Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui

Quote Topics Cited
A good subject makes it his rule to prefer the public welfare to everything else, bravely to sacrifice his fortune, and his private interests, and even his life, for the preservation of the state; and to employ all his abilities and his industry to advance the honor, and to procure the advantage of his native country. Citizenship & Patriotism
A prince must, above all things, accustom himself to moderate his desires. For as he has the power of gratifying them, if he once gives way to them, he will run to the greatest excess, and, by destroying his subjects, will at last complete his own ruin. In order to form himself to this moderation, nothing is more proper, than to accustom himself to patience. This is the most necessary of all virtues for those, who are to command. A man must be patient to become master of himself and others. Leaders & Leadership
All societies are formed by the concurrence or union of the wills of several persons, with a view of acquiring some advantage. States. Nations & Nationhood
Appearances frequently deceive us, and what at first sight carries with it the face of good proves to be a real evil, whilst an apparent evil oftentimes conceals an extraordinary good Public Relations & Image
As to what concerns the tacit consent or customs of nations, on which some doctors (lawyers) establish a law of nations, they cannot of themselves produce a real obligation. For from this only, that several nations have behaved towards each other for some time after a certain manner, it does not follow, that they have laid themselves under a necessity of acting constantly so for the future, and much less, that every other nation is obliged to conform to this custom. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Every form of government has its advantages and inconveniences inseparable from it. It would be in vain to seek for a government absolutely perfect; and however perfect it might appear in speculation, yet it is certain, that in practice, and under the administration of men, it will ever be attended with some particular defects. Miscellaneous ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Finally, with regard to actions manifestly bad or criminal, to which a person is forced through fear of some great evil, and especially death; we must lay down as a general rule, that the unhappy circumstances, under which a person labors, may indeed diminish the crime of a man unequal to this trial, who commits a bad action in spite of himself, and against his own inward conviction, yet the action remains intrinsically vicious, and worthy of censure; wherefore it may be, and actually is imputed, unless the exception of necessity can be alleged in the person's favor. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I go still further and affirm, that, supposing even a nation had been really willing to grant their sovereign an arbitrary and unlimited power, this concession would of itself be void and of no effect. Power ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
If, for the smallest faults, the people had a right to resist or depose their sovereign, no prince could maintain his authority, and the community would be continually distracted; such a situation would be directly contrary both to the end and institution of government, and of sovereignty. It is therefore right to overlook the lesser faults of sovereigns, and to have a regard to the laborious and exalted office, with which they are invested for our preservation Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
In the institution of societies, mankind in all probability thought father of redressing the evils, which they had experienced, than of procuring the several advantages resulting from laws, from commerce, from the arts and sciences, and from all those other improvements so frequently mentioned in history. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
It is certain that, so soon as the people submit to a king, really such, they have no longer the supreme power. Power ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
It is not necessary to have an entire certainty in regard to considerable goods and evils; mere possibility, and much more so probability, is sufficient to induce a reasonable person to deprive himself of some trifling good, and even to suffer some slight evil, with a design of acquiring a far greater good, and avoiding a more troublesome evil. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Law is a rule prescribed, because a simple resolution, confined within the sovereign's mind, without manifesting itself by some external sign, can never be a law. It is requisite, that this will be notified in a proper manner to the subjects; so that they be acquainted with what the sovereign requires of them, and with the necessity of squaring thereby their conduct. But in what manner this notification is to be made, whether viva voce, by writing, or otherwise, is a matter of mere indifference. Sufficient it is, that the subjects be properly instructed concerning the will of the legislator. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Liberty is not wanting in popular (democratic) states; nay, they have rather too much of it, since it degenerates into licentiousness. Hence it is that they are ever tottering and weak. Intestine commotions, or foreign attacks, often throw them into consternation. Democracies & Republics ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
No man can divest himself … of his liberty Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Nothing is more reasonable than to resolve to bear with an evil, from which a greater good must certainly arise. Miscellaneous
Princes, corrupted by flattery, take everything, that is free and ingenuous, to be harsh and austere. They are become so delicate, that everything, which is not an adulation, offends them. But nothing ought they to be so greatly afraid of, as this very adulation, since there are no miseries, into which they may not be hurried by its poisonous insinuation. On the contrary, the prince is happy, even if he has but a single subject, who is so generous as to speak the truth to him; such a man is the treasure of the state Human Nature
Right therefore and obligation are, as logicians express it, correllative terms; one of these ideas necessarily supposes the other; and we cannot conceive a right without a corresponding obligation. Freedom & Liberty
Sovereignty resides originally in the people, and in each individual with regard to himself; and that it is the transferring and uniting the several rights of individuals in the person of the sovereign, that constitutes him such, and really produces sovereignty. Power
The first general duty of princes is carefully to inform themselves of every thing, that falls under the complete discharge of their trust; for a person cannot well acquit himself in that, which he has not first rightly learnt. Leaders & Leadership
The principal end a prince was made for is to take care, that every one should have his rights. This ought to engage him to study not only the science of those great civilians, who ascend to the first principles of law, which regulate human society, and are the basis as it were of government and politics; but also that part of the law, which descends to the affairs of particular persons. This branch is generally left for the gentlemen of the long robe, and not admitted into the education of princes, though they are every day to pass judgment upon the fortunes, liberties, lives, honor, and reputation of their subjects. Princes are continually talked to of valour and liberality; but if justice do not regulate these two qualities, they degenerate into the most odious vices. Without justice valour does nothing but destroy; and liberality is only a foolish profuseness. Justice keeps all in order, and contains within bounds him, who distributes it, as well as those, to whom it is distributed. Leaders & Leadership
There is a general rule, which includes all the duties of a sovereign, and by which he may easily judge how to proceed under every circumstance. Let the safety of the people be the supreme law. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
With regard to what is done in drunkenness, this state, voluntarily contracted, does not hinder the imputation of a bad action. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs