Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good, as well as by evil, men. Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon, but, at other times and places, the ends have been racial or territorial security, support of a dynasty or regime, and particular plans for saving souls. As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity. […] Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

Justice Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954) US Supreme Court Justice
West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 318-319 U.S. 624 (1943) [majority opinion]

Added on 17-Jun-08 | Last updated 15-Feb-22
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