more from Baron de Montesquieu

Single Idea 19964

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / a. Autocracy]

Full Idea

Some have thought that because nature has established the power of the parent, the most natural government is that of a single person. But the example of paternal power proves nothing. The inheritance by a father's brothers would support rule by the many.

Gist of Idea

The natural power of a father suggests rule by one person, but that authority can be spread


Baron de Montesquieu (The Spirit of the Laws (rev. 1757) [1748], 01.03)

Book Reference

Montesquieu,Baron de: 'Selected Political Writings', ed/tr. Richter,Melvin [Hackett 1990], p.113

A Reaction

[last bit compressed] Locke pointed out that the mother has similar entitlement, and he and Rousseau agree in rejecting this idea.