At Gorgias 492, tr. Helmbold, the divine Plato puts the following words into the mouth of Callicles: A man who is going to live a full life must allow his desires to become as mighty as may be and never repress them. When his passions have come to full maturity, he must be able to serve them through his courage and intelligence and gratify every fleeting desire as it comes into his heart.
[. . .]
The truth, which you claim to pursue, Socrates, is really this: luxury, license, and liberty, when they have the upper hand, are really virtue, and happiness as well; everything else is a set of fine terms, man-made conventions, warped against nature, a pack of stuff and nonsense!
Now let us consider what the decidedly undivine Marquis de Sade has Mme. Delbene say in Julliette or Vice Amply Rewarded:
. . . I am going to dismiss this equally absurd and childish obligation which enjoins us not to do unto others that which unto us we would not have done. It is the precise contrary Nature recommends, since Nature's single precept is to enjoy oneself, at the expense of no matter whom. But at our leisure we shall return to these subjects; for the nonce, let's now put our theories into practice and, after having demonstrated that you can do everything without committing a crime, let's commit a villainy or two to convince outrselves that everything can be done. (p. 30, emphasis in original, tr. Casavini)
From the cover: "abridged but unexpurgated from the original five-volume work especially for the adult reader." In other other words, the good stuff, i.e., the philosophy, has been cut, but the 'adult matter' remains. I get a kick out of this use of 'adult' -- but that's another post.
Yesterday I said that there are some decent liberals. Having listened to a good chunk of a three-hour C-SPAN 2 interview with Chris Hedges this morning, I would say he is a good example of one. On some issues he agrees with conservatives, pornography being one of them. Both liberals and libertarians have to lot to answer for on this score. That the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment could be so tortured as to justify pornography shows their lack of common sense and basic moral sense. This is made worse by the absurd interpretation they put upon the Establishment Clause of the same amendment which they take as sanctioning the complete expulsion of religion from the public square when it is religion that delivers in popular form the morality the absence of which allows the spread of soul-destroying pornography. Hedges has the sense, uncommon on the Left, to understand that the spread of this rot is a major factor in our decline as a nation.
The Victims of Pornography is a an excerpt from his latest book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. (What a great title!)
And another thing. If liberals care about women, how can they defend pornography? Apparently they care only up to the point where it would cost them some agreement with conservatives who they hate more than they love women. Similarly, liberals are all for women, so long as they are not conservative women, as witness the unspeakably vicious attacks on Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. Ed Schultz, prime-time scumbag, the other night was mocking Michelle Bachmann and gloating over her withdrawal from the presidential race. If he had an ounce of decency he would have praised her for being in the arena and participating courageously in the grueling process while respectfully disagreeing with her positions. But respect and decency are what you cannot expect from leftist scum of his ilk. You think my calling him a scumbag is too harsh? Then read this.