Worth of a State


The final words of On Liberty by John Stuart Mill:

The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it; and a State which postpones the interests of their mental expansion and elevation, to a little more of administrative skill or that semblance of it which practice gives, in the details of business; a State, which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which it has sacrificed everything, will in the end avail it nothing, for want of the vital power which, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, it has preferred to banish.

(cf. CommonUnderstanding (1999-10-08), OurStonehenge (2001-05-03), ReligionAndReverence (2001-07-08), DeliberateOpinion (2001-10-14), SocratesDissatisfied (2003-05-24), ...) - ^z - 2008-04-02

(correlates: MalaproposDecisionmaking, PostCaptain, FreeWill, ...)