person:napoléon

  • L’#Union_sociale pour l’#habitat fête ses 90 ans
    https://www.banquedesterritoires.fr/lunion-sociale-pour-lhabitat-fete-ses-90-ans

    L’#Union_sociale_pour_l’habitat a été créée en 1929. Elle rappelle, dans une frise historique débutant en 1889, que « l’histoire du logement social en France est étroitement liée à celle de la révolution industrielle ». Il visait alors plusieurs objectifs : lutter contre les « conditions misérables d’habitat des #ouvriers » ; mais aussi « protéger la #famille - pivot de la société - et donc de favoriser la #natalité » ; et même « lutter contre le socialisme naissant » (la meilleure solution étant de « combattre pacifiquement l’émeute en rendant l’ouvrier propriétaire » aurait dit Napoléon III).

    #hlm

  • Paris révolutionnaire
    http://www.parisrevolutionnaire.com

    Ce site est totalement désintéressé et tient à le rester.
    Son seul but est de participer à transmettre, à partir des lieux parisiens les plus précis possible — c’est la règle du jeu qu’il s’est fixée — la mémoire de ce qui, au long des siècles, a œuvré au progrès ; et cela sous deux formes :

    ► celle d’une base de données constituée de mini-fiches consultables par arrondissements, par quartiers, par rues, par personnages, par évènements...
    ► ou celle de flâneries dans le dédale des rues de Paris.

    Au cours de ces balades, nous évoquerons bien sûr des événements et des personnages « révolutionnaires ». Révolutionnaires au sens politique du terme, mais aussi de tout ce qui a fait avancer l’Humanité dans les domaines les plus divers : celui des idées, celui des sciences, des techniques, des arts, de la culture en général… du progrès social en particulier.

    Or, comment évoquer celles et ceux qui ont fait « avancer le Monde » sans dresser leurs figures emblématiques face à des individus ou à des institutions qui se sont opposés à ce progrès, qui ont combattu et parfois martyrisé ceux qui le portaient, tout en se prétendant eux aussi parfois « révolutionnaires », tels Adolphe Thiers, ou les deux Napoléon ?...

    Et puis nous découvrirons ça et là, au fil des rues et du temps, toutes ces petites curiosités qui ne sont pas forcément en rapport avec l’"Histoire", mais qui font le charme de cette merveilleuse cité qu’est Paris.

    Nous tenons nos sources à la disposition de quiconque serait intéressé. En retour, si vous détenez des informations dans l’esprit de ce site ; ou si vous avez des compléments ou rectifications à y apporter, n’hésitez pas à nous les communiquer :

    parisrevolutionnaire@gmail.com

    « La propriété privée, c’est le vol ! », disait Proudhon.
    Celle des connaissances l’est en particulier.

  • ENQUIRE WITHIN UPON EVERYTHING
    http://www.colourcountry.net/enquire/index.html

    IN AN EDITION ESPECIALLY PREPARED FOR THE WORLD-WIDE WEB, By A GENTLEMAN.

    “Whether you wish to model a flower in wax; to study the rules of etiquette; to serve relish for breakfast or supper; to plan a dinner for a large party or a small one; to cure a headache; to make a will; to get married; to bury a relative; whatever you may wish to do, make, or to enjoy, provided your desire has relation to the necessities of domestic life, I hope you will not fail to ’Enquire Within.’” —Editor.

    This is an online version of the famed Victorian self-help guide (1884 edition). Currently about 1/3 of the book is available for browsing. Search facilities may appear once the whole book is online.

    –----

    1. Choice of Articles of Food.
    27. Names and Situations of the Various Joints.
    28. Meats.
    29. Relative Economy of the Joints.
    30. Food in Season.
    31. In Season in January.
    32. In Season in February.
    33. In Season in March.
    34. In Season in April.
    35. In Season in May.
    36. In Season in June.
    37. In Season in July.
    38. In Season in August.
    39. In Season in September.
    40. In Season in October.
    41. In Season in November.
    42. In Season in December.
    43. Drying Herbs.
    44. Dr. Kitchiner’s Rules for Marketing.
    45. The Family Circle
    46. Evening Pastimes.
    47. Acrostics.
    48. Acrostics (Double).
    49. Acrostics (Triple)
    50. Anagrams
    51. Arithmorems.
    52. Charades
    53. Charades (Acted).
    54. Words
    55. Chronograms or Chronographs
    56. Conundrums.
    57. Cryptography
    58. Decapitations and Curtailments
    59. Enigmas
    60. Hidden Words.
    61. Lipogram.
    62. Logogriph.
    63. Metagram
    64. Palindrome
    65. Puzzles
    68. Diamond Puzzle.
    69. Rebuses
    70. Square Words.
    71. Chess, Laws of.
    72. Draughts, Rules of the Game.
    73. Whist.
    80. Cribbage.
    91. All Fours
    95. Loo.
    101. Put.
    105. Speculation
    106. Connexions.
    108. Matrimony.
    109. Pope Joan.
    110. Cassino.
    113. Vingt-un.
    117. Quadrille.
    118. Ecarte.
    120. Euchre
    122. Bezique.
    123. Mode of Playing.
    130. Napoleon.
    131. Picquet.
    132. Poker, or Draw Poker
    133. Lansquenet.
    134. Quinze
    135. Solitaire.
    136. Backgammon.
    137. Dominoes.
    139. Quadrilles.
    159. Terms used to Describe the Movements of Dances.
    160. Scandal—Live it down.
    161. Errors in Speaking.
    181. Rules and Hints for Correct Speaking.
    182. Pronunciation.
    196. Rules of Pronunciation.
    197. Proper Pronunciations of Words often Wrongly Pronounced.
    198. Punctuation.
    216. Conversation.
    223. Composition.
    236. Addresses of Letters.
    237. Addresses of Persons of Rank and Distinction:-
    246. Addresses of Petitions, &c.
    247. To those who Write for the Press.
    248.—Hints to those who have Pianofortes.
    249. Gardening Operations for the Year.
    275. Artificial Mushroom Beds.
    276. Dwarf Plants.
    277. To clear Rose Trees from Blight.
    278. To prevent Mildew on all sorts of Trees.
    279. Toads
    280. Slugs and Snails
    281. Traps for Snails.
    282. Grubs
    283. Caterpillars and Aphids.
    284. Butterflies and Moths,
    285. To prevent Destruction of Fruit Buds by Birds.
    286. Wasps
    287. Cure for Sting of Wasp or Bee.
    288. To protect Dahlias from Earwigs.
    289. To free Plants from Leaf-Lice.
    290. A Moral.
    291. Taking a House.
    296. If you are about to Furnish a House,
    297. Carpets.
    306. In Choosing Paper for a Room,
    307. The best Covering for a Kitchen Floor
    308. Family Tool Chests.
    329. Beds for the Poor.
    330. To Preserve Tables.
    331. Gilt Frames
    332. Damp Walls.
    334. Bedrooms
    335. To get rid of a Bad Smell in a Room newly painted.
    336. Smell of Paint.
    337. If a Larder, by its Position,
    338. To keep a Door open,
    339. To Ascertain whether a Bed be Aired.
    340. To prevent the Smoking of a Lamp.
    341. Water
    342. To Soften Hard Water,
    343. Cabbage Water
    344. A little Charcoal
    345. Where a Chimney smokes
    346. Ground Glass.
    347. Family Clocks
    348. Neat Mode of Soldering.
    349. Maps and Charts.
    350. Furniture
    351. Paper Fire Screens
    352. Pastilles for Burning.
    353. Easy Method of Breaking Glass to any required Figure.
    354. Bottling and Fining.
    355. To Sweeten Casks.
    356. Oil Paintings
    357. To Loosen Glass Stoppers of Bottles.
    358. The Best Oil for Lamps,
    359. China Teapots
    360. Care of Linen.
    363. Cleansing of Furniture.
    374. Carpets.
    375. Cleaning Carpets.
    376. Beat a Carpet
    377. Sweeping Carpets.
    378. A Half-worn Carpet
    379. A Stair Carpet
    380. Oilcloth
    381. Straw Matting
    382. Method of Cleaning Paper-Hangings.
    383. Rosewood Furniture
    384. Ottomans and Sofas,
    385. Dining Tables
    386. Mahogany Frames
    387. To Clean Cane-bottom Chairs.
    388. Alabaster.
    389. To Clean Marble.
    390. Glass
    391. Glass Vessels,
    392. Bottles.
    393. Cleaning Japanned Waiters, Urns, &c.
    394. Papier Maché
    395. Brunswick Black for Varnishing Grates.
    396. Blacking for Stoves
    397. To Clean Knives and Forks.
    398. For Cleaning Painted Wainscot
    399. To Scour Boards.
    400. Charcoal.
    401. To take Stains out of Mahogany Furniture.
    402. To take Ink-Stains out of Mahogany.
    403. To remove Ink-Stains from Silver.
    404. To take Ink-Stains out of a Coloured Table-Cover.
    405. Ink Stains.
    406. To take Ink out of Boards.
    407. Oil or Grease
    408. Marble may be Cleaned
    409. Silver and Plated Wire
    410. Bronzed Chandeliers, Lamps, &c.,
    411. To Clean Brass Ornaments.
    412. For Cleaning Brasses
    413. Brasses, Britannia Metal, Tins, Coppers, &c.,
    414. To preserve Steel Goods from Rust.
    415. To keep Iron and Steel Goods from Rust.
    416. Iron Wipers.
    417. To Clean Looking-Glasses.
    418. To Clean Mirrors, &c.
    419. China and Glass.
    425. To take Marking-Ink out of Linen.
    426. To take Stains of Wine out of Linen.
    427. Fruit Stains in Linen.
    428. Mildewed Linen
    429. To keep Moths, Beetles, &c., from Clothes.
    430. Clothes Closets
    431. To remove Stains from Floors.
    432. Scouring Drops for removing Grease.
    433. To take Grease out of Velvet or Cloth.
    434. Medicine Stains
    435. To Extract Grease Spots from Books or Paper.
    437. To take Writing Ink out of Paper.
    438. A Hint on Household Management.
    439. Domestic Rules.
    440. An Ever-dirty Hearth,
    441. Economy.
    471. Blacking for Leather Seats, &c.
    472. Black Reviver for Black Cloth.
    473. A Green Paint for Garden Stands, &c.,
    474. Hints for Home Comfort.
    475. Domestic Pharmacopœia.
    476. Collyria, or Eye Washes.
    485. Confections and Electuaries.
    498. Decoctions.
    502. Embrocations and Liniments.
    510. Enemas.
    519. Gargles.
    527. Lotions.
    541. Ointments and Cerates.
    548. Pills.
    555. Mixtures.
    565. Drinks.
    568. Powders.
    578. Miscellaneous.
    589. Diseases.
    650. Prescriptions.
    652. Medicines (Aperient).
    659. Medicines.
    666. Process of Making Medicine.
    676. Precautions to be Observed in Giving Medicines.
    689. Drugs, with their Properties and Doses.
    691. General Stimulants.
    692. Narcotics.
    701. Antispasmodics.
    714. Tonics.
    720. Astringents.
    728. Local Stimulants.
    729. Emetics.
    732. Cathartics.
    750. Diuretics.
    756. Diaphoretics.
    761. Expectorants.
    764. Sialogogues.
    766. Epispastics and Rubefacients.
    769. Chemical Remedies.
    770. Refrigerants.
    773. Antacids.
    775. Antalkalies
    778. Escharotics.
    782. Medical Remedies.
    783. Anthelmintics.
    787. Demulcents.
    794. Diluents.
    795. Emollients.
    796. Domestic Surgery.
    797. Dressings.
    811. Bandages.
    835. Apparatus.
    838. Minor Operations.
    851.—Terms used to express the Properties of Medicines.
    908. Special Rules for the Prevention of Cholera.
    909. Rules for the Preservation of Health.
    925. Homœopathy.
    930. Treatment of Ailments by Homœopathy.
    962. Signs of the Weather.
    969. The Chemical Barometer.
    970. Signification of Names.
    973. Hints on the Barometer.
    984. Cheap Fuel.
    985. Economy of Fuel.
    997. The “Parson’s” or Front Fire Grate.
    998. Whenever Oil,
    999. Candles
    1000. In Lighting Candles
    1001. Night Lights.
    1002. Revolving Ovens.
    1003. Yeast.
    1004. Yeast.
    1005. Economical Yeast.
    1007. Home-made Bread.
    1008. Indian Corn Flour and Wheaten Bread.
    1009. To make Bread with German Yeast.
    1010. Unfermented Bread.
    1011. Baking Powders and Egg Powders.
    1012. How to Use Baking Powder, &c.
    1013. Bread (Cheap and Excellent).
    1014. Economical and Nourishing Bread.
    1015. A great increase on Home-made Bread,
    1016. Rye and Wheat Flour,
    1017. Potatoes in Bread.
    1018. Use of Lime Water in making Bread.
    1019. Rice Bread.
    1020. Apple Bread.
    1021. Pulled Bread.
    1022. French Bread and Rolls.
    1023. Rolls.
    1024. Sally Lunn Tea Cakes.
    1025. Cooking Instruments.
    1032. Various Processes of Cooking.
    1035. Roasting.
    1048. Fillet of Veal
    1064. Poultry, Game, &c.
    1068. Boiling.
    1080. Economy of Fat.

    cf.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enquire_Within_Upon_Everything
    https://archive.org/search.php?query=Enquire%20Within%20Upon%20Everything

    #www #encyclopédie #1884 #1856

  • Raymond SACKLER Officier of the Legion of Honor - France in the United States / Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
    https://fr.franceintheus.org/spip.php?article5052

    Dear Dr. Sackler,
    Dear Mrs. Sackler
    Distinguished guests,
    American and French friends,

    It is a great pleasure and honor for me to be here with you today on this very special occasion and I would like to express my warmest thanks to Raymond Sackler, whom we are honoring today, for welcoming us to this beautiful location.

    We are gathered here this afternoon to honor one of the most remarkable medical doctors in the field of Psychiatry and a very successful businessmanwho is also a great friend of France and an exceptional individual, Raymond Sackler.

    I would like to thank Mr. Sackler’s family and friends who have joined us here this afternoon to show their support and admiration, with a special word of appreciation to his wife Beverly, to whom I also want to pay tribute.

    Before proceeding with the ceremony, I would like to say a few words about the award I will bestow upon Mr. Sackler. The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to reward extraordinary accomplishments and outstanding services rendered to France.
    It is France’s highest distinction and one of the most coveted in the world. And the rank of officier that I will bestow upon Raymond Sackler is truly exceptional.

    Dear Dr. Sackler,

    You have accomplished so much that it is difficult to briefly sum up all of your outstanding achievements.

    Already at a very young age, you were interested in France and French culture. You first visited France in 1939, and since then, have come to France very often, becoming a true Francophile, as evidenced throughout your professional life and philanthropic activities.

