Montesquieu
 

VIII.8 The danger of corruption of the principle of the monarchical government

The pro­blem is not when the state goes from a mode­rate govern­ment to a mode­rate govern­ment, as from repu­blic to monar­chy, or from monar­chy to repu­blic, but when it falls and plun­ges from mode­rate govern­ment into des­po­tism.

Most of the peo­ples of Europe are still gover­ned by ethos. But if through a long abuse of power or by a great conquest des­po­tism esta­bli­shed itself to a degree, nei­ther ethos nor cli­mate would help ; and in this fair part of the world human­kind would suf­fer, at least for a time, the vio­lence it suf­fers in the other three.