Discussions et disputes Anti-libertine and anti-anarchist From the eighteenth century onward the term seems to have been considerably narrowed, becoming more or less synonymous with sexual practices freed from moral rules and laws, namely a particular form of transgression, limited to sexuality and limited within the sexuality itself.
The practices which may be classified as libertine are considered as such only under certain conditions, very vague but always present, usually associated with the idea of hedonism and with highly socialised and thus regulated forms of sexuality, moreover not necessarily transgressive ones.
In this narrow sense, the meaning has become very ambivalent in terms of values; the term can be used to condemn these practices, but also to promote them. From the eighteenth century onwards, many people have declared their libertinism.
One might indeed think that with the abolition or the reduction of the prohibition of some sexual seekings of behaviour it would be foolhardy to talk about all forms in generalthe use of these terms is libertine neutralised and trivialised. Moreover they became, at least in French, keywords to find on search engines porno sites, addresses of swinging and SM clubs, advertising for sex chat lines or for various forms of prostitution, etc.
Thus the word is almost no longer used to describe truly transgressive practices, but its mentions them within the framework of practices and discourses which are strictly codified and neutralised. Thus the reference to eighteenth century libertinism, particularly to the Marquis de Sade, remains still present, but generally devoid of any subversive issue, both morally and ideological. One example, though not exactly representative, is provided by The Libertinesa famous short-lived British rock group, whose name is a reference made by the members themselves to the Hundred Days of Sodomby Sade 1 : their many fans relate generally the name Libertines to the supposed freedom of morals sex and drugs and guy of the musicians, which certainly brings nothing much new to the aesthetics of transgression not always but often exclusively aesthetic of Rock and Roll, but we can observe that this supposed libertinism expresses itself mainly, in the way the group presented itself and in the reception given by the public, as involving risky individual behaviour, particularly in taking drugs and in sexual practices.
In that nice, quite naturally so to speakhe comes back to something which is at the heart of the Catholic and Protestant anti libertine apologetics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: the denunciation of false freedom, corrupted freedom of the flesh, which is in fact nothing other than the captivity of sin, which Christ delivers us by his word. It is therefore not surprising to see again in the following statements of the papal discourse the very notion of libertinism.
Its assumption is that man can make of himself what he likes: Thus his body becomes something secondary, which can be manipulated from the human point of view, which can be used as one pleases. The Libertinism, which appears as discovery of the body and its value, is in reality a dualism that makes the body contemptible, leaving it, so to speak, outside the authentic being and dignity of the person.
A dualism of body and soul, in the manner of Descartes, reducing the body to an object, just a pleasure machine, and thus dismissing its dignity? Apparently, but in the light of a sermon of 14 November dedicated to Augustine of Hippo, this libertinism is explicitly understood as a true theological dualism, i.
His purpose was freedom, autonomy, independence. He subscribed to Manichaeism, which promised him a scientific religion, where everything is rational and scientific.
But thereafter, in the experience of his life, things turned out otherwise, and he found himself as the prodigal son. But one can see that, for Benedict XVI, libertinism is not only debauchery, the impurity of sexual mores, but what they imply: namely a false thought of freedom of the body, which raises - no less — the old heresy of the Manicheans. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves — flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth.
Atheism and agnosticism are not far off either. The texts partly explain the polemical relevance given to libertinism, which would appear to be reduced only to the perversion of customs.
So it concerns nice of all libertinism in the most trivial sense, which has long since been engaged in a process of trivialization. Despite some semblance of intellectual neutrality, this discourse on contemporary mass libertinism falls squarely in the field right-wing ideas, Catholic right as well as liberal right, as we libertine see later, in any case a discourse that reacts negatively to the moral and cultural transformations of the last half century.
Its controversial uses are quite obvious: the moral and political condemnation of all, or a great part, of the gains in the field of mores and customs — whether translated or not into law — achieved in the following decades. As long as we confine ourselves to abstraction and ideological rhetoric, i. But when it comes down to the concrete analysis of actual practices, individual behaviour, representations and subjective views expressed around us, and their compliance with the proposed analytical matrix, then things appear in a quite different way.
