“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
The leaflet below is a translation of this pdf in French: Untitled-1
It was distributed yesterday (11th January 2015) in Marseilles. Those who distributed it had it thrown back in their faces, were insulted and spat upon. In Paris, a friend – a radical – went round various groups of people chatting about the situation, amongst which included some from the French Communist Party. They angrily responded to what he said with “People like you should be prevented from expressing your ideas”. So much for “Freedom of expression”, the watchword of those who have nothing to say but repeat the clichés spewed out by the masters and ideologists of this society. In this society “freedom of speech” does not exist: speak out against your boss, or a cop, or your teacher if you’re a kid, and you’ll discover how far this “freedom” gets you. Even liberal-lefties like Robert Fisk are capable of seeing the hypocrisy of the West’s defence of “freedom of speech”: see this. Moreover, in France there’s a law against “outrage”, which means that you can be prosecuted for insulting anybody who’s a paid civil servant. I myself was once threatened by a colonel of the gendarmerie with this for insulting Sarkozy (though he didn’t carry through with the threat). Moreover, France has a law against holocaust denial – so even within state-directed notions of “free speech” lines are drawn – it’s never an absolute. This of course, is different from being killed for producing a cartoon of Mohammed fucking a goat (a cartoon that reminded a pied-noir French guy I know, a guy born in Algeria, of the fascist OAS’s depiction of sub-human Arabs). A sick cartoon, which, however, does not deserve being killed for (moreover, despite the fact that the international media focus almost exclusively on the journalists killed, in a society divided into the scene and the unseen, the male cleaner and proof reader who were killed have been – with a few exceptions – photochopped out of the picture).
On the News Of Opposition page on this site, I wrote the following about this on Wednesday 7th January:
France, Paris…: demonstrations (including many of those working for the Press) take place throughout Paris over the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the main one being in Place de la République. There were many Muslims (including many women, veiled and unveiled), disgusted by what had happened (the massacre also included at least one ordinary proletarian – a proof reader), and obviously fearful of Islamophobic reprisals. Journalists tended to be in favour of intensifying “security measures” (ie repressive laws), as if such things could or would have prevented such a massacre (it’s the typical unthinking knee-jerk response of those who can only see hierarchical “solutions” which merely make things worse). Those lower down in the hierarchy of the Press (eg copy editors and proof readers) were apparently more sceptical about the use by the state of such events as a pretext for intensified “security” measures. The Front National turned up with the French national tricolour flag, were met with immediate hostility from most of the crowd and were given 2 minutes to leave, which they did. The local 11th arrondisement section of the governing Socialist Party turned up in an official capacity and were told to stay outside the demonstration (which they also did), the crowd telling them to leave because they were using the events to make political capital out of it. The former minister under Sarkozy – Borloo – was there but made it clear that he was there as a “citizen”, and just milled around like anybody else. A clever move – he was not threatened, and was allowed to stay. In Montreuil, however, the Greens and the Front De Gauche (leftists, including the Communist Party) were allowed to display their party colours and though some were hostile to them, this had no practical consequence, unlike what had happened in the Place de la Republique. This, despite the fact that the Front de Gauche had voted for the intensification of anti-terrorist measures back in November (the Greens had abstained).
It’s obvious that the worst aspect of all this is the push to war (see – in French – the Islamophobic neoliberal site “Civil War In Europe”, which has been going for about 9 months now) on both sides of the equation – from the Islamo-fascists to the neoliberal scum like Hollande and Sarkozy, with those at the sharp end of the hierarchy being manipulated into taking sides rather than making sides. But for those striving to develop some rational subversion of false choices, the choice between the frying pan or the fire is, as always, the masochistic choice to oppose our own self-interest, our class interest, the choice to submit to our masters or would-be masters.
Here’s the fairly free translation of the Marseilles leaflet:
WE ARE NOT CHARLIE.
