Marquis de Sade in August (or from the utility of the rules)

If over the years the parable of Moby Dick has become a so-called children's tale, Sade's work has distracted the human mind until it has transformed it into a container of sexual suggestions, more or less recognizable, uncomfortable according to customs and customs. of the moment, but always present in the collective ideology. Sade is the incarnation of debauchery, of the forbidden, of the psycheptic as the Spanish playwrights of the early nineteenth century would say, of sexual cruelty, but very few remember that a whole political and social cosmology is contained in many of the Marquis's works, where Sexual debauchery was nothing but a pretext and condition to expose a whole unprejudiced theory about life in common, the usefulness of laws, the proportionality of punishment and penalties, which frequently leave behind the philosophical conceptions of authors like Fourier and Montesquieu. However, it must be assumed that Sade will continue to be the author, for many generations, of the tenth row, central seat, in any dark room of a cinema, or the author of those books that, due to the passage of time or the intemperance of our ancestors , end up occupying the highest shelf in the entire library, cornered among other authors of difficult understanding and worse understanding. Sade condemns himself to the dust on the shelf, which, well seen, is not a bad dust. 

Sade suffered in Terror in France, confined in the Picpus prison on the outskirts of Paris, to the point that he was sentenced to death, apparently due to an administrative error, although it cannot be ruled out that his own position regarding the situation of France and its literary laxity could have played a major role in his imprisonment. The Marquis' prison lasted thirteen years until the revolutionary Assembly annulled the lettre de cachet and released thousands of inmates: "The guillotine before my eyes has done me a hundred times more damage than all imaginable bastilles had done." At that time, cloistered in ancient stone and on the verge of death that he finally dodged, he wrote his first utopias, from "Aline and Valcour" where he described, following the model of travel literature, the utopia of various communities, to "Las 120 days of Sodom”, an atarkic society, isolated in Silling castle, made up of forty people, covered by a regulation that is offered to the reader at the beginning of the book. But I want to dedicate this entry to a great work by the Marquis, conceived from the most radical freedom and in which the most radical horror often appears. It is "The philosophy of the boudoir", published in Paris in 1795, with the subtitle "Dialogues intended for the education of young damsels". The protagonist, Dolmancé, presents in the text a book purchased that same morning, literature on literature, entitled "Frenchmen, one more effort, if you want to be republicans", a doctrinal picture of the author's own utopia, of the risks and weaknesses of life in a community when order is sought exclusively, on the topic correlate between penalty and punishment, a territory in which utopia reigns for immorality as if freedom shunned the codes of morality and order. This is Dolmancé, “the most famous atheist, the most immoral man… Oh! Dolmancé is the most complete and complete corruption, the most evil and perverse individual that can exist in the world”, whom the frivolous Madame Saint-Ange invites to instruct a young pubescent and virgin, Eugénie, to whom, expertly, the She starts in all forms of sexuality possible, until she becomes a perverse and immoral being, only satisfied by the torture of her own mother. So far it could be worth to some reader to satisfy their so-called salacious curiosity, adding for them, that Dolmancé, in his homosexual condition, cannot possess any woman except by sodomizing her, for which he has to resort to the servant Agustín and "El caballero" to instruct her materially in the most extreme amatory hedonism. After all, Eugenia means "the well born" and Dolmancé is the transfiguration of perversion, born to corrupt the most candid souls. 

The society that Sade describes in the work is a society paradoxically in dynamic harmony, that is, its utopia is based on considering that human passions do not admit restrictions or conventional brakes and that their own development, even its ultimate moral or immoral consequences, can lead to a balance based on continuous movement. That is what differentiates him from other utopians such as Fourier, where the sweetness or placidity of societies is constituted on the basis of a calm order, despite the fact that both Sade and Fourier accept the very freedom of men, albeit in a caso, Sade, the collectivity responds to a balance conceived on the concept of debauchery, while in the caso According to Fourier, the final result is a moral order perfectly fitted and without excitations continues: "The moral state of a man is a state of peace and tranquility, while his immoral state is a state of perpetual movement that brings him closer to the necessary insurrection." in which it is necessary that the republican always maintain the government of which he is a member. 