    Together with your brother Mortimer, also a medical doctor, you created a pharmaceutical laboratory in France that was and still is a great success story. Being aware of the caliber of French research in medical and pharmaceutical sciences, you chose France for their first industrial investment, co-funding Les Laboratoires SARGET (today MEDA-PHARMA). You developed this company by creating or acquiring several subsidiaries in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal.

    You were incredibly successful, bringing the “Laboratoires SARGET” from a staff of a few hundred people in 1961, when it was created, to more than two thousand in 1987, when it was sold. With your brother and family, you later created another pharmaceutical company, MUNDIPHARMA, which is still growing, creating many jobs in France, and thus significantly contributing to the rise of the pharmaceutical industry in our country.

    At the same time, you and your wife, Beverly, became patrons of a number of worthy causes: many scientific institutions, universities, and museums such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux have benefited from your generosity. You also expressed a special interest in IHES, the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, that is very well represented this afternoon.

    I’d like to recognize the new Chairman of the Friends of IHES, Prof. Michael Douglas, the new Director of IHES Emmanuel Ullmo and its former director Jean-Pierre Bourguignon.

    If IHES is what it is today, a worldclass scientific center that is second to none, it is to a large extend thanks to you mon cher Jean-Pierre, to your talent, dedication and commitment to the Institute.

    It is also thanks to the support of many of you, Luc Hardy, and Raymond and Beverly Sackler in particular.

    Cher Raymond,

    Since 1990, you have made 3 donations to IHES, leading to the creation of 2 permanent endowments to host 2 scientists every year. You also supported the agreement between IHES and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Mathematical Sciences at Tel Aviv University. You encouraged IHES to diversify its scientific activities by making an additional donation in 2012 to create a Chair in Physics and Cosmology.

    Your long friendship and tremendous generosity toward French arts and science mirror your exceptional qualities as human beings. Your professional and social success go hand in hand with a unwavering intellectual curiosity and a strong commitment to future generations.

    You were originally named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by President Mitterrand. Your name had been proposed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benoît d’Abboville, then French Consul in New York, who presented you with the award here in New York in 1990.

    Today, in recognition of your continued dedication and commitment to French-American cultural and scientific cooperation, the President of the French Republic has promoted you to the rank of Officier dans l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur.

    It is my great pleasure and privilege to award you this distinction. I will now proceed in French:

    Raymond SACKLER,

    Au nom du Président de la République, je vous fais Officier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Légion_honneur

    • Je sais pas si on peu se fié au site de MEDA-PHARAM mais ce labo de la famille Sackler ne vent pas d’Opioides. C’est plutot des anti-verrus, spray à l’eau de mer pour nettoyé le nez et des trucs sans ordonnances.

      Mais comme le texte de la légion d’honneur qui le mentionne date de l’époque mittérand, je sais pas si les Sackler sont encore les principaux actionnaires de ce labo. MEDA-PHARAM à une adresse en belgique mais ca doit rien vouloir dire sur les actionnaires je présume.

      Pour MUNDI-PHARAM ca semble etre la partie distribution de PURDUE qui serait le fabriquant et je croi avoir lu que c’est aussi MUNDI-PHARMA qui est la branche qui donne une belle image de mécénat à la famille.

      Je savais pas que ca commencait au Bresil. Si les dealeurs peuvent faire des cocktails puissants pour pas cher avec le fentanyl il n’y a pas de raison que ca s’exporte pas un peu partout. Sutout qu’il y a aussi le #cairfentanyl qui se commande sur Tor a des labos chinois.

  • Qui est Cunégonde ?

    https://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Candide,_ou_l%E2%80%99Optimisme/Beuchot_1829/Chapitre_27

    Cunégonde et la vieille servent chez ce prince dont je vous ai parlé, et moi je suis esclave du sultan détrôné. Que d’épouvantables calamités enchaînées les unes aux autres ! dit Candide. Mais, après tout, j’ai encore quelques diamants ; je délivrerai aisément Cunégonde. C’est bien dommage qu’elle soit devenue si laide.

    Une première réponse
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candide#Cun%C3%A9gonde

    Voltaire était ami avec une dame allemande, comtesse dans une minuscule principauté endettée. Ses déboires et son caractère auraient servi de source d’inspiration quand Voltaire inventa le personnage de Cunégonde. En réalité ce fut une femme extraordinaire féministe avant le mot.

    Charlotte Sophie von Bentinck Aldenburg
    http://www.correspondance-voltaire.de/html/bentinck.php

    Bentinck, Charlotte Sophie Gräfin von
    * 5.8.1715 Varel (Oldenburg), † 4.2.1800 Hamburg. (reformiert)
    https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/sfz3764.html

    Charlotte Sophie, countess Bentinck, her life and times, 1715-1800 : Le Blond, Aubrey, Mrs : Internet Archive
    https://archive.org/details/charlottesophiec01lebliala

    Full text of "Charlotte Sophie, countess Bentinck, her life and times, 1715-1800"
    https://archive.org/stream/charlottesophiec01lebliala/charlottesophiec01lebliala_djvu.txt

    CHARLOTTE SOPHIE, Countess Bentinck, nee Countess of Aldenburg, Sove-reign Lady of Varel, Kniphausen, etc. (to give her, once for all, her full title), lived in an extremely interesting period of European history. During the eighty-five years of her life from 1715 to 1800 France passed from Louis XIV
    through the age of Voltaire and Rousseau to the Revolution, and when Charlotte Sophie died Napoleon held all Europe in his grip. The Empire, under Marie Therese, and Prussia, under Frederick the Great, entered on the long struggle of the Seven Years* War, and Russia was for many years in the hands of Catherine II. Of what transcendent interest passing events must have been to a woman who was personally acquainted with all the people involved

    Charlotte Sophie von Aldenburg Bentinck (comtesse de, 1715-1800) : nom d’alliance
    http://data.bnf.fr/13174416/charlotte_sophie_von_aldenburg_bentinck

    Charlotte Sophie Bentinck – Wikipedia
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Sophie_Bentinck


    L’article en allemand est assez complèt contrairement à l’entrée en anglais.

    In Hamburg (ab 1768)
    Nachdem sich Charlotte Sophie mit mehreren deutschen Höfen überworfen hatte, zog sie 1768 nach Hamburg, wo sie über dreissig Jahre wohnte - länger als an keinem anderen Ort. Hier wohnte sie in prominenter Lage am Jungfernstieg Nr. 3, Ecke Neuer Wall und zog später ins ländliche Eimsbüttel. Wegen der engen persönlichen Beziehungen zur aristokratischen Gesellschaft der Generalstaaten und wegen ihrer zahlreichen Verwandtschaft in England verstand sie sich als Repräsentantin des Adels. In ihrem Salon, den sie aufgrund ihrer vielseitigen literarischen Bildung veranstaltete, verkehrten Diplomaten, die in Hamburg akkreditiert waren und dem Adel angehörten und nach 1789 Angehörige des französischen Adels, die vor den Schrecken der Revolution geflohen waren. Mit ihrem Salon bildete sie einen anerkannten Gegenpol zu den bürgerlichen Zirkeln in Hamburg. Einer dieser Zirkel, genauer der von Elise Reimarus und Margaretha Büsch, gab sich zum Zwecke der Abgrenzung den Namen „Theetisch“.

    Hamburg, Jungfernstieg 4-5, la maison Jungfernstieg 3 sur la Alster a fait place à un pavillon touristique.
    https://www.openstreetmap.org/search?query=Hamburg%20Jungfernstieg%204#map=19/53.55198/9.99343
    https://www.google.de/maps/place/Jungfernstieg+3,+20095+Hamburg/@53.5537658,9.9917507,3a,75y,48.88h,100.46t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sH2GLvHSTkbo8XIocg7cCeA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x47b

    Schloss Bückeburg
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schloss_B%C3%BCckeburg

    Les secrets de fabrication de « Candide »
    http://www.lefigaro.fr/livres/2007/11/08/03005-20071108ARTFIG00104-les-secrets-de-fabrication-de-candide.php?mode=im

    Voltaire a parlé de Ragotski dans le chap. XXII du Siècle
    de Louis XIV
     ; voyez tome XX. Ragotski est mort en 1785. B.

    François II Rákóczi — Wikipédia
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_II_R%C3%A1k%C3%B3czi


    Un admirateur et protégé de Louis XIV. , personnage dont se sert Voltaire pour ironiser la cour de Versailles et sa politique. Dans Candide il est mentionné comme le roi déchu Ragotski .

    Rákóczi, « L’Autobiographie d’un prince rebelle. Confession • Mémoires »
    https://www.notesdumontroyal.com/note/449

    Rákóczi Ferenc II Prince of Transylvania 1676-1735 [WorldCat Identities]
    http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n80019655

    Works: 679 works in 1,228 publications in 10 languages and 4,540 library holdings
    Genres: History Sources Biography Records and correspondence Fiction Art Pictorial works
    Roles: Author, Honoree, Editor, Other, Creator, Dedicatee, Signer
    Classifications: DB932.4, 943.91

    Candide ou le détour oriental de monsieur de Voltaire, Abdel Aziz Djabali, p. 93-112
    http://books.openedition.org/cedej/234

    #histoire #littérature #philosophie #politique

  • Gregory Klimov. The Terror Machine. Chapter 17
    http://g-klimov.info/klimov-pp-e/ETM17.htm

    A Member of the Politburo

    Before me lies a yellowing sheet of coarse paper, which looks as though it has been torn out of one of my old school exercise books. Large writing, like a child’s, written in faint ink, which has been watered again and again.

    I have difficulty in reading the carefully formed letters written with a rusty nib: “My dear grandson... I am sitting by the light of a paraffin wick, just like it was in 1921, to write to you. The electricity is switched on for only two hours a day, and that not every day. I have pushed the table over close to the oven, where it is a little warmer. There’s a terrible draught coming from the window, though I’ve stopped up all the cracks with wool...”

    No electricity! No coal for the stove! And this two years after the victorious close of the war. And in the heart of the Donietz Basin, the richest coal field in Europe.

    Yet it is not suprising. Before the war the students at our Institute attended lectures all the winter in fur coats and fur caps. Our fingers froze, but we couldn’t put our hands in our pockets because we had to take notes. The boiler for the central heating of the Novocherkassk Industrial Institute was intended to burn Donietz anthracite, but now it was fueled with useless shale. We were amazed when we saw that the German periodical, Der Bergbau, which was in the Institute library, contained advertisements offering Donietz anthracite for export at cheap rates.

    A friend of mine, Vassily Shulgin, once achieved a temporary fame in the Faculty for Energetics. Somehow or other he got hold of an electrically heated airman’s suit, such as is used by arctic flyers. From the laboratory for electro-technics he obtained a transformer, which he placed under his desk, and it was easy enough to get hold of a long piece of cable. At one touch of a switch he became a celebrity. The first day he tried it out we were more interested in seeing whether he would go up in smoke and flames than in listening to our professor. To be on the safe side, one of his close friends brought in a fire extinguisher from the corridor and put it close to hand.

    Vassily’s triumph was a nine-days’ wonder. Sometimes he proudly switched off the heat, and then the freezing students realized that he was too hot. We were all as proud of that baggy figure on the backbench as if we had shared in his ingenuity.

    To the general consternation, one frosty morning in January he turned up in his old overcoat. When we insisted on knowing the reason why he curtly replied that the works had gone wrong. He confided the bitter truth to only a few intimate friends. He had been summoned to the Special Department, the N. K. V. D. representative in the Institute, where he was ordered to stop his ’anti-Soviet demonstration’; otherwise his case would be passed to the ’requisite organs’. To tell the truth, the Special Department showed him a great favor in this instance. Here were all the students freezing and suffering in silence, and one of them tried to get warm: counter-revolutionary agitation and undermining socialist economy!

    That sort of thing continued all through the years before the war. That was the system. The people simply got used to it and didn’t even notice it.

    Now, after the war, the Germans were freezing in their unheated homes. Naturally they cursed the Soviet officers, who had no need to count every briquette. But it did not occur to them that in Russia these same officers’ families were freezing even more than the Germans.

    "... But I keep going. I’m on my feet all day; I manage all the housework. It’s a pity I haven’t got much strength, and my old bones ache. I can have only sweet tea, with a biscuit sometimes dipped in it. I only have two teeth left and I can’t chew anything.

    “Your mother goes off to work every morning at seven. In the evening she can hardly crawl home with the aid of a stick; she helps herself along by the fences. It isn’t so much that she’s tired with work as her nerves. Everybody’s so irritable, they swear at the least thing and won’t listen to you. She’s afraid to go to the post now to get your parcels. Robbers are on the lookout for people receiving parcels from Germany, and they break into their homes at night and kill the people. And in the daytime young boys - ’craftsmen’ - hang around the post office and snatch the parcels in broad daylight.”

    Mention of the ’craftsmen’ recalled to my mind the Molotov automobile works in the town of Gorky. I worked there at the beginning of the war, and I saw these so-called ’craftsmen’, the young recruits to the Soviet proletariat. Soviet industry began to experience difficulty in getting new hands, because the Soviet youth were not prepared to become ordinary workers, so the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet issued a decree: ’On the mobilization for factory-works and crafts schools’. In these schools millions of adolescents between the ages of fourteen and seventeen were enrolled.

    At Gorky these ’craftsmen’ attending the trade school attached to the works ate in the canteen. Their food was poor enough, but it was better than that issued to the older workers; after all, adolescents are not so class-conscious as adults and you can’t feed them only on slogans. In addition, many of the ’craftsmen’ were sent food from the villages where most of them had been recruited. So some-times they left their rations, and even, boy-like, littered the inedible food about the tables.

    As soon as the ’craftsmen’ had left the dining hall the workmen rushed in for their meal. Some of them hurried to the queue for food; others sat down at the table, for otherwise they would not have got a place until the more energetic proletarians had eaten; others went to the tables and surreptitiously ate the remains which the youngsters had left.

    On one side of the hall was a small room from which came the smell of eggs and bacon. That room was the canteen for the factory management: the director, the Party organizer, and other leaders. The workers were not particularly envious of the leaders; the bosses changed so often that the workers hardly had time to remember their names. And they were just as little interested in their further activities after they had gone. The workers knew that the stork brought them and the crow, the black N. K. V. D. prison van, took them away.

    During those war years a group of British sergeants and technicians worked at the Gorky Automobile Works, supervising the assembly of tanks sent to the U. S. S. R. under lend-lease. Of course they got a very favorable impression of the works.

    “... Yesterday your mother bought two glasses of Indian corn in the market. I crushed them in a mortar and we’ve been having maize porridge. It would have been very tasty if we could have got some butter to go with it. But it is cold now and the peasants aren’t bringing much to market. Potatoes, peas and milk are dear, and we mustn’t even think of meat or butter.” Here followed several lines blacked out by the censor.

    Two glasses of maize....

