"Montesquieu put his finger on our situation when, in Considerations of the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and Their Decline, he noted that “in a free state in which sovereignty has just been usurped, whatever can establish the unlimited authority of one man is called good order, and whatever can maintain the honest liberty of the subjects is called commotion, dissension, or bad government.” Montesquieu was talking about the moment when the Roman republic gave way to the autocracy of Augustus. Mutatis mutandis, what he says applies equally to our situation in which sovereignty has been usurped and concentrated in the hand of a tiny oligarchy that mouths clichés about “our democracy” the better to subvert it."
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