The Marquis de Sade’s Wickedly Accurate Condemnation

The Marquis de Sade isn’t much of a writer; his descriptions are tedious, his dialogue static, his narrative almost non-existent and his prose little more than a mask for his sadistic tendencies. The Marquis de Sade's Wickedly Accurate CondemnationHis perverse point of view however can be surprisingly accurate, in spite of his delight in the suffering of others, and is relentlessly damning.

Justine, the eponymous character of his novel, never gives up on her fight for virtue, this despite being subjected to the starling perversions of libertines across France – systematic rape, torture, blood-letting and auto-strangulation – and their passionate arguments. The Marquis de Sade's Wickedly Accurate CondemnationStates the Compte de Gernande: The happiness that the two sexes may find in each other can be found by one through blind obedience and by the other through the greatest possible domination. If it were not Nature’s intention that one of the sexes should tyrannize the other, would she not have created them of equal strength? (176) The Marquis de Sade's Wickedly Accurate CondemnationSays Monsieur Roland: The poor are part of Nature’s plan. In creating men of unequal strength, she has convinced us of her wish that this inequality should be preserved despite the changes our civilization would bring her laws. It would be going against Nature’s wishes to disturb the equilibrium that is the basis of her sublime organization, to work towards an equality that would be dangerous for society, to encourage indolence and sloth, to teach the poor to steal from the rich when the rich refuse to help. (216) The Marquis de Sade's Wickedly Accurate CondemnationSays Baroness Dubois: Our laws wish in vain to restore order and bring men back to virtue. Too unjust to achieve this, too inadequate to succeed, they will take people off the beaten track for a moment, but they will never get them to leave it. When it is in the general interest for men to be corrupt, anyone who is unwilling to become so with the rest will therefore be pushing against the general interest. (220)The Marquis de Sade's Wickedly Accurate Condemnation

Monsieur Saint-Florent concludes: The weak must give in to the desires of the strongest or else fall victim to their wickedness. (248)

The Philosophy of the Marquis de Sade

The Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) is known for many things, not the least of which is his namesake, sadism; however as demented as he may appear, there is a stated method to his madness, much of which is laid out in his novel Justine:The Philosophy of the Marquis de SadeYou are astonished by cruel tastes? What is the aim of the pleasure-seeking man? Is it not to arouse his senses in every way possible, and thereby to get the most pleasure from the final crisis? The most ridiculous in the world is doubtless to want to argue about people’s tastes, to challenge them, to blame men for them, or to punish them if they are not in conformity, either with the laws of the country in which one lives, or with social conventions.The Philosophy of the Marquis de Sade Indeed! Men will never understand that there are no tastes, however bizarre, however criminal they may supposed to be, that do not derive from the kind of make-up we are given by Nature! The imagination of Man is a faculty of the mind in which objects are conjured up and modified, and thoughts are formed via the organ of the senses. I am sure you have seen mirrors of  differing shapes, some which reduce objects in size while others enlarge them; the latter make them look awful, the former lend them charm. Such is the human imagination. The Philosophy of the Marquis de SadeNow if we concede that the pleasures of the senses are always dependent on the imagination, always governed by the imagination, we cannot be surprised by the number of variations that the imagination can create for these pleasures, by the infinite multiplicity of tastes and different passions to which the different deviations of the imagination will give rise. Although lewd, these tastes should not startle us more than those of a simple nature. The Philosophy of the Marquis de Sade