Sunday, April 03, 2011

An 18th Century Quote Defines Today's Truth

“Don’t be deceived when they tell you things are better now. Even if there’s no poverty to be seen because the poverty’s been hidden. Even if you ever got more wages and could afford to buy more of these new and useless goods which industries foist on you and even if it seems to you that you never had so much, that is only the slogan of those who still have much more than you. Don’t be taken in when they paternally pat you on the shoulder and say that there’s no inequality worth speaking of and no more reason to fight because if you believe them they will be completely in charge in their marble homes and granite banks from which they rob the people of the world under the pretence of bringing them culture. Watch out, for as soon as it pleases them they’ll send you out to protect their gold in wars whose weapons, rapidly developed by servile scientists, will become more and more deadly until they can with a flick of the finger tear a million of you to pieces.”

Those words were written by Jean-Paul Marat in the latter part of the 18th century, but they are still so true that they could have been written today. Marat (1743-1793) was a physician, political scientist, journalist and one of the more radical leaders of the French Revolution.

A tip of the hat to MadMikesAmerica for the quote.


  1. Are we sure those are the words of Marat or are they the words of Marat/Sade playwright, Peter Weiss?

    Don't get me wrong. Great words but I think they're from the character Jean Paul Marat, as opposed to the actual Marat.

  2. On the other hand, here are a couple of actual sourced quotes from Jean-Paul Marat:

    I believe in the cutting off of heads.

    (Quoted in Archives parlementaires, vol. 52, p. 158)

    Five or six hundred [aristocratic] heads lopped off would have assured you repose and happiness; a false humanity has restrained your arm and suspended your blows; it will cost the lives of millions of your brothers.

    (L'Ami du peuple, vol. 2, p. 1121)

    (Here's the source)

    Real nice guy, that Monsieur Marat!

  3. This quote is actually from a Peter Weiss play entitled "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade" performed in 1963.

    Jean-Paul Marat did not write this quote.


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