    In the early spring of 1945 I graduated from the Military College, and as I had exemption in certain subjects, I got through my state examination quickly and managed to obtain a week’s leave. I spent this at home, on the pretext that I was carrying out official duties in my home district. I went to the Kazan railway station in Moscow and, with a rucksack on my back, wandered about trying to find a way of getting a seat in a train. That was pretty hopeless, for some-times people tried for weeks, and even then had to give it up. I began to study the layout of the station, to see whether I could get a seat by a trick. My only advantages were that I had no heavy luggage, but plenty of youthful energy and all a Soviet citizen’s experience in such matters.

    “Brother, if I’m not mistaken you’ve got a T-T.” I heard a hoarse deep voice behind me, and a powerful hand clapped me on the shoulder. I looked round and saw a brawny sailor in the usual black blouse, his cap thrust to the back of his head. Despite the cold, his shirt was wide open at the chest, and his breast was gay with all the decorations of a sailor’s life; he was tattooed right up to his chin. One of those who ’don’t care a damn for anybody’ and always fall on their feet. He smiled at me as if we were old acquaintances and pointed to my pistol holster.

    “Yes, it’s a T-T. What about it?” I asked.

    “What train are you going by? The 11: 20?” he inquired. When I said yes, he gave me an even broader grin. “Well, then, everything’s okay! Let’s go!”

    “Go where?”

    “When I say ’let’s go’, we go! You keep in my wake. Have you just dropped out of the moon, brother?” my new relation demanded. To sailors all men are brothers.

    We went out of the station, crawled in the darkness over a roof or two, and through some fences. At last we reached the farther side of the station and the tracks. Guards were patrolling the platforms. Like diversionists we stole up to a train standing on the lines. All the carriages were locked.

    “Now let me have your T-T, brother,” the sailor ordered.

    “You’re not going to shoot?”

    “Of course not! You hold the magazine. And now look: here’s your railway ticket to the entire world.”

    He drew back the pistol hammer, and fixed it by the safety catch. Then he thrust the barrel into the carriage door lock. One turn and we were inside.

    “I’ve used this ticket more than any other,” my ’brother’ proudly explained, as he handed the pistol back to me. After that I, too, had more than one occasion to exploit this unusual means of unlocking carriage doors.

    On the threshold of my home I halted and looked about me. All the walls were sinking and slanting; the fences had gone; they had all been used for fuel. One could walk right through the town from house-yard to house-yard unhindered. As I opened the rickety door, with its rusty hinges and ingenious latch, I had very mixed feelings. In my heavy boots I stepped prudently over the creaking floorboards in the kitchen. Everything was rickety, neglected, rotting, like the old cottage in the fairy-story. I had to stoop to avoid knocking my head against the lintel as I passed into the next room.

    In one corner of the room, a little, hunched old woman in an apron was sitting by the stove. At one time she had carried me in her arms; now I could have picked her up with ease. Her gray hair was neatly arranged under her white kerchief, she had the same old shawl round her shoulders. At the sound of the door being opened she turned.

    “Grisha!” That one brief word conveyed all the experiences of the long war years: her hopes, her fears, her expectations and joys.

    “Granny!”

    I put my arms round her shoulders; I was afraid she would fall. We remained standing a long time, with her head pressed against my chest; she wept like a little child, but they were tears of joy. I gently stroked her back under her old flannel blouse. I felt her fragile bones, and was afraid my rough hands would hurt her.

    “Where’s mother?” I asked.

    “She’s at work. She gets home at six.”

    “I’ll send a boy to tell her I’m home,” I suggested as I took off my greatcoat.

    “No, don’t, Grisha! For God’s sake!” my old grandmother murmured fearfully. “She’ll be so glad she’ll leave her work and come home, and then they may take her to court.”

    I felt my collar suddenly grow tight as the blood rushed to my head and roared in my ears. So that was how a Soviet mother was allowed to welcome her soldier son after four years of separation!

    My mother came home from work late in the evening. Granny had prepared a festive table in honor of my homecoming. She proudly brought out a tiny tin of honey and set it on the table, then a tiny medicine bottle of homemade cherry wine. When I went to my rucksack and began to hand out all kinds of cans of American preserves my mother’s eyes lit up with joy and relief. They were both hungry, but that was not so bad as the realization that they had nothing to make a feast for their son who had come safely home after a long absence. Now they had American cans of conserves on the table!

    Whenever Russian people hear mention of the words ’lend-lease’ they think of cans piled up like mountains. Those cans were to be found in the wildest and loneliest parts of the famous Bryansk forests, in the marshes of Leningrad, wherever the Soviet army passed.

    Russia is undoubtedly a very rich agricultural country, with inexhaustible natural resources. Yet from 1942 to 1945 that country lived and fought exclusively on American products. We officers were all profoundly convinced that we could have held out without American tanks and planes, but we would have died of starvation without the American food. Ninety percent of the meat, fats, and sugar consumed in the Soviet army was of American origin, and almost the same can be said of life in the rear. Even the beans and the white flour were American. The one article of Soviet origin was the black bread - apart, of course, from water.

    A word or two on water. People in Moscow seriously believed that the American embassy received even water in cans from America. Probably this was due to the amount of grapefruit and other fruit juices the Americans drank from cans. After the war it was said that the Kremlin had provided itself with American foodstuffs for many five-year plans ahead.

    There was one time at the beginning of 1948 when all the shops in all the large Soviet cities were stocked to the ceiling with sacks of coffee beans. Before the war coffee in the bean had been a luxury article in the Soviet Union. But now all the empty shelves of the shops were stocked with sacks bearing foreign inscriptions in red paint. Coffee to be bought off the ration, at 500 rubles a kilo! At that time bread cost 150 rubles a kilo on the free market.

    The people began to buy the coffee by the sack. It wasn’t that the Russians had acquired a foreign taste. Not at all! They cooked the beans, threw the fragrant liquor away, then dried the beans, pounded them in a mortar or a coffee-grinder, and made bread of the flour. Bread from coffee! Previously they had played the same sort of trick with mustard powder! Bread from mustard!

    During the war all the metal utensils in the U. S. S. R. were made from American cans. It will be many years before the Russians forget those cans with their labels: ’pork meat’.

    In an endeavor to diminish the effect of this propaganda by food conserves, the rumormongers of the N. K. V. D. spread stories that the Americans were canning the flesh of South American monkeys to send to the Soviet Union.

    "... Dear Grisha, perhaps you have a cup or something of the sort where you are. I broke mine recently and haven’t any thing to drink my tea out of. If you can send me one I shall be very glad and will always think of you when I drink my tea, my dear boy.

    "You always sew up your parcels in very good canvas, and we don’t throw it away, we make towels from it. Don’t be annoyed with us if we ask you for anything, you’re all we have in the world. I live only for your letters. And I haven’t much longer to live.

    “Keep well, my dear boy. Look after yourself. Granny.”

    I got hold of a sack in which to pack a parcel. I stuffed it full with ladies’ lace underwear, silk stockings, lengths of material, until it weighed the permitted 10 kilograms. In the very center I packed several china cups. And what else could I put in? They needed absolutely everything. They would sell what I sent and buy meat, and would go on wearing rags. You can’t fill a bottomless barrel.

    That evening I had planned to go out, but granny’s letter robbed me of all inclination. I sat at my desk, and scenes from my past life arose before my eyes.

    II

    1921. At that time I was quite an infant. Perhaps the only memory I have is of the jackdaws. Daws hopping about the floor, in the light of the paraffin lamp. One of them was dragging its wing awkwardly, leaving a trail of blood. The lamp flickered, the dark corners were very mysterious, and wretched daws hopped about the floor.

    In the winter they flew about in great black flocks. When they flew over the roofs in the evening dusk, the people said as they heard them call: “That’s a sign of frost. It’ll be still colder tomorrow.” Raspberry streaks left by the sunset on the horizon, the lilac, frosty mist, and the calling daws. They settled like bunches of black berries on the bare poplars in the orchards, and chattered away before retiring to rest.

    My uncle thought of very ingenious ways of getting close to the daws with his gun. Normally they won’t let you come anywhere near. But he went hunting them to shoot them for a ragout. I’ve forgotten what it tasted like. Older people say it doesn’t taste any worse than ragout made from other wild birds. Every wildfowl has its own specific flavor.

    In those days children wrapped in rags sat in the snow in the street and silently held out their hands. They no longer had the strength to ask for ’bread’. If you returned that way a few hours later you found they were no longer holding out their hands: they were frozen corpses.

    People don’t remember 1921 to any extent nowadays. It was followed by many other years, which have been fixed more definitely in the mind. 1921 was something quite elemental, the result of war and the post-war ruin. So it did not seem so terrible.

    1926. The later years of the New Economic Policy. “The period of temporary retreat in order to organize a decisive advance along the entire front,” as we can read in the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

    In those days, when my father gave me ten kopecks I was a rich man and could satisfy all my childish desires. The years 1925 and 1926 were the only time in all the existence of the Soviet regime when the people did not think of bread.

    I don’t remember tsarist Russia. People of my generation regard the NEP period (New Economic Policy - involved a partial return to free market exchange of commodities. - Tr.) as the equivalent of a normal and affluent life. I heard various stories told by older people, but at this time I was a Young Pioneer and was more interested in playing a drum. Some museum-piece of an old man would throw his arms wide and say rapturously and regretfully: “Under Nicholas a dried fish that size cost three kopecks; and now....” He swallowed back his spittle and waved his hand resignedly.

    1930. 1 was attending school. The name of the school was changed every three months; the curriculum changed accordingly. I was not greatly interested-1 hadn’t time to be, for I spent most of the day queuing for bread. Queues stood outside the bakers’ shops day and night. Six hundred, seven hundred... Often the number written in indelible ink on my hand was over the 1, 000.

    We boys regarded it all as a kind of game. When the cart drove up to the shop and the loaves were unloaded there was a bit of a riot. Women screamed as they were half crushed to death, one heard curses, groans, and tears. Meanwhile we boys tried to find a way into the shops through a window or some other opening. In other countries the children played ’Red Indians’, but we fought for our lives to get bread. That was how the youthful builders of socialism were reared, that was how the steel was tempered.

    We went to school in two shifts; it was as cold inside the building as outside. It was much more pleasant in the street, where you could run and keep yourself warm. What point was there in our teacher telling us stories of the Paris Commune? We stormed not the Bastille but the bakers’ shops.

    1932. General collectivization. People starved to death, their bodies lay about the streets. The living had difficulty in dragging themselves about, for their legs were swollen with famine dropsy.

    My elder brother, who was in the Young Communists, was called up to perform special duties. He and his comrades were given weapons, and they mounted guard all night over the church, which was being used as a transit camp for prisoners. There were not enough prisons; there were not enough guards. Of an evening, hundreds of ragged men and women peasants, arrested as kulaks, were driven into the church. Mothers carried babes in arms. Many of the prisoners could hardly shift their feet. The youngsters who had been issued arms went hungry to the church to guard hungry people.

    Each morning the ragged class enemies were driven on northward. Many dead bodies were left lying on the stone flags inside the church. So far as they were concerned, the problem of liquidating the kulaks as a class was already solved.

    Winter passed, spring arrived. The campaign for collecting the State grain fund began. The peasants were baking bread made from tree bark, but men armed with pistols demanded that they should hand over corn for the spring sowing. During the winter the peasants had eaten tree bark, cats, dogs, even horse dung. Cases of cannibalism were not unknown. Nobody can say how many millions of people died of hunger in 1933: possibly one-third or one-fourth of the agricultural population of southern Russia.

    During the summer the few half-savage dogs still left alive wandered through the deserted villages, devouring human flesh. First man ate dog, and then dog ate man. Many fields were left uncultivated; there was nobody to harvest those that were sown.

    Day after day we scholars of the higher classes were driven out to harvest these fields. The road ran past the town cemetery. Each morning as we went to work we saw dozens of deep, freshly dug pits. When we returned in the evening they had been filled and leveled with the ground. Some of the more inquisitive scholars tried digging up the loose soil with their boots.

    They lost their curiosity when they came upon human hands or feet beneath the shallow layer of earth. Sometimes as we went past the cemetery we saw swollen corpses being thrown from carts into the pits; they had been brought from prisons and hospitals. The wild steppe grass rapidly covered these graves, and nobody will ever know the exact cost of that resounding word ’collectivization’.

    The artificial famine of 1932 - 1933 was a political measure taken by the Politburo; it was not an elemental disaster. The people had to be shown who was the master. The decision was taken in the Kremlin; the result was the loss of millions of human lives. From that time hunger became a new, full member of the Politburo.

    Yet at that same period the Soviet government was dumping! They offered wheat at very cheap prices, much cheaper than the world market price. The principle was simple: grain taken from the collectivized Soviet peasant at 6 kopecks a kilo was sold to the Russian workers at 90 kopecks a kilo. In such circumstances it was easy enough to indulge in dumping.

    The Soviet Union offered its grain at knockdown prices on the world market. The greedy capitalists rushed to buy it. But the Canadian and Australian farmers started to burn their grain, while the Moscow radio howled in delight: “Look what is happening in the unplanned capitalist world.” But after burning their grain the Australians and Canadians had no money to buy the British industrial goods, consequently British factories began to close down and unemployment increased. The British workers had no money to buy the cheap Russian grain.

    But over the sea, in the marvelous land where communism was being built, there was no unemployment, and bread was so cheap that it was being sold abroad for next to nothing. And so there was a wave of strikes and revolutionary movements in the West. “The revolution is continuing. Comrades,” they said in the Kremlin, rubbing their hands.

    In Denmark the pigs were fed on cheap Russian sugar. In the U. S. S. R., people drank their tea with the sugar on the table to look at, or on Sundays and holidays they nibbled a knob as they sipped their tea. The Soviet workers and peasants went hungry, but there was money enough for financing capital construction, while machine tools and machinery were imported. Heavy industry increased proportionately to the rest of the country’s economy. The workers and peasants were told that heavy industry would make the machinery for light industry, and this in turn would make cloth and boots. But meanwhile tanks and aeroplanes were the chief production. There was nothing to be done about it: it was all due to the capitalist encirclement.

    Now there was no room for bourgeois sentimentality. Statistics show that fertility and population increase are in inverse proportion to the living conditions. The worse people live, the swifter they multiply. On the one hand there are India and China, where thousands die of hunger every year, but where millions are born in their place. On the other, the well-fed, enervated countries in the decline of civilization, such as France and Britain, with their falling fertility curve, and where the age-groups past the prime of life play a predominant part. Given these circumstances, Stalin had no need to fear the consequences of the famine policy; whatever happened, he was assured of soldiers and labor. In every respect the State would show an active balance.

    September 1939. Signature of the Hitler-Stalin Pact of Friend-ship. Trainload after trainload of Soviet grain, Soviet butter, Soviet sugar steamed off to Germany. Simultaneously all these articles disappeared from the Soviet shops, which in any case had never had any remarkable stock of them.

    To explain the change of political course the N. K. V. D. rumormongers spread the story that Ribbentrop had brought to Moscow the photocopy of a document, which had been signed by fourteen foreign powers. These powers had offered Hitler aid if he attacked the U. S. S. R. Hitler preferred our friendship: we desire peace. But for that we have got to pay!

