Continuing on The Spirit of the Laws (1748) by Charles Louis de Secondat, aka Baron de Montesquieu. Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth talk more about the "motive force" behind each type of government and the separation of powers.
Like Edmund Burke, Montesquieu wants the nobility strengthened to weigh against the power of the monarch; as a modern analogue, maybe we need the rich to counter-balance the power of government. But that would only work if the rich in turn were governed by honor or virtue, lest they become like a tyrant who would immediately go off to pursue private pleasure. We certainly can't have the common people divide up the treasury (or the estates of the nobles) for themselves! With a text like this, it's tempting to go through and see what the author "got right," i.e., how his thought anticipates the advances of our modern government, and what was still elitist, racist, scientifically suspect, or otherwise backward. It's so tempting that yes, that's pretty much what we do. Sorry!
End song: "King of the Hill" by MINUTEMEN. Listen to Mark interview Mike Watt on Nakedly Examined Music #108.
Be sure to check out The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast.