States Exist in a State of Nature

Persons are in states, have been there for many generations, and would have no practical means of getting out if they wanted to. States are in the state of nature; many of them have known something approaching the security offered by the super-state when they were part of the Roman Empire, or a British colony; and if they wanted to surrender their sovereignty to a super-state, there are at least some practical steps they could take to try and organize one. They do nothing of the sort. They are quite content to listen to their own voice at the United Nations, leaving it the fatuous irrelevance that it is. Is it, then, beyond reasonable doubt that persons would rush and negotiate a social contract if, like states, they had the option not to do so?

Anthony de Jasay, p. 45.

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