Francois MauriacFrancois Mauriac, (1885-1970) French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, journalist, member of the Académie française, Nobel Prize in Literature (1952)

Francois Mauriac Quote

“The scapegoat has always had the mysterious power of unleashing man's ferocious pleasure in torturing, corrupting, and befouling.”

Francois MauriacFrancois Mauriac
~ Francois Mauriac

Second Thoughts, 1961

Ratings and Comments

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Anon    8/25/09

That's because it's double the pleasure when one knows the one suffering is supposed to be him. But that's ok because he's also convinced himself it is civilized behavior.

E Archer, NYC

Yes, we are so quick to place blame and then PUNISH!

Gabe, Tel Aviv

Mauriac may have missed the illogic of his own thought. The power to torture, corrupt and befoul lies with the perpetrator, not the scapegoat. The unleashing of this power lies with the perpetrator. It is the perpetrator who has lost his human perspective and balance and sunk into a morass of irrationalism directed at his victim(s). This inbalance is delusional; not mysterious.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Gabe, he is talking about the concept of the scapegoat, not the scapegoat himself. If anyone has read about the French revolution you will recognize the truth immediately. The mob is worked into a frenzy, they pull a scapegoat out of the crowd and execute him. As soon as he's dead, another scapegoat is needed so another random person is pulled out of the crowd. The mob's blood lust is very hard to quench. It comes to the point when it is uncontrollable even by the architects of the revolution and the leader of the mob and they can easily become the target as well. There is a lesson there for all revolutionaries (and governments too).

Mike, Norwalk

Ahh yes, the mysterious shifting of personal sin, transgression and other wrong doing to another. Do some, or even many, unleash a ferocious pleasure in torturing, corrupting and befouling when someone else gets the blame? – I guess it happens. Does that mean a malefactor only feels remorse or some negative non-pleasure when caught and treated accordingly?


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