Monday, July 29, 2013

The Voice of The People is The Voice of The Mob


Ad nausium politicians spew from the lectern that the "Voice of the people is the voice of God" this phraseology is often repeated so as to convince the "common folk" that politicians are ordained by God to rule. 

More importantly it is intended to validate and reinforce the perceived moral or intellectual superiority of the politician or the state by leveraging flattery and false adulation towards voters.

Ironically when one examines the origins of this phrase the early English scholar from 735 AD actually was in fact imploring quite the opposite.

Often quoted as, Vox populi, vox Dei /ˌvɒks ˈpɒpjuːlɪ ˌvɒks ˈdɛɪ/, "The voice of the people [is] the voice of God", is an old proverb often erroneously attributed to William of Malmesbury in the twelfth century.[4]
 
However another early reference to the expression is in a letter from Alcuin to Charlemagne in 798 AD, although it is believed to have been in earlier use.[5] The full quotation from Alcuin reads:

Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.[6]
English translation:
And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.[7]
The usage indicates that the phrase had long since become an aphorism of common political wisdom by Alcuin and Charlemagne's time. - Exactly the opposite.

Reference is also made to 1 Samuel 8:4 -21 where all the people of Israel begged Samuel for a king even as God advised against the appointment as he knew it would have negative implications on Israel.

Trinbagonians are therefore advised not to accept the platitudes and false narratives of politicians and only accept them for what they really are i.e. political speak in desperate attempts to get elected.

2 comments:

  1. The Voice of the people is not necessarily the voice of God - Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris
    http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,181511.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. An early reference to this expression is found in a letter from Alcuin to Charlemagne in 798

    The full quotation from Alcuin reads:
    Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit

    English translation:

    And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness

    ReplyDelete

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