Khalil Gibran Quote

“If it’s a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.”

~ Khalil Gibran


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gdgca    8/27/08

yes, that would be a good start wouldn't it?

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

So is he saying that the idea of the throne or the office is the problem just as much as who the occupant may be. If there were no White House for example (no president) then we never have to worry about having a bad one.

Logan, Memphis, TN

As a person who actually has read and studied at least SOME philosophy (as he IS a "philosophical essayist" we can assume that he has actually read SOME philosophy), he is simply restating the age old question posed by Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Calvin, Luther, Hume, Burk, Rousseau, Locke, Descartes, Stewert, etc.: When is it legitmate for the people to revolt against the government or monarch, and establish new leadership/government? Several (but not all) of these philosophers stated that it is never right to revolt, especially if the person revolting would enslave the people further than the previous ruler and is thereby merely revolting for more personal power. If it is revolution that exists within the heart, then it must be free from personal power and despotism. One of the only examples of this in history is that of George Washington: a man who lead an army to overthrow despotism without himself becoming a despot. The quote is a "yeah, duh" quote: if you're going to overthrow a despot, just make sure you don't make one of yourself in the process.

Ken, Allyn, WA

We can never dethrone a despot as long as we give him legitimacy from within ourselves. Nobody rebels against a "rightful" king until they no longer believe he has a right to rule them.

E Archer, NYC

It has been my personal experience that most of our youth and adult life is dedicated to pleasing an external authority which ultimately falls way short of our own conscience. It is certainly a right of passage to embrace this idea. Revolutionary indeed.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Some readers of philosophy would therefore know that Augustine was the founder of the largest and oldest totalitarian institution in the world (stating roughly that "if we build it they will come") and that Voltarie said "Ecrasez l'infame", "crush the infamous thing". Voltaire it seems lived up to Gibran's dictum before the fact.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Yes, but what are the postulates wherein each philosopher deemed it legitimate to "crush the infamous thing"? The process leading up to the event is as important, if not more so, than the actual event of revolution itself.


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