Voltaire on Absolutism

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January 7, 2014 Absolutism Précis Voltaire was one of the most important philosophers in the Enlightenment, with strong opinions on many things. Some opinions he held pertained to the pursuit of progress with abandon, and the governance of the people specifically, aristocracy vs. democracy. The ideas he held in relation to the governance of the people were that democracy was not to be trusted, as the basis of democracy was humans who are by nature, faulty. He expressed these ideas saying “Democracy seems suitable only to a very little country, and further it must be happily situated. Small though it be, it will make many mistakes, because it will be composed of men. Discord will reign there” (Democracy, Voltaire). His opinions on the pursuit of progress with abandon were that progress should be sought after but not without humanity and rationale in mind. He would not have wanted progress to be had on the sacrifice of human rights or the loss of rationality. He was somebody who “believed in progress and in the virtues of civilization, contrary to Rousseau’s belief that civilization corrupts man” (Voltaire, New World Encyclopedia). Question Pope Leo X: Do you believe in a government run solely by God, not by Kings, or people? If you were not a leader of the church would your answer be different? Queen Nzinga: Would you say your kinship groups form together under you to from a federation? John Locke: How does democracy exist as viable form of government when the very core is faulty by nature? Bibliography "Voltaire." New World Encyclopedia, . 17 Oct 2008, 16:12 UTC. 8 Jan 2014, 11:53 <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Voltaire&oldid=830926>. Voltaire. "Democracy." Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary. Trans. H. I. Woolf. Hanover College Department of History, Mar. 2001. Web. 08 Jan.
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