An elegant English version of La Boetie’s Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, which is both a key to understanding much of Montaigne and a major piece of early. The relationship between Montaigne and La Boétie is so impressive that And even in the essay on Voluntary Servitude, written before they. Discourse on Voluntary Servitude is a work by Etienne de La Boétie, whose influence on political philosophy is very large. His philosophical radicalism, to the .
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When news was brought to him that the people of Sardis had rebelled, it would have been easy for him to reduce them by force; but being unwilling either to bostie such a fine city or to maintain an army there to police it, he thought of an unusual expedient for reducing it.
Online Library of Liberty
The mob has always behaved in this way — eagerly open to bribes that cannot be honorably accepted, and dissolutely callous to degradation and insult that cannot be honorably endured.
His example has since been followed in all the better editions of the Essais. They vooluntary provided the city wards with feasts to cajole the rabble, always more readily tempted by the pleasure of eating than by anything else. Liberty is the only joy upon which men do not seem to insist; for surely if they really wanted it they would receive it.
Discourse on Voluntary Servitude / Étienne de La Boétie
It is because he does not know how to love that he ultimately impoverishes his own spirit and destroys his own empire.
This is the practice among notorious robbers and famous pirates: It is indeed the nature of the populace, whose density is always greater in the cities, to be suspicious toward one sercitude has their welfare at heart, and gullible toward one who fools them.
In other projects Wikiquote. Still men accept servility in order to acquire wealth; as if they could acquire anything of their own when they cannot even assert that they belong to themselves, or as if anyone could possess under a tyrant a single thing in his own name. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.
Therefore there may be justly applied to him the reproach to the master of the elephants made by Thrason and reported by Terence:. The people are responsible for their enslavement. Because of the place and family of his origin and because he and Sylla were close relatives, the door was never closed to him. He always had his teacher with him when he went there, as was the custom for children of noble birth. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death.
If he had said nothing further than “I see no good in having several lords,” it would have been well spoken. I do not demand of him so much boldness; let him prefer the doubtful security of living wretchedly to the uncertain hope of living as he pleases.
He who vlluntary received the state from the people, however, ought to be, it seems to me, more bearable and would be so, I think, were it not for the fact that as soon as he sees himself higher than the others, flattered by that quality which we call grandeur, he plans never to relinquish his position. Then, suddenly, he adds: If we are to believe the Sybil of Virgil, Salmoneus, in torment for having paraded as Jupiter in older to deceive the populace, now atones in nethermost Hell: There is, volyntary, no heir so spendthrift or indifferent that he does not sometimes scan the account books of his father in order to see if he is enjoying all the privileges of his legacy or whether, perchance, his rights and those of his predecessor have not been encroached upon.
Richelieu, in the early seventeenth century, was curious enough to want to read it but he had great difficulty in procuring a copy. Yet she was later poisoned by his own hand. Yet one element appears to be lacking.
For myself, I could not wish such men to prosper and I am glad they have shown by their example that the sacred name of Liberty must never be used to cover a false enterprise. Even men of character — if it sometimes happens that a tyrant likes such a man well enough to hold him in volunttary good graces, because in him shine forth the virtue and integrity that inspire a certain reverence even in the most depraved — even men of character, I say, could not long avoid succumbing to the common malady and would early experience the effects of tyranny at their own expense.
This method tyrants use of stultifying their subjects cannot be more clearly observed than in what Cyrus 30 did with the Lydians after he had taken Sardis, Public show and pomp in totalitarian rule.
Pleasure revives his pain for he wants his friend to share it at his side.
Thus wrote Cornelius Tacitus, a competent and serious author, and one of the most reliable. It gives me pleasure to recall a conversation of the olden time between one of the favorites of Xerxes, the great king of Persia, and two Lacedaemonians.
Discourse on Voluntary Servitude – Wikipedia
It is reasonable to love virtue, to esteem good deeds, to be grateful for good from whatever source we may receive it, and, often, to give up some of our comfort in order to increase the honor and advantage of some man whom we love and who deserves it.
For even when the favorites are dead those who live after are never too lazy to blacken the names of these man-eaters with the ink of a thousand pens, tear their reputations into bits in a thousand books, and drag, so to speak, their bones past posterity, forever punishing them after their death for their wicked lives.
Can it be called living?