Class warfare new and old
I have been posting excerpts from Paul Johnson's book Intellectuals. Here's another about Rousseau, the great icon of the French Revolution, the source of all our modern ills. See if it doesn't sound like certain occupiers and ne'er -do-wells (and their elected accomplices fomenting class warfare) you've heard about lately .
[Rousseau's] writings also a bound with radical bitterness. ‘I hate the great, I hate their rank, their harshness, their prejudices, their pettiness, all their vice.’ He wrote to one grand lady: ‘It is the wealthy class, your class, that steals from mine the bread of my children,’* and he admitted to a certain resentment against the rich and successful, as if their wealth and happiness had been gained at my expense’. The rich were ‘hungry wolves who, once having tasted human flesh, refuse any other nourishment.’ His many powerful aphorisms, which make his books so sharply attractive especially to the young, are radical in tone. ‘The fruits of the earth belong to us all, the earth itself to none.’ ‘Man is born free and is everywhere in chains.’ His entry in the Encyclopedie on ‘Political Economy’ sums up the attitude of the ruling class; ‘You need me for I am rich and you are poor. Let us make an agreement: I will allow you to have the honour of serving me, provided you give me whatever you have left for the trouble I shall take to command you.’
You know...the five children he abandoned.