Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter one: Questions to Be Dealt with in This Book - Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments
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chapter one: Questions to Be Dealt with in This Book - 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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Questions to Be Dealt with in This Book
The relations between government and enlightenment are of a kind even more difficult and delicate to determine than those concerning only external and material things: actions, property, or production. Man’s orientation is to independence in the exercise of all his faculties, but he feels the need for it above all in the exercise of thought. The more he reflects, the more aware he becomes that all his thoughts form a whole, an indissoluble chain from which it is impossible to break off or remove arbitrarily a single link. Religion can dominate thought because it can become thought itself. Government cannot. These two things have between them no real point of contact.
The materialists often repeated against the doctrine of pure spirit an objection which lost its force only when a less daring philosophy made us recognize the impotence we suffer with respect to understanding anything regarding what we call matter or what we entitle spirit. Pure spirit cannot act on matter, they said. One could say, with greater reason and without losing oneself in subtle metaphysics, that where government is concerned, matter cannot act on spirit. Now government, qua government, never has anything but matter at its disposal. Government changes in nature when it wishes to employ reasoning, and rather than dominating the reflective mode, subjects its own reasoning to the latter. Seeking to win the argument, government recognizes the criteria of reflection. Consequently, we always find that after a few tries of this kind government realizes it is now out of its element, deprived of its habitual weapons; and when it wishes to reassume them, its struggle with thought begins anew.
To confer the management of enlightenment on government, one must  suppose either that men cannot from their own resources arrive at truths the knowledge of which is salutary to them, or that there are certain truths whose discovery would be dangerous and that consequently there are certain errors which it is useful to maintain. On the first supposition we charge government with the destruction of error, on the second with its protection.
This leads us back to a subject we have dealt with earlier.1 The means government has for the maintenance of error consist in large measure of restrictions imposed on the manifestation of thought. We will not come back to this issue, which I think has been sufficiently clarified. But the principle itself of the usefulness of errors seems worthy of some exploration. This often troubled issue has not yet in my view been considered as it ought to be. A few words will suffice to resolve it if it is considered properly, and we will show in these few words that the supporters of this policy have not gone deeply into their own opinion.
[1. ]In Book VIII.