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Ch.-L. de Secondat Montesquieu on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 261
Democracy/Montesquieu/Höffe: In [characterising] democracy, frugality and simplicity [are added to virtue by Montesquieu], which e contrario indicates the danger. Montesquieu considers democracy to be the exemplary form of government, but sees it threatened by various dangers, from within through the ambition and greed of individual citizens. Furthermore, two opposing tendencies threaten to take on the task of giving concrete form to the republican principle of equality (égalité) of all citizens. In part, one retains significant inequality, in part one falls into that "extreme equality" in which, as even ancient authors fear, democracy degenerates into mob rule(1). >Freedom/Montesquieu.


1. Montesquieu, On the spirit of the laws that shape political freedom and their relation to the Constitution (De l'Esprit des lois, 1748).


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Monte I
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu
De l’esprit des lois, Paris 1748
German Edition:
Vom Geist der Gesetze Stuttgart 2011

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-05-12
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