"War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society these irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense."
Randolph Bourne
in War and the Intellectuals, 1964
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Reader comments about this quote:
health or illness? Sometimes
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I give it five for its inverted wit
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    Change the word "health" to "enemy" and the statement would make good sense.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
    It simply means that 'war' is the primary vehicle for empowering the state (not the people) and for demanding obedience from the populace. The US has been in a state of emergency (and war) since 1934, and it has been the primary method for creating the super power that the US is today.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    War gives people meaning and a government unbridled control over the destiniy of a state and its populace. It is "health" for a state as it is what creates its prosperity and perpetuation, although I do agree that it represents the reverse for people who are thinking clearly.
     -- EGL, LA     
  • 1
    The quote says "health" and the more war, the more coercing into obedience officials demand of you.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
    Archer, EGL and Joe have it right. In essence the job of government during the time of war is to bring us into line and to denigrate all who do not agree. This administration deserves a Gold Star for its efforts in that direction. Bourne was a prescient observer of the State.
     -- A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL     
  • 1
     -- mion, japan      
    The fools must have their wargame, while the wise ask simply; why don't we end this sick game?
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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