Among the men of the Enlightenment Francois Marie Arouet, self-styled Voltaire, stands first. The acid skepticism, the faith in nature and science, the hatred of theologians and dogmamongers, all this had already been formulated when Voltaire was still a fashionable young playwright making his way into aristocratic salons.
What Voltaire did was to say it more crisply, more often, with more sheer wit and aplomb than anyone had said it before: he made “enlightenment” the common attitude of the educated men of his day. Before Voltaire deism had been the “rational religion” of a few rarefied souls. Voltaire made it seem the quintessence of reason and goodness. Regarding the deeper mysteries of faith, Voltaire had his ready answer: Do not fret about the unknowable. Let us keep busy and useful and “cultivate our garden.”
His failings were many. His racist cant made no sense. Whether he really believed half of what he said is not even certain; he may have been singing to the populist elements in his choir. He exposed superstitions, but thought them good enough for the “rabble.” He was an early archetype of the pointy headed white intellectual champagne liberal. He fought injustice but defended absolute monarchy. In the end such failings seemed to be brushed under the carpet. In 1791, when the revolutionary National Assembly ordered his long-dead remains transferred to the Paris Pantheon, scores of thousands followed the bier, which bore the inscription by which people chose to remember him: “He taught us to be free.” But to be free, you have to be free to something and when the crap hits the wall, a lot of it doesn’t stick and ultimately the legacy of Voltaire is a mixed bag; a grab bag of Spinoza, Kant and few others cobbled together into his own idiosyncratic narrative. As they say in French, “a voir.”
( see link at end) …Francois Arouet Marie Voltaire was an enemy of common men who spent his life in the company of aristocrats. Both his correspondence and his life reflect this fact. Voltaire’s relationship with Jean Jacques Rousseau was short-lived, acrimonious, and non-existent after the 1750’s. Jean Jacques Rousseau was a genuine forerunner of political freedom lovers like Karl Marx and Frederick Douglass. Rousseau was the great enemy of abusive european monarchs and a representative of lower classes. Rousseau also wrote on many topics much more objectively, edifyingly and with less jaundice than Voltaire. Rousseau’s objectivity facilitated his discernment, and he was a staunch critic of both modern european science and the degenerate status of western art in his time.
Any claim of Voltaire to represent social liberty is transparent and contradicted by facts which demonstrate his thoughtlessness towards persons outside the scope of his self-contradictory war against Christianity and his self-centered sexual perversions.
If Rousseau is the forerunner of Karl Marx and communism, then Voltaire is the forerunner of Hitler and fascism. Leading Nazi ideologues like Alfred Rosenberg were great admirers of Voltaire and adopted both his rejection of Christianity and his opposition to Rousseau. Read More:http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=52578.0