43:

The old idea, still too much received, is, that man is made for the State, and not the State for man. Far otherwise is the truth. The State is an artificial body, intended for the security of the people. How constantly do we find, in human history, that the people have been sacrificed for the State; to build the Roman name, to secure to England the trident of the sea. This is to sacrifice the greater for the less; for the fleeting possessions of the earth to barter the immortal soul. Let it be remembered that the state is not worth preserving at the cost of the lives and happiness of the people.

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