Jean-Louis de Lolme

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Jean-Louis de Lolme or Delolme (1740 – 16 July 1806) was a Swiss and English political theorist and writer on constitutional matters, born in the then semi-independent city of Geneva. As an adult he moved to England, and became a British subject.


  • What then is Liberty? Liberty, I would answer, so far as it is possible for it to exist in a Society of Beings whose interests are almost perpetually opposed to each other, consists in this, that, every Man, while he respects the persons of others, and allows them quietly to enjoy the produce of their industry, be certain himself likewise to enjoy the produce of his own industry, and that his person be also secure. But to contribute by one’s suffrage to procure these advantages to the Community,—to have a share in establishing that order, that general arrangement of things, by means of which an individual, lost as it were in the croud, is effectually protected,—to lay down the rules to be observed by those who, being invested with a considerable power, are charged with the defence of individuals, and provide that they should never transgress them,—these are functions, are acts of Government, but not constituent parts of Liberty.
    • The Constitution of England (1784), Ch. 5 : In which an Inquiry is made, whether it would be an Advantage to public Liberty, that the Laws should be enacted by the Votes of the People at large.
  • ... it is a fundamental principle with the English lawyers, that Parliament can do every thing, except making a Woman a Man, or a Man a Woman.
    • The Constitution of England, chapter X (translation of 1788 printed for G. G. J. & J. Robinson and J. Murray)
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