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LowDown

Marquis de Sade

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The Marquis de Sade (Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade) was a sexual deviant, to be sure. A wealthy French aristocrat, he was frequently accused of sexually abusing his employees or random people he lured in from the streets. He was a person who made no apology for his deviancy. When faced with criticism by the Church he called for the Church’s end. When faced with arrest and imprisonment he doubled down, continuing his sexual exploits in prison and calling for the government’s end. And he wrote about all of it, albeit in fictional form. When he wrote 120 Days of Sodom his stated goal was to write the most indecent book ever written. Thus he is often regarded as a great champion of free speech. His philosophical writings and his activities in the French revolutionary National Convention reveal him to be an atheist and a man of the extreme left. The name he gave to the people in his novels, deviants like himself, was libertines, a word that is now usually used in regard to sexual deviancy but in Sade's lexicon stood for extreme freedom.

Most of Sade's writings were completed at the time of the French Revolution. Although an aristocrat he was accepted among the revolutionaries because he could rightly point to his pre-revolutionary writings wherein he criticized the Catholic Church, the King, the Government, and so on. He claimed he was one of the revolutionaries. When later he started criticizing Robespierre for the excesses of the Reign of Terror it seems that at least part of the time it was because Robespierre didn’t go far enough toward accepting sexual freedom. But even Robespierre balked at a “freedom” that included freedom to rape, to sodomize, to molest, to sexually torture unwilling partners. The revolutionary government had become officially atheistic, even going so far as to change the calendar from a Christian themed one to a revolutionary one, which dated itself from the beginning of the revolution (hence the Year Zero concept re-used since then by the French leftist inspired Khmer Rouge and others) and used nature as the inspiration for names of months. They killed tens of thousands of their fellow French men and women in un-judicial proceedings. These were often tinged with deviant sexuality. Men and women were bound together naked and thrown in the river. Dead victims of the guillotine were stripped naked and posed in lurid fashion right out of 120 Days of Sodom. Even dead aristocrats were dug up from their graves and posed in obscene fashion. The atheists of the French Revolution, released from the bonds of traditional morality, let the dark side of their human nature rule them. Camille Paglia argued that Sade can be best understood as a satirist, responding "point by point" to Rousseau's claims that society inhibits and corrupts mankind's innate goodness: Paglia notes that Sade wrote in the aftermath of the French Revolution, when Rousseauist Jacobins instituted the bloody Reign of Terror and Rousseau's predictions were brutally disproved. Society is not the problem. The problem is lack of socialization. With socialization we learn to express otherwise unacceptable urges in a socially acceptable manner. Part of this process of socialization in most societies is religious training. Religion probably isn't absolutely necessary, but all too often when religion is knocked down nothing replaces it, or, worse, it is replaced by something far less conducive to human social welfare than religion.

History has shown us a whole series of nations taken over by revolutionary governments that styled themselves officially atheistic and then killed thousands, millions, or tens of millions of their own citizens. Tens of thousands in Cuba, millions in Cambodia, tens of millions in Red China and the Soviet Union.

And what is the solution that many on the left hold out for us today? Atheism! A kind and enlightened atheism this time because if people of the left are sure of anything they are sure that they are good people. But as one surveys the attitudes and activities of the American left today one gets no reassurance that the new atheism of the left will be more enlightened than in the past. Rejection of civil rights like free speech, demonization of whole classes of people, unbelievable levels of intolerance, an increasingly Balkanized polity, a strong belief in their own moral superiority as victims of oppression. The grievances and pseudo-grievances pile up and up and there must at some point be a reckoning. It is easy to imagine them picking up the sword and beginning the job of eliminating hated people and classes of people.
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  1. Gringo allstar's Avatar
    Excellent observation Lowdown!
  2. DDD's Avatar
    Demonizing freedom by using extreme examples like Maquis De Sade (the origins of the name of sadomasochism psychological disorder), and attempting to solve the imagined problem by positing religion (and neglecting millions of deaths caused from the religious people in the past and at present from ISIS for example).
  3. DDD's Avatar
    Short words: Yeah, look at the medieval ages and see how well religion made it with freedom.
  4. LowDown's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DDD
    Demonizing freedom by using extreme examples like Maquis De Sade (the origins of the name of sadomasochism psychological disorder), and attempting to solve the imagined problem by positing religion (and neglecting millions of deaths caused from the religious people in the past and at present from ISIS for example).
    Millions of deaths? Really? Because one estimate puts the people killed by the whole of the Spanish Inquisition at 5,000 tops. Include all those witches and heretics burned at the stake by the protestants and we are adding a few thousand more at best. Figures on witches killed are soft because all of that has become bound up in gender grievance claptrap.

    ISIS was responsible for maybe 6,000 deaths in 2014, but apparently getting those numbers is hazardous.

    Any way you cut it, religions are pikers compared to officially atheistic states when it comes to killing people.

    When we talk of freedom we should be careful of what we are talking about. Just as de Sade demanded the freedom to torture unwilling partners, others demand the freedom to impose their morality on the rest of us, and that goes for secular ideologists as well. Yes, I do demand the right to demonize "freedoms" like that.
  5. Hawkeye10's Avatar
    Love the last part especially. You might consider too that moderns tend to massively over estimate their own goodness and talents and as well massively under estimate those of out ancestors. A little humility would go a long ways.
  6. Emperor Hadrius's Avatar
    How is that a good thing?
  7. DifferentDrummr's Avatar
    I've never heard of anyone at all in modern times who "proselytizes" atheism, much less anyone on "the left." Hello strawman.

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