Montesquieu

In sta­tes that prac­tice com­merce of eco­nomy, there have for­tu­na­tely been banks esta­bli­shed which with their cre­dit have crea­ted new signs of values. But it would be a mis­take to trans­plant them into sta­tes that prac­tice the luxury trade. To put them in coun­tries gover­ned by one man alone is to sup­pose money on one side and autho­rity on the other, in other words, on one side the means of having eve­ry­thing without any power, and on the other power with the means for nothing at all. In such a govern­ment there never has been anyone but the prince who has had, or could have, a trea­sury ; and whe­re­ver there is one, once it is exces­sive, it beco­mes at once the prince’s trea­sury.

For the same rea­son, com­pa­nies of dea­lers who join toge­ther for a cer­tain trade are not appro­priate in the govern­ment of one man alone. The nature of these com­pa­nies is to give to pri­vate wealth the weight of public wealth. But in those sta­tes this weight can be found only in the hands of the prince. Indeed they are not always appro­priate in sta­tes that prac­tice com­merce of eco­nomy ; and if busi­ness is so great that it is beyond the reach of pri­vate citi­zens, it is even a bet­ter course not to impede the free­dom of com­merce with exclu­sive pri­vi­le­ges.