The sadistic mastery is characterized by the fact that it wants to make the object a will-less instrument in the sadist’s hands, while the nonsadistic joy in influencing others respects the integrity of the other person and is based on a feeling of equality. ― (1941a: Escape from Freedom, New York (Farrar and Rinehart) 1941, p. 157, footnote.)


The core of sadism, common to all its manifestations, is the passion to have absolute and unrestricted control over a living being, whether an animal, a child, a man, or a woman. To force someone to endure pain or humiliation without being able to defend himself is one of the manifestations of absolute control, but it is by no means the only one. The person who has complete control over another living being makes this being into his thing, his property, while he becomes the other being’s god. ― (1973a: The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, New York (Holt, Rinehart and Winston) 1973, pp. 288f.)


Prisoners of war, slaves, defeated enemies, children, sick people (especially the mentally sick), inmates of prisons, nonwhites without weapons, dogs―they all have been the object of physical sadism, often including the most cruel torture. From the cruel spectacles in Rome to modern police units, torture has been used tinder the disguise of religious or political purposes, and sometimes plainly for the amusement of the impoverished masses. The Colosseum in Rome is indeed one of the greatest monuments to human sadism. (…) ― Mental cruelty, the wish to humiliate and to hurt another person’s feelings, is probably even more widespread than physical sadism. This type of sadistic attack is much safer for the sadist; after all, no physical force but „only“ words have been used. On the other hand, the psychic pain can be as intense or even more so than the physical. (…) Mental sadism may he disguised in many seemingly harmless ways: a question, a smile, a confusing remark. ― (1973a: The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, New York (Holt, Rinehart and Winston) 1973, pp. 283-285.)

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