Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (Hackett Classics) [Etienne de La Boetie, James B. Atkinson, David Sices] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying . La Boétie’s essay against dictators makes stirring reading. . And even in the essay on Voluntary Servitude, written before they met, we get a. 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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Smile to everyone and beware of all, have neither friend nor enemy opened insured, always show a smiling face when the heart is numb; they can not be happy, nor dare to be sad! The six hundred maintain under them The six thousand. What monstrous vice, then, is this which does not even deserve to be called cowardice, a vice for which no term can be found vile enough, which nature herself disavows and our tongues refuse to name?

Although the poem was not published till a few days after the Massacre of St. Whereupon the young lad said to his teacher, “Why don’t you give me a dagger? I do not know how it happens that nature fails to place within the hearts of men a burning desire for liberty, a blessing so great and so desirable that when it is lost all evils follow thereafter, and even the blessings that remain lose taste and savor because of their corruption by servitude. Cato of Utica, and a child under the guidance of his master, would often see the dictator Sulla in which he had access, both because of the rank of his family as his family ties.

Certainly not because I believe that the land or the region has anything to do with it, for in any place and in any climate subjection is bitter and to be free is pleasant; but merely because I am of the opinion that one should pity those who, at birth, arrive with the yoke upon their necks.

In this treatise is explained the torment in which tyrants find esrvitude when obliged to fear everyone because they do evil unto every man. Fruit trees retain their own particular quality if permitted to grow undisturbed, but lose it promptly and bear strange fruit not their own when ingrafted. Thus wrote Cornelius Tacitus, a competent and serious author, and one of the most reliable.

Truly it is a marvellous thing that they let themselves be caught so quickly at the slightest tickling of their fancy.

What condition is more wretched than to live like this, with nothing to oneself and taking another comfortable sound, his freedom, his body and his life?

The judgment of posterity. I1 can not enter anyone’s mind that nature has put anyone in servitude, as all of us put together. Quite generally known is the striking phrase of that other tyrant who, gazing at the throat of his wife, a boetoe he dearly loved and without whom it seemed he could not live, caressed her with this charming comment: Races were also held volunrary which the winners received olive wreaths as prizes.

What is this vice, this horrible vice, to see an infinite number of men not only obey number, but to serve, not be governed, but being bullied, having neither property nor parents nor children, nor their very lives who are them? Liberty is the only joy upon volunatry men do not seem to insist; for surely if they really wanted it they would receive it.


These discoudse see the glint of the despot’s treasures and are bedazzled by the radiance of his splendor. If they were permitted to choose between being slaves and free men, to which would they give their vote? His sense of fairness generally led him to assign to the disputants different churches, and, in towns with duscourse one place of worship, different hours for religious services.

Too frequently this same little man is the most cowardly and effeminate in the nation, a stranger to the powder of battle and hesitant on the sands of the tournament; not only without energy to direct men by force, but with hardly enough virility to bed with a common woman! But certainly all men, as long as they remain men, before letting themselves bodtie enslaved must either be driven by force or led into it by deception; conquered by foreign armies, as were Sparta and Athens by etiehne forces of Alexander or by political factions, as when at an earlier period the control of Athens had passed into the hands of Pisistrates.

The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude – Online Library of Liberty

They are really extraordinary stories of bravery that puts freedom in the heart of those who defend it! Whoever could have observed the early Venetians, a handful of people living so freely that the most wicked among them would not wish to be king over them, so born and trained that they would not vie with one another except as to which one could give the best counsel and nurture their liberty most carefully, so instructed and developed from their cradles that they would not exchange for all the other delights of the world an iota of their freedom; who, I say, familiar with the original nature of such a people, could visit today the territories of the man known as the Great Doge, and there contemplate with composure a people unwilling to live except to serve him, and maintaining his power at the cost of their lives?

For if you had any knowledge of it, you yourself would advise us to defend it, not with lance and shield, but with our very teeth and nails. I understand that in his territory there are few educated people, for he does not want many. They suffer plundering, wantonness, cruelty, not from an army, not from a barbarian horde, on account of whom they must shed their blood and sacrifice their lives, but from a single man; not from a Hercules nor from a Samson, but from a single little man.

Online Library of Liberty

The reference in the text is to his youth when he spent some years in retirement hardening himself and immunizing himself against poison. But if not one thing is yielded to them, if, without any violence they are simply not obeyed, they become naked and undone and as nothing, just as, when the root receives no nourishment, the branch withers and dies.

This is the natural inclination of ignorant people who usually is more in cities: Who was ever more easily managed, more naive, or, to speak quite frankly, a greater simpleton, than Claudius the Emperor?


But they want to use it to raise property: There was clear and obvious that no one can ignore is that the nature of God minister, governor of men, created us all and somehow cast in the same mold for us show that we are all equal, or rather brothers.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This will not be considered peculiar in view of what this same people had previously done at the death of Julius Caesar, who had swept away their laws and their liberty, in whose character, it seems to me, there was nothing worth while, for his very liberality, which is so highly praised, was more baneful than the crudest tyrant who ever existed, because it was actually this poisonous amiability of his that sweetened servitude for the Roman people.

These wretched people enjoyed themselves inventing all kinds of games, so that the Latins have derived the word from them, and what we call pastimes they call ludi, as if they meant to say Lydi. One should rather conclude that in distributing larger shares to some and smaller shares to others, nature has intended to give occasion for brotherly love to become manifest, some of us having the strength to give help to others who are in need of it.

Cato the Utican, while still a child under the rod, could rtienne and go in the house of Sylla the despot. Such a scheme caused the increase in the senate under Julius, 43 the formation of new ranks, the creation of offices; not really, if properly considered, to reform justice, but to provide new supporters of despotism.

Thus was Domitian [51] killed by Stephen, Commodus by one of his mistresses,[52] Antoninus by Macrinus,[53] and practically all the others in similar violent fashion. Liberty, as if to reveal her nature, seems to have given them new strength.

Volungary us therefore admit that all those things to which he is trained and accustomed seem natural to man and that only that is truly native to him which he receives with his primitive, untrained individuality.

It is easily seen that among the Roman emperors, the fewer are those who escaped the danger with the aid of their archers that there were killed by these archers.

How does he have any power over you except through you? And why all this? Would one not rather conclude that upon leaving a city of men he had chanced upon a menagerie of beasts? Facing the devastating and seemingly overwhelming power of the modern State, how can a free and very different world be brought about?

So the morons peoples, finding all these beautiful hobby, a fun vain pleasure which dazzled, got used to serve as servjtude but worse than small children learn to read with brilliant images.

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