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The Liberty of ServantsBerlusconi's Italy$
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Maurizio Viroli

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151823

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151823.001.0001

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The Signs of Servitude

The Signs of Servitude

(p.43) 3 The Signs of Servitude
The Liberty of Servants

Maurizio Viroli

, Antony Shugaar
Princeton University Press

This chapter explores a number of unmistakable signs that servants can be recognized by. The first is fear. Those who live under the arbitrary power of another man never feels safe, even if they are not oppressed, because they know that the man who is dominating them can take their lives, or humiliate them, or deprive them of their property. They are downcast, they do not look other men in the eye, they are inclined to lie and dissimulate, and most important of all, they are incapable of courage. In contrast, the distinctive mark of political liberty is the sentiment of security and safety, understood as the absence of fear. Along with fear, another distinctive sign of dependency is servility, that is, the inclination to indulge a powerful man in order to obtain or maintain privileges. The flatterer, in order to perform his duties properly, must also insult, denigrate, and deride the enemies of the prince.

Keywords:   servants, fear, arbitrary power, domination, political liberty, security, safety, servility, dependency

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