Excerpt from “On Voluntary Servitude”

I am having trouble finding my own voice as of late.  Fortunately, many underrated thinkers have already said much of what is on my heart and mind.

“Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good!  You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away.  You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives.  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.  He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.  Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves?  How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you?  The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own?  How does he have any power over you except through you?  How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you?  What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves?”

-Etienne de la Boetie (1552)

Boetie is clearly referring to the despotic grasp of the monarchist establishment.  However, as I read through this particular passage, it reminded me a lot of our current political system.  The author was quite prophetic in his assessment of what was as applied to what is now.

This entry was posted in Human Rights, Legal, Politics. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post.Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
-->

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>