Monday, December 30, 2019

Not, I Think, What the Founders Intended . . .

. . . but here we are now.

For most  modern European philosophers, especially German philosophers, the phrase "The State" has always meant the absolute supreme authority above all society.
The word "Federation", coming from the Latin word for "treaty",  generally means a free and rather loose agreement   between these supreme states.  But when the future Historian (poor brute) turns to the great topic of America, he will find just the opposite.  He will find the word "Federal" meaning the supreme authority that centralizes and overrules everything.  He will find the word "State" used for the subordinate thing; the sub-unit like the county or the city.

from GK Chesterton's A Hint About History from the New York American, March 12 1932 via the November/December 2019 number of Gilbert!.