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- Mais les fausses opinions ressemblent à la fausse monnaie qui est frappée d'abord par de grands coupables et dépensée ensuite par d'honnêtes gens qui perpétuent le crime sans savoir ce qu'ils font.
- 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
- Les soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg, Ch. I
- Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite.
- Every nation gets the government it deserves.
- Letter 76, on the topic of Russia's new constitutional laws (27 August 1811); published in Lettres et Opuscules. The English translation has several variations, including "Every country has the government it deserves" and "In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve." The quote is popularly misattributed to better-known commentators such as Alexis de Tocqueville and Abraham Lincoln.
- All grandeur, all power, all subordination to authority rests on the executioner: he is the horror and the bond of human association. Remove this incomprehensible agent from the world and at that very moment order gives way to chaos, thrones topple and society disappears.
- The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). The Count, in Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg, "First Dialogue," (1821).
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