Charles de MontesquieuCharles de Montesquieu, [Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat] (1689-1755) Baron de Montesquieu

Charles de Montesquieu Quote

“In the state of nature...all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the law.”

Charles de MontesquieuCharles de Montesquieu
~ Charles de Montesquieu

Ratings and Comments

Robert, Sarasota

The oposite is true - when you are born there is no such thing as equalitiy. Its only through life you stand a chance of attaining some sort or equality and thats if you are lucky and the world starts down the road of compassion.

Joe, Rochester, MI

We ARE born equal ... with nothing. Each law takes a little bites from everyone's freedom. Soon we will have the Patriot Act to stomp on equality.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

We are born equal before God and under the Constitution in our right to enjoy the same opportunities and respect from the authority. Then Congress steps in and warps every useful principle, until we are worse off under Congress than with respect to society at large.

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

I believe the word 'all' in the phrase 'all men are ...' refers to humans globally and not just to those born under OUR Constitution. There are, evidently, some who think WE 'ARE' the whole world.

A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL

The statement is apropos the NSA Presidential Powers debate going on. Congress fell for a line of baloney post 9/11 emotionalism and gave away the 4th amendment of our constitution.

Robert, Sarasota

Tell a child in Africa who was born with AIDS, has no food and no parents that they were born equal.

  • 1
  • Reply
Cass    4/10/06

I think we are born equal, in a consitituional monarchy (Australia) civil liberties are present. We do have some access to such things like education and health care, however, others are fortunately for themselves are more equal. (I can only speak for my country.)

  • 1
  • Reply
savvi    1/16/07

All though at certain times people may not feel as if they were born equal, God created us all the same. We are the same.

sarah, ft.collins

it was terrible... it didn't give me any info.

  • 2
  • Reply
    Anonymous    9/27/07

    I think that this is a great quoat for the LGBT community. If law's arent passed to establish their constitutional right to equality under the law, equal recognition of marriage, guaranteed protection under hate crimes legislation, guaranteed non-discrimination employment opportunity, we will never be free and equal.

    • 1
    • 1
    • Reply
    Anonymous    6/3/08

    Men will always be equal, no matter what.

    Mike, Norwalk

    The qualifier in the essence of the quote is “in the state of nature” (i.e. “the laws of nature and of nature’s God (Declaration of Independence)) When the Baron here states: “Society makes them lose it, and they recover it” is incorrect and antithetical to nature’s law. Nature equally endows, as a faculty of birth, individual sovereignty, inalienable rights, and liberty at nature’s law (which can NOT be lost, only subdued). When nature’s law is not within the domain of measure, it is an accurate observation when the standard of measurement is a philosophy of men (such as legal positivism or maritime law), OR materialism (inclusive of opportunity), OR physical well being and normality, can there be a loss of equality. There is no protection of the law! The law is what the law is. Procedural “order”, organizing nature’s law does provide a simple level of protection. By example, driving on the right or left is not “law” but rather, mere rules of order.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

    He sounds plausible until the conclusion. He should state all are equal until the imposition of the conventional populous arrangement of diverting us from the life path.  The unconventional from that point, take on the challenge to reestablish the life imperative. Socialism is the challenge of social abilities to create.

    E Archer, NYC

    Obviously we are not born into equal stations, equal qualities, and equal conditions.  We are each unique and individual.  But we are equal before the laws of nature, all are subject to the same.  We are born dependent, and may or may not achieve independence, self-reliance, and responsibility for oneself.  The dependent have no claim to anything other than equal treatment before the law.  But if they will not or cannot take responsibility for themselves, they will remain wards of another.

    Having loving and caring parents and family is indeed a blessing, and it is an honor to extend that love towards others voluntarily.  But such compassion cannot be legislated or imposed without consent. 

    That is the only dilemma: to whom shall I extend my love and compassion?


    Get a Quote-a-Day!

    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.