A Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s Spirit of Laws / Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy

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Positive laws ought to be consequent of the laws of nature: this is the spirit of laws.
Montesquieu’s Spirit of Laws.
Laws are not, as Montesquieu has asserted, ”necessary relations originating in the nature of things.” A law is not a relation, nor is a relation a law: the definition is not clear nor satisfactory. The word law has its special and appropriate sense: this sense is always to be found in the original meaning of words, and to which recourse must be had in order to their being rightly understood. Here law means a rule of action, prescribed by an authority invested with competent power and a right so to do: this last condition is essential, and when it is not possessed, the rule is no longer a law, but an arbitrary command, an act of violence and usurpation.

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