Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter six: On the Proprietorial Spirit - Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments
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chapter six: On the Proprietorial Spirit - 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 Proprietorial Spirit
One observation is crucial to prevent a confusion of ideas. To put power into property is not the same as to put property in power. Wealth has influence and commands consideration only insofar as it is not suddenly acquired. More than once, during the Revolution, our governors, constantly hearing government of the propertied nostalgically praised, were tempted to become proprietors to make themselves more worthy of being governors. But even when they had bestowed on themselves, from one day to another, considerable properties  by calling their wishes the law, the people were liable to think that what the law had conferred, the law could retract; and so property, instead of protecting the institution, needed continually to be protected by it. New owners, squatting on their spoils, remain conquerors at heart. You do not learn the proprietary spirit as readily as you grab property. During the war of the peasants of Swabia against their lords,10 the former sometimes donned the armor of their defeated masters. What did this lead to? That one could see under this knightly armor no less insolence and more vulgarity.
If the wealthy class inspires more confidence, it is because its members’ point of departure is more advantageous, their outlook freer, their intelligence more schooled to enlightenment, their education more cultivated. But enriching men suddenly in midcareer, you do not give them any of these advantages. Their sudden wealth does not work retrospectively.
It is the same with the sizeable salaries attached to particular jobs. These just do not replace property. When they are disproportionate to the previous wealth of those who receive them, they do not serve to form a new rich class. They give individuals new needs and habits which corrupt them. Far from making them independent and assured, they make them dependent and agitated. In wealth as in other things, nothing can stand in for experience.
[10. ]A reference to the great peasant war which in 1524 and 1525 ravaged not only Swabia but the whole of what is now southern Germany, including even Alsace.