Discourse of the Voluntary Servitude: Relations of Strength and Freedom in La Boétie?s book

by Toneti, Edson Donizete

Abstract (Summary)
The goal of this project is to reflect on the ambiguities raised by the Discourse of theVoluntary Servitude in its historic journey, from its origin through the appropriations bycertain groups, to the different optical readings. As an attempt to understand why thevoluntary servitude happens, Etienne de La Boétie rewrites the foundations of power, lookingat ancient authors from whom the argument of the balance of power originated. The lack ofmore convincing answers on the motivation of servitude voluntary, drives the Author tosearch for them on the relations of freedom since is natural for men to be free and not naturalto serve a tyrant. La Boétie?s arguments lead to the conclusion that in tyranny complicity,equality and fellowship appear as extremely false. The most effective antidote, vis-à-vis thesedeviations as a way to regain the forgotten freedom, is the proper exercise of friendship. Therelevancy of the Discourse of the Voluntary Servitude for today relies on the fact that it offersa perennial paradigm for analyzing any type of tyrant exercise. The wisdom that allows us todecipher the strategies of despotic power, as well as its true revelation and the friendship thatonce re-politicized, allows new relationships in the public arena, presenting as loopholes towrong and common voluntary servitude
This document abstract is also available in Portuguese.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Maria Constança Peres Pissarra

School:Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo

School Location:Brazil

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:Ambiguity Power Freedom Friendship Voluntary Servitude


Date of Publication:12/18/2007

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