April 26, 2008

Subjugate them all to his caprices

Trying to do half a week's work in one day [ahead of time], so no typing from me. Instead, far better for you, something from a short Voltaire essay called "Equality':
Every man is born with a powerful enough desire for domination, wealth and pleasure, and with much taste for idleness. Consequently every man would like to have other people's money and wives or women, to be their master, to subjugate them to all his caprices, and to do nothing, or at least to to do only very agreeable things. Obviously, having such amiable dispositions, it is as impossible for men to be equal as it is impossible for two preachers or two professors of theology not to be jealous of one another.

Mankind cannot subsist at all unless there is an infinite number of useful men who possess nothing at all...

...as for a private person of modest views, but who is annoyed because he is received everywhere with an air of patronage or disdain, who sees clearly that several monsignors have no more knowledge, no more intelligence, no more virtue than he, and who is sometimes wearied to find himself in their waiting rooms, what should he do. He should leave.

1 comment:

Yechezkel Zilber said...

So one has to choose.....
between less possisions or more idleness.