The Marquis de Sade and Diderot ( 2 )
But there is a writer, in the fall of this XVIII th century, that has witnessed all the fierceness of the French Revolution and that even has publicly spoke in praise of the fanatic Marat, it’s the Marquis de Sade ! His theory is as clear as water : « Every man tends to despotism ». Even the weakest who can’t be a despot because he hasn’t the power and fears reprisals. This last point is to be found also in the writings of Helvetius, but the Marquis de Sade in The Story of Juliette quotes Thomas Hobbes and Montesquieu on despotism. He puts forward that « the greater amount of possible happiness lies in the greater sensible effect that despotism can make ». The Marquis de Sade will transform Catherine II, that you can find in this work also, into a pure sadian character arranging orgies, with the slaughter of her own son ! Let’s not forget that she had her husband strangled so that Madame de Staël said : Russia is « a despotism tempered by strangulation » and there were many lovers in her bed, but the son with Grigori Potemkine, son she disliked, succeeded to the throne. « Lust grows with oppression and tyranny, and excitement of the passions lights up by everything that is gained by coercion » says the Marquis de Sade. And, mind of the XVIII th century, he adds : « I authorize all the free-thinking, licentious or immoral books. I think they are vital to the happiness of man, useful for the progress of philosophy, necessary to the abolition of prejudice ».
Written and translated from. The French by Patrice Tardieu.
Key word : Despotism, Enlightenment, political authority, sensualist, sadian, sadism, sadist, sadistic, sadistically.
Key names : Marquis de Sade, Diderot, Rousseau, Locke, Helvetius, Catherine II, Empress of Russia, Frederic II, King of Prussia, Peter III, Emperor of Russia, Grigori Potemkine, Marat, Hobbes, Montesquieu.
Key works : Diderot’s and d’Alembert’s Encyclopaedia, the Social Contract, Second Treaty of Government, Detailed Refutation of Helvetius’s work entitled On Mankind, Of Mind, On Mankind, Story of Juliette, Leviathan, the Spirit of Laws.