Wednesday’s massacre is horrible and abject. Without a doubt, words are never sufficient to describe such carnage…
A logical target? Charlie Hebdo no longer makes us laugh these days. Like others over recent years, the journal cheerfully added fuel to the fire of ordinary racism, rampant Islamophobia and pro-western discourse. In its own way – filthy, obscene and sexist, but from the “left” – Charlie fed, perhaps without wanting to, these nauseating ideas. Brandishing the grand alibis of liberty of expression and secularism, Charlie Hebdo only helped to boost the necessary divisions for the rich to maintain their power.
This carnage is unbearable to us.
As much as the command from on high to declare “I am Charlie”.
WE ARE AGAINST RELIGIOUS OBSCURANTISM. WE FIGHT IT VIGOROUSLY.
The little priests of all forms of obedience – Christian, Jewish or Muslim – have only ever contained people by promising them Paradise in exchange for their docility on Earth. Which God must be cherished? Which heretics must be fought? Which moral order should be followed? How to behave? How to dress? How to fuck? Who to love? So many false questions, so many injunctions. And for each religion, their batch of fanatics. From Jihadists ready to blow themselves up to Catholic fundamentalists from the “Demonstration for everybody” [anti-gay marriage demonstrations organised around defence of the traditional family] who go hunting homosexuals.
WE ARE AGAINST FASCISTS AND RACISTS OF ALL KINDS.
The fanatics and fascists play the game of tension and fear. These fascists of all stripes have been on our backs for some time already, but from now on the dogs have been let off their leash. Day after day, anti-semites like Soral or Dieudonné, Islamophobes and anti-immigrants with all kinds of identities, from “France for the French”, and from skinheads à la Ayoub or Gabriac, they inculcate their putrid ideas in people’s heads: hatred for foreigners, fear of The Other, everyone back to where they came from and other deathly notions. They haven’t hesitated to react. The Front National demand the return of the death penalty. The more virulent of these brutalised frontists have already attacked a number of mosques and kebab joints and beaten up young Arabs (Villefranche-sur-Saône, Le Mans, Port-La-Nouvelle, Poitiers, etc…). And the organisation Riposte Laïque [sic] calls for a massive demonstration in Paris on the 18th January against the “Islamisation of France”.
The Islamophobia which is already well entrenched will become even more pervasive. Amalgamating this with people from immigrant backgrounds will advance at a rapid pace. And the Arabs and Muslims will unfortunately pay more of a price than others.
WE ARE AGAINST THE STATE. WE WILL NEVER BE COPS.
But we’ve seen, we see and we will see more and more cops in the streeets and in people’s heads, always provided with more guns (which will be used against us). Freedom of expression didn’t fall under the rain of bullets fired by some brainless shitheads, but under the process of the militarisation of life and of the society that is just beginning to discover a new significant moment of being shaken up.
If someone must cry, apart from the families and those who are close to the people who were killed, it is those who are going to pay for this pornography of emotion which has been imposed like a veil over all critical thought about the situation, those who will continue being exploited, even worse than before, and who will continue to be oppressed, even worse than before.
Terroirism has always been a weapon for domination. That’s still true today.
And Capital will gleefully rub its hands.
WE ARE NOT THE WEALTHY PROPERTY-OWNERS, THE BOURGEOISIE. WE ARE AGAINST BOSSES. WE STRUGGLE AGAINST THEM EVERY DAY.
They flood us with appeals for “National Unity”, against the enemy within (immigrants, anarchists, Muslims, strikers, etc. – according to the needs of the moment) which will only succeed, once again, in dividing the poor amongst themselves. And the war of the poor against the poor only profits those who fill their own pockets, those who liberalise the conditions of work. So it’s class solidarity – with neither flag nor nation – that will have to develop in order for us to oppose them and their world.
WE ARE REVOLUTIONARIES, ANTI-CAPITALISTS, ANTI-FASCISTS.
WE WANT OTHER FORMS OF SOCIAL INTERACTION, WITH NEITHER HIERARCHY NOR EXPLOITATION.
