Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : national life

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Randolph Bourne left an unfinished, unpaginated draft of The State when he died during the flu pandemic of 1918. The draft was published posthumously, with some material incorrectly ordered, in Untimely Papers . This edition follows the corrected ordering used in most printed editions of Bourne’s work. I. To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favor of partizan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather ... (From : fair-use.org.)


To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war [World War I] brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favor of partizan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday. Government is obviously composed of common and unsanctified men, and is thus a legitimate object of criticism and even co... (From : bopsecrets.org.)

II THE STATE UNDER the influence of socialism, most liberal thought in recent years has been in favor of increasing the power of the State, but more or less hostile to the power of private property. On the other hand, syndicalism has been hostile both to the State and to private property. I believe that syndicalism is more nearly right than socialism in this respect, that both private property and the State, which are the two most powerful institutions of the modern world, have become harmful to life through excess of power, and that both are hastening the loss of vitality from which the civilized world increasingly suffers. The two institutions are closely connected, but for the present I wish to consider only the State. I shall try to show how great, how unnecessary, how harmful, many of its powers are, and how enormously they might be diminished without loss of what is useful in its activity. But I shall admit that in certain directions its functions ought to...

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