Monday, March 23, 2015

The wisdom of Voltaire

“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”

François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778)
His nom de plume was Voltaire

So often the explanation for perplexing behavior—as by voters and non-voters—is some variation of this derisive insight from the Enlightenment philosopher who was, au fond, more of a populist than he was an elitist.

The deep truth of Voltaire’s epigram haunts my efforts to understand the motivations of most of my fellow citizens. It exposes a flaw in the conceptual foundation of a representative democracy.

(Thanks to my trusted personal advisor for this one.)

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015

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