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...

por Manuel Pinto de Rezende, em 26.01.10

 

"It is quite remarkable that uniformity never met with more favour than in a revolution raised in the name of the rights and the liberty of men. The systematic spirit at first went into an ecstasy of symmetry; the love of power soon discovered what immense advantage this symmetry gave it. Though patriotism exists only as a lively attachment to the interests, manners, and customs of a locality, our self-announced patriots declared war on all these things.

They dried up this natural fount of patriotism, and wished to replace it by a fictious passion for an abstract being, a general idea, deprived of all that strikes the imagination and speaks to the memory. They began building the edifice by breaking up and pulverizing the materials they should have used. They came close to naming cities and provinces by numbers (as they did the legions and army corps), so much did they seem to fear that a moral idea might attach itself to what they were instituting!

Despotism, wiche replaced demagogy and made itself heir of the fruit of all these labours, very adroitly followed the blazed trail. The two extremes at first found themselves in agreement on this point, because at bottom in both extremes was the desire of tyranny. The interests and memories wich are born from local habits contain a germ of resistance wich authority only reluctantly endures and hastens to uproot. It has an easier road with individuals: it rolls its enormous weight over them as easily as over sand.

Today the admiration for uniformity - a real admiration in some small minds, an affected one in many servile of spirit - is received as a religious dogma by a host of assiduous echoes of every favoured opinion."

 

"Contemporary conquerors - peoples or princes - want their empires to present only a uniform surface, on wich the proud eye of power can range without meeting any uneveness wich may offend it or restrict its views. The same code of law, the same system of weights and measures, the same regulations, and (if one can arrive at it) eventually the same language - this is what one proclaims the perfection of any social organization...

On all the rest today's great word is UNIFORMITY"

 

Benjamin Constant, De l'esprit de conquête et de l'usurpation dans leurs rapports avec la civilisation européenne

 

PS: "Demagogy" - demagogia - é uma referência ao período revolucionário/jacobino da revolução francesa, enquanto que "despotism" - despotismo - é uma clara referência ao período napoleónico.

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publicado às 23:18







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