    1941. War. Hunger passed into its final, perfected form. The ration-card system. No longer under-nourishment, but out-and-out starvation. In the winter of 1941-2 a kilo of potatoes cost 60 rubles on the free market: the equivalent of a week’s wage. A kilo of butter cost 700 to 800 rubles: three months’ wages. The worker received sufficient on the ration card to keep him on his feet and capable of working. In practice the main, indeed the only food issued was bread - 600 grams daily-the same bread that caused the German prisoners of war to suffer from gastric ulcers and to die off like flies.

    One day I had called on the director of the Lenin radio factory, to discuss some business. A knock at the door interrupted our conversation. His secretary put in her head and reported: “Serdiukova is here; is she to come in or wait?”

    Serdiukova came nervously into the room. Her face was dirty, and it was difficult to tell her age. She was wearing a black, greasy jacket, and her stockings were of sailcloth; she had men’s boots on her feet. She stood at the door, silently waiting. Her expression seemed despondent, yet indifferent, stamped with the apathy of infinite weariness.

    “Why didn’t you come to work yesterday, Serdiukova?” the director asked. “To stay away’s a serious crime, punishable under war legislation. You know what the punishment is for it.”

    “I was ill, Comrade Director. I couldn’t get out of bed,” she answered in a hoarse voice. She shifted from foot to foot. A pool of water formed on the parquet; it was dripping off her boots.

    Absence from work without good reason involved the punishment of forced labor even in peacetime. In wartime it might bring ten years’ imprisonment, on a charge of sabotaging war industry.

    “Have you got a doctor’s certificate?” the director asked.

    “No. I hadn’t anyone to send for the doctor. As soon as I could get up I came to work.”

    Serdiukova was one of those typical Russian women who uncomplainingly endure all the difficulties of life, who accept every-thing as inevitable, as sent from above. In this silent humility there is a kind of religious quality. It is not weakness; it is a source of the Russian’s enormous spiritual strength.

    As I looked at her I recalled an old soldier who was returning from hospital to the front after the latest of his many wounds. As he carried a machine-gun tripod on his back he quite calmly gave expression to his secret desire: “Ah, if only I had lost an arm or a leg! Then I’d be going back to my village.” I was shocked not so much by his words as by the composure with which he said them, his genuine readiness to lose an arm or a leg in exchange for return home. Yet he was an exemplary soldier.

    “You must know the law,” the director went on. “Absent without good reason. I’ll have to send your case to court.”

    She began to mutter in a broken voice: “But, Comrade Director! ... Day after day, fourteen hours at the bench... I haven’t the strength... I’m sick...”

    “I can’t help it. It’s the law. We’re all sick like that.” Her face twisted with anger. “You’re all sick like that?” she shouted, stepping closer to his desk. “But have you ever seen this?” Tears streamed down her face as, in an uncontrollable impulse of fury, she snatched up the edge of her skirt. She was no longer a human being, no longer a woman, but a creature mastered by the courage of despair. “All of you? All as sick as this?”

    I saw her white body, all the whiter against the gray background of the office wall. She did not have a woman’s shapely legs, but two deformed pillars with no curve to the calves, with the knees touching. Two garters of red automobile inner tubing cut deeply into the swollen mass of her bluish flesh.

    “Have you ever seen that. Comrade Director? Have you got legs like this?” she screamed, beside herself with indignation and shame. “For five months I’ve not had a period. I’ve dropped unconscious at the bench again and again....”

    “Is there really nothing to be done?” I asked him when she had gone.

    “What can I do?” he answered, and stared hopelessly at the papers on his desk. “Half the women are like that. Pills are of no use in such cases.”

    “I don’t mean that. I mean referring it to the court. Can’t you overlook it?”

    “Concealment of absenteeism is punished as heavily as absenteeism itself. If I overlook this case the N. K. V. D. will put us both inside. You can’t hide anything from Luzgin,” he answered.

    I had not made Luzgin’s acquaintance, but I had heard a great deal about him. He was the head of the works Special Department: the eyes and ears of the Party.

    While working in the town of Gorky I was crossing Sverdlov Square one day in March. There were puddles of snow and mud lying in the roadways. Just in front of me two young girls, probably students, with document-cases under their arms, were trudging through the water. Suddenly one of them dropped her case; it fell into the muck of the sidewalk and flew open.

    Books and exercise books were scattered in the mud. The girl took a few staggering steps towards the wall of the nearest house, but then her legs gave way under her, and she slowly sank to the ground. Her blue kerchief slipped off, the strands of her chestnut hair were mingled with the melting snow and mud. She had a deathly white face, with blue under the eyes. She had fainted.

    Her friend hurried to her aid. One or two passers-by helped to pick her up and carry her to the gateway of the nearest house. The crowd excitedly asked her friend what had happened, but she answered in some embarrassment: “It’s nothing, only a faint.” An elderly woman in huge boots asked her: “Where’ve you come from? From the center?” Without waiting for the answer she began to lament with all the commiseration of a simple woman: “Poor kids! You’re hungry, hardly able to stand on your feet, yet you’re giving your last drop of blood. You can’t go on like this. You’ll be in your grave before long.”

    A large proportion of the donors attending the blood-transfusion centers consisted of girl students and mothers with little children. In exchange for 450 cubic centimeters of blood they received 125 rubles, which would buy not quite a kilo of black bread. After each transfusion they received an extra ration card entitling them to 200 additional grams of bread each day for a month. They also received one supplementary ration consisting of 250 grams of fat, 500 grams of meat and 500 grams of sugar. These mothers and girls knew their patriotic duty well enough, they knew the blood was for their husbands and brothers at the front. But it was chiefly hunger that drove them to the centers. The mothers tried to feed their hungry children at the price of their own blood; the students preferred to sacrifice their blood rather than their bodies.

    Special letter blanks were obtainable at the blood transfusion centers, and many of the girl donors used these to send letters to the front, to the soldiers for whom they were donating their blood. Frequently these letters marked the beginning of a correspondence and friendship. After the war there were quite a number of cases of the writers meeting and marrying: a marriage sealed in blood.

    In the center of the town of Gorky there is a square: ’The Square of the Victims of 1905.’ One side of the square is bounded by the walls of an old prison, in which the heroes of Gorky’s novel The Mother were imprisoned. On the opposite side is the Municipal Opera and Ballet Theater.

    One evening I stood with a group of comrades in the foyer during an interval. Dancing was going on in the hall, to the music of an orchestra. A slim, good-looking girl dancing with an officer attracted my notice. Her slender form was clothed in a gray dress of matt silk; her hair was arranged in a simple yet original style. Her toilet and all her bearing indicated her good taste, and a sense of her own value.

    “Who is that girl?” I asked a comrade who was well acquainted with life in the town.

    “A student, she’s in the last year of the medical faculty,” he answered curtly.

    “An interesting girl,” I said.

    “I’d advise you not to go running after her.”

    “Why, what’s wrong?”

    “I just advise you not to, that’s all!” He would not say more.

    His words aroused my curiosity, and I asked another acquaintance the same question.

    “The girl in gray?” he said, taking a glance at her. “If you’re interested in knowing her for a night, it’s very simple: one can of conserves or a loaf of bread.”

    I stared at him incredulously. I was fond of student life, and still thought of myself as belonging to it. His words seemed like a personal insult. In pre-war days the students had been the morally cleanest and most spiritual group in society. Could one year of war have brought about such a change?

    “Don’t talk bosh!” I retorted.

    “It’s not bosh, it’s the mournful truth. She lives in a hostel, in one room with five other friends. They have two or three visitors every night. Chiefly officers. Who has anything to spare these days, apart from officers?”

    Before the war there was practically no prostitution in the Soviet Union. The average Soviet man’s budget did not include this item of expenditure. There was only prostitution for political purposes,

    under N. K. V. D. protection, in the neighborhood of the Intourist hotels and restaurants and wherever foreigners congregated. And some commerce in human bodies went on, to a small extent, among the higher circles of the new ruling class, who had the means to buy such articles.

    But now, during the war, hunger was driving women on to the street. Not for silk stockings, Parisian perfumes, or luxury articles. Only for bread or a can of preserves. And worst of all, the first victims were the students, who would form the future Soviet intellectual and professional classes. They paid a high price for their higher education.

    Two old men, Nikanor and Peter, were employed in the constructional department of Factory No. 645. They had both been pensioned off long before, but hunger had driven them back to work, for they found it impossible to live on their pensions. At one time Nikanor had been a well-known engineer aircraft constructor.

    Before the First World War he had worked at the Bleriot works in France, where he had helped to build the first aeroplanes in the world. He had known all the fathers of Russian aviation personally: Zhukovsky, Sikorsky, and Piontkovsky. Under the Soviet regime he had worked hard in the field of aviation and was proud of his many letters of congratulation and praise, his awards, and newspaper cuttings in which his name was mentioned. Now he was only a helpless ruin of a man. He had been taken back into the works mainly out of pity, for he was really too old to work.

    From early morning Nikanor and Peter would sit at a table in a. quiet corner and barricade themselves off with a drawing board, while they talked about all the various kinds of food they had had in their long lifetime. Every day they told each other of some new dish, which they had recalled, out of the mist of the years. Thus they sat, hour after hour, day after day, capping each other’s stories, and Sometimes even quarreling over the method of preparing some sauce or the details of a recipe for mushrooms: The other members of their department thought them a little funny in the head.

    One day I happened to overhear Nikanor complaining to Peter: “This is the third day I’ve gone without porridge. We’ve eaten all the mallows in our street, and I shan’t find any more anywhere else. Porridge made from mallows is very tasty, I assure you, Peter. Just like sucking pig with chestnut stuffing. Now I shall have to look up the books again; they say there are other edible roots to be found.”

    Two hours before the midday break Nikanor took a pocket watch on a heavy silver chain, two more tributes to past services, out of his waistcoat pocket and laid them on the desk before him. Every few minutes he looked expectantly at the slowly moving hands. Fifteen minutes before the break he began to rummage through his drawers in search of his spoon and fork. Then he made sure his goloshes were firmly over his boots. All this was in preparation for the start, for at the age of seventy he was not very fit for the coming race. At last he even obtained permission from the factory management to go to dinner five minutes before time.

    After all these preparations he trotted across the yard to the dining hall, with one hand holding his pince-nez on his nose. There he would have his dinner: a first course of boiled green tomatoes, and a second course of water-gruel made from oatmeal, and without seasoning - a serving only sufficient for a cat. He scraped his aluminum plate thoroughly, licked his spoon carefully, then back to work - and after work the search for edible roots.

    1944. The Soviet army struck like a battering ram at the most important sectors of the German front. Soviet territory was almost completely freed of German troops. The tank wedges thrust towards the frontiers of the Reich. The soldiers in the reserve regiments waited impatiently to be sent to the front - not out of patriotism, but simply because of hunger. In the reserve regiments the rations were so low that many of the men went rummaging in the dustbins in search of cabbage leaves or a frozen potato.

    “The way to the soldiers’ hearts lies through their stomachs,” Napoleon said. Stalin modernized the remark to meet his own needs. In the Soviet army there were twelve ration standards: front ration No. 1, front ration No. 2; immediate rear ration No. 1, immediate rear ration No. 2; and so on, down to the twelfth, called the sanatorium ration. Only the first and last of all these ration scales could be regarded as normal; the others simply connoted various stages of hunger.

    The difficulties of wartime! Again and again I have tried to find this justification for all the misery that was to be seen at every step. I was a Soviet officer; I should know what I sent men into battle for. In those days I often asked myself what would happen after we had driven the last German off our soil. Everything as before? I had no wish to recall the ’heroic workdays of socialist construction’. In Soviet Union hunger has been elevated into a system. It has become a means of influencing the masses; it is a full member of the Politburo, a true and faithful ally of Stalin.

    Leningrad. It is a proud name. I was there shortly after the city was freed from the blockade. Nobody knows the exact total of victims from hunger during the siege. As the Germans advanced, all the inhabitants of the surrounding countryside flocked into the city, swelling its population to almost eight millions. At least three million died of hunger.

    One day I and another officer were walking along the shore of a lake just outside Leningrad. Right beside the water was a small cemetery; young grass was growing among the neglected graves. A block of red granite attracted my attention. ’Flight-Lieutenant... died the death of a hero in the battle for the city of Lenin.’ I read the inscription carved in the stone.

    “Lucky blighter!” said my companion, who had taken part in the defense of the city from the very beginning. “Those who have survived the blockade are only husks of men today.”

    “I’m a passive murderer,” another inhabitant of the city once told me. “I saw a man lying in the snow in the street; he had fallen and was too weak to get up. He asked me to help him; otherwise he’d freeze to death. But I couldn’t, I’d only have fallen myself and been unable to get up again. I’d only have frozen at his side. I staggered on, leaving him to freeze in the snow.”

    I would give every citizen of Leningrad the highest decoration possible. Since the days of Troy, history knows no similar case of mass civic heroism. Was it all a strategic necessity, or simply a question in which Stalin’s prestige was involved?

    ’When one man dies, it is a tragedy; when millions die, it’s only statistics.’ Especially when the death of millions is contemplated from behind the Kremlin walls.

    Shortly before the end of the war I traveled back to Moscow from Leningrad by train. At every station, every wayside halt, crowds of ragged women were standing with children in their arms. The infants’ faces were translucent, bluish white, their eyes were glittering with hunger, and their faces were aged, joyless, and serious. Other children stretched out their thin hands and asked for ’Bread, bread!’

    The soldiers undid their rucksacks and silently handed their rations of hard tack or bread through the windows. Each of them was oppressed by thoughts of his own wife and children. They gained a momentary feeling of relief as they handed out their food, but they were left with a nagging sense of shame and bitterness. Can you feed a whole starving land with bits of bread?

    As the German prisoners return home from Russia they will doubtless tell of the desperately low food rations in the Soviet prisoner of war camps. And as they see it they will be justified. By European standards the prisoner of war conditions were murderous, the soggy black bread was simply poison to a European digestive system.

    I myself have been in camps for German prisoners of war and have seen the conditions. But I can only ask: did the German prisoners notice that the Russian people on the farther side of the barbed wire were fed on even lower standards? Did any of them think that these so-called ’Russian’ conditions were the result of the Soviet system and that in due course they will flourish in Eastern Germany?

    Moscow. The last days of the war. A lively trade was going on in the city markets. Pale, exhausted women huddling in corners, a few knobs of sugar or one or two herrings in their extended hands. They were selling their meager ration in order to get milk or bread for their children. Bread, bread! In all eyes was the same mute cry.

    The article that sold best - was the Russian homegrown tobacco called ’mahorka’ - 15 rubles a glass. The markets swarmed with war-wounded, without legs, without arms, in front-line greatcoats and tunics, with red wound stripes on their chests. The militiamen turned a blind eye to these violators of the Soviet trade monopoly.