WE WANT INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE EMANCIPATION.
WE NEED TO ORGANISE OURSELVES COLLECTIVELY AND ON A WIDE SCALE.
You’re mistaken – I’m not Charlie
Translated by me from Claude Guillon’s blog
Sunday, 11th January 2015
I’ve no doubt that there are some “Charlies” who are friendly and full of good intentions. I’m inundated, like everybody, with their indignant emails. I am not him.
I’m not Charlie, because I know that the vast majority of these people have never been Charlie nor Mohammed nor Zouad, ie none of the hundreds of young people killed in the suburbs by “our” police officers (cops of all faiths!) paid with “our” taxes. In using the tools of sociologists, I understand why it is more immediately easy for white petit-bourgeoises to identify with a well-known intellectual and white artist, than with a child of immigrant workers in the Maghreb. But understanding is neither to excuse it nor to adhere to it.
I’m not Charlie, because I refuse to “assemble”, at the behest of the tenant of the Elysee, with politicos, cops and extreme right activists. I am not speaking up in the air: an acquaintance tells me that at his place of work, there were homophobic catholic activists from the “Demonstrations for all” who were involved in the organization of a minute’s silence for the Charlie Hebdo team.
I’m not Charlie, because I refuse to cry over the dead bodies of Charlie Hebdo with François Hollande who has just announced that the airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes will be built, ie that there will be others seriously injured by rubber bullets and probably other Rémi Fraisses.
I’m not Charlie, because I am viscerally – and culturally – hostile to any kind of “sacred union”. Even the stupid journalists from Le Monde have understood that it’s a question of this; they simply ask how long this “union” can last. To “assemble” behind François Hollande against “Islamist barbarism” is no less stupid than to make a sacred union against “German barbarism” in 1914. Some anarchists took up this union during that epoch ; it’s good like that, we were given!
I’m not Charlie, because the “gathering” is the name of neo-liberal class collaboration. Some of you might think that classes don’t exist any more and even less that they are still fighting each other. If you are a boss or leader of something (office, workshop …), it is normal that you claim that (and yet! – there are exceptions), or you could believe it. If you are a worker, working, forced to do tasks or are unemployed , I advise you to inform yourself.
I’m not Charlie, because if I share the grief of friends and relatives of those killed, I do not recognize in any way what had become , and for the last few decades, of the newspaper “Charlie Hebdo”. Having started as an anarchist rant, this newspaper turned – notably under the direction of Philippe Val – against the audience it had at the beginning. It remained anticlerical. Does that count? Yes. Is that enough? Certainly not. I learnt that Houellebecq [cynical semi-fascist Islamophobe, immersed in a wretchedly arrogant attitude of pathological contempt] and Bernard Maris [one of those killed, an economist-cum-journalist, regular contributor to Charlie Hebdo, who was part of the Directorate of the neo-liberal Banque de France – equivalent of the Bank of England – for some time, whilst also being part of ATTAC – semi-Keynesian advocates of the Tobin tax] had become great friends, and that the former “suspended” the promotion of his book “Submission” (which will cost him nothing) in homage to the latter. This proves that even in the worst of situations, there are still opportunities to have a laugh.
I’m not Charlie, because I am a militant revolutionary who tries to keep abreast of the progress of the capitalist world in which he lives. Therefore, I am aware that the country I am a citizen of is at war, certainly in “theaters of war” distant and changing. In the worst possible way possible, since all over the world and even in my neighborhood, the enemies of France can consider me as their enemy. This is sometimes true, sometimes not. At least, knowing that France is at war, I did not experience the same astonishment as many Charlies did to learn that an act of war was committed in central Paris against humourists disrespectful towards religions.
I’m not Charlie, because, given the absence of details, and the very fact of the anonymization produced by the formula “I’m Charlie,” it necessarily implies some “anti-terrorist” unanimity coming from probably very different positions of this person or that. In other words, as a plebiscite of the so-called “anti-terrorist” legislative apparatus, which is an instrument for what I call democratic terrorisation.
