Herbert Spencer on the State’s cultivation of “the religion of enmity” to justify its actions (1884)
Chiefly, however, the maintenance of this faith [in governmental ability and authority] is necessitated by the maintenance of fitness for war...it is requisite that men should have such belief in the authority of government as shall give it adequate coercive power over them for war purposes—a belief in its authority which inevitably, at the same time, gives it coercive power over them for other purposes.
Kant believed that citizens must give their free consent via their representatives to every separate declaration of war (1790)
As such they [citizens] must give their free consent, through their representatives, not only to the carrying on of war generally, but to every separate declaration of war; and it is only under this limiting condition that the State has a Right to demand their services in undertakings so full of danger.
Richard Cobden on public opinion and peace on earth (c. 1865)
When the Master whom you especially serve, and whose example and precepts are the sole credentials of your faith, mingled in the affairs or this life, it was not to join in the exaltation of military genius, or share in the warlike triumphs of nation over nation, but to preach “Peace on EARTH and good will toward MEN.”
Jefferson on the inevitability of revolution in England only after which there will be peace on earth (1817)
I turn, however, with some confidence to a different auxiliary, a revolution in England, now, I believe unavoidable...Their government has acted over again the fable of the frog and the ox; and their bloated system has burst...Their debts have consequently accumulated by their follies & frauds, until the interest is equal to the aggregate rents of all the farms in their country.
Madison on “the most noble of all ambitions” which a government can have, of promoting peace on earth (1816)
And may I not be allowed to add to this gratifying spectacle that I shall read in the character of the American people, in their devotion to true liberty and to the Constitution which is its palladium, sure presages that the destined career of my country will exhibit a Government pursuing the public good as its sole object, and regulating its means by the great principles consecrated in its charter, and by those moral principles to which they are so well allied; … a Government which avoids intrusions on the internal repose of other nations, and repels them from its own;