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...of human nature make that step to mankind.
Of course the nation we are supposing must keep the virtues of its first stage as it passes into the after stage, else it will be trodden out; it will have lost the savage virtues in getting the beginning of the civilised virtues; and the savage virtues which tend to war are the daily bread of human nature. Carlyle said, in his graphic way, 'The ultimate question between every two human beings is, "Can I kill thee, or canst thou kill me?"'History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it.But these nations have come out of the 'pre-economic stage' too soon; they have been put to learn while yet only too apt to unlearn. Such cases do not vitiate, they confirm, the principle--that a nation which has just gained variability without losing legality has a singular likelihood to be a prevalent nation.
No nation admits of an abstract definition; all nations are beings of many qualities and many sides; no historical event exactly illustrates any one principle; every cause is... Bagehot, Walter
Excerpt from Physics and Politics, or, Thoughts on the application of the principles of "natural selection" and "inheritance" to political society · This quote is about world · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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