Louis Antoine de Saint-Just  

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"Terror from a revolutionary government, [Maximilien Robespierre] said, is very different from the terror used by tyrants in the past, because now, it meant the destruction of those whose moral corruption was barring the way to a new society of virtue. Terror has become, he said, the despotism of liberty against tyranny. Another of the Jacobins, Saint-Just put it more simply: "We must force the people to be free"." --The Trap, Part 3. 'We Will Force You To Be Free', 6:50, (2007) by Adam Curtis

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Just (Template:IPA2) (25 August 1767 – 28 July 1794), usually known as Saint-Just, was a French revolutionary and military leader. Closely allied with Robespierre, he served with him on the Committee of Public Safety, becoming heavily involved in the Reign of Terror and was executed with him after the events of 9 Thermidor at the age of twenty-six.

Camus and Saint-Just

In Albert Camus's The Rebel (1951), Saint-Just is discussed extensively in the context of an analysis of rebellion and man's progression towards enlightenment and freedom. Camus identifies Saint-Just's successful argument for the execution of Louis XVI as the moment of death for monarchical divine right, a Nietzschean Twilight of the Idols. Saint-Just's dedication to "the sovereignty of the people and the sacred power of laws" is described as "a source of absolutism" and indeed "the new God". His kind of "deification of the political" is examined as the source of the creeping totalitarianism which grew so powerfully in Camus' own lifetime.




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