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I'm an Irish guy living in France. I like music, books, creative writing, art, history, vegetarianism, people, and chocolate.

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Thursday 13 November 2008

Anarchism : the next scapegoat?


Last week the SNCF (French national railway company) complained about several acts of sabotage which took place on its railway network. None of them put anyone's life in danger, and they apparently weren't done with the aim of derailing trains, but they had the potential of causing a lot of damage.
Just a day or two after the news hit the headlines, the French government anounced that they had already arrested a number of "suspected terrorists" : a group of "ultra-leftist autonomist anarchists".
What struck me (and a lot of French people) was that the government seemed to have moved very quickly... too quickly? Suspiciously quickly, at any rate.
Now all the newspapers are talking of the anarchist movement as if it's the next big terrorist threat. The people who were arrested were residents of an anarchist commune towards the South of France. According to Le Monde (the only newspaper which seems to have been unbiased in its coverage of the incident), there is absolutely no material evidence that they are in any way linked to the acts of sabotage. Which means that they are being detained only because of their political beliefs, under legislation which allows suspected terrorists to be detained up to four days without seeing a lawyer.
What really angered me is that Libération, which is supposed to be a centre-left newspaper, used the government's own terminology ("autonomist-anarchist movement") indiscriminately, tarring all anarchists with the same brush... as if anarchism was a single, monolithic movement, and a violent one at that. There is anarcho-syndicalism, pacifist anarchism, green anarchism, anarcho-capitalism, christian anarchism, anarcha-feminism... the list goes on and on. Lumping all those different ideologies and belief systems together is very unwise, and intellectually dishonest.
France has quite a strong leftist heritage, but not of a libertarian socialist kind... More of an authoritarian, statist type of leftism. The state is very centralised here, and it has been very strong for centuries : France has never had a strong parliamentarian tradition like in the UK or Germany. So I suppose that any ideology which attacks centralisation of power and a strong state is under threat of being targeted. And Sarkozy, although he is by no means a socialist, is firmly statist. Historians say he wields more power in France than Charles de Gaulle did back in the 1950s-1960s...
Is anarchism going to be France's next scapegoat? Only time will tell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

China and Russia put the blame on some screwed up experiments of US for the earthquake that happened in Haiti.
Chinese and Russian Military scientists, these reports say, are concurring with Canadian researcher, and former Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazine, Benjamin Fulford, who in a very disturbing video released from his Japanese offices to the American public, details how the United States attacked China by the firing of a 90 Million Volt Shockwave from the Americans High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facilities in Alaska
If we can recollect a previous news when US blamed Russia for the earthquake in Georgio. What do you guys think? Is it really possible to create an earthquake by humans?
I came across this [url=http://universalages.com/hot-news/what-happened-in-haiti-is-it-related-to-haarp/]article about Haiti Earthquake[/url] in some blog it seems very interesting, but conspiracy theories have always been there.



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