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Servility

Men accept servility in order to acquire wealth; as if they could acquire anything of their own when they cannot even assert that they belong to themselves. ~ Étienne de La Boétie

Servility is submissiveness or slavishness.

QuotesEdit

  • Men are like handsome race horses who first bite the bit and later like it, and rearing under the saddle a while soon learn to enjoy displaying their harness and prance proudly beneath their trappings.
  • Men accept servility in order to acquire wealth; as if they could acquire anything of their own when they cannot even assert that they belong to themselves.
  • The same pride which makes a man treat haughtily his inferiors, makes him cringe servilely to those above him.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Characters, H. Van Laun, trans. (London: 1885) “Of The Gifts of Fortune,” #57
  • It is rare that individuals value their freedom more than the comfort that comes with servility.
  • Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar. ... We have no king but Caesar.”
  • If “humility” means nothing more than the capacity to learn from criticism, then it has an undoubted value; but if “humility” means a willingness to submit to authority—to abandon or to modify what one is doing merely because it does not accord with the teachings of the Bible or the thoughts of Chairman Mao—then it is death to the spirit: the proper name for it, indeed, is “servility.”

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