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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Des nazis sans uniforme

by By Jacques Broda, sociology professor

A Spectre of Nazism

Translated by John O’Neil

Translated Monday 20 March 2006, by John O’Neil

Fifteen years ago we were denouncing the very palpable degradation of social cohesion and human values. We were talking about a veritable dehumanization, a savaging of social relations. Today, we are attaining degrees of absolute horror.

Racism, anti-semitism, exclusion, man’s exploitation of man and self-extermination are pulverizing sixty years of fraternal solidarity values. We can no longer turn a blind eye or simply analyse the root causes of the suburban riots, the abduction, torture and murder of a Jewish man in Bagneux or the First Employment Contract laws - the CPEs - that will erode job security. They all share common haunting themes of pervasive hate, violence, and recurrent discrimination. This cup of suffering is full.

But for this spectre of nazism, it is not far from the cup to the lips. Barbaric: to be without language. Barbarism: vicious expression. Murder after murder, barbarity is neither in the past nor somewhere out there in the future, it simply is. It signals today’s reality.

How have we come to this juncture? Thirty years of resigning ourselves to dishonest compromises and watching all kinds of exclusion become commonplace. Unethical policies concerning the alienation of assembly-line work and the loss of jobs, recurrent dehumanizing maginality, the power of money, fascist hatefulness, and a direct assault on identity values send us hurtling toward disaster.

Nazism in a lesser form is composed of scorn, insult, torture, crime, verbal attacks, harassment, overexploitation to the point of exhaustion. The whole society is tainted in its most despicable, negligent and complacent forms, complicit in tolerating the spread of a cancer throughout it.

Resistance is insufficient. It organizes, rises up, puts up a more or less united front, makes speeches or mobilizes sporadically. It is entirely unreliable.

What’s at stake for civilization passes unsaid, it is not identified for what it is : socialism or barbarism. Tragically, the former has been identified as the latter. This confusion lowers our hopes. We need to pull ourselves up.

The turning point lies between a post-traumatic lucidity (1956) and a pre-revolutionary hope by way of an uncompromising code of ethics analyzing and condemning all barbarous acts (from lay-offs to torture), but also, and above all, an overall policy that collectively and individually serves and reflects the code of ethics and not the perverted reverse.

This self-work is real psychological work that each militant can conduct first on a personal level, then at the collective level, in response to this surge of hate. The French Communist Party congress has to be the right time and place to promote communist values and ethics.

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