Know yourself!
God created Man in his own image,
Water is the element and this is the origin....
War is the father of all things.
He didn't' want to seem best,but to be so.
Seeing the high Gods by her beauty's lure
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.
...until political greatness and wisdom meet in one,
It follows that the state belongs to the class of objects
One's country is wherever one does well.
...that devil, envy did all the mischief,which the bad bear unto the good,
But if one should guide his life by true principles,
Give me chastity and continence, but not just now.
Ah God! Had I but studied in the days of my foolish youth.
If all evil were prevented, much good would be
Man was created by nature in such a way that reason might dominate the senses
...how we live is so far removed from how we ought to live,
...a kingdom is best entrusted to someone who is better endowed than the rest
In a state of nature we have....no arts, no letters, no society,
I think, therefore I am.
The only possible fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.
He whose honor depends on the opinion of the mob
Legislation considers man as he is in order to turn him to good uses in human society. Out of
to "live in Ease, Without great Vices, is a vain
It is fortunate for men to be in a situation in which,
That action is best, which procures the greatest happiness
All is for the best in the best of possible worlds.
How small - of all that human hearts endure - that part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Man is born free, and everywhere he is in fetters.
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner,
Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be built.
I offer you "...this picture of the human species, liberated from all chains, freed from the empire
...the age of chivalry is gone. -That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded;
And yet all grandeur, all power, all subordination rests on the executioner;
The principal object of the present essay is to examine the effects of one great cause.
But even as we contemplate history as this butcher-block,
One has attributed to history the task, to judge the past, and to instruct the present to the benefi
Human societies are at the same time organisms and mechanisms.
It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied;
Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life,
...the theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence:Abolition of private property
Life is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of the weaker, suppression, hardness
Society is a reality sui generis; it has its own characteristics which one does not find,
The characteristic of the moment is that the mediocre mind,
...behold the bustling crowds that work and trade in order to make a living..."
And it's not clear to me Who is a beast now, who is a man.
Whereof one cannot speak,thereof one must be silent.
The Human Genome Project "is the grail of human genetics... the ultimate answer to the commandment,
History is a violent elimination game, minimizing A/P.
If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
In short, there are three things that last, faith, hope and love;

It is fortunate for men to be in a situation in which, though their passions may prompt them to be wicked, they have nevertheless an interest in not being so.

NameCharles de Secondat Montesquieu
Life1689 - 1755
If neither prayers, cynicism nor laughs can cure the evil nature of fallen man, what can we hope for? We have to live with brute passions, inherited from our animal genes. That is how Machiavelli and Erasmus today can be understood. But cannot the "reason", the intelligence, on which Mirandola put his bet, be useful in moderating the most brutal expressions of our passionate behavior? Montesquieu came back to that question of Mirandola. Most of history has been a political power struggle for life or death. With emerging trade and capitalism, it became clear to our "reason" that both sides of a deal could gain economically, that it was in the interest of each side to keep the other alive and well. Ruthless political competition gave way to somewhat less ruthless economic competition. Cold murder gave way to mutually beneficial, even reciprocally altruistic behavior. The emotional oppression of feudalism and religious fanaticism gave way to the cold calculations of capitalism. This is how Montesquieu understood his time. The wise Samuel Johnson supported him in saying that "There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money." Montesquieu lived in a dangerous time. Copernicus did not dare to publish his revolutionary heliocentric "De Revoltionibus" until on his death bed in 1543. Bruno was burned in 1600. Galileo had to retract his truth in 1633. Descartes was most careful in his writing, scared of a similar destiny. Locke spent a long time in exile. Mandelville was much bespatted. Montesquieu clearly saw the dangerous strength of our biological passions, not least in the supreme rulers. Against the
advice of his friends he published the first edition of his great book, The Spirit of the Laws, in 1748. But his prudence bade him to do so anonymously, with a quote from Ovid, ".. prolem sine matre creatam", no mother around! To that book we owe one of the most important ideas of Western political philosophy, the division of power. Montesquieu distrusted power. Power and evilness come very close to each other. Power corrupts in a viscous circle. Those who have too much of it are always tempted by the Devil. And most fall for temptations! Better not have too much concentrated power around! How to avoid it? If man's nature is biologically given, if you cannot cure evil power ambition in him, you can at least try to rein it in with good legal institutions. If evil is bound to appear from the inside of man, let us put up a strong outside fence against it, like we do for lions in zoological gardens. Montesquieu suggested that supreme power should be divided into three parts. A legislative organ, a parliament, should make the laws. An executive power, a government, should realize them. To check both, a judicial power should be strong enough to ensure that the actions of the two others conformed to the constitution of the land. This is Montesquieu's truly great idea. It was, for instance, incorporated in the constitution of the United States of America in 1787, where it still stands and still supports the unusually stable democracy of that nation. In more general terms, what Montesquieu said might thus be simplified: Never trust the power of one man! Put three at the top, so that two of them can throw out the third before his natural human inclination for evil, for absolute monotheistic power, becomes too strong! That is where we still are!


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