Guide to government…..


“The coercive apparatus is the state, whose sole raison d’être is to protect its subjects, individually from each other, and collectively from external foes. It is true that a few German would-be philosophers of this venal age wish to distort the state into an institution for the spread of morality, education, and edifying instruction. But such a view contains, lurking in the background, the Jesuitical aim of doing away with personal freedom and individual development, and of making men mere wheels in a huge Chinese governmental and religious machine. And this is the road that once led to Inquisitions, to Autos-da-fé, and religious wars. Frederick the Great showed that he at least never wished to tread it, when he said: “In my land every one shall care for his own salvation, as he himself thinks best.” Nevertheless, we still see everywhere (with the more apparent than real exception of North America) that the state undertakes to provide for the metaphysical needs of its members. The governments appear to have adopted as their guiding principle the tenet of Quintus Curtius: Nulla res efficacius multitudinem regit, quam superstitio: alioquin impotens, saeva, mutabilis; ubi vana religione capta est, melius vatibus, quam ducibus suis paret.” (There is no more efficient instrument in ruling the masses than superstition. Without this they have no self-control; they are brutish; they are changeable; but once they are caught by some vain form of religion, they lend a more willing ear to its soothsayers than to their own leaders).  – Schopenhauer; The Basis of Morality.  (Bold is my own).

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