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Farmer and Deputy of the Department of Oise
6 Nivose Year II (26 December, 1793)

Volumes have been written to know if a republic of atheists can exist. I maintain that every other republic is a pipe dream. To allow a king in heaven is to bring a Trojan horse within the walls that you worship during the day and devours you at night. A dreamer in his office can save himself from the consequences of his platonic madness, but a theist people has to become revelationist, i.e., the slaves of priests, intermediaries of God, doctors of damned souls. Deification brings about genuflexion. The river Nile flows alone; the god Nile marches with troops. Nature, charming by itself, loses a great deal through a cabalistic redundancy. The so-called 'theos' spoils the very real 'cosmos'. Error doesn't improve beauty. Deviating a hair's breadth, you soon lose sight of the straight line. Creating a ghost for no reason, nothing prevents you from multiplying all imaginable pixies unto infinity. Truth's intolerance will one day banish the very name of temple, i.e. 'fanum', from which fanaticism gets its name. The buildings that the towns choose for their civic celebrations will be called houses of instruction. A sovereign people is essentially reasonable; they won't ever want astrology or theology; they won't allow jugglers, barkers, con men, shysters, maniac poisoners, who conjure away the wages that are owed to good and honest workers. We constantly see the celestial royalty condemned in its turn by the revolutionary tribunal of victorious Reason. For, Truth, sitting on the throne of Nature, is sovereignly intolerant. The sun makes all the meteors and all the will-o-the-wisps disappear. Tolerance is a bad necessity under the present circumstances. Politicians order us to be tolerant of a new order, new holy impostors. With respect to this every town should consult itself to see if reason is in force: it's a local matter. The republic of the Rights of Man, properly speaking, is neither theist nor atheist; it's nihilist. The legislature's invocation of some supreme ghost is an absurd starter; it's ceremoniously affirming the reality of a being.

Black Lung


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