I’m not Charlie. I am Claude. Revolutionary anarchist, anti-capitalist, supporter of the libertarian communist project, mortal enemy of all monotheistic religions – but I sacrifice to Aphrodite! – And not to any State. This is enough to make me a target for religious fanatics and cops (I’ve paid to find out).
I am willing, as a form of gregarious emotion, to debate with those for whom the killing of “Charlie Hebdo” is one of the horrors of this world, to which it is useless to add even more confusion.
[Reprinted from the blog of Claude Guillon.]
The following 2 comments about Islamofascism seem very pertinent:
The first is a response to this Non-fides article:
Okay article though it misses a deeper, necessary analysis that is demonstrated through the collection of texts and infos posted on the Antidev entry on the same issue, more importantly the How -and even a hint to the Why- this shit is happening… especially in direct conjuncture with the recent attacks in Australia and Canada.
In short, the jihadists who did this are a global CULT (the Wahhabi Takfiri Salafists), who are *allegedly* a product of British imperialism, conveniently used by other foreign powers to lead operations of destabilization/radicalization for shared or unique goals. Their stronghold in Syria is historically known to be Aleppo, that also evenly has been the hotbed of the jihadist faction(s) of the current Syrian rebellion. In “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” (or the famous film adaptation) Lawrence particularly describes the Aleppo mercenaries as a bunch of bloodthirsty trigger-happy psychopaths who murder and torture with joy. The Wahhabist are the offspring of the Saud family/regime, that is in bed with most Western powers, especially the “neocon” faction of their establishment. They basically have become Saudi Arabia’s MI6.
More importantly, the Salafi consider most other Muslims as “infidels” who must be forced by terror or murderous violence to join their ranks (wherever they don’t want to), or see it as the most viable option in a situation of increased oppression against Muslims, Which is in line with what ISIS has been doing lately… recruiting jobless, repressed young Muslim guys all over the planet to give them a new life as warriors for the Jihad. They don’t care killing other Shia or Sunni Muslims, even less non-Muslims, as long as it serves their authoritarian agenda.
Their purpose (how they are being used) in the West appears to be in force-fulfilling the “Clash of Civilizations” theory, in helping to provoke a polarization between Christians/Jews and Muslims, perhaps also between the current East-West blocs (the reemerging Eurasian Vs collapsing West European civilizations), where the White Euro reactionaries are playing on the other side of the stage for this same common goal. They are the continuity -or resurgence- of the Plan Bleu. But it’s all just assumptions on what’s happening, towards what’s coming…
Cayenne pepper popcorn aside, I believe that our best non-staged role to play as antagonists is among the audience of spectators, especially in breaking apart this huge shitshow of Terror.
The “IamNotCharlie” Twitter trend seems to have been successful to that regard. That’s just another Twitter online “riot”, though it drawn a clear line, so rarely seen, between the authoritarian world and all those who oppose it, no matter their background or usual political stances.
Given how it pissed off the Jpost zionists it’s quite revealing how successful it’s been as a spontaneous attack on the Spectacle.”
The second is from an email list:
“What is the social and economic ground of the existence of Political Islam and what else is it correlated to, according to your opinion?”
What means to build a State? Even if you can define a territory where you impose a domination because you have the weapons and some kind of an ideology, people have to live in this territory and must have some kind of economic and social relations. I did not see any kind of theory about that in this islamic state. On the contrary, the muslim brothers failed totally in Egypt and Tunisia because they have no “programme” of this kind and were only following the capitalist system. On the other hand we have to consider the global world problem in which the western capitalist failed totally to maintain his interests in Afghanistan , Irak and in Syria, this failure opening the door for the “islamic” state. All this debate about what happened in France ( a tiny part of the world islamic violence) missed these essential problems.
Guess which of these 2 have faced prosecution by the French state? The answer is here.