The most important form of competition, at the present day, is between States, especially those that are called Great Powers. This has become a totalitarian competition, for power, for wealth, for control over men's beliefs, but above all for life itself, since the infliction of the death penalty is the principal means to victory. It is obvious that the only way of ending this competition is the abolition of national sovereignty and national armed forces, and the substitution of a single international government with a monopoly of armed force. The alternative to this measure is the death of a large percentage of the population of civilized countries, and the reduction of the remainder to destitution and semi-barbarism. At present, a vast majority prefer this alternative.
Source: Power, a new social analysis, 1938, by Bertrand Russell
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