Joseph de Maistre, fully Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre

Joseph de
Maistre, fully Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre
1753
1821

French Polemic Author, Philosopher, Writer, Lawyer and Diplomat

Author Quotes

There is no easy method of learning difficult things. The method is to close the door, give out that you are not at home, and work.

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.

In the whole vast dome of living nature there reigns an open violence, a kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom: as soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life.

It can even come about that a created will cancels out, not perhaps the exertion, but the result of divine action; for in this sense, God himself has told us that God wishes things which do not happen because man does not wish them! Thus the rights of men are immense, and his greatest misfortune is to be unaware of them.

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

In the whole vast dome of living nature there reigns an open violence. A kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom: as soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. You feel it already in the vegetable kingdom: from the great catalpa to the humblest herb, how many plants die and how many are killed; but, from the moment you enter the animal kingdom, this law is suddenly in the most dreadful evidence. A Power, a violence, at once hidden and palpable. . . has in each species appointed a certain number of animals to devour the others. . . And who [in this general carnage] exterminates him who will exterminate all others? Himself. It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man. . . The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death.

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

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.

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.

There is no philosophy without the art of ignoring objections.

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.

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.

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

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.

Every country has the government it deserves.

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

If each man relies on his individual reason for his religious beliefs, the result will be anarchy of belief or the annihilation of religious sovereignty.

Compassion is as natural as respiration.

How can we be so willfully blind as to look for causes in nature when nature herself is an effect?

To know how to wait is the great secret of success.

Author Picture
First Name
Joseph de
Last Name
Maistre, fully Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre
Birth Date
1753
Death Date
1821
Bio

French Polemic Author, Philosopher, Writer, Lawyer and Diplomat