V.4 How to inspire love of equality and frugality

, par Stewart

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.