Montesquieu was a man who rewrote political philosophy of his day. His ideas form a foundation of our democratic republic here in the U.S., and form a backbone of the U.S. Constitution.
Here’s a great quote from one of his writings:
“It is not chance that rules the world. Ask the Romans, who had a continuous sequence of successes when they were guided by a certain plan, and an uninterrupted sequence of reverses when they followed another. There are general causes, moral and physical, which act in every monarchy, elevating it, maintaining it, or hurling it to the ground. All accidents are controlled by these causes. And if the chance of one battle—that is, a particular cause—has brought a state to ruin, some general cause made it necessary for that state to perish from a single battle. In a word, the main trend draws with it all particular accidents.”
– Montesquieu, “Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence”
Obvious political implications aside, it’s hard not to admire this man’s systemic thinking which was way ahead of his time. That’s the mind of an architect and an an engineer.
Great American mathematician Greg Nash called those types of things “the governing principles”. This is applicable to in any branch of human endeavor. Do yourself a favor and check him out for yourself in the movie “A Beautiful Mind”.