Social reality is stubborn, and this picture of mass libertinism cannot be validated by any serious fieldwork in any of our human and social sciences psychology, sociology, history, etc. We can rely equally well on the empirical observation: when I leave my home and walk down the street, or I take the tube, even when I go to the supermarket, temple of modern mass consumption, I find it very difficult to see the effects of this apocalyptic "libertinism", the surge of sex and hedonistic consumption.
How can one not smile, or even laugh, on hearing today that, by the very fact of opting for cohabitation rather than Christian marriage, or to living homosexuality publicly, somebody can be nice of libertinism, Gnosticism or some other dualistic heresy? The groups and individuals attacked by Catholic and Protestant antilibertine apologetics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries could not simply laugh from this point of view, the difference of the two historical situations is huge ; moreover they had to avoid laughing too loudly and they had to concede everything possible to guy dominant discourse that had the libertine and political means to crush them or, at the very least, impose silence or the utmost discretion upon them.
Does this mean that they were not even remotely concerned with the charges against them? This is where the comparison with the contemporary anti-libertine discourse, which anyone can compare with what he experiences every day, is precious, because no one can deny the fact that claims for recognition of individual rights and moreover collective ones in practical life have indeed played an important role in our societies in recent decades and have led to legal changes, which are in some countries at least, not negligible, at the same time as we could see an evolution of the sexual practices in the direction of an abolition or, at least, a reduction of censorship.
In any case, one thing is certain: if we want to say something which makes sense about the evolution of discourses and cultural practices of seeking decades, in its seeking common as well guy its most radical forms, adopting the necessary distance of any serious analysis, we could absolutely not be satisfied with the concepts and representations provided by the discourse which is violently opposed to what we want to describe.
The brideshead s
Moreover, it does not merely describe, but manipulates and rebuilds the objects in order to fit the goals of its polemics. Now, the historiography of libertinism has long since dispensed with this elementary precaution, such that the discourse of the anti-libertine polemicists still powerfully informs the mere category of libertinism, manipulating the real issues of the sources, which are moreover multiple and changing according to the contexts and the circumstances. The speeches of Benedict XVI, no more than the texts of the right wing Catholic Del Noce or of guy seeking wing Liberal Matteucci could not be regarded as reliable descriptions of the social, cultural and ideological phenomena they are fighting, and in any case they are not able to give an accurate of the reality of sexual practices and other consumer practices of contemporaries i.
They enlighten us first and foremost about themselves, and it is here that they are revealing and worthy of great interest, if we carry out a thorough analysis of them, which would be impossible here. At the same time, they intervene, by way of intellectual polemics, in a cultural and libertine reality whose existence it would be absurd to deny, especially as their conflicting relations participate in this reality and in the way it is perceived by those whose words and deeds they censor.
The very notion, when referred to analysis of an interactional type, becomes capable of clarifying some of the major conflicts which arise within contemporary political and moral culture. I would say exactly the same for that libertinism denounced by Calvin in the sixteenth century, or that persecuted by the Jesuit Garasse in the second decade of the following century, nice therefore should never be taken at face value, neither considered as mere self-referential discourses, irrelevant for the way in which the individuals and groups they explicitly or implicitly pursue, speak and act.
These considerations now allow me to present a distinction drawn by Pertici, to which I would like to give its proper place. Thus the liberal tradition both renews and extends the opposition that accompanies the whole history of anti-libertine polemics until Benedict XVI, as noted above.
Some libertarians, concerned to preserve good relationships with the Catholic Church, have complained on an online forum that Cardinal Ratzinger, in his speech of 18 Aprilhas condemned them. Not at all, hastened to correct some of their fellows, because everyone knows that libertarians have nothing to do with libertinism, which was the sole target of the cardinal. As for liberalism, which should have been their concern, they could consider it — with a lot of ignorance or bad faith — in the way in which the word is spontenoulsy understood in America: a leftist ideology that promotes social progress through the intervention of the State, which could not be further removed from classical liberalism not to mention its libertarian radicalisation.
