"In dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions
are not aboriginal, though they existed before we were born;
that they are not superior to the citizen;
that every one of them was once the act of a single man;
every law and usage was a man's expedient to meet a particular case;
that they all are imitable, all alterable;
we may make as good; we may make better."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, and poet
Essays, Second Series (1844)
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Reader comments about this quote:
The citizen is superior to the State, yes. The pedestrian always has the right of way. Good quote.
 -- KS, Somewhere,USA.     
  • 5
     -- Henry, Edinboro      
    In dealing with the state, it's better not to.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 5
    The observation of the problem is absolutely correct (100+ stars for that). His conclusion is an extension of the problem with a little wishful thinking thrown in (NOT - never has worked and it never will) Abandoning social engineering concepts in favor of a representative republic at natural law is one result Emerson was wishing for.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 6
    I am inclined to agree with Mike, but few understand that man's 'laws' are in actuality 'rules' and are not written in stone.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
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