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Visionary (?)

"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."

    – Attributed to Jean Paul Marat (May 24, 1743 – July 13, 1793), but likely from Paul Weiss' play Marat/Sade

(BTW, if anyone has a direct source for this quote, I'd love the precise reference.)

(Please check the comments for discussion of attribution.)


I've always loved the Marat quote. It used to be in my .plan.

A source would be very helpful.

This sounds WAY anachronistic.

It does, and I couldn't find any entries giving a source -- but neither could I find anything indicating that this was a hoax or mistakenly attributed.

I think you'll find that the quote is from the play popular called "Marat/Sade" by Peter Weiss.


Ah... so it's Weiss writing for the character Marat?

Reminds me of the case of a stirring speech, written by a Hollywood screenwriter, which came to be attributed to Chief Seattle.

I'm going to be really really disappointed if that quote is not original. Not for the least of which because I was sporting it in my .plan for over a year :)

Hmm. Most references I find are to the fricking Style Council. They had the quote as a liner note. I went through a bunch of Marat's works online and didn't see it. Grr.

Quote is still great though, should just properly attribute it to Marat's character as written by Weiss, for now.

I personally don't care for the "topical pearls of wisdom from the golden age | foreign culture" thing.

Not that previous times or foreign cultures don't have things to say; it's when people from our culture use them as sock puppets that little red flags go up.

When I was growing up, I heard several variants of this:

Despised authority figure (Nixon, Reagan, NYC's pompous cardinal) shows revered foreign personage (Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Dalai Lama) a notable landmark (St. Patrick's, the Pentagon, Wall Street).

"So, ____, what do you think of Western [civilization | culture | religion]?"

"Sounds like a good idea!" ____ replies.

Hahaha! Yes, only _____ can see that we're screwed up, and only _____ can be trusted enough to deliver the news.


We have plenty of bright and eloquent people who know we're in trouble. This playwright, Weiss . . . ever consider that he, standing on the shoulders of giants and all, has more and more important insights into our current predicament than our man Marat?

Yes, which is what I meant by "just properly attribute it to Marat's character as written by Weiss."


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