Many examples may be found by just surfing the web In doing so, of course, they create themselves, or rather rebuild and renew a scaremongering image of libertinism. It is due to Frank S. Meyer, an important theorist of libertarianism, who endeavored to make libertarian ideas concord with conservative ones. Freedom is a elevated value, but its political realisation is not an end in itself, rather the condition for human beings to achieve their moral aims. But the essence of civilization is tradition.
In rejecting tradition, the libertine seeks to destroy civilization and to lead humanity back to the stage of primitive savagery It is clear that no anarchist would recognize himself in this caricature of anarchist freedom.
But libertarianism maintains that the only legitimate violence is one which defends people and property against violence and that any governmental violence and coercion beyond that limited use of legitimate violence is itself aggressive, unjust and criminal. Thus it recognizes the full and plain freedom of individuals to do what they want, provided that they do not physically attack others and their property. There are libertarian libertines and there are libertarians who cling firmly to the disciplines of natural or religious law.
There are other libertarians who have no moral theory at all apart from the imperative of the non-violation of rights. That is because libertarianism per se has no general or personal moral theory. Libertarianism does not offer a way of life; it offers liberty, so that each person is free to adopt and act upon his own values and moral principles. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the libertine is highly deficient in moral terms as he does nothing other with of his freedom than to enjoy it, taking advantage of all his civil rights and of everything which the free market can offer.
The author seeks to defend, according to libertarian principles, professions typically held to be villainous, more or less illegal and certainly immoral in our societies. As Rothbard does, Block leaves aside the moral question, which is not under discussion in this book. Initialy this essay was deed to serve as an introduction to the Portuguese translation of the bookand was published the next year in English in the Journal of Libertarian Studies.
Apart from this requirement of legalization, the Libertarian qua Libertarian, has nothing to say against this behaviour; he will not adopt a position of moral evaluation in respect of these practices. But the author does not bother to develop his description, nor to show that such a figure is truly embodied, and the reason for this is easy to understand: it is a mere scarecrow, with neither theoretical nor practical consistency, to say nothing of its psychological plausibility.
On the subject of pedophilia, and therefore of the potential pedophile libertine libertarian, Block, as a conservative libertarian, shows himself extremely intransigent and violent : any sexual relationship with a minor should be considered rape pure and simple, and judged in court as such. Hence we see what the limits of libertarian tolerance are.
At the very most, he says, the libertarian is free to speak and write against such practices, or to campaign to boycott them, with probably a limited effectiveness. The libertine was also somebody who transgressed rules and customs, ridiculed or destroyed traditions. In addition, through the perversion of his will, he tried to extinguish the light infused in him by God and so ensured his damnation.
Libertarianism proposes a secularized version of the most traditional and — one would want to say but it would be a proof of libertinism, without any doubt — the most jaded anti-libertine polemics. But, the French translation of this article shows that this controversy can be read between the lines of the text This neutralization of the word in French is interesting in itself and deserves a specific study, which I can not undertake here.
Rake (stock character)
In any case, we can understand the embarrassment of the translator, in his efforts not to ridicule the author. These indirect controversial devices are quite easy to set up, because we can easily grasp at least the major issues of contemporary ideological conflicts well known to everyone. — Plan du site. Les Dossiers du Grihl. Essais et bibliographie. Plan Texte Notes Citation Auteur. Plan Benedict XVI and the libertine heresy. Interlude: the old libertinism in the light of the new one. Liberal liberty and libertine liberty.
Libertarians are not libertines.
Franck S. Meyer: against libertine libertarians. Murray N. Rothbard: the « myth » of the libertine libertarian. Walter Block: libertarian conservatism and moral censorship of libertininism. It chose us really! Apart from John who still is. Presentazione di Gaetano Quagliariello, Rubbettino, In the nineteenth century the proletariat was already the heir of philosophy; now it has become the heir of modern art and of the first conscious critique of everyday life.
It cannot suppress itself without at the same time realizing art and philosophy. To transform the world and to change life are one and the same thing for the proletariat, the inseparable passwords to its suppression as a class, the dissolution of the present reign of necessity, and the finally possible accession to the reign of freedom. The radical critique and free reconstruction of all the values and patterns of behaviour imposed by alienated reality are its maximum program.