The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude


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This classic work of the sixteenth century political philosopher, in reply to Machiavelli's The Prince, seeks to answer the question of why people submit to the tyranny of government, and as such, has exerted an important influence on the traditions of dissidence from Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, to Tolstoy, to Gandhi.

The essay argues that any tyrant remains in power while his subjects grant him that, therefore delegitimizing every form of power. The original freedom of men would be indeed abandoned by society which, once corrupted by the habit, would have preferred the servitude of the courtier to the freedom of the free man, who refuses to be submissive and to obey.

The thought of La Boétie was also taken up by many movements of civil disobedience, which drew from the concept of rebellion to voluntary servitude the foundation of its instrument of struggle. Étienne de La Boétie was one of the first to theorize and propose the strategy of non-cooperation, and thus a form of nonviolent disobedience, as a really effective weapon.

About the Author

Étienne de La Boétie

Étienne de La Boétie

Étienne or Estienne de La Boétie (1530 – 1563) was a French judge, writer, and "a founder of modern political philosophy in France". He is best remembered as the great and close friend of the eminent ... Read more

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Tags: Modern Philosophy, Essays, Political Science & Politics

Year 04-09-2017
Translator From French: Lydia Denkova
Pages 80
Size 120/180 мм
Weight 0.25 kg
Collection Колекция "Извори"
Cover Type Paperback
Genre Modern Philosophy, Essays, Political Science & Politics

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