Is there any need to prove that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual cause of hatred, discord, and even social disorder? Look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law confines itself more rigorously to its proper role, which is to guarantee everyone's liberty and property. Accordingly, there is no country in which the social order seems to rest on a more stable foundation. Nevertheless, even in the United States there are two questions, and only two, which, since it was founded, have several times put the political order in danger. And what are these two questions? The question of slavery and that of tariffs, that is, precisely the only two questions concerning which, contrary to the general spirit of this republic, the law has assumed a spoliative character. Slavery is a violation, sanctioned by law, of the rights of the person. Protective tariffs are a violation, perpetrated by the law, of the right to property; and certainly it is remarkable that in the midst of so many other disputes this twofold a sad heritage from the Old World, should be the only one that can and perhaps will lead to the dissolution of the Union. It is, in fact, impossible to imagine any graver situation in a society than one in which the law becomes an instrument of injustice. And if this fact gives rise to such dreadful consequences in the United States, where it is only exceptional, what must be its consequences in Europe, where it is a principle and a system?
"That in the chairs publicly endowed by the treasury, the professors strictly abstain from diminishing in the slightest degree the respect due to the "
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Because it has force as its necessary sanction, the law can have as its legitimate domain only the legitimate domain of force, namely, justice.
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Thus, the same relations exist between the lawgiver and the prince as between the agronomist and the farmer, and between the prince and his subjects as between the farmer and the soil. At what a height above mankind, then, is the political theorist placed, for he rules the legislators themselves and teaches them their profession in these imperative terms:
de Huszar, introduction by Friedrich A.
Although this political theorist, the supreme authority of democrats, founds the edifice of society on the no one has accepted as completely as he the hypothesis of the entire passivity of the human race in the hands of the lawgiver.
Hayden Boyers, ed.Introduction by Dean Russell
But it is frightful! Abominable! And these citations, which I could multiply, show that, according to Montesquieu, men's persons, their liberties, their property, the whole of mankind, are only raw materials for the lawgiver to exercise his sagacity on.
Buchanan, of and ; contributor of various Forewords to
In any case, we see what a terrible responsibility Rousseau has laid on the inventors, founders, leaders, lawgivers, and manipulators of societies. Consequently, he demands much of them.
Alternative Views on Monetary Reform" Pamela J.
The unthinking masses, in their infatuation, may cry out: "It is Montesquieu who said it; hence, it is magnificent! It is sublime!" I shall have the courage of my convictions and am not afraid to say: