Posts Tagged ‘ etienne de la boetie

Even Ants Know Étienne de La Boétie

Both Flik and Hopper have obviously read “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude,” or, they’re pretty smart for an ant and a grasshopper. They know the state’s existence depends entirely on the many obeying the dictats of the few. So, There does come a time when even ants stop obeying. Who knew!? Étienne would be proud. Take notes from the ants!

Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.

- Étienne de La Boétie (circa 1552)