"Confronted with such a tight regulation, can man pretend to be free because the tyranny he is subjected to derives from the law? Of course, the legal power is not called "tyranny" since it appears to be established by the general will in the common interest, and since, in any event, occurrences of arbitrary power are infrequent. But a master's equity does not mean that his subjects are not slaves. ... And when their servitude lasts and their thoughts follow their behavior, the state becomes totalitarian and subjection is complete. Since it is legal servitude, the regime is still said to be democratic. Such is the hypocrisy of political language."
Georges Ripert
(1880-1958) French lawyer, Secretary of State for Public Instruction and Youth in the Vichy Regime
Le Déclin du Droit. Etude sur la législation contemporaine (Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, 1949), p. 69
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Reader comments about this quote:
A bit wordy but thought provoking.The total meaning of the quote,I would give 3.5 stars.
 -- KS, Queensbury,NY.     
    Can our tyrannous government be any more socialist? Socialist is exactly what "established by the general will in the common interest" means!
     -- Joel, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
    Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's right. Drug laws are one example.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    And little by little our freedoms give way to officious petty little bureacratic tyrants who have no productive value whatever...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Well said. I concur wholeheartedly.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Roland, Bonner's Ferry      
    "And when their servitude lasts and their thoughts follow their behavior, the state becomes totalitarian and subjection is complete."  That's how authoritarianism transforms liberty into servitude.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    ABSOLUTELY ! ! ! We hold this truth to be self evident ! ! !  The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land has established a complete form of totalitarianism (political, religious, legal, etc.) The once sovereigns at liberty now genuflect in obedience to their carnal gods and masters with a perpetual mind set; that being: acceptance and furtherance of compelled compliance, government licenses, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (2nd plank of the communist manifesto, social security, police state confiscations, etc.) and non-recognition of perfected allodium, inalienable rights, lawful liberty and justice.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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