A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 9 by Voltaire

A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 9

By Voltaire

  • Release Date: 1778-01-01
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality
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This is a philosophy book. 'Liberty and property' is the great national cry of the English. It is certainly better than 'St. George and my right, ' or "St. Denis and Montjoie'; it is the cry of nature. From Switzerland to China the peasants are the real occupiers of the land. The right of conquest alone has, in some countries, deprived men of a right so natural. The general advantage or good of a nation is that of the sovereign, of the magistrate, and of the people, both in peace and war. Is this possession of lands by the peasantry equally conducive to the prosperity of the throne and the people in all periods and circumstances? In order to its being the most beneficial system for the throne, it must be that which produces the most considerable revenue, and the most numerous and powerful army. We must inquire, therefore, whether this principle or plan tends clearly to increase commerce and population. It is certain that the possessor of an estate will cultivate his own inheritance better than that of another. The spirit of property doubles a man's strength. He labors for himself and his family both with more vigor and pleasure than he would for a master. The slave, who is in the power of another, has but little inclination for marriage.