- June 23, 2021 at 17:20 #2941
States are more vulnerable than people think. They can collapse in an instant—when consent is withdrawn.
This is the thesis of this thrilling book. Murray Rothbard writes a classic introduction to one of the great political essays in the history of ideas.
In times when dictators the world over are falling from pressure from their own people, this book, written nearly 500 years ago, is truly the prophetic tract of our times.
Étienne de La Boétie was born in Sarlat, in the Périgord region of southwest France, in 1530, to an aristocratic family, and became a dear friend of Michel de Montaigne. But he ought to be remembered for this astonishingly important essay, one of the greatest in the history of political thought. It will shake the way you think of the state. His thesis and argument amount to the best answer to Machiavelli ever penned as well as one of the seminal essays in defense of liberty.
La Boétie’s task is to investigate the nature of the state and its strange status as a tiny minority of the population that adheres to different rules from everyone else and claims the authority to rule everyone else, maintaining a monopoly on law. It strikes him as obviously implausible that such an institution has any staying power. It can be overthrown in an instant if people withdraw their consent.
He then investigates the mystery as to why people do not withdraw, given what is obvious to him that everyone would be better off without the state. This sends him on a speculative journey to investigate the power of propaganda, fear, and ideology in causing people to acquiesce in their own subjection. Is it cowardice? Perhaps. Habit and tradition. Perhaps. Perhaps it is ideological illusion and intellectual confusion.
La Boétie goes on to make a case as to why people ought to withdraw their consent immediately. He urges all people to rise up and cast off tyranny simply by refusing to concede that the state is in charge.
The tyrant has “nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you?”
Then these inspiring words: “Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.”
In all these areas, the author has anticipated Jefferson and Arendt, Gandhi and Spooner, and those who overthrew Soviet tyranny. The essay has profound relevance for understanding history and all our times.
As Rothbard writes in his spectacular introduction, “La Boetie’s Discourse has a vital importance for the modern reader—an importance that goes beyond the sheer pleasure of reading a great and seminal work on political philosophy, or, for the libertarian, of reading the first libertarian political philosopher in the Western world. For La Boétie speaks most sharply to the problem which all libertarians—indeed, all opponents of despotism—find particularly difficult: the problem of strategy. Facing the devastating and seemingly overwhelming power of the modern State, how can a free and very different world be brought about? How in the world can we get from here to there, from a world of tyranny to a world of freedom? Precisely because of his abstract and timeless methodology, La Boétie offers vital insights into this eternal problem.”Author:
Étienne de La Boétie (1530–1563) is one of the seminal political philosophers, not only as a founder of modern political philosophy in France but also for the timeless relevance of many of his theoretical insights.June 23, 2021 at 17:21 #2942June 23, 2021 at 17:21 #2943June 23, 2021 at 17:22 #2944June 23, 2021 at 17:22 #2945
Principles and Practice of Radiesthesia: L’abbé MermetThis classic work, first published in France fifty years ago, is based on the results of forty years research and application. It combines sound practical advice on the use of the pendulum, in dowsing for water, prospecting minerals, and diagnosing disease, with numerous remarkable accounts of the author’s own successes. These included the discovery of missing persons, teleradiesthesia and telediagnosis of disease.
L’abbé Mermet, a village priest, became famous throughout Europe for his gifts as a radiesthesist, and his research into our natural sensitivity to radiations and force-fields established radiesthsia on a sound basis, raising it to the level of a new science.
L’abbé Mermet, radiesthésiste dit ‘Prince des Sourciers’ à son bureau,June 23, 2021 at 17:22 #2946June 23, 2021 at 17:22 #2947June 23, 2021 at 17:23 #2948June 23, 2021 at 17:25 #2949
First published in 1925 THE OLD STRAIGHT TRACK remains the most important source for the study of ancient tracks or leys that criss-cross the British Isles- a fascinating system which was old when the Romans came to Britain. First in the Herefordshire countryside, and later throughout Britain, Alfred Watkins noticed that beacon hills, mounds, earthworks, moats and old churches built on pagan sites seemed to fall in straight lines. His investigation convinced him that Britain was covered with a vast network of straight tracks, aligned with either the sun or the path of a star. Although traces of this network can be found all over the country, the principles behind the ley system remain a mystery. Are they the legacy of a prehistoric scientific knowledge which is now all but lost? And was their purpose secular or religious?June 23, 2021 at 17:32 #2950
The Complete Book of Dowsing and Divining
This comprehensive volume on dowsing and divining – from the twig and the pendulum to motorscopes and bare hands – traces the story of these fascinating and enigmatic phenomena from its origins in the world of fairy tales and mythology to recent theories that the enigma can be explained in terms of present-day psychology.The force present in the act of dowsing and divining can be compared to the sensitivity of men and women suffering from rheumatism who feel, in advance, changes of weather. Theories that have been brought forward to explain its presence include suggestion, radiation, colour, the existence of a sixth sense, and changes in the earth’s magnetic field. As there are many possible explanations there are also many types and applications of dowsing and divining: map dowsing; being eggs; radiesthesia; the diagnosis and cure of disease; locating missing persons; forces, fields and rays; and detecting thieves.The author tells of dowsers past and present: Robert Leftwich who located abandoned tunnels and other underground hazards; Major Harold Spary who dowsed for the Royal Aircraft Establishment and the Royal Engineers during World War II; William Young who charged 200 a day in 1971 for dowsing; Tom Lethbridge who investigated Viking graves on Lundy Island; Henry Gross who discovered Bermuda’s first natural wells. Even today large building and contracting firms employ resident site engineers who use sophisticated sets of divining rods.The book introduces us, in lucid and readable style, to the fascinating world of dowsing and divining, and gives the reader full instructions on how to attempt to become one of this international community.
About the Author
Peter Underwood was President of the Ghost Club (founded 1862) from 1960-1993 and probably heard more first-hand ghost stories than any man alive. He was a long-standing member of The Society of Psychical Research, Vice-President of the Unitarian Society for Psychical Studies, a member of The Folklore Society, The Dracula Society and the Research Committee of the Psychic Research Organization, he wrote extensively, and was a seasoned lecturer and broadcaster. He took part in the first official investigation into a haunting; sat with physical and mental mediums and conducted investigations at seances. He was present at exorcisms, experiments at dowsing, precognition, clairvoyance, hypnotism, regression; he conducted world-wide tests in telepathy and extra-sensory perception, and personally investigated scores of haunted houses across the country. He possessed comprehensive files of alleged hauntings in every county of the British Isles and many foreign countries, and his knowledge and experience resulted in his being consulted on psychic and occult matters by the BBC and ITV. His many books include the first two comprehensive gazetteers of ghosts and hauntings in England, Scotland and Ireland and two books that deal with twenty different occult subjects. Highlights from his published work include ‘Nights in Haunted Houses’ (1993), which collects together the results of group investigations, ‘The Ghosts of Borley’ (1973), his classic account of the history of ‘the most haunted house in England’, ‘Hauntings’ (1977), which re-examines ten classic cases of haunting in the light of modern knowledge, ‘No Common Task’ (1983), which reflects back upon his life as a ‘ghost hunter’, and ‘The Ghost Hunter’s Guide’ (1986), which gives the reader all the advice necessary to become one. Born at Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, he lived for many years in a small village in Hampshire.
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