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Sovereignty is the prerogative of governing institutions to rule.
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- In a word, the mass of the people counts for nothing in every political creation. A people even respects a government only because it is not its own creation. This feeling is engraved on its heart in profound characters. It submits to sovereignty because it senses that it is something sacred it can neither create nor destroy.
- Joseph de Maistre, Against Rousseau (1795), p. 73
- The Arabs […] realized that ascribing sovereignty only to God meant that the authority would be taken away from the priests, the leaders of tribes, the wealthy and the rulers, and would revert to God. It meant that only God's authority would prevail in the heart and conscience, in matters pertaining to religious observances and in the affairs of life such as business, the distribution of wealth and the dispensation of justice—in short, in the souls and bodies of men. They knew very well that the proclamation, "There is no deity except Allah," was a challenge to that worldly authority which had usurped the greatest attribute of God, namely, sovereignty.
- Every true thinker for himself is so far like a monarch; he is absolute, and recognises nobody above him. His judgments, like the decrees of a monarch, spring from his own sovereign power and proceed directly from himself. He takes as little notice of authority as a monarch does of a command; nothing is valid unless he has himself authorised it. On the other hand, those of vulgar minds, who are swayed by all kinds of current opinions, authorities, and prejudices, are like the people which in silence obey the law and commands.
- Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena (1851)
- Liberty, then, is the sovereignty of the individual, and never shall man know liberty until each and every individual is acknowledged to be the only legitimate sovereign of his or her person, time, and property.
- Josiah Warren, Equitable Commerce (1848)