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Political liberty of the individual citizen is that tranquility of spirit which possesses its own assurance; and to secure that liberty, it is essential that the government permit no citizen to fear another citizen. But when the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same political group, there can be no liberty; because then the tendency will be for this group to inflate its powers through the enactment of tyrannical laws, which it will then execute in a tyrannical manner.
–Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, De l’esprit des lois, bk. xi, ch. vi (1748), in Œuvres complètes de Montesquieu, vol. 2, p. 397 (Pléiade ed. 1951) (S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
No Comment — March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm
On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers
Average number of sitcom laughs an American hears during a prime-time season:
Nielsen Media Research (N.Y.C.)/Jim Drake, Night Court (Tarzana, Calif.)/Harper's research
Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.
British economists correlated the happiness of a country’s population with its genetic resemblance to Danes.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”