Montesquieu

Love of equa­lity and of fru­ga­lity are highly sti­mu­la­ted by equa­lity and fru­ga­lity them­sel­ves when you live in a society where the laws have esta­bli­shed both.

In monar­chies and des­po­tic sta­tes, no one aspi­res to equa­lity ; it does not even come to mind : eve­ryone stri­ves for super­io­rity. People hope to escape even the basest condi­tions only in order to become mas­ters of others.

So it is also with fru­ga­lity. To love it, one must enjoy it. It is not peo­ple cor­rup­ted by delights who will love the fru­gal life ; and if it had been natu­ral and ordi­nary to do so, Alcibiades would not have been uni­ver­sally admi­red. Nor will it be peo­ple who envy or admire the luxury of others who will love fru­ga­lity : peo­ple who can see nothing but men who are rich or wret­ched like them­sel­ves detest their misery without loving or kno­wing what is the end of misery.

It is the­re­fore a very true maxim that for equa­lity and fru­ga­lity to be loved in a repu­blic, the laws must have esta­bli­shed them there.