In this context, and here lies in my opinion the keystone of this work, Sade rules out that men and their customs are fixed by laws with universalizing claims: “Laws have not been made for the particular, but for the general; this places them in a perpetual contradiction with interest, since personal interest is always with the general interest. But the laws, good for society, are very bad for the individual who composes it; because for once they protect or shelter him, they annoy him and enslave him for three quarters of his life. There is no doubt that, from our current moral worldview, Sade's approach is, to say the least, unsettling and leaves us on the brink of what is morally conceivable. For Sade, who searches in the first natural order of things, it is unfair and intellectually unrealizable to impose an order of customs that is intimidatingly required of all men equally, so that the only possible law would be one that covers and respects all the individual inclinations of each citizen, this is how nature has made us: "There are certain virtues whose practice is impossible for certain men, just as there are certain medicines that would not suit certain organisms." The whims, the voluptuousness of each man are not absorbable in a norm of homogeneous content. A norm for multiple perspectives is not possible for Sade, so that he ends up condemning the legal order to nothing or, at most, to guaranteeing that men can enjoy themselves, not only sexually, but also in frank and free opinion, preserving their rights. inclinations, designs and tendencies, above a morality of legal conversion that atrophies natural freedom itself. For this reason, Sade speaks of the fact that there are few laws - the Marquis would have a hard time these years - and serve as an example that the only norm that is spoken of in the text is a law that organizes houses of men and women to give free rein to the licentiousness, concluding that each individual could force others to submit to his whims, under the thought of punishment in caso of non-compliance: "If, therefore, it is undeniable that we have received from nature the right to express our wishes indifferently to all women, it is also undeniable that we have the right to force them to submit to our wishes, not exclusively , because that way it would fall into contradiction, if not momentarily”. 

Sadism thus becomes a doctrine that promotes the non-existence of laws, the non-existence of institutional punishment, the non-existence of the penal code, and even abhors property, because what the Marquis promotes is not freedom, but the immoral debauchery that is at the origin of man, of his drive as a human being: "Eliminate your laws, your punishments, your customs and cruelty will no longer have dangerous effects, since it will never act without being able to be immediately repelled by it." via; It is in the state of civilization where it is dangerous, because the injured being almost always lacks the strength or the means to repel the injury; in the state of uncivilization, on the other hand, if you act on the strong, it will be repelled by the latter, and if you act on the weak, since you only have to injure a being that yields to the strong by the laws of nature, there is no no objection to its being exercised”. For the rest, it makes sense that there is no institutionalized repressive order in sadistic theory since, to tell the truth, in that society there is no crime. Strength is congenital to man, according to Sade, and accepting all human inclinations, by themselves non-transferable and unattainable, lead society to maintain a balance based on violence and not peace. This is how Sade propagates licentiousness and immorality, as a constant incentive to keep citizens in a permanent state of natural excitement and insurrection in the face of any attempt to dominate public power based on the confirmation of an exogenous order of moral principles and rules. It is the appeasement of the individual that Sade resists, who assumes the individuality and difference of each man as the basis for denying any process of legal systematization. It is the nemesis against the Law. 
Throughout the last year there have been many who have sponsored a controlled rebellion of the established legal order, based on a natural order where everyone has the right to what they want, "je ne sais quoi", as some character from Sade would say. . It includes property, where the line is placed with the Marquis's thought: "It is certain that he maintains courage, strength, ability, virtues, in a word, useful for a republican government and therefore for ours (...) There was a town that did not punish the thief but the one who had let it be stolen. Not surprisingly, among the Spartans, robbery was tolerated and encouraged. Sade pronounces himself in similar terms regarding violence and crime itself: "Destruction is one of the first laws of nature, nothing that destroys could be considered criminal (...) Since we pride ourselves on being the first creatures of the universe , we have foolishly imagined that any injury to this sublime creature must necessarily be an enormous crime." Sade is frightening because of his immanent immorality, because of his subversion and because of his commitment to the eradication of laws as vehicles for the ordering of wills. There are others now who are also scared when they beat their chests proud of having broken laws and having been convicted, since the laws were not with them. There was a time, not too long ago, when there were men in this country who believed that there should be no crime in violent death, that property was a subversive legal right, that robbery and extortion were part of the natural order of things. It hasn't been long. Now there are those who, with sadistic ennui, remind us of old times. Sade is frightening, except in the shadows of a continuous session neighborhood cinema. 

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Marquis de Sade in August (or from the utility of the rules)

About the Author

Mario Garces Sanagustin

Mario Garces Sanagustin

Auditor and Auditor of the State. State Treasury Inspector. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

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