Another fine piece by guest poster Alpha Unit. Not only quoting Sade but even managing to get a grasp on him – good show! Baltasar Gracian, a 17th-century Spanish Jesuit famous for his wisdom, wrote, “The things we remember best are those best forgotten.” He is correct. That is why I’ve never watched the video Human Beasts (background here) and have no desire to do so. Besides, human cruelty was documented long before those teenagers recorded themselves committing heinous acts. Cruelty comes easily to you and me. What would be extraordinary is a human being with virtually no capacity for it. The Marquis de Sade was a fan of cruelty, considering it a virtue. It is “the first sentiment Nature injects in us all,” he stated, and “the energy in a man that civilization has not yet altogether corrupted.” The Marquis de Sade is not my idea of a role model, to be sure, but he told it like is when it comes to human instincts. Anyone unable or unwilling to face what people are capable of is asking for it, and, unfortunately, that’s most of us. That is why we are so shocked at the killing spree that the nice, sweet boy next door just went on. Who would ever have guessed it? People who understand human nature will tell you that if you are ever robbed or similarly victimized, you must under no circumstances let the person take you to another location. You are going to be found dead, in all likelihood. The rush this person will get from having absolute power over you is not going to let them stop until they have done you in. Too much power – too much freedom – only unleashes the worst in people. And the worst is always there. How fascinating that the very worst of our instincts can give such pleasure when we give in to them. Killing might be the Mother of All Delights for Human Beasts, but the lesser morsels can be quite tasty. If you ever find yourself wondering why a certain person is such a jerk, prick or bastard, there is no need to wonder. Maybe he’s loving every minute of it.
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