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  1. It will be interesting to see the polling now – I haven’t put a lot of stock in the “Trial Heat Without Uribe” polls — I think most likely voters have assumed Uribe would run, making these polls pretty worthless. Now that we are in a U-free world, I will be extremely interested to see if/how the polls change.

    Comment by Mike de la Loyola — Sunday, February 28, 2010 @ 11:37 am

  2. Mike,

    I think that that is correct–it will matter now that it is certain Uribe is not running and that Santos is.

    Comment by Steven L. Taylor — Sunday, February 28, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  3. Limitations to the Power of Rulers : Absolutism and Despotism : Montesquieu, Montaigne, and La Boétie – Glory of Ancient French Political Philosophy

    The Colombian Constitutional Court forbids further discussions in the future for all presidents about prolonging their mandates, as Anti-Constitutional, Opposed to the Laws, and against Tradition, History and Customs.

    The President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe and his Congress have subjected and submitted to the power of the Constitutional Court.

    And the most intellectual newspapers and magazines resurrect the Glories of Ancient France : Montesquieu, Montaigne, and La Boétie.

    Montesquieu (1689 – 1755) is the theoretician of “Separation of Powers” : Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. But there were two Great French Philosophers of Political Theory before him.

    With Help from Wikipedia, let us study these two Great Men – I extract very few excerpts from long articles in that wonderful Encyclopedia :


    Étienne de La Boétie (1530 – 1563) :

    La Boétie was a French judge, writer, political philosopher and friend of Montaigne, author of the Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (Discours de la servitude volontaire)

    He served with Montaigne in the Bordeaux parlement and is immortalized in Montaigne’s essay on friendship. La Boétie’s writings include a few sonnets, translations from the classics, and an essay attacking absolute monarchy and tyranny in general, Discours de la servitude volontaire ou le Contr’un (Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, or the Anti-Dictator).

    The essay asserts that tyrants have power because the people give it to them. Liberty has been abandoned once by society, which afterward stayed corrupted and prefers the slavery of the courtesan to the freedom of one who refuses to dominate as he refuses to obey. Thus, La Boétie linked together obedience and domination, a relationship which would be later theorised by latter anarchist thinkers. By advocating a solution of simply refusing to support the tyrant, he became one of the earliest advocates of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance.

    It was once thought, following Montaigne’s claims, that La Boétie wrote the essay in 1549 at the age of eighteen but recent authorities argue that it is “likely that the Discourse was written in 1552 or 1553, at the age of twenty-two, while La Boétie was at the university.”[2] The essay was circulated privately and not published until 1576 after La Boétie’s death. He died at Germignan near Bordeaux in 1563. His last days are described in a long letter from Montaigne to his own father.


    Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 – 1592) :

    Montaigne had a direct influence on writers the world over, including René Descartes[2], Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer[3], Isaac Asimov, and perhaps William Shakespeare (see section “Related Writers and Influence” below).

    The spirit of freely entertaining doubt which began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, ‘Que sais-je?’ (‘What do I know?’). Remarkably modern even to readers today, Montaigne’s attempt to examine the world through the lens of the only thing he can depend on implicitly — his own judgment — makes him more accessible to modern readers than any other author of the Renaissance.[citation needed] Much of modern literary non-fiction has found inspiration in Montaigne and writers of all kinds continue to read him for his masterful balance of intellectual knowledge and personal story-telling.

    The Future of Foreign Policies :


    Vicente Duque

    Comment by Vicente Duque — Monday, March 1, 2010 @ 8:41 am

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