terça-feira, 26 de março de 2013

French Revolution: Rousseau, Voltaire, Sade

 
 
The vulgar interpretation of the French Revolution (not unlike that of the Russian Revolution) is based on the theory of the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction. The impoverished and oppressed people, led by highly intelligent idealists shook off the unbearably oppressive rule of monarchs, aristocrats, and priests and created a new order, in which Liberty, Fraternity and Equality were realized. Hadn't Goethe already told us that legislators and revolutionaries who announce Freedom and Equality simultaneously are frauds and charlatans? When there is no such thing as a "natural equality," it can only be brought about by raw violence. In order to bring equality to a hedge, one needs garden shears. Equality, the left-wing ideal, is closely bound up with identity. One hundred pennies makes a dollar, but each dollar of a certain year isn't identical with every other dollar printed at that time.

The first phase of the French Revolution, which played itself out as economic boom, as well as state financial crisis and a series of liberal reforms, had a predominately aristocratic character. The "new ideas" of the first enlightenment - the misunderstood American war of independence, Anglomania, the visions of Rousseau, Voltaire's (a man who held the common man in contempt) critique of religion, and the still turbulent Jansenist controversy - all this had confused the spirit of the upper classes. Freemasonry, newly imported from England, also played a role in this transformation. It is possible that even Louis XVI was a freemason. Beyond a doubt he was a devoted reader of the Encyclopédie. As a result a huge vacuum of belief came into existence, which was quickly filled by radical left-wing ideology, which just as quickly infected large segments of the population. The left-wing "Intelligentsia " acted as the ice- breaker for the revolution in such a way that, at the beginning at least, the monarchy's existence was hardly questioned, while aristocracy and clergy abdicated and "married" the bourgeoisie.

The signal event of the French revolution wasn't so much the alliance between the estates after the meeting at Jeu des Paumes as the storming of the Bastille, in which one man played a role every bit as crucial in the course of events as that of Rousseau:
I'm talking about the Marquis de Sade. He is mostly known now as the eponym of "sadism." However in his endless pornographic and extremely boring writings, there are long philosophical and political passages in which he reveals himself as a rabid, leftwing, materialist atheist. He was primarily responsible for the storming of the Bastille because at the request of his mother-in-law he was - thanks to a lettre de cachet - held prisoner in the Bastille along with seven counterfeiters, cardsharps, fools, and people in debt. From the Bastille, Sade incited the people of the quartier through his makeshift megaphone into coming to their assistance and liberating them. De Launay, the governor of the Bastille, was helpless. He didn't dare put the prisoner in a straitjacket (or in a dungeon) but instead asked the king to deliver him from this prisoner. As a result Sade was transferred on July 4, 1789 to the hospital for the criminally insane at Charenton and released in 1791. He then became chairman of the revolutionary Section des Piques in which "Citizen Sade" was active as a radical Jacobin until he quarreled with Robespierre and was once again committed to the hospital for the criminally insane. Sade, along with the masochistic neurotic Rousseau, who wrote pedagogic novels and committed his children to orphanages, is the true renewer of democracy in our time and naturally also a hero of our left-wing intellectuals.
 
       Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn,Operation Parricide, Sade, Robespierre&The French Revolution 
 
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