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Animals are in possession of themselves; their soul is in possession of their body. But they have no right to their life, because they do not will it.
As high as mind stands above nature, so high does the state stand above physical life. Man must therefore venerate the state as a secular deity. The march of God in the world, that is what the State is.
Poverty in itself does not make men into a rabble; a rabble is created only when there is joined to poverty a disposition of mind, an inner indignation against the rich, against society, against the government.
The East knew and to the present day knows only that One is Free; the Greek and the Roman world, that some are free; the German World knows that All are free. The first political form therefore which we observe in History, is Despotism, the second Democracy and Aristocracy, the third, Monarchy.
The essence of the modern state is that the universal be bound up with the complete freedom of its particular members and with private well-being, that thus the interests of family and civil society must concentrate themselves on the state. It is only when both these moments subsist in their strength that the state can be regarded as articulated and genuinely organized.
The first glance at History convinces us that the actions of men proceed from their needs, their passions, their characters and talents and impresses us with the belief that such needs, passions and interests are the sole spring of actions.
We do not need to be shoemakers to know if our shoes fit, and just as little have we any need to be professionals to acquire knowledge of matters of universal interest.
What experience and history teach is this - that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.
When individuals and nations have once got in their heads the abstract concept of full-blown liberty, there is nothing like it in its uncontrollable strength.
When liberty is mentioned, we must always be careful to observe whether it is not really the assertion of private interests which is thereby designated.
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