Society

 


 

[1776]  Thomas Paine, Common Sense, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998

-  "Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections; the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil. In its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer" (p. 5)

 

[1911]  Gustav Landauer,  For Socialism, Telos Press, St. Louis, 1978

-  "... true society is a multiplicity of real, small affinities that grow out of the binding qualities of individuals, out of the spirit, a structure of communities, and a union." (p. 72)

 

[1945]  Bertrand de Jouvenel,  On Power : its nature and the history of its growth (Du pouvoir : histoire naturelle de sa croissance), Liberty Press, Indianapolis, 1993

-  "It is making a fateful mistake to suppose, as so many writers have supposed, that the major political formation, which is the state, was the natural product of human sociability. It seems a natural enough supposition, for society, which is a natural entity, is just such a product. But a natural society is a small thing. And for a small society to become a large one a new factor is necessary. For that there must be fusion, and this, in the great majority of cases, comes not from the instinct of association, but from that of domination. The large formation owes its existence to the instinct of domination." (p. 111)

-  "Conquest, and nothing but conquest, gives birth to large formations." (p. 112)

 

[1983]  Eugène Enriquez,  De la Horde à l'État. Essai de psychanalyse du lien social, Gallimard, Paris, 1983

-  "Quelles sont les raisons qui animent la société civile à être de plus en plus soumise à l'État dans son processus d'homogénéisation mortifère et dans ses procédures de massification continue?" (p. 12)