    If any of them did try to take away one of the war-wounded, the air rang with indignant shouts: “What did he fight for?” "What did he shed his blood for?" His comrades came hurrying up, waving crutches and sticks.

    Berlin capitulated. A few days later all Germany unconditionally surrendered. People thought that things would be easier literally the very next day. That was the hope of people who had nothing but their hopes.

    Now the first post-war year had passed, the second was drawing to its close, and we members of the Soviet occupation forces in Germany were reading our letters from home. As we read they acted on us like poison. Our bitterness was intensified by all that we saw around us.

    One day Andrei Kovtun and I were discussing the situation in Germany. Little by little the conversation turned to comparisons between ’here’ and ’there’.

    “The Berlin Underground is really rotten,” Andrei said. “When I compare it with the Moscow Underground I feel really good. These days I often catch myself looking for things in Germany that tell in our favor. It’s difficult to get used to the idea that all our lives we’ve been chasing after shadows.”

    “Yes,” I commented; “here people live in the present, whereas we have lived all our lives in the future. Or rather, for the future. I quite understand how you feel. It’s a violation of the inward harmony, as the psychiatrist would say. The only remedy is to recover faith in the future.”

    “Look, Gregory!” Andrei replied. “We’ve got splendid aeroplanes and tanks, a powerful heavy industry. Let’s leave out of account the price we’ve paid for all these things, let’s forget all the blood, the sweat, and the hunger. You’d think that now the time’s come to exploit all these achievements for our own benefit. After all, we haven’t seen anything of life yet. It’s always been nothing but aims and ideals for us: socialism, communism.

    But when shall we really start living? D’you remember what Professor Alexandrov said at the Higher Party School of the Party Central Committee? ’If the proletariat of other countries cannot achieve their own emancipation, we shall stretch out our hands to help them.’ We know what that ’helping hand’ means. What if all the promises of wartime are only unsecured bills of exchange? I didn’t know what fear was during the war, but I do now. Yes, I’m afraid all right now.”

    He was expressing the same thoughts and fears that possess the majority of the young Soviet intellectuals and professional people. We are proud of our country’s achievements, we are proud of our victory. We do not regret all the difficulties and deprivations we have experienced, the price we paid for the victory and for our country’s glory. But we who were living in the West were beginning to feel keenly that all the things which Soviet propaganda claims as the exclusive achievement of the Soviet regime are colossal lies. We used to have our doubts, but now the doubts have been transformed into certainties, and we cannot fight them.

    We have come to the realization that we haven’t started to live yet, that we have only continually made sacrifices for the sake of the future. Now our faith in that future is shattered. As the post-war situation develops we are increasingly filled with alarm. What is it all leading to?

    In those early post-war years Berlin was the political center of the world. And we were sitting in the front rows at the chess tournament of international politics. More, we ourselves were pawns in the tournament play. The post-war experience showed that there was no basis whatever for the hopes and expectations which Russian soldiers and officers possessed in the war years.

    And what now?

    “Politics is politics, but life is life.”

    Andrei’s voice sounded in my ears.

    “But what have we got out of life? The Germans are having a thin time at present, but they have a past they can recall, and they still have a hope of the future. They can at least hope that one day we shall clear out and they’ll be able to live again. But what can we hope for... we victors?”

    Two years had passed since the end of the war. Now our worst fears were being confirmed. Once more hunger was stalking our country, a still worse hunger than in wartime. Once more the Party had decided to take the people firmly in hand, had decided to make the people forget and turn from the illusory hopes which the Party itself had cleverly stimulated and encouraged in the critical period of the war. The Party had once more decided to show the people who was the real master, and had summoned its first servant, famine, to its help.

    In past days famine had been an elemental disaster; today it is an instrument deliberately wielded by the Kremlin.

    A clock struck; I rose and looked round my room, at my feet, shod in leg-boots, at my blue breeches with their crimson stripes. My gaze passed over the gilt buttons of my green tunic. I had gold epaulettes on my shoulders. It was all so close and so well known - yet it was all so alien.

    The walls of my room dissolved to reveal the dark, starry night over Europe. And somewhere beyond, far to the east, was the frontier of my native land. But there it was dark and still, like a leaden tomb.

    Sommaire https://seenthis.net/messages/683905
    #anticommunisme #histoire #Berlin #occupation #guerre_froide

  • The Time Napoleon Was Attacked by Rabbits | Mental Floss
    http://mentalfloss.com/article/51364/time-napoleon-was-attacked-rabbits

    History tells us that Napoleon’s most upsetting defeat came at Waterloo. Or it may have occurred eight years earlier, after the French emperor was attacked by a relentless horde of rabbits.

    There are a couple versions of this story. Most agree it happened in July 1807, after Napoleon signed the Treaties of Tilsit (which ended the war between the French Empire and Imperial Russia). Looking to celebrate, the emperor proposed a rabbit hunt, asking Chief of Staff Alexandre Berthier to make it happen.

    Berthier arranged an outdoor luncheon, invited some of the military’s biggest brass, and collected a colony of rabbits. Some say Berthier took in hundreds of bunnies, while others claim he collected as many as 3000. Regardless, there were a lot of rabbits, and Berthier’s men caged them all along the fringes of a grassy field. When Napoleon started to prowl—accompanied by beaters and gun-bearers—the rabbits were released from their cages. The hunt was on.

    But something strange happened. The rabbits didn’t scurry in fright. Instead, they bounded toward Napoleon and his men. Hundreds of fuzzy bunnies gunned it for the world’s most powerful man.

    Napoleon’s party had a good laugh at first. But as the onslaught continued, their concern grew. The sea of long-ears was storming Napoleon quicker than revolutionaries had stormed the Bastille. The rabbits allegedly swarmed the emperor’s legs and started climbing up his jacket. Napoleon tried shooing them with his riding crop, as his men grabbed sticks and tried chasing them. The coachmen cracked their bullwhips to scare the siege. But it kept coming.

    Napoleon retreated, fleeing to his carriage. But it didn’t stop. According to historian David Chandler, “with a finer understanding of Napoleonic strategy than most of his generals, the rabbit horde divided into two wings and poured around the flanks of the party and headed for the imperial coach.” The flood of bunnies continued—some reportedly leapt into the carriage.

    The attack ceased only as the coach rolled away. The man who was dominating Europe was no match for a battle with bunnies.

    It was Berthier’s fault. Rather than trapping wild hares, his men had bought tame rabbits from local farmers. As a result, the rabbits didn’t see Napoleon as a fearsome hunter. They saw him as a waiter bringing out the day’s food. To them, the emperor was effectively a giant head of lettuce.

    #nos_ennemis_les_bêtes

  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Mask of Anarchy”
    http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/PShelley/anarchy.html


    The Cremation of Percy Bysshe Shelley, oil on canvas, Louis Édouard Fournier (1857-1917)

    Peterloo Massacre
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterloo_Massacre

    Friedrich Engels - Deutsche Zustaende
    http://www.mlwerke.de/me/me02/me02_564.htm

    Brief II, The Northern Star Nr. 417 vom 8. November 1845
    ..
    Die Niederschlagung der Französischen Revolution wurde gefeiert durch die Niedermetzelung von Republikanern im Süden Frankreichs, durch das Auflodern der Scheiterhaufen der Inquisition und die Wiederherstellung des heimischen Despotismus in Spanien und Italien sowie durch die Maulkorbgesetze und „Peterloo“ in England. Wir werden nun sehen, daß die Ereignisse in Deutschland einen ähnlichen Verlauf nahmen.

    Das Königreich Preußen war der erste unter allen deutschen Staaten, der Napoleon den Krieg erklärt hatte. Es wurde damals regiert von Friedrich Wilhelm III., mit dem Spitznamen „der Gerechte“,
    ...
    er kannte nur zwei Gefühle - Furcht und feldwebelhafte Anmaßung. Während der ersten Hälfte seiner Herrschaft war sein vorherrschender Geisteszustand die Furcht vor Napoleon, der ihn mit der Großmut der Verachtung behandelte, indem er ihm die Hälfte seines Königreichs zurückgab, die zu behalten er nicht der Mühe für wert hielt.

    Es war diese Furcht, die ihn antrieb, einer Partei von Halb-und-halb-Reformern - Hardenberg, Stein, Schön, Schamhorst etc. - zu gestatten, an seiner Stelle zu regieren, die eine liberalere Gemeindeorganisation einführten, die Erbuntertänigkeit abschafften, die feudalen Dienste in Rente oder in eine fixe Summe mit fünfundzwanzigjähriger Tilgung verwandelten und vor allem die militärische Organisation einführten, die dem Volk gewaltige Macht verschafft und früher oder später gegen die Regierung gebraucht werden wird.

    The Mask of Anarchy:
    Written on the Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester
    By Percy Bysshe Shelley

    1
    As I lay asleep in Italy
    There came a voice from over the Sea,
    And with great power it forth led me
    To walk in the visions of Poesy.

    2
    I met Murder on the way—
    He had a mask like Castlereagh—
    Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
    Seven blood-hounds followed him:

    3
    All were fat; and well they might
    Be in admirable plight,
    For one by one, and two by two,
    He tossed them human hearts to chew

    4
    Which from his wide cloak he drew.
    Next came Fraud, and he had on,
    Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
    His big tears, for he wept well,
    Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

    5
    And the little children, who
    Round his feet played to and fro,
    Thinking every tear a gem,
    Had their brains knocked out by them.

    6
    Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
    And the shadows of the night,
    Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
    On a crocodile rode by.

    7
    And many more Destructions played
    In this ghastly masquerade,
    All disguised, even to the eyes,
    Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

    8
    Last came Anarchy: he rode
    On a white horse, splashed with blood;
    He was pale even to the lips,
    Like Death in the Apocalypse.

    9
    And he wore a kingly crown;
    And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
    On his brow this mark I saw—
    ’I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!’

    10
    With a pace stately and fast,
    Over English land he passed,
    Trampling to a mire of blood
    The adoring multitude.

    11
    And a mighty troop around,
    With their trampling shook the ground,
    Waving each a bloody sword,
    For the service of their Lord.

    12
    And with glorious triumph, they
    Rode through England proud and gay,
    Drunk as with intoxication
    Of the wine of desolation.

    13
    O’er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
    Passed the Pageant swift and free,
    Tearing up, and trampling down;
    Till they came to London town.

    14
    And each dweller, panic-stricken,
    Felt his heart with terror sicken
    Hearing the tempestuous cry
    Of the triumph of Anarchy.

    15
    For with pomp to meet him came,
    Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
    The hired murderers, who did sing
    `Thou art God, and Law, and King.

    16
    We have waited, weak and lone
    For thy coming, Mighty One!
    Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,
    Give us glory, and blood, and gold.’

    17
    Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
    To the earth their pale brows bowed;
    Like a bad prayer not over loud,
    Whispering — `Thou art Law and God.’ —

    18
    Then all cried with one accord,
    `Thou art King, and God, and Lord;
    Anarchy, to thee we bow,
    Be thy name made holy now!’

    19
    And Anarchy, the Skeleton,
    Bowed and grinned to every one,
    As well as if his education
    Had cost ten millions to the nation.

    20
    For he knew the Palaces
    Of our Kings were rightly his;
    His the sceptre, crown, and globe,
    And the gold-inwoven robe.

    21
    So he sent his slaves before
    To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
    And was proceeding with intent
    To meet his pensioned Parliament

    22
    When one fled past, a maniac maid,
    And her name was Hope, she said:
    But she looked more like Despair,
    And she cried out in the air:

    23
    `My father Time is weak and gray
    With waiting for a better day;
    See how idiot-like he stands,
    Fumbling with his palsied hands!

    24
    `He has had child after child,
    And the dust of death is piled
    Over every one but me—
    Misery, oh, Misery!’

    25
    Then she lay down in the street,
    Right before the horses’ feet,
    Expecting, with a patient eye,
    Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.

    26
    When between her and her foes
    A mist, a light, an image rose,
    Small at first, and weak, and frail
    Like the vapour of a vale:

    27
    Till as clouds grow on the blast,
    Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
    And glare with lightnings as they fly,
    And speak in thunder to the sky,

    28
    It grew — a Shape arrayed in mail
    Brighter than the viper’s scale,
    And upborne on wings whose grain
    Was as the light of sunny rain.

    29
    On its helm, seen far away,
    A planet, like the Morning’s, lay;
    And those plumes its light rained through
    Like a shower of crimson dew.

    30
    With step as soft as wind it passed
    O’er the heads of men — so fast
    That they knew the presence there,
    And looked, — but all was empty air.

    31
    As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,
    As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,
    As waves arise when loud winds call,
    Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.

    32
    And the prostrate multitude
    Looked — and ankle-deep in blood,
    Hope, that maiden most serene,
    Was walking with a quiet mien:

    33
    And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
    Lay dead earth upon the earth;
    The Horse of Death tameless as wind
    Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
    To dust the murderers thronged behind.

    34
    A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
    A sense awakening and yet tender
    Was heard and felt — and at its close
    These words of joy and fear arose

    35
    As if their own indignant Earth
    Which gave the sons of England birth
    Had felt their blood upon her brow,
    And shuddering with a mother’s throe

    36
    Had turnèd every drop of blood
    By which her face had been bedewed
    To an accent unwithstood,—
    As if her heart had cried aloud:

    37
    `Men of England, heirs of Glory,
    Heroes of unwritten story,
    Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
    Hopes of her, and one another;

    38
    `Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you —
    Ye are many — they are few.

    39
    `What is Freedom? — ye can tell
    That which slavery is, too well —
    For its very name has grown
    To an echo of your own.<

    40
    `’Tis to work and have such pay
    As just keeps life from day to day
    In your limbs, as in a cell
    For the tyrants’ use to dwell,

    41
    `So that ye for them are made
    Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
    With or without your own will bent
    To their defence and nourishment.

    42
    `’Tis to see your children weak
    With their mothers pine and peak,
    When the winter winds are bleak,—
    They are dying whilst I speak.

    43
    `’Tis to hunger for such diet
    As the rich man in his riot
    Casts to the fat dogs that lie
    Surfeiting beneath his eye;

    44
    `’Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
    Take from Toil a thousandfold
    More than e’er its substance could
    In the tyrannies of old.

    45
    `Paper coin — that forgery
    Of the title-deeds, which ye
    Hold to something of the worth
    Of the inheritance of Earth.

    46
    `’Tis to be a slave in soul
    And to hold no strong control
    Over your own wills, but be
    All that others make of ye.

    47
    `And at length when ye complain
    With a murmur weak and vain
    ’Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew
    Ride over your wives and you—
    Blood is on the grass like dew.

    48
    `Then it is to feel revenge
    Fiercely thirsting to exchange
    Blood for blood — and wrong for wrong —
    Do not thus when ye are strong.

    49
    `Birds find rest, in narrow nest
    When weary of their wingèd quest;
    Beasts find fare, in woody lair
    When storm and snow are in the air,

    50
    `Asses, swine, have litter spread
    And with fitting food are fed;
    All things have a home but one—
    Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none!

