Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government.
Henry David Thoreau
(1817-62), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.
Letter, 31 July 1849, to Ellen Emerson (then 10 years old), eldest child of Ralph Waldo Emerson (published in The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, 1958).