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The Politics of Obedience : The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude

By De La Boetie, Étienne

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Book Id: WPLBN0000023743
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.6 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: The Politics of Obedience : The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude  
Author: De La Boetie, Étienne
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library

Excerpt
Part I I see no good in having several lords; Let one alone be master, let one alone be king. THESE WORDS Homer puts in the mouth of Ulysses (1), as he addresses the people. If he had said nothing further than I see no good in having several lords, it would have been well spoken. For the sake of logic he should have maintained that the rule of several could not be good since the power of one man alone, as soon as he acquires the title of master, becomes abusive and unreasonable. Instead he declared what seems preposterous: Let one alone be master, let one alone be king. We must not be critical of Ulysses, who at the moment was perhaps obliged to speak these words in order to quell a mutiny in the army, for this reason, in my opinion, choosing language to meet the emergency rather than the truth. Yet, in the light of reason, it is a great misfortune to be at the beck and call of one master, for it is impossible to be sure that he is going to be kind, since it is always in his power to be cruel whenever he pleases. As for having several masters, according to the number one has, it amounts to being that many times unfortunate. Although I do not wish at this time to discuss this much debated question, namely whether other types of government are preferable to monarchy...

Table of Contents
· Part I · Part II · Part III · Notes

 

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