    51
    `This is Slavery — savage men,
    Or wild beasts within a den
    Would endure not as ye do—
    But such ills they never knew.

    52
    `What art thou Freedom? O! could slaves
    Answer from their living graves
    This demand — tyrants would flee
    Like a dream’s dim imagery:

    53
    `Thou art not, as impostors say,
    A shadow soon to pass away,
    A superstition, and a name
    Echoing from the cave of Fame.

    54
    `For the labourer thou art bread,
    And a comely table spread
    From his daily labour come
    In a neat and happy home.

    55
    `Thou art clothes, and fire, and food
    For the trampled multitude—
    No — in countries that are free
    Such starvation cannot be
    As in England now we see.

    56
    `To the rich thou art a check,
    When his foot is on the neck
    Of his victim, thou dost make
    That he treads upon a snake.

    57
    `Thou art Justice — ne’er for gold
    May thy righteous laws be sold
    As laws are in England — thou
    Shield’st alike the high and low.

    58
    `Thou art Wisdom — Freemen never
    Dream that God will damn for ever
    All who think those things untrue
    Of which Priests make such ado.

    59
    `Thou art Peace — never by thee
    Would blood and treasure wasted be
    As tyrants wasted them, when all
    Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.

    60
    `What if English toil and blood
    Was poured forth, even as a flood?
    It availed, Oh, Liberty,
    To dim, but not extinguish thee.

    61
    `Thou art Love — the rich have kissed
    Thy feet, and like him following Christ,
    Give their substance to the free
    And through the rough world follow thee,

    62
    `Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
    War for thy belovèd sake
    On wealth, and war, and fraud—whence they
    Drew the power which is their prey.

    63
    `Science, Poetry, and Thought
    Are thy lamps; they make the lot
    Of the dwellers in a cot
    So serene, they curse it not.

    64
    `Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,
    All that can adorn and bless
    Art thou — let deeds, not words, express
    Thine exceeding loveliness.

    65
    `Let a great Assembly be
    Of the fearless and the free
    On some spot of English ground
    Where the plains stretch wide around.

    66
    `Let the blue sky overhead,
    The green earth on which ye tread,
    All that must eternal be
    Witness the solemnity.

    67
    `From the corners uttermost
    Of the bonds of English coast;
    From every hut, village, and town
    Where those who live and suffer moan
    For others’ misery or their own.2

    68
    `From the workhouse and the prison
    Where pale as corpses newly risen,
    Women, children, young and old
    Groan for pain, and weep for cold—

    69
    `From the haunts of daily life
    Where is waged the daily strife
    With common wants and common cares
    Which sows the human heart with tares—

    70
    `Lastly from the palaces
    Where the murmur of distress
    Echoes, like the distant sound
    Of a wind alive around

    71
    `Those prison halls of wealth and fashion,
    Where some few feel such compassion
    For those who groan, and toil, and wail
    As must make their brethren pale—

    72
    `Ye who suffer woes untold,
    Or to feel, or to behold
    Your lost country bought and sold
    With a price of blood and gold—

    73
    `Let a vast assembly be,
    And with great solemnity
    Declare with measured words that ye
    Are, as God has made ye, free—

    74
    `Be your strong and simple words
    Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
    And wide as targes let them be,
    With their shade to cover ye.

    75
    `Let the tyrants pour around
    With a quick and startling sound,
    Like the loosening of a sea,
    Troops of armed emblazonry.

    76
    `Let the charged artillery drive
    Till the dead air seems alive
    With the clash of clanging wheels,
    And the tramp of horses’ heels.

    77
    `Let the fixèd bayonet
    Gleam with sharp desire to wet
    Its bright point in English blood
    Looking keen as one for food.

    78
    `Let the horsemen’s scimitars
    Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
    Thirsting to eclipse their burning
    In a sea of death and mourning.

    79
    `Stand ye calm and resolute,
    Like a forest close and mute,
    With folded arms and looks which are
    Weapons of unvanquished war,

    80
    `And let Panic, who outspeeds
    The career of armèd steeds
    Pass, a disregarded shade
    Through your phalanx undismayed.

    81
    `Let the laws of your own land,
    Good or ill, between ye stand
    Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
    Arbiters of the dispute,

    82
    `The old laws of England — they
    Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
    Children of a wiser day;
    And whose solemn voice must be
    Thine own echo — Liberty!

    83
    `On those who first should violate
    Such sacred heralds in their state
    Rest the blood that must ensue,
    And it will not rest on you.

    84
    `And if then the tyrants dare
    Let them ride among you there,
    Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew,—
    What they like, that let them do.

    85
    `With folded arms and steady eyes,
    And little fear, and less surprise,
    Look upon them as they slay
    Till their rage has died away.

    86
    `Then they will return with shame
    To the place from which they came,
    And the blood thus shed will speak
    In hot blushes on their cheek.

    87
    `Every woman in the land
    Will point at them as they stand—
    They will hardly dare to greet
    Their acquaintance in the street.

    88
    `And the bold, true warriors
    Who have hugged Danger in wars
    Will turn to those who would be free,
    Ashamed of such base company.

    89
    `And that slaughter to the Nation
    Shall steam up like inspiration,
    Eloquent, oracular;
    A volcano heard afar.

    90
    `And these words shall then become
    Like Oppression’s thundered doom
    Ringing through each heart and brain,
    Heard again — again — again—

    91
    `Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number—
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you—
    Ye are many — they are few.’

    1. The following stanza is found in the Wise MS. and in Mary Shelley’s edition of 1839, but is wanting in the Hunt MS. and in the first edition of 1832:—

    ’Horses, oxen, have a home,
    When from daily toil they come;
    Household dogs, when the wind roars,
    Find a home within warm doors.’

    2. The following stanza is found (cancelled) at this place in the Wise MS.:—

    ’From the cities where from caves,
    Like the dead from putrid graves,
    Troops of starvelings gliding come,
    Living Tenants of a tomb.’

    Percy Bysshe Shelley 4. August 1792 in Field Place, Sussex; † 8. Juli 1822 im Meer bei Viareggio in der italienischen Provinz Toskana)
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Bysshe_Shelley#Rezeption

    Seine Schriften blieben politisch nicht unwirksam, sie hatten etwa Einfluss auf die Chartisten. Eleanor Marx, die jüngste Tochter von Karl Marx, stellte die Bedeutung Shelleys für die Arbeiterbewegung mit den Worten heraus: „Ich habe meinen Vater und Engels wieder und wieder darüber sprechen hören, und ich habe dasselbe von den vielen Chartisten gehört, die ich glücklicherweise als Kind kennenlernen durfte.“ Sie hatten außerdem Einfluss auf einen politisch verstandenen Vegetarismus: In den Notes zu Queen Mab begründete er seine Forderung nach einem vegetarischen „Zustand der Gesellschaft, in der alle Energien des Menschen in die Schaffung gänzlichen Glücks gelenkt werden sollen“.
    ...
    Jeremy Corbyn rezitierte am 27. Juni 2017 in seiner Ansprache beim Glastonbury Festival aus Shelleys Gedicht Mask Of Anarchy:

    “Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number—
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you—
    Ye are many—they are few.”

    und ermutigte die anwesenden jungen Leute, ihre gemeinsame Macht zu erkennen, durch die sie die Welt verändern könnten.

    #poésie #royaume_uni #Frankenstein #romatisme #anarchisme

  • Les plans, croquis et cartes insolites de Napoléon menacés de disparition RTS - afp/vkiss - 6 Octobre 2017

    Pour numériser et restaurer les centaines de plans, dessins ou cartes qui ont été soumis à l’empereur Napoléon Ier, les Archives nationales françaises ont lancé une souscription publique internationale.

    Il faut 250’000 euros pour « assurer la sauvegarde » et la « mise à la disposition du public » de ces quelque 1800 pièces, dont 370 ont besoin d’une restauration, selon les Archives nationales et la Fondation Napoléon, qui pilotent l’opération.

    Chaque jour, la Secrétairerie d’Etat impériale « traitait des dizaines de dossiers dont beaucoup étaient accompagnés de dessins, plans et cartes réalisés pour aider l’empereur dans ses prises de décision », indiquent les organisateurs.

    Un bateau volant
    Souvent annotées de la main de Napoléon, plusieurs de ces pièces sont signées par de grands artistes, tels David (peintre du Sacre de Napoléon) ou Fontaine (architecte de l’Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, à Paris).

    Du code de signaux de la Royal Navy à des silhouettes d’Amérindiens, des caricatures anglaises de l’empereur à un manuel de tactique navale, les documents surprenants ne manquent pas.

    Le plus étrange est sans conteste un projet de « bateau volant » censé permettre l’invasion de la Grande-Bretagne.

    #cartographie #histoire #cartes #quête #Pays_ruiné #CrowFounding #Archives_nationales #napoléon

  • Stalingrad diaries: The battlefield transcripts that Stalin deemed too true to publish -

    During the most ferocious battle in human history, in 1943, Soviet historians interviewed over 200 Red Army soldiers about the fighting that helped seal Nazi Germany’s fate. Decades later, Prof. Jochen Hellbeck became the first historian to read their stories
    By Michal Shapira Sep 06, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.810966

    The book is based on interviews with Red Army soldiers that you found in the archives. They describe shocking violence. Can you talk about the nature of the violence?
    The interviews were recorded in Stalingrad, during the final stage of the battle and its immediate aftermath. They resonate with the din of the battlefield, and violence is everywhere in the picture. Red Army soldiers describe how they fought their way into the city center, blowing up basements and entire buildings filled with Germans after at least some of them refused to lay down their arms. What becomes very clear is the extent to which the Soviet defenders were driven by hatred toward the Germans. In the interviews I was surprised to discover the source of this hatred.
    Take Vassily Zaitsev, the famed sniper at Stalingrad, who killed 242 enemy soldiers over the course of the battle, until he suffered an eye injury, in January 1943. Asked by the historians about what motivated him to keep fighting to the point of exhaustion and beyond, he talked about scenes he had personally witnessed: of German soldiers dragging a woman out of the rubble, presumably to rape her, while he helplessly listened to her screams for help. [Quoting Zaitsev]: “Or another time you see young girls, children hanging from trees in the park. Does that get to you? That has a tremendous impact.”
    German atrocities, which many Soviet soldiers were familiar with, certainly played an important role in mobilizing them to fight, and fight hard. There was in addition ample violence within the Red Army, perpetrated against soldiers who were unwilling to risk their lives. In his interview, Gen. Vassily Chuikov described how he shot several commanders, as their soldiers watched in line formation, for retreating from the enemy without permission.

    Maj. Gen. Ivan Burmakov and Lt. Col. Leonid Vinokur, two of the Russian officers interviewed after the Battle of Stalingrad. Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad
    Until your book came out in Russian translation, in 2015, these interviews had never been published. Why is that?
    The testimonies were too truthful and multifaceted for their times, and Stalin forbade their publication, not least because he alone claimed full credit for the victory at Stalingrad. Little changed after Stalin’s death. Yes, leading generals of the Stalingrad battle, like Chuikov, were able to publish accounts of their role in the battle, but they carefully omitted any reference to executions within the Red Army. In his memoirs, Chuikov writes that he issued “a sharp rebuke” to his cowardly officers.
    Archival documentation tells me that at least some Soviet historians read the interviews, but it seems that they were at a loss about how to integrate individual, “subjective” voices, as they called them, into a mandated “objective” (communist) history of the war, and so the documents were overlooked and forgotten. I was extraordinarily lucky to have been the first historian to fully explore the 215 interviews conducted with Soviet defenders of Stalingrad, and publish them. I found them in the archive of the Institute for Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
    ‘Edge of Europe’
    Who was conducting the interviews and why? Who were the interviewees of these “Stalingrad transcripts”?

    Josef Stalin in 1950. AP
    The interviews were conducted by historians from Moscow who responded to the German invasion in 1941 with a plan to document the Soviet war effort in its totality, and from the ground up. From 1942 to 1945, they interviewed close to 5,000 people – most of them soldiers, but also partisans, civilians who worked in the war economy or fought in the underground, and Soviet citizens who had survived Nazi occupation. These historians hoped that the published interviews would mobilize readers for the war. They also wanted to create an archival record for posterity. I was struck by how they made this decision as early as fall 1941, when the Soviet Union seemed to be teetering under the German assault. But the historians drew confidence from history, notably the War of 1812, when the Russian people had been able to defeat a technologically superior invader. Hitler, they were certain, would meet Napoleon’s end.
    Why did Stalingrad become important to the Nazis and the Soviets in 1942? In what way was it a battle that changed world history?
    When the Germans resumed their offensive, in spring 1942, their strategic target was the oil fields of the Caucasus. Only as Army Group South advanced toward Maikop and Grozny did Hitler order a separate attack on Stalingrad. He banked on the psychological blow that the fall of “Stalin’s city,” which is what Stalingrad literally means, would deliver to Stalin. It was largely because of its symbolic charge that the battle for Stalingrad turned into a decisive showdown between the two regimes.

  • Will the Earth Ever Fill Up? - Issue 51: Limits
    http://nautil.us/issue/51/limits/will-the-earth-ever-fill-up-rp

    To say that Thomas Robert Malthus was unpopular would be putting it mildly. His 19th-century contemporary Percy Shelley, the revered poet, called him a eunuch and a tyrant. The philosopher William Godwin dubbed him “a dark and terrible genius that is ever at hand to blast all the hopes of all mankind.” As Malthus’ biographer later put it, he was the most abused man of his age. And that was the age of Napoleon Bonaparte. The catalyst for this vilification was the 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population. In it, Malthus—a curly haired, 32-year-old curate of a small English chapel—attacked the claims of utopian thinkers like Godwin, who believed that reason and scientific progress would ultimately create a perfect society, free of inequality and suffering. Malthus took a more (...)

  • The Monument to the Battle of Nations: The Biggest Monument in Europe ~ Kuriositas
    http://www.kuriositas.com/2014/05/the-monument-to-battle-of-nations.html

    The shadow of a new war was already casting a long shadow in 1913. Yet it was the year when the people of the city of Leipzig in the German state of Saxony saw the completion of their monument to a battle which had taken place exactly a century before.

    The Monument to the Battle of Nations commemorated the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig. However, for almost a century after its inauguration, this remembrance of a battle of the past would be used by one group or another for their own ideological purposes.

    In 1813, the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden had fought against the French army which also contained Polish and Italian troops not to mention Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine. Little wonder it also became known as the Battle of the Nations: involving over 600,000 soldiers, the battle was the largest in Europe preceding World War II. The monument certainly reflects the immensity of the conflict.
    Yet the symbolism of this temple of death and freedom has often been misused: the monarchists in the Weimar Republic, the Nazis in the Third Reich and the Stalinists in East Germany have all attempted to use it for their own ends. It is only the last few decades which have seen it returned to its true role in the pantheon of critical commemoration and the European culture of remembrance.

