Pity is treason.
The general will rules in society as the private will governs each separate individual.
To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty.
Any law which violates the inalienable rights of man is essentially unjust and tyrannical; it is not a law at all.
The king must die so that the country can live.
Crime butchers innocence to secure a throne, and innocence struggles with all its might against the attempts of crime.
Any institution which does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible, is evil.
Again, it may be said, that to love justice and equality the people need no great effort of virtue; it is sufficient that they love themselves.
Atheism is aristocratic; the idea of a great Being that watches over oppressed innocence and punishes triumphant crime is altogether popular.
Terror is only justice: prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country.
The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.