Next Previous Contents No Treason: XV.

On general principles of law and reason, the oaths of soldiers, that they will serve a given number of years, that they will obey the orders of their superior officers, that they will bear true allegiance to the government, and so forth, are of no obligation. Independently of the criminality of an oath, that, for a given number of years, he will kill all whom he may be commanded to kill, without exercising his own judgment or conscience as to the justice or necessity of such killing, there is this further reason why a soldier's oath is of no obligation, viz., that, like all the other oaths that have now been mentioned, it is given to nobody. There being, in no legitimate sense, any such corporation, or nation, as "the United States," nor, consequently, in any legitimate sense, any such government as "the government of the United States," a soldier's oath given to, or contract made with, such nation or government, is necessarily an oath given to, or a contract made with, nobody. Consequently such oath or contract can be of no obligation.

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