War Is the Health of the State
Millions of people have heard it, even heard it repeatedly, without ever learning who originally wrote or said it: “War is the health of the State.”
Several friends, going through Randolph Bourne apartment after his death, found an unpublished manuscript in the wastebasket next to his desk. It was entitled The State.
“War is the health of the State,” Randolph Bourne wrote in that discarded essay, which he probably died believing would never see print, “and it is during war that one best understands the nature of that institution.”
Here is how journalist and historian Jeff Riggenbach summarizes Bourne’s book: “In effect, you can’t be consistently and intelligently antiwar, unless you’re libertarian.”
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