Just a thought from about 300 yrs ago seems quite relevant today: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire (or a contemporary translator?)

Posted by bubah1mau 5 months ago to Politics
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One Voltaire commentator writes: "Voltaire said (in French): "Certainly those who have the right to make you absurd have the right to make you unjust." His translator said: "Truly, those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." which is exactly the point of the larger paragraph as written by Voltaire."
SOURCE URL: https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-should-know-about-voltaire

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  • Posted by marktayloruk 5 months ago
    He was a man of the Enlightenment.What will today's philosophers be known as -the Unenlightment?
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    • Posted by $ Markus_Katabri 5 months ago
      There are some modern day philosophers such as Molyneux who believe we are entering a new Dark Age. A “fourth turning” as it were. The old cyclical “weak men make hard times” etc….is timeless and true. It is just our ill luck to be living during one of the declines.
      We should look around and write this all down for our descendants. When they inevitably ask “How could they have been so stupid?!” Make sure they know SOME of us weren’t.
      The recipe, in my opinion, for the death of a nation boils down to two things…..cheap, unskilled labor and fake money. No matter what, those two factors will lead to an eventual societal and economic collapse. Every other bump on the road to unenlightenment is exacerbated by those two things.
      That means the slave ships should have been turned away from our shores. And the Creature from Jekyll Island should have been vanquished before it was able to cast it’s illusion of prosperity over the land.
      TANSTAAFL……or as Great Grandpa Alfonse used to say…”Anything FREE is worth saving up for.”
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      • Posted by 5 months ago
        Ayn Rand remains such a philosopher. She may never have used quite the same words as Voltaire, but she might have written or said something like, "Absurd premises lead to catastrophically real consequences."

        I would enlarge on your statement that "fake money" is one of the harbingers of national decline. In fact government currency is the slippery slope that inevitably leads to "fake money."

        All it takes is one "national emergency" such as war (often contemplated only because of government control/issuance of money & banking) to hasten the slippery-slope collapse.
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  • Posted by mshupe 5 months ago
    This is another truly great thought from an independent mind of the Enlightenment. I think it's fair to say that 'absurd' could be replaced with 'arbitrary' or 'irrational' ideas. At one extreme, it explains the atrocities committed by the SS in 1930s and 40s Germany, and on the other end of the scale, any platitude such as "all you need is love."
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  • Posted by $ 25n56il4 5 months ago
    Makes you wonder how these people were such forward seeing people.A group of men put their heads together and conceived of this idea. And you wouldn't believe who they were. N
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  • Posted by 5 months ago
    We're seeing the attempt by MSM, SocM influencers attempting to make the public at large accept greater and greater absurdities as "new normal" reality.

    According to Voltaire, complacence with/participation in greater and greater atrocities can therefore be expected as forthcoming from that portion of the public willing to accept or not actively reject currently floated absurdities.
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