Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Étienne de La Boétie

"Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."
co The Mises Store.

Hm. Can't link it right now. Wonder what's up. Here's the ebook.


The probligo said...

My immediate reaction on reading your quote was that he was talking about the "dramatic" tv news video of the tank toppling the statue of Saddam in Baghdad. Remember that? Almost perfect scripting if ever I saw it...

The other interesting thing in the essay itself is that there seems little difference between present day "political unrest" and the attitudes of Boetie's time. He was looking back with a degree of wistfullness to the times of Xerxes and Cato as models of his personal ideals.

These days it seems to be the times of Washington, of Lincoln, et al who are regarded with that same yearning and desire for the "good old days".

Who will it be in another 250 years? Clinton? GWB? Obama? Kennedy? Who knows?

Who cares?

Al said...

Remember Stalin?

Those were the good old days!

People put up leaders because they are afraid to lead themselves. Why are they afraid?

I'd love to be all mysterious and mystical and end on that note, but the answer is, they were taught to feel that way.