“Being cause of myself, doing things because they are a duty that is caused not from outside is a burden and the temptation to seek relief from this burden through perversion was Sade’s temptation.” – Andre Vantino on Zizek’s Sade – “The Sadean perversion emerges as the result of the Kantian compromise, of Kant’s avoiding the consequences of his breakthrough. Sade is the symptom of Kant,” Zizek thus concludes.


“our fellowman might serve..as an excuse for not doing our duty.

..By hiding..behind the image of his fellowman,..the..subject cannot escape the Real involved in the unconditional duty. ..Neither can [he] hide behind..duty and use..duty as..excuse for his actions.” – Alenka Zupancic

“[Kant] makes it possible..to assume a perverse attitude, to justify..actions by saying that they were imposed upon him by unconditional duty, to hide behind the moral law and present himself as the “mere instrument” of its will.” – Cogito And The Unconscious – Alenka Zupancic – [On how the duty to always tell the truth is a perversion of duty, because duty then can be seen as justifiably imposed from outside which would open the door to making ourselves instruments of others to justify our own actions. Making oneself an instrument of a big Other is for Lacanians the definition of perversion:] “According to Kant duty is only that which the subject makes his duty. The categorical imperative is not a “catechism of pure reason,” behind which we could hide the surplus enjoyment that we find in our acts. ..Kant takes the duty to tell the truth as a..duty that passed the test of the categorical imperative and could thus be written on the list of commandments.” – A.Zupancic

“Sade seems to follow only his own call, but on a closer look, his compulsion towards excess is still a result of the deadlock of not fully taking one’s discovery for being one’s own cause into account.” – “We can only be ethical if we do not rely on any pre-given ideas of what is Good. This is the discovery that Kant didn’t follow through to the end, not ready to risk doing good beyond any Good already established, to act outside the coordinates established by others, deciding only in accord with one’s own sense of duty, one’s own call.” – Andre Vantino on Lacan’s Sade

“The sadist occupies the place of the object ‘to the benefit of an­ [imagined] other, for whose jouissance he exercises his action’. The executioner works for the enjoyment of the Other, not for his own: he becomes a sole instrument of the Other’s Will.” – S.Zizek – “And in so-called “totalitarianism”, this illegal agent-instrument of the law, the Sadeian executioner, appears as such in the shape of the Party, agent-instrument of historical Will. ..By means of occupying himself the place of the object – of making himself the agent-executor of the Other’s Will – he avoids the division constitutive of the subject and transposes his division upon his other.” – Slavoj Zizek