  • Il n’y a plus de place pour Napoléon dans l’hymne national polonais - Sputnik France
    https://fr.sputniknews.com/international/201707181032268577-hymne-national-polonais-napoleon

    Jacek Żalek, député du parti polonais Droit et justice, s’est prononcé en faveur d’une modification de l’hymne national polonais (la mazurka de Dombrowski), en retirant du texte le nom de Napoléon Bonaparte, le premier empereur des Français.

    « L’hymne national doit actuellement contribuer à la construction de la communauté polonaise. Si des voix s’élèvent pour dire que le texte n’est plus actuel, il faut envisager de le modifier », a-t-il confié à Super Express.

  • Ship Automation Without Consultation - The Problem With Robot Ships – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/ship-automation-without-consultation-problem-robot-ships

    Éditorial coup de gueule de gCaptain

    (avec rappel de la réalité humaine des équipages de marins ; au passage, ce qui est évoqué là n’est pas fondamentalement différent de la façon dont l’automatisation se développe (s’est développée) partout ailleurs…)

    Promise Everything, Deliver Nothing
    Napoleon Bonaparte

    There is an ongoing “full court press” regarding the subject of automation in marine transportation. In the last year gCaptain alone has seen many articles on the subject; Rolls-Royce’s automated ships, automated tug boats, etc. Recently there have seen several more, […]. A plethora of marine transportation automation articles are being published internationally. It’s too good to pass up, they’re futuristic, high tech, glamorous and pressing all the hot buttons.
    […]
    But I digress, kudo’s should be given to Kongsberg and Yara (a Norwegian fertilizer manufacturer) for announcing a partnership to build the world’s first fully autonomous cargo container ship. The first zero emission electric, automated ship. I’m just a mariner but why can’t we make the world’s first zero emission electric manned ship? The referred to ship goes into operation by 2020 and “will replace 40,000 shipments a year that had once been carried by polluting diesel trucks”. Nice but I’m not sure that the international trucking industry, which is much closer to full automation of vehicles (at much, lower per unit cost), is going to just roll over and let maritime shipping take the money and run. A fully automated 18 wheel truck just successfully made a trip from coast to coast in the United States.

    But I digress, the fascinating aspect of the international discussion on automation in marine transportation is the seeming disregard for the professionals who know most about the subject, the mariners. I guess we are considered so outdated and conservative that our opinions and thoughts don’t matter. The business innovators and disruptors apparently don’t care what maritime professionals think or how the industry will be affected by automation. Change is coming, good or bad or ugly and knowledge of marine transportation is not needed to affect that change, so they say.

    The reality is most professional mariners would agree automation is coming and there will be a day when unmanned vessels travel the oceans. There will also, however, most certainly be a transition period likely for a significant amount of time. A time when international law and treaties will have to be completely reviewed and rewritten. A time when the oceans will see a mix of automated and manned ships. A time when employment in the poorest countries will be considered and debated.

    For example, presently in international marine transportation, some of the world’s poorest countries supply a significant portion of the world’s professional mariners providing much needed income for the demographic in question. If the average crew cost of a bulk carrier worldwide is less than 10% of total operating costs and it costs 3X as much to build an automated ship as a manned ship along with very high tech, expensive shore-side operation centers, which is the better choice? It’s not an unimportant consideration, the social justice aspect.

    As long as those entities and countries pushing for automation in marine transportation keep themselves isolated through a pure PR strategy. As long as they are unwilling to engage in broad and transparent conversations with those who know marine transportation, said entities will find one self-created road block after another. I’m not suggesting automation doesn’t arrive, it will. It’s a question of the transition, which will make or break many of those presently engaged in ‘automation without consultation’.

    • Ça me rappelle les problématiques de l’automatisation dans les engins spatiaux et dans les avions - et aussi un peu au débat sur la présence d’un chargeur manuel ou d’un chargeur automatique dans les blindés lourds : l’équipage n’est pas là pour gérer le fonctionnement nominal car dans ces circonstances l’appareil se gère déjà très bien tout seul... Il est là pour gérer les crises. La présence d’un équipage apporte la réactivité et la souplesse nécessaires à la résilience. Si à chaque panne il faut dépêcher un équipage de secours et que les incidents mineurs peuvent facilement dégénérer hors de contrôle, je doute de la rentabilité.

      Accessoirement, dans un navire de transport, l’équipage passe en permanence beaucoup de temps en maintenance de routine. Sans équipage, cette maintenance devra avoir lieu au port - or un navire perd de l’argent lorsqu’il est immobilisé. C’est exactement la même problématique que pour les avions qui passent largement plus de temps en l’air qu’au sol (et qui embarquaient il y a longtemps un mécanicien) mais je ne vois pas le modèle économique de la marine marchande permettre aux navires d’atteindre le niveau de fiabilité requis pour s’en passer.

      Bref, il me semble que les navires continueront à employer de moins en moins de marins - l’automatisation est déjà la tendance depuis très longtemps, mais on atteindra une zone de rendements décroissants et l’asymptote du zéro équipage mettra plus de temps qu’on ne le pense à arriver.

  • The Underappreciated Man Behind the “Best Graphic Ever Produced”
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/charles-minard-cartography-infographics-history

    Charles Joseph Minard’s name is synonymous with an outstanding 1869 graphic depicting the horrific loss of life that Napoleon’s army suffered in 1812 and 1813, during its invasion of Russia and subsequent retreat. The graphic (below), which is often referred to simply as “Napoleon’s March” or “the Minard graphic,” rose to its prominent position in the pantheon of data visualizations largely thanks to praise from one of the field’s modern giants, Edward Tufte. In his 1983 classic text, “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information,” Tufte declared that Napoleon’s March “may well be the best statistical graphic ever produced.”

    #minard #cartographie #visualisation #sémiologie #précurseurs #cartoexperiment

  • Seeking #Minard

    http://infowetrust.com/seeking-minard

    Charles Joseph Minard was a French engineer famous for his depiction of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow. He produced over 50 beautiful maps, most notably dozens that draped the flow of goods and people over geography. This article intentionally dives directly past the Moscow map and deep into a most surprising story of data visualization pioneering.

    Minard composed almost all of his maps in retirement after completing a decorated career as an engineer and civil servant. A full biography is warranted, but the highlights of Minard’s professional career include studying as a teenager under Lagrange and Fourrier at the Ecole Polytechnique, taking part in many major public works projects, teaching at France’s premier civil engineering school (Ecole nationale des ponts et chaussée), being named to the National Order of the Legion of Honour and becoming the Inspector General of Bridges and Roads.

    #visualisation #cartoexperiment #précurseurs #cartographes #cartographie

  • Invisible Images (Your Pictures Are Looking at You)

    http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/invisible-images-your-pictures-are-looking-at-you

    Super article, très important. À lire.

    When you put an image on Facebook or other social media, you’re feeding an array of immensely powerful artificial intelligence systems information about how to identify people and how to recognize places and objects, habits and preferences, race, class, and gender identifications, economic statuses, and much more.

    Neural networks cannot invent their own classes; they’re only able to relate images they ingest to images that they’ve been trained on. And their training sets reveal the historical, geographical, racial, and socio-economic positions of their trainers.

    Ideology’s ultimate trick has always been to present itself as objective truth, to present historical conditions as eternal, and to present political formations as natural. Because image operations function on an invisible plane and are not dependent on a human seeing-subject (and are therefore not as obviously ideological as giant paintings of Napoleon) they are harder to recognize for what they are: immensely powerful levers of social regulation that serve specific race and class interests while presenting themselves as objective

    as capital searches out new domains of everyday life to bring into its sphere, the ability to use automated imaging and sensing to extract wealth from smaller and smaller slices of everyday life is irresistible. It’s easy to imagine, for example, an AI algorithm on Facebook noticing an underage woman drinking beer in a photograph from a party. That information is sent to the woman’s auto insurance provider, who subscribes to a Facebook program designed to provide this kind of data to credit agencies, health insurers, advertisers, tax officials, and the police. Her auto insurance premium is adjusted accordingly. A second algorithm combs through her past looking for similar misbehavior that the parent company might profit from.

    Machine-machine systems are extraordinary intimate instruments of power that operate through an aesthetics and ideology of objectivity, but the categories they employ are designed to reify the forms of power that those systems are set up to serve. As such, the machine-machine landscape forms a kind of hyper-ideology that is especially pernicious precisely because it makes claims to objectivity and equality.

    #facebook #ia #machine_learning

  • Les Lumières et l’esclavage
    http://www.cntaittoulouse.lautre.net/spip.php?article836

    L’article « Sapere aude ! » http://www.cntaittoulouse.lautre.net/spip.php?article823 publié dans votre précédent numéro aborde rapidement, vers la fin, un point essentiel de la doxa anti-Lumières : leur rapport à l’esclavage. Face à l’avalanche d’âneries que l’on peut lire ou entendre sur ce sujet, je vous propose de faire un point.

    L’AIR DE LA CALOMNIE

    Si l’on tape sur « Google » les termes « histoire de l’esclavage » , on tombe très facilement – ce n’est qu’un exemple – sur la revue Hérodote qui affirme, péremptoirement,

    « L’esclavage, pudiquement qualifié d’institution particulière par les élites des Lumières, a été progressivement aboli à la fin du XVIIIe siècle et au XIXe siècle dans les États américains et les colonies européennes grâce à l’action des sociétés philanthropiques d’inspiration chrétienne. » [1]

    Deux remarques s’imposent : peut-être quelque auteur français des Lumières a-t-il employé cette expression, mais malgré une lecture assidue, je ne l’ai encore jamais rencontrée. En fait, l’expression est de Thomas Jefferson, le 3e président des USA, qui possédait lui-même des esclaves. Attribuer son expression « pudique » à l’ensemble des Lumières constitue une généralisation totalement abusive. Et ajouter que la lutte contre l’esclavage fut « d’inspiration chrétienne » [2], un parfait contre-sens au moins en ce qui concerne la France, comme nous l’allons voir. Mais on peut lire encore pire : de la calomnie pure et dure. Ainsi le Guide vert de Bretagne a osé imprimer que Voltaire aurait eu « une part de 5000 livres dans un négrier nantais » sans apporter, bien sûr, le moindre début de preuve ; affirmation reprise, quoique sous une forme non chiffrée, mais toujours sans l’ombre d’une preuve par des politiciens comme… Christiane Taubira, mais que l’on retrouve aussi – c’est un comble – dans une brochure du mouvement pédagogique Freinet et, bien entendu, distillée par des journaleux en mal de « révélations » [3].

    C’est la fameuse technique de la calomnie, décrite par Beaumarchais, un des esprits les plus pétillants des Lumières :

    « … il n’y a pas, écrivait-il, de plate méchanceté, pas d’horreurs, pas de conte absurde qu’on ne fasse adopter aux oisifs d’une grande ville, en s’y prenant bien.... D’abord un bruit léger, rasant le sol [...] telle bouche le recueille, et, piano, piano, vous le glisse en l’oreille adroitement ; le mal est fait : il germe, il rampe, il chemine, […] éclate et tonne, et devient un cri général […] » [4]

    Et nous en sommes là : d’insinuations fielleuses en affirmations parfaitement fausses, la campagne réactionnaire contre les Lumières bat son plein depuis plusieurs années, tant et si bien que beaucoup de lycéens, qui en ont lu au maximum une demi-page, sont persuadés que Montesquieu (quand ils le connaissent) est un esclavagiste et que les autres Lumières ne valaient pas mieux.
    Voyons donc ce qu’il en est en réalité.

    DE LA PRÉHISTOIRE AU XVIIIe SIÈCLE : DES SIÈCLES D’ESCLAVAGE

    Pour comprendre des textes anciens, il est nécessaire de les resituer dans leur contexte et donc de rappeler, au moins à grands traits, ce qu’était l’époque à laquelle ils ont été rédigés. Cette époque, ce XVIIIe siècle dans lequel apparaissent les Lumières est, comme toute la période qui la précède, un siècle esclavagiste, en France et dans le monde.

    Sur le plan mondial, personne ne s’insurge alors (ni même longtemps après) contre la « traite orientale » des esclaves, pourtant

    « la plus longue en durée et la plus importante en nombre d’esclaves puisqu’on estime que 17 millions de noirs seront mis en esclavage »

    et cela pour alimenter

    « le monde musulman en esclaves noirs, d’abord dans l’empire arabe puis dans l’empire Ottoman. » [5]

    pas plus d’ailleurs que contre la « traite intra-africaine » qui, d’une part a fourni les esclaves de la « traite atlantique » mais aussi alimenté la « clientèle » africaine ( « 14 millions de noirs furent ainsi réduit en esclavage sur place » [6].).

    La Grèce, Rome ont pratiqué l’esclavage. La France l’a aussi connu. Même en plein XVIIIe siècle, le servage (une forme locale d’esclavage) y persiste encore. L’esclavage est considéré comme tellement normal qu’à la fin du XVIIe il est réglementé par un texte juridique, le Code noir (1685) [7]. Les dispositions de ce code seront progressivement aggravées par Louis XV. A cette époque, La France est un pays dominé, écrasé même par l’église catholique. Et celle-ci, qui n’a jamais hésité à avoir des esclaves [8], justifiait sa position par le droit canonique, l’Ancien et le Nouveau Testament ainsi que par les Pères de l’Église. Si bien que les grands savants théologiens catholiques de l’époque, à commencer par Bossuet et en suivant par Jean Pontas, Germain Fromageau, Bellon de Saint-Quentin

    « n’ont jamais mis en discussion la légitimité de l’esclavage, notamment de l’esclavage des noirs » [9]

    Pire, pour le célèbre Bossuet ; condamner l’esclavage ce serait

    « condamner le St Esprit qui ordonne aux esclaves, par la bouche de St Paul, de demeurer dans leur état et n’oblige point les maîtres à les affranchir’’ » [10].

    D’ailleurs, et c’est une donnée essentielle pour comprendre l’acceptation de ce crime par une société pétrie de christianisme,

    « La justification officielle de la traite est l’évangélisation des Noirs » [11].

    Comme les choses, surtout sur une période de plusieurs siècles, sont rarement d’un bloc uniforme, il faut dire également qu’avant le mouvement des Lumières il y eut, ça et là, quelques tentatives courageuses d’interdire ou d’abolir l’esclavage mais sans effet pratique sur l’esclavage dans les colonies.

    En résumé, quand le mouvement des Lumières apparaît, il baigne, comme toute la société, dans cet esclavagisme. Et c’est par un effort soutenu de réflexion et de critique qu’il va réussir à s’en dégager.

    « QUE LES COLONIES EUROPÉENNES SOIENT DONC PLUTÔT DÉTRUITES, QUE DE FAIRE TANT DE MALHEUREUX ! »

    Les Lumières, il faut le rappeler, ne constituent ni une « école » ni un courant homogène. Ces auteurs (dont un petit nombre viendra du clergé) polémiquent souvent entre eux avec la plus grande virulence. Leur point commun est de vouloir penser par eux-mêmes, d’accepter la discussion, d’évaluer les raisonnements des uns et des autres et… d’évoluer en fonction de la pertinence des arguments.

