Vice Has Many Parents, It’s Not Just Mothered By Ignorance

Vice has many parents, INCLUDING KNOWLEDGE, And Thirst Thereof:

Doctor Rabelais said, five centuries ago: “L’ignorance est la mere de tous les vices.” That naivety was a social, civilizational and juridical error well known to the Romans, which Sade corrected stridently. The broadly educated professor Rabelais wanted to foster knowledge. That meant to destroy the power of the Church (to which Rabelais belonged, as a Franciscan monk).

The Church, the Bible, Jesus, Mohammed, the Qur’an all insist that disobeying (Allah) is the source of all vice. Rabelais said: no. Instead, being brought up affectionately by ignorance is where viciousness comes from.

Rabelais Made The Church Grotesque

Rabelais Made The Church Grotesque

However the truth is more sinister: ignorance mothers most vices, in otherwise good people.  Yet, there are also plenty of bad people out there, motivated not by ignorance, but by knowledge.

Those cognoscenti can be motivated by Vengeance, Imagined Victimization, The Will To Power, the Will To Extermination, Cruelty, Sadism. Those emotions are not the children of ignorance. Far from it. They are children of knowledge.

That was a point of the Marquis De Sade. This is one reason why many of his anti-heroes are politicians: they know human nature, and, during their vacations, torture people, to foster this knowledge some more. Far from protecting from vice, knowlege, and the thirst for knowledge, can attract vice.

Sade’s heroine Justine, is more successful, the more wicked she gets, thus demonstrating that viciousness rules not just logic, but apparently the universe (the point the Cathars had already made, on a grandiose scale).

Many people will whine that such moral turpitude could not possibly be. Sade had got to be a very bad person for just having such an idea to tarnish all of humanity with. The idea that knowledge can be criminogene, and vicious is intrinsic to man. Napoleon agreed: he imprisoned Sade, for life, because the philosopher had caricatured the dictator and his countess of a spouse (the plutophile creole Josephine). Yet those ideas were the central principle of the Roman Republic, and the religion it brought forth, Christianism.

The very fact that the 99% do not want to understand what Sade pointed out, that vice was a central part of human nature, and that having plenty of knowledge could make someone more, rather than less, prone to vice, enables the banksters to own the world, and to claim that all the problems with finance have to do with their victims, the … Greeks, and not at all with those bankers who stole, with a little bit of help from their plutocratic friends, all the money.

Ignorance enables the exploitation of the 99% by the .1%. Cruelty, Will to Power, Metaphysical Denial, the rage of the Dark Side, explain the motivation of the .1%. Denying the latter, the vices which motivate the .1%, enables to deny the former, that there is an exploitation by the .1%, that we are all Greece. It’s a sort of religion of cluelessness.

Among the sheep, there is happiness in congregating around simple, time honored ways.

Patrice Ayme’

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7 Responses to “Vice Has Many Parents, It’s Not Just Mothered By Ignorance”

  1. gmax Says:

    Not only the 99% doomed to the gloom of poverty, and impotence, but this happens because they are ignorant of the forces which shape their minds!

    I am not sure you are making friends, but enemies, certainly, hahaha


  2. EugenR Says:

    Unfortunately the evil persists also among the well educated. Luckily ignorance not necessarily becomes evil. Goodness can exist also among the most simple minded people. What seems to me a general rule: extreme poverty and extreme situation of underdog, causes extreme violence.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Indeed. However, in the case of Nazism, manipulation by aristocracy (Lord Keynes, Lord Russell, Edward VIII, zillions of Anglo-Saxon and German plutocrats, although not all of them, Henry Ford, IBM, GM, Texaco, Harrimans, Bush, Krupps, Dulles, etc.) was the engine, and the soul. Little guys provided only the canon fodder. And Nazism is just a PARADIGM.

      The deepest forces behind Nazism, and especially various nefarious moods, were not only not defeated, but even need to be exposed… I will have a blurb on Nazism, soon, for a change, ;-)…


  3. dominique deux Says:

    Rabelais (knowledge is fun) and Montaigne (skepticism is healthy) shaped me. Always happy to see one of them quoted – they make for pleasant and relevant reading.
    One detail: Sade’s Justine is not the character who gets more successful as she explores ever darker vice. She’s cast as the perennial good girl, and therefore a loser who ends up vaporized by a thunderbolt as a demonstration that if God exists, He does not care about goodness. Her wicked sister Juliette is the one you were thinking of. Her story, incidentally, is a hilarious tour of European royal and papal courts and their (wholly fictitious) vices.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Dominique! I guess I should read Sade instead of talking about him! Indeed I got Justine and Juliette inverted.

      About the wholly fiction of vices of the aristocracy, such was clearly not the case during the rule of Louis XIV. After all, the Affaires des Poisons demonstrated otherwise. And the situation was not better in England: “Justice” would hang not just admirals who had lost battles, but also vagrants (except if they took a one way ticket to America), and disobedient seven year old children (somehow spanking was not enough).

      The war between Colbert and Fouquet, let alone the Revocation of the Edit de Nantes, the English civil wars, the French religious wars, the 30 year war in Germany, the war of the Spanish Succession, the Seven Year world war, were all unfathomable horrors. And then there was what Sade has correctly proposed to mitigate, the war of plutocracy against the Republic, also known, erroneously, as the Napoleonic wars.

      Meanwhile, in Russia, events even worse than the worse in Sade, did happen (namely the closest family members torturing each other to death, in their search for absolute power, a mood maintained over three centuries…)

      I agree Rabelais and Montaigne are very important… And probably the superior type was Rabelais (who took much more risks: his closest associate, follower and student was burned alive).


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Etienne Dolet was the student of Rabelais (he met Professor Doctor Rabelais at a lesson of anatomy Rabelais was teaching) who was burned alive (as a printer), by the Abraham Fundamentalists.


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