Notes on Joseph de Maistre. Based on the 1965 Macmillan edition of The Works of Joseph de Maistre translated by Jack Lively. Numbers in brackets refer to pages of this edition.

Indispensability of Religion

Every conceivable institution either rests on a religious idea or is ephemeral. Institutions are strong or durable to the degree that they partake of the Divinity. Not only is human reason, or what is ignorantly called philosophy, unable to replace those foundations ignorantly called superstitions, but philosophy is, on the contrary, an essentially destructive force. (71)