In a world with high transportation costs and a lot of output consisting of agricultural products that can spoil, it is not easy to collect taxes on people far away. This fact should limit the size of states. You could argue that the extent of the state is limited by the portability of output. At a certain distance, the cost of collecting taxes exceeds the value of what the ruler gets.
If Adam had not sinned, Christ would not have come into the world. But to permit evil for the sake of future good belongs exclusively to divine providence. We humans must take our bearing not from God’s providence, but from His law, which forbids evil absolutely.
“The Emancipation of Avarice,” First Things 5/2011, Edward Skidelsky
I cannot comprehend the madness of the times. Southern men are theoretically crazy. Extreme Northern men are practical fools, the latter are really quite as bad as the former. Treason is in the air around us everywhere. It goes by the name of patriotism.
I doubt our ability to maintain the old cumbrous, complicated, and expensive form of government. A national executive and Congress will be sufficiently burdensome to the people without the additional expense of governors, lieutenant-governors, a dozen secretaries of State, as many legislatures, etc. etc. It is true, States rights gave the States the right to secede. But what is in a name? Secession by any other name would smell as sweet. For my part, I like the name of Revolution, or even Rebellion, better, for they are sanctified by the example of Washington and his compeers. And separations of communities are like the separations of bees when they cannot live in peace in the same hive. The time had come apparently for us to set up for ourselves, and we should have done it if there had been no such thing as State sovereignty. It is true, the Constitution adopted at Montgomery virtually acknowledges the right of any State to secede from the Confederacy; but that was necessary in vindication of the action of its fathers. That Constitution, and the permanent one to succeed it, will, perhaps, never do. They too much resemble the governmental organization of the Yankees, to whom we have bid adieu forever in disgust.