L'Humanité in English
Translation of selective papers from the french daily newspaper l'Humanité
decorHome > Editorial > “Fight Back!”

EditorialWorldPoliticsEconomySocietyCultureScience & TechnologySportInternational Communist and Labor Press"Tribune libre"Comment and OpinionBlogsLinks


by Claude Cabanes

“Fight Back!”

Translated Monday 24 September 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Day after day, the daily news provides many examples of a system in crisis.

The disorder born at the very heart of the capitalist mechanism is causing serious tramatism, as the readers of this newspaper very well know. But this crisis in the system’s clockwork is also echoed in every aspect of life, even the most ordinary aspects, and sometimes where least expected. Thus, day after day, the lapping waves of current events bring us many “minor events” to which the source of the crisis gives birth, often in confusion and distress.

Recently, for example, there was a peremptory call to French youth: “Get lost!” [1] If it was an invitation to travel the world, the younger generation did not wait for the authors of this text to take to the road, and in fact it is demonstrating spirit and pluck in dashing to the four corners of the world. In the past, at best, the continents paid no attention to each other, at worst, they fought one another: today, they are getting to know each other.

But it was not this internationalist spirit, which is dear to us, that animated this call to “get lost!” The idea seems, in fact, to occupy the mind of the richest man in France and in Europe – Bernard Arnault. And he is not the only example from that posh little world: The co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, on the eve of becoming a multi-billionaire with the floating of Facebook on the Stock Market, gave up his U.S. passport to escape from “made in the USA” taxes,” and took up residence in Singapore.

This is decidedly a Pavlovian reflex on the part of the ultra-rich. There are others who are also tempted by the dream of abandoning everything and taking off. Aboard a makeshift vessel. They are escaping from famine. Sometimes, within signt of an Italian island, or an African coast, they die. Drowned. So, young people, “get lost!”

And then, they say that Spain is all in a tizzy over the secret whispered by one of the world’s great soccer players, Ronaldo, who plays for one of the greatest teams in the world, the Real Madrid. He admitted on television that he isn’t happy. The people of Spain, who are being throttled by the absolute pauperization imposed by the dignitaries in Brussels, are having a hard time understanding the chagrin of a man who’s making money like Croesus.

Once again, and there is decidedly no end in sight, the problematic of money comes up: the only, predominant, and crushing social indicator in our society. When all is said and done, for merchants on the market, a soccer player is a piece of merchandise, isn’t he? And now, thrown into the bargain (pardon the pun), Barcelona is agitated by a gigantic demonstration in the name of Catalonia and Europe. …Many years ago, Karl Marx explained that nationalism is a kind of calming superstition during an economic crisis…

And this piece of news, again. Contraception is declining among poor young women because the pills are too expensive. The depths of misery…!

And was it really necessary to add these little symbolic cultural defeats to the human and industrial disaster of the Aulnay-sous-Bois Peugeot factory, and to the other tragedies that are threatening companies – i.e. the abandoning of plans for a National Music Center, a Photography Museum, and an enlargement of the Opéra Bastille for the Comédie-Française? …There’s no connection? Perhaps… But there’s the same root, the system and its war.

There’s no end to this growing catalogue from the times we’re living in. And we certainly also have to add, without delay, the shiny somber granite of a dire thought: A French writer and editor, Richard Millet, has exalted the literary quality of the deeds of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian killer, the armed wing of modern fascism… The economic crisis is branding with a red-hot iron the counter-revolutionary cycle that History has been in for almost forty years now.

[1or "clear off". « Barrez-vous ! », in French

Follow site activity RSS 2.0 | Site Map | Translators’ zone | SPIP