Don't knock the Marquis de Sade who could write this Sanders-like
"Everywhere I could reduce men into two classes both equally pitiable; in the one the rich who was the slave of his pleasures; in the other the unhappy victims of fortune; and I never found in the former the desire to be better or in the latter the possibility of becoming so, as though both classes were working for their common misery...; I saw the rich continually increasing the chains of the poor, while doubling his own luxury, while the poor, insulted and despised by the other, did not even receive the encouragement necessary to bear his burden. I demanded equality and was told it was utopian; but I soon saw those who denied its possibility were those who would loose by it..."
On theft, de Sade wrote that the oath taken by the nation with respect to the law of property is ridiculous, perhaps we should read in the context of today's banksters: > ‘How can you expect the man who has nothing to honour a law which protects the man who has everything? It is his duty, surely, to attempt to redress the balance!’ Property is itself theft, he says. The thief proposes a law to punish theft against himself, the original thief, and expects those with no other recourse than theft to respect such a law! Laws against theft are therefore absurd.’
On leadership, de Sade had this to say:> ‘you can only govern men by deceiving them; one must be hypocritical to deceive them; the enlightened man will never let himself be led, therefore it is necessary to deprive him of enlightenment to lead him as we want ...’ Elsewhere, he says ‘Politics, which teach men to deceive their equals without being deceived themselves, that science born of falseness and ambition, which the statesman calls a virtue, the social man a duty, and the honest man a vice ...’
Words very appropriate to the Trump, Republicans and the Democrats.
De Sade also condemned war, which he said sent the wrong message to those abroad whom we would wish likewise to follow our example and liberate themselves. It is not our job to make war on them, but to show them through our peaceful example what a free republic can and ought to be. He claimed war is simply public and authorised murder, in which hired men slaughter one another in the interests of tyrants: 'The sword is the weapon of him who is in the wrong, the commonest resource of ignorance and stupidity.'
de Sade was no supporter of capital punishment. He wrote: ‘The state publicly honours those proficient in murder and encourages them. Yet it punishes the man who disposes of his enemy for a personal reason!’ As for the death penalty, he writes: ‘Either murder is a crime, or it is not. If it is not, why punish it? If it is, then by what perverse logic do you punish it by the same crime?’ It also is tantamount to bad arithmetic, since ‘now two people are dead instead of one!’
De Sade thought the greatest causes of misery were four things; private property, class distinctions, religion and family life. In the future societies, he wrote of these institutions being abolished or transformed. In one section of Aline and Valcour, a brutal African kingdom is contrasted with the Pacific island utopian paradise of Tarnoé. He describes an imaginary island where all priests were banished, there were no temples and no vested interest in religion. There were also no professional lawyers and discussion of theology or law was punished as one of the gravest anti-social crimes. There was also no money.
Wherever you look in the world today you will find a parasitical minority suffering an embarrassment of riches while the toiling masses endure real and unnecessary pain as very much part of their everyday lives. The Marquis de Sade would find many examples of this obscenity in today’s class divided society.
De Sade ought be remembered far more for raising important social questions than raising erections through his masturbatory sexual fantasies.