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Joseph de Maistre Quotes

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Joseph de Maistre
April 1, 1753 - February 26, 1821
Nationality: French
Category: Diplomat
Subcategory: French Diplomat

Every country has the government it deserves.


We are all bound to the throne of the Supreme Being by a flexible chain which restrains without enslaving us. The most wonderful aspect of the universal scheme of things is the action of free beings under divine guidance.


Man is so muddled, so dependent on the things immediately before his eyes, that every day even the most submissive believer can be seen to risk the torments of the afterlife for the smallest pleasure.


There is no philosophy without the art of ignoring objections.


A constitution that is made for all nations is made for none.


In the works of man, everything is as poor as its author; vision is confined, means are limited, scope is restricted, movements are labored, and results are humdrum.


Wherever an altar is found, there civilization exists.


False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.


Man in general, if reduced to himself, is too wicked to be free.


All pain is a punishment, and every punishment is inflicted for love as much as for justice.


If there was no moral evil upon earth, there would be no physical evil.


There is no man who desires as passionately as a Russian. If we could imprison a Russian desire beneath a fortress, that fortress would explode.


We are tainted by modern philosophy which has taught us that all is good, whereas evil has polluted everything and in a very real sense all is evil, since nothing is in its proper place.


It is one of man's curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them.


Man is insatiable for power; he is infantile in his desires and, always discontented with what he has, loves only what he has not. People complain of the despotism of princes; they ought to complain of the despotism of man.


I don't know what a scoundrel is like, but I know what a respectable man is like, and it's enough to make one's flesh creep.


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