Not laws but actions (Arendt on Montesquieu)

"It is interesting to note that Montesquieu, whose concern was not with laws but with the actions their spirit would inspire defines laws as rapports subsisting between different beings. This definition is surprising because laws has always been defined in terms of boundaries and limitations. The reason for it is that Montesquieu was less interested in what he called the “nature of government” ---whether it was a republic or a monarchy, for instance –than in its "principle…by which it is made to act,…the human passions which set in motion”

(H. A, The Human Condition, fn17; pp. 190-191; Book III, ch 1).

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