Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. III.: Of Education in a despotic Government. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. III.: Of Education in a despotic Government. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 1.
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Of Education in a despotic Government.
AS education in monarchies tends to raise and ennoble the mind, in despotic governments its only aim is to debase it. Here it must necessarily be servile: even in power such an education will be an advantage, because every tyrant is at the same time a slave.
Excessive obedience supposes ignorance in the person that obeys. The same it supposes in him that commands; for he has no occasion to deliberate, to doubt, to reason; he has only to will.
In despotic states each house is a separate government. As education, therefore, consists chiefly in social converse, it must be here very much limited: all it does is to strike the heart with fear, and to imprint on the understanding a very simple notion of a few principles of religion. Learning here proves dangerous, emulation fatal; and, as to virtue, Aristotle cannot think there is any one virtue belonging to slaves:* if so, education in despotic countries is confined within a very narrow compass.
Here therefore education is in some measure needless: to give something, one must take away every thing; and begin with making a bad subject, in order to make a good slave.
For why should education take pains in forming a good citizen, only to make him share in the public misery? If he loves his country, he will strive to relax the springs of government: if he miscarries, he will be undone: if he succeeds, he must expose himself, the prince, and his country, to ruin.
[* ]Polit. lib. 1.