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...to a Nation, becomes also the means of revenue to Government. Every war terminates with an addition of taxes, and consequently with an addition of revenue; and in any event of war, in the manner they are now commenced and concluded, the power and interest of Governments are increased. War, therefore, from its productiveness, as it easily furnishes the pretence of necessity for taxes and appointments to places and offices, becomes a principal part of the system of old Governments; andTo establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches.The frivolous matters upon which war is made, show the disposition and avidity of Governments to uphold the system of war, and betray the motives upon which they act.
Why are not Republics plunged into war, but because the nature of their Government does not admit of an interest distinct from that of the Nation? Even Holland, though an ill-constructed Republic, and with a commerce extending over the world, existed nearly a century without war: and the instant the form of Government... Paine, Thomas
Excerpt from Writings of Thomas Paine — Volume 2 (1779-1792): the Rights of Man · This quote is about war · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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