Variations on a Theme

Here’s Jean Meslier (1664-1729):

“Je voudrais, et ce sera le dernier et le plus ardent de mes souhaits, je voudrais que le dernier des rois fût étranglé avec les boyaux du dernier prêtre.”

Alternatively, in English:

“I would like, and this would be the last and most ardent of my wishes, I would like the last of the kings to be strangled with the guts of the last priest.”

Perhaps better known in a variant often attributed to Denis Diderot in something like these words:

“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

Here’s the Paris 1968 graffiti variant:

“When the last sociologist has been strangled with the guts of the last bureaucrat, will we still have ‘problems’?”

And here’s the Scottish variant by Tom Nairn that I unaccountably hadn’t come across until earlier this week:

“Scotland will only be free when the last Church of Scotland Minister has been strangled with the last copy of the Sunday Post.”

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