Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter four: On the Corruption Which the Proliferation of the Laws Causes among the Agents of the Government - Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments
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chapter four: On the Corruption Which the Proliferation of the Laws Causes among the Agents of the Government - Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments 
Principles of Politics Applicable to a all Governments, trans. Dennis O’Keeffe, ed. Etienne Hofmann, Introduction by Nicholas Capaldi (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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On the Corruption Which the Proliferation of the Laws Causes among the Agents of the Government
Another drawback of the proliferation of the laws is that it inevitably corrupts the agents charged with making sure that  they are not broken or evaded. The law does not need to pay informers to make sure crimes are tracked down and punished. The individuals they hurt naturally take it upon themselves to demand reparation for them. But when laws proliferate, this is a sign that government is no longer keeping to its natural sphere; and then its activities run up against new obstacles. When, on the pretext that this is useful, the laws are aimed at things which are by their very nature not criminal, no one has any interest in denouncing transgressions which do him no harm. Government has to create an interest group; only corruption can create this. In this way, by acting outside its proper sphere, government corrupts, not only in a general way, as we saw above, those on whom it acts; it also corrupts in particular those through whom it acts. Hired ruffians, spies, and informers are men too. When the government buys them to push them to the extremities of perversity and infamy, it is dedicating a portion of the citizen-body to baseness and crime and aiming a blow at the morality of the rest, by offering everyone the example of crime rewarded.
Those in power wrongly imagine that they alone profit from the corruption of their agents. The men who sell themselves to the government by betraying others, sell themselves in the same way to others by betraying government. Such depravity is communicated to all classes of people.
Prohibitive and coercive laws are always instruments of a dangerous sort, and the danger increases as their number and complexity grow. Laws even when directed against crime are not without drawbacks, but they are legitimated by their urgent necessity. In face of the certain prospect of the whole of society falling apart, the outcome which the impunity of crimes would produce, any drawbacks in the detail must count for nothing. When, however, it is a question of usefulness only, that is, of an imprecise and shifting calculus, what could be more absurd than sacrificing to this calculus known advantages: calm, happiness, and the good morals of the governed?
These observations hold equally strongly under all forms of government. They apply especially, however, to governments affecting to be free. Some so-called lovers of freedom have for too long cherished the idea of controlling all human actions and destroying in the human heart anything going against their deliberations or resisting their theories. The laws of liberty, says Rousseau, are a thousand times  more austere than the tyrant’s harsh yoke.3 It is no wonder these ardent and bungling apostles have made the doctrine they preached in this way so detested. One can repeat in vain: the most indispensable condition for getting men to adopt the principles of liberty will always be, whatever one does, the possession of liberty.
[3. ]Hofmann has not located this sentence anywhere in Rousseau’s work.