ETIENNE BOETIE DISCOURS SERVITUDE VOLONTAIRE PDF

A clear analysis of how tyrants get power and maintain it, its simple assumption is that real power always lies in the hands of the people and that they can free themselves from a despot by an act of will unaccompanied by any gesture of violence. The astounding fact about this tract is that in it will be four hundred years old. One would seek hard to find any writing of current times that strips the sham from dictators more vigorously. Better than many modern political thinkers, its author not only reveals the contemptible nature of dictatorships, but he goes on to show, as is aptly stated by the exiled Borgese [2] "that all servitude is voluntary and the slave is more despicable than the tyrant is hateful. He came from the provincial nobility, his father being an assistant to the governor of Perigord. His uncle, a priest, gave him his early training and prepared him for entrance to the School of Law at the University of Toulouse, where in he received his degree with special honors.

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There he pursued a distinguished career as judge and diplomatic negotiator until his untimely death in at the age of thirty-two. The most he would have allowed the Protestants was the right to worship in private, and he pointed out their own intolerance of Catholics.

His policy for religious peace was one of conciliation and concord through reforms in the church that would eventually persuade the Protestants to reunite with Catholicism" [4]. The essay asserts that tyrants have power because the people give it to them.

Liberty has been abandoned once by society, which afterward stayed corrupted and prefers the slavery of the courtesan to the freedom of one who refuses to dominate as he refuses to obey. By advocating a solution of simply refusing to support the tyrant, he became one of the earliest advocates of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. Murray N.

Why in the world do people agree to be looted and otherwise oppressed by government overlords? It is not just fear, Boetie explains in "The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude," for our consent is required. And that consent can be non-violently withdrawn.

He died in Germignan near Bordeaux in His last days are described in a long letter from Montaigne to his own father.

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