The problem of the establishment of a perfect civic constitution depends upon the problem if a lawful external relationship if the states and cannot be solved without the latter
. What use is it to work out a lawful civic constitution among individual men, that is, or order a commonwealth? For the very same asociability that compelled man to do this is again the cause of the fact that each commonwealth in its external relations, that is to say, as a state in relation to other states, is in a condition of unrestricted freedom. Consequently, one commonwealth must expect from the others the very same evils that oppress individual human beings and that compelled them to enter into a lawful civic state. Nature has again used quarrelsomeness, in this case that of the great societies and states, as a means for discovering a condition of quiet and security through the very antagonism inevitable among them. That is to say, wars, the excessive and never ending preparation for wars, and the want that every state even in the midst of peace must feel-all these are means by which nature instigates attempts, which at first are inadequate, but which, after many devastations, reversals and a very general exhaustion of the states' resources, may accomplish what reason could have suggested to them without so much sad experience, namely: to leave the lawless state of savages and to enter into a union of nations wherein each, even the smallest state, could expect to derive its security and rights-not from its own power or its own.
Legal judgment but only from this great union of nations and from united power and decisions according to the united will of them all. However fanciful this idea may seem and as such may have been ridiculed when held by the Abbe St. Pierre and Rousseau (perhaps because they believed the idea to be too near its realization), it is, nevertheless, the inevitable escape from the destitution into which human beings plunge each other. It is this that must compel states to the resolution to seek quiet and security through a lawful constitution (however hard it may be for them) and to do what the wild man is so very reluctantly forced to do, namely, to give up his brutal freedom.
All wars are therefore so many attempts (not in the intention of men, but in the intention of nature) to bring about new relations among the states and to form new bodies by the breakup of the old states to the point where they cannot again maintain themselves alongside each other and must therefore suffer revolutions until finally, partly through the best possible arrangement of the civic constitution internally, and partly through the common agreement and legislation externally, there is created a state that, like a civic commonwealth, can maintain itself automatically.
The question whether one should expect that, from an Epicurean influence of effective causes, the states, like small fragments of matter, by their accidental collision, make all kinds of formations that are destroyed again by a new impact until eventually and accidentally there occurs a formation that can maintain itself in its form (by a lucky accident which will hardly ever occur!); or whether one should rather assume that nature follows a regular sequence to lead our species from the lowest level of animality gradually to the highest level of humanity by man's own, though involuntary, effort and that thus nature is unfolding in this seemingly wild disorder man's original faculties quite according to rule; or whether one prefers to assume that all these effects and countereffects will in the long run result in nothing, or at least nothing sensible, and that things will remain as they always have been and therefore one cannot predict that the discord that is natural to the species is in the end preparing for us a hell of evils, evil in an ever so civilized state because perhaps nature will destroy, by barbaric devastation, this state and all advances of culture (a fate that one may well suffer with the government of blind accident that is indeed identical with lawless freedom if no wisely conceived direction of nature is imputed thereto) -these three alternatives, in the last analysis, amount to the question: whether it be reasonable to assume that nature is appropriate in its parts but (as a whole) inappropriate to its end?
Therefore, the feckless condition of the savages did . . . what is also being effected by the barbarian freedom of the states that have been instituted; by the employment of all the resources of the commonwealth for armaments against one another, by the devastation that war is causing, but even more by the necessity of being constantly prepared for war. The full development of man's natural faculties is being inhibited by the evils that spring from these conditions that compel our species to discover a counterbalance to the intrinsically healthy resistance of many states against each other resulting from their freedom and to introduce a united power that will give support to this balance. In other words these conditions compel our species to introduce a cosmopolitical state of public security that is not without all danger, for we must see to it that neither the vitality of mankind goes to sleep nor these states destroy each other as they might without a principle of balance of equality in their mutual effects and countereffects. Before this last step, namely the joining of the states, is taken, in other words, the halfway mark of mankind's development is reached; human nature is enduring the worst hardships under the guise of external welfare and Rousseau was not so very wrong when he preferred the condition of savages; For it is to be preferred, provided one omits this last stage that our species will have to reach. We are highly civilized by art and science, we are civilized in all kinds of social graces and decency to the point where it becomes exasperating, but much (must be discarded) before we can consider ourselves truly ethicized. For the idea of morality is part of culture by the use that has been made of this idea that amounts only to something similar to ethics in the form of a love of honor and external decency (that) constitutes civilization. As long as states will use all their resources for their vain and violent designs for expansion and thus will continually hinder the slow efforts toward the inner shaping of the minds of their citizens, and even withdraw from their citizens all encouragement in this respect, we cannot hope for much because a great exertion by each commonwealth on behalf of the education of their citizens is required for this goal. Every pretended good that is not grafted upon a morally good frame of mind is nothing more than a pretense and glittering misery. Mankind will probably remain in this condition until, as I have said, it has struggled out of the chaotic condition of the relations among its states.