Talk:Joseph de Maistre

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No man?[edit]

There is a famous quotation:

I will simply point out the error of principle that has provided the foundation of this constitution and that has led the French astray since the first moment of their revolution.

The constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, has been drawn up for Man. Now, there is no such thing in the world as Man. In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; I am even aware, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian. But, as for Man, I declare that I have never met him in my life. If he exists, I certainly have no knowledge of him.

....This constitution is capable of being applied to all human communities from China to Geneva. But a constitution which is made for all nations is made for none: it is a pure abstraction, a school exercise whose purpose is to exercise the mind in accordance with a hypothetical ideal, and which ought to be addressed to Man, in the imaginary places which he inhabits....

What is a constitution? Is it not the solution to the following problem: to find the laws that are fitting for a particular nation, given its population, its customs, its religion, its geographical situation, its political relations, its wealth, and its good and bad qualities?

Now, this problem is not addressed at all by the Constitution of 1795, which is concerned only with Man.

http://counterenlightenment.blogspot.cz/2011/07/well-known-quotation-from-joseph-de.html claims it is from Considérations sur la France (1797). Given I believe it is the most famous quotation by de Maistre, shouldn't it be added? Can somebody verify the source?

Ceplm (talk) 08:30, 3 November 2015 (UTC)