Sovereignty and Self-Surrender

The question as to how much sovereignty the larger nations will be willing to surrender, or delegate, to a council of nations is a most crucial one in connection with ensuring adequate protection for humanity against war, and freedom for men to follow the pursuits of peace.

Nations, like individuals, have always been loath to surrender their sovereign power. Instead of being satisfied with less, most have striven for more. Individually we all value certain forms of personal sovereignty, which we are reluctant to give up—how we shall dress, with whom we shall associate, our freedom of action, what we shall think and say.

We of the democracies have given up to our governments certain individual rights. We have agreed to abide by laws enacted by our local and national legislative bodies, believing that, on the whole, they are for the common good. Sometimes these laws— traffic laws for instance—deprive us of complete freedom of action. We agree to this because it makes for a society better ordered and better protected.

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An Obsolete Partnership
November 25, 1944

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