    Partant d’une société dans laquelle l’esclavage est une sorte « d’évidence » générale, que personne ou presque ne questionne, il n’est pas étonnant que

    « L’élaboration de la culture critique anti-esclavagiste au XVIIIe siècle [… n’ait pas été] sans hésitations puisque cette critique devait briser une longue tradition de légitimation théorique de l’esclavage qui, auparavant, n’avait jamais été mise en question en ces termes. » [12] .

    C’est par une sorte de tâtonnement que cette critique s’élabore. Pour schématiser, on peut observer trois phases : celle où l’esclavage n’est pas reconnu comme un problème ou même est admis (quelques rares auteurs en resteront à ce stade), celle du début de la réflexion éthique avec des contradictions et des ambiguïtés, et enfin celle de la révolte et de l’affirmation de l’anti-esclavagisme (à partir des années 1770). Les textes des principaux auteurs vont nous montrer les conclusions auxquelles ils parviennent.

    VOLTAIRE

    C’est sous forme d’un conte, un genre qu’il affectionnait pour faire passer ses idées chez le plus grand nombre possible, que Voltaire s’attaque à l’esclavage :

    « En approchant de la ville, ils rencontrèrent un nègre étendu par terre, n’ayant plus que la moitié de son habit, c’est-à-dire d’un caleçon de toile bleue ; il manquait à ce pauvre homme la jambe gauche et la main droite.

    – Eh, mon Dieu ! lui dit Candide en hollandais, que fais-tu là, mon ami, dans l’état horrible où je te vois ?
    – J’attends mon maître, monsieur Vanderdendur, le fameux négociant, répondit le nègre.
    – Est-ce M. Vanderdendur, dit Candide, qui t’a traité ainsi  ?
    – Oui, monsieur, dit le nègre, c’est l’usage. […]
    – Ô Pangloss ! s’écria Candide, tu n’avais pas deviné cette abomination ; c’en est fait, il faudra qu’à la fin je renonce à ton optimisme. […] Et il versait des larmes en regardant son nègre, et, en pleurant, il entra dans le Surinam. »
    [13].

    Et Candide, qui n’avait pas perdu son optimisme devant les plus grands désastres (tel le tremblement de terre de Lisbonne) le perd irrémédiablement quand il est confronté à cette abomination qu’est l’esclavage.

    ROUSSEAU

    Dans ce qui est son ouvrage fondamental de philosophie politique, « Du contrat social » , Jean-Jacques Rousseau consacre un chapitre, « De l’esclavage » , à cette question. Il débute par ces mots :

    « Puisque aucun homme n’a une autorité naturelle sur son semblable, […]. »

    et se conclut, à la suite de tout un raisonnement par :

    « Ainsi, de quelque sens qu’on envisage les choses, le droit d’esclave est nul, non seulement parce qu’il est illégitime, mais parce qu’il est absurde et ne signifie rien. Ces mots, esclavage et droit, sont contradictoires ; ils s’excluent mutuellement. Soit d’un homme à un homme, soit d’un homme à un peuple, ce discours sera toujours également insensé : je fais avec toi une convention toute à ta charge et toute à mon profit, que j’observerai tant qu’il me plaira, et que tu observeras tant qu’il me plaira. » [14]

    Par « le droit d’esclave » il faut bien entendu entendre « le droit d’avoir des esclaves ». Ce droit est nul, nous dit Rousseau, qui illustre son propos en soulignant le caractère tout à fait léonin de toute « convention » qui régirait l’esclavage.

    DIDEROT

    Denis Diderot est encore plus clair quand il écrit :

    « À qui, barbares, ferez-vous croire qu’un homme peut être la propriété d’un souverain ; un fils, la propriété d’un père ; une femme, la propriété d’un mari ; un domestique, la propriété d’un maître ; un esclave, la propriété d’un colon ? » [15].

    En quelques lignes, Diderot s’attaque non seulement à l’esclavage mais aussi au servage, au patriarcat et au machisme ! Et c’était il y a plus de 200 ans ! C’est peu de dire que l’ouvrage dont sont extraites ses lignes ne plut pas aux autorités. Le Parlement et l’Église le censurèrent et Louis XVI le fit brûler publiquement. Le directeur de publication partit prudemment en exil…

    CONDORCET

    Condorcet de son côté dénonce vigoureusement une époque

    « … souillée par de grandes atrocités. Elle fut celle des massacres religieux, des guerres sacrées, de la dépopulation du nouveau monde. Elle y vit rétablir l’ancien esclavage, mais plus barbare, plus fécond en crimes contre la nature ; elle vit l’avidité mercantile commercer du sang des hommes, les vendre comme des marchandises […] et les enlever à un hémisphère pour les dévouer dans un autre, au milieu de l’humiliation et des outrages, au supplice prolongé d’une lente et cruelle destruction » [16].

    Il s’adresse directement aux esclaves :

    « Quoique je ne sois pas de la même couleur que vous, je vous ai toujours regardé comme mes frères. La nature vous a formés pour avoir le même esprit, la même raison, les mêmes vertus que les Blancs. Je ne parle ici que de ceux d’Europe, car pour les Blancs des Colonies, je ne vous fais pas l’injure de les comparer avec vous (…). Si on allait chercher un homme dans les Isles de l’Amérique, ce ne serait point parmi les gens de chair blanche qu’on le trouverait. » [17].

    La condamnation de l’esclavage et de ceux qui la pratiquent est claire.

    DE JAUCOURT

    Louis de Jaucourt est moins connu du grand public. C’est pourtant, peut-être, un des auteurs qui illustre le mieux l’universalisme des Lumières. Après des études de théologie (protestante) à Genève, il se rend à Cambridge pour étudier mathématiques et physique, puis il poursuit sa peregrinatio academica à Leyde où il devient docteur en médecine. Louis de Jeaucourt parlait cinq langues vivantes (français, allemand, anglais, italien, espagnol) et maîtrisait deux langues mortes (grec et latin). Fin connaisseur des littératures anciennes et modernes et bien instruit en histoire et politique, philosophie et théologie, physique et mathématiques, chimie et botanique, belles-lettres et beaux-arts, Louis de Jaucourt est le principal contributeur à ce qui fut l’œuvre majeure des Lumières, l’ Encyclopédie [18], puisqu’il en rédige à lui seul un bon quart (soit quelques 18 000 articles sur les 72 000 qu’elle comprend, cela sans compter les articles qu’il cosigne). Fuyant les mondanités, travaillant sans relâche à ses articles, de Jaucourt avait fait don de ses biens aux pauvres qu’il soignait, en tant que praticien, à titre gratuit [19].

    Voici ce qu’il écrit dans deux articles de l’Encyclopédie « Esclavage » et « Traite des Nègres » :

    « Après avoir parcouru l’histoire de l’esclavage, nous allons prouver qu’il blesse la liberté de l’homme, qu’il est contraire au droit naturel et civil, qu’il choque les formes des meilleurs gouvernements, et qu’enfin il est inutile par lui-même. […] rien au monde ne peut rendre l’esclavage légitime. »

    Dans le second article, de Jaucourt n’hésite pas à aborder les aspects économiques (qui constituent, in fine, un des arguments majeurs des esclavagistes) :

    « On dira peut-être qu’elles seraient bientôt ruinées, ces colonies, si l’on y abolissait l’esclavage des nègres. Mais quand cela serait, faut-il conclure de là que le genre humain doit être horriblement lésé, pour nous enrichir ou fournir à notre luxe ? Il est vrai que les bourses des voleurs des grands chemins seraient vides, si le vol était absolument supprimé : mais les hommes ont-ils le droit de s’enrichir par des voies cruelles et criminelles ? Quel droit a un brigand de dévaliser les passants ? »

    Et de conclure, conclusion que nous faisons nôtre :

    « Que les colonies européennes soient donc plutôt détruites, que de faire tant de malheureux ! »

    C’est de ce mouvement des Lumières que naîtra la première organisation abolitionniste de France, la « Société des amis des noirs » (1788) qui ouvre la voie à l’abolition officielle de l’esclavage par la Révolution française, le 16 pluviôse de l’an II. Napoléon Ier, qui n’avait rien d’une Lumière, rétablit l’esclavage par la loi du 20 mai 1802, et c’est un décret du 27 avril 1848, porté par Victor Schœlcher qui abolira définitivement l’esclavage en France.

    RETOUR SUR L’AIR DE LA CALOMNIE

    Comme les textes apportent, pour peu qu’on prenne la peine de les lire, un démenti cinglant à ceux qui veulent assimiler esclavage et Lumières, une deuxième ligne d’attaque – nous en avons dit un mot en introduction – s’est insidieusement développée ; celle qui prétend que les philosophes des Lumières auraient eu un double langage et qu’ils auraient tiré des bénéfices direct de l’esclavage.

    De Jaucourt (qui donne tous ses biens), Rousseau (qui vit dans la misère) et bien d’autres étant totalement inattaquables, la calomnie se concentre sur un des auteurs les plus connus Voltaire, et vient accessoirement tenter de salir Diderot.

    Dès son époque, Voltaire était surveillé, scruté par ses nombreux ennemis, en particulier les Jésuites qui lui vouaient une haine farouche. S’il y avait eu la moindre contradiction entre ses écrits et sa vie, ils se seraient fait un plaisir de le publier. Or, il n’en est rien. 238 ans après sa mort, alors que des travaux sans nombre lui ont été consacrés dans le monde entier ses ennemis, toujours aussi nombreux, n’ont pas trouvé le moindre début de preuve de ce qu’ils avancent. Il semble que l’origine de cette rumeur nauséabonde se trouverait dans l’article d’une historienne, Nelly Schmidt. Mais elle n’en publie aucune preuve et ne répond pas quand on l’interroge :

    « Sollicitée à plusieurs reprises d’indiquer sa source, Mme Schmidt ne m’a pas répondu »

    note Jean Ehrard [20].

    Ceci dit, si je me permets un commentaire personnel, je m’étonne que les quelques universitaires et autres individus qui attaquent les Lumières pour de prétendues complicités avec l’esclavage au XVIIIe siècle ne se fassent pas connaître dans la lutte contre l’esclavage aujourd’hui ni en France [21], ni dans le monde. Pourtant, au bas mot, il y a actuellement, au moins 45,8 millions de personnes réduites en esclavage, un tiers d’entre elles étant des enfants [22]. Mais, probablement, travailler à tirer de l’esclavage quelques millions d’enfants et d’adultes est moins « vendeur » (ou moins subventionné) que de cracher sur ceux qui, les premiers, ont lutté pour cette libération. De même, je ne me souviens pas d’avoir vu les détracteurs des Lumières s’élever conte le génocide rwandais, le génocide cambodgien et tant d’autres horreurs. Sans doute étaient-ils trop occupés à leurs misérables recherches pour protester contre les abominations de notre temps.

    Parvenu à ce stade, je me permettrai une dernière remarque. Quand on veut « peser » le « pour » et le « contre » il faut aussi « peser » le rapport de forces. Les auteurs qu’on appelle les Lumières n’étaient qu’une poignée, quelques dizaines. Les opposants aux Lumières, au moins ceux qui étaient organisés, formaient de véritables armées (à la veille de la Révolution, le clergé compte 120 000 hommes, essentiellement hostiles aux Lumières) et ils avaient le pouvoir. Critiquer l’organisation sociale exposait à des interdictions (l’Encyclopédie fut interdite), à des bannissements, des exils, à de la prison et même à la mort [23]. Dans ce contexte, avoir dénoncé l’esclavage, un des piliers du système, c’était faire preuve d’un grand courage. Un courage qui manque tant de nos jours aux « élites » intellectuelles pour dénoncer les abominations du monde actuel.

    [1] cf : https://www.herodote.net/De_l_Antiquite_a_nos_jours-synthese-16.php .

    [2] Aux USA, les Quakers ont effectivement joué ce rôle.

    [3] Jean Ehrard, Lumières et esclavage. L’esclavage colonial et l’opinion publique en France au XVIIIe siècle , André Versaille éditeur, 2008, 239 pages. C’est l’ouvrage de référence dans ce domaine.

    [4] Beaumarchais, Barbier de Séville, 1775.

    [5] http://dp.mariottini.free.fr/esclavage/histoire-chronologie/les-3-traites.htm

    [6] http://dp.mariottini.free.fr/esclavage/histoire-chronologie/les-3-traites.htm

    [7] On oublie souvent de le préciser : cette ignominie qu’est le « Code Noir » est également antisémite : il s’attaque, dès son premier article, aux juifs.

    [8] Les fils naturels de prêtre étaient systématiquement esclaves de l’église catholique.

    [9] Alessandro Tuccillo, « Jean Ehrard, Lumières et esclavage. L’esclavage et l’opinion publique en France au XVIIIe siècle » http://montesquieu.ens-lyon.fr/spip.php?article943 .

    [10] Citation de Bossuet, Dictionnaire rationaliste, article esclavage.

    [11] Jean Ehrard, Lumières et esclavage. L’esclavage colonial et l’opinion publique en France au XVIIIe siècle , André Versaille éditeur, 2008, 239 pages.

    [12] Alessandro Tuccillo, « Jean Ehrard, Lumières et esclavage. L’esclavage et l’opinion publique en France au XVIIIe siècle » http://montesquieu.ens-lyon.fr/spip.php?article943 .

    [13] Voltaire, Candide ou l’optimiste , 1759.

    [14] Rousseau, Du contrat social , 1750.

    [15] « Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes » . Cet ouvrage collectif, considéré comme la « bible » de l’anticolonialisme, a été, dirait-on aujourd’hui, publié sous la direction de l’abbé Raynal. Le passage cité ici est de Diderot. 1780. On peut consulter à ce sujet la notice BnF no FRBNF31182796.

    [16] Condorcet, Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain , 1793/1794

    [17] Condorcet, Réflexions sur l’esclavage des Nègres , 1781.

    [18] Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers , sous la direction de Diderot et D’Alembert. Il faudra plus de vingt ans (1751-1772) pour que la publication soit complète et parvienne à surmonter les immenses difficultés qu’on lui opposa.

    [19] Musée virtuel du protestantisme, article de Jaucourt, http://www.museeprotestant.org/notice/louis-de-jaucourt-1704-1779

    [20] Jean Ehrard, Lumières et esclavage. L’esclavage colonial et l’opinion publique en France au XVIIIe siècle , André Versaille éditeur, 2008, 239 pages.

    [21] Vous aviez publié il y a quelques années le cas d’un « esclave moderne » que vous aviez tiré de cette situation, à Lauzerte (82) je crois. Autant qu’il me souvienne, et bien que l’affaire ait fait du bruit, aucun des universitaires anti-Lumières n’a apporté la moindre aide ni n’a manifesté de soutien.

    [22] https://www.walkfree.org d’après, en particