It is no coincidence that I quote Sade, and specifically the most directly philosophic and political of his texts – embedded in yet another pornography – where he proclaims a gnostic utopian libertinism close to Bataille’s sovereignty. For Lacan is not entirely correct when he dismisses Sade by comparing him to Kant. The Sade that Lacan presents who is trapped by the categorical imperative of revolt not unlike that of Kant’s is not the whole of Sade’s truth. Which is why he presents it in a novelistic and free-associative form not dissimilar from Lacan’s style of seminar or Nietzsche’s style of aphorism. For these are ways to escape the reinstallation of the master, transcendental, ideological: through multiplicity & differential, chaos and complexity, contradiction & dialectic. Lacan misrecognizes a version of his own style in Sade and is guilty of a myopic interpretation that will happen to him later in the institution of a Lacanian orthodoxy. For the position Lacan makes of Sade is only the position of the “fetishist” in Sade’s universe and is not to be confused with the position of the “libertine.” The libertine – like the analyst and the sovereign artist – is he who ascribes to the radical ethic of desire itself – not a desire born of compromise between the drive and the other that gives us our normal, neurotic, or normotic existence, but rather a continual flux of the real drive put up against the imaginary-symbolic other. The desire for desire itself – for differentiation – is process-oriented, continually questioning, true to its immediate impulse and yet in the same moment to the fantasmatic resistance of others. This is the dialectic unleashed into a dance of pure play – an agon that does not get stuck in antagonism – a balance of balance and unbalance that bridges the pleasure principle and the death drive. This is the point where the ethical-aesthetic of Sade’s Society of Libertines is at one with that of the Buddhist Shambhala: where drive, desire and the ethic of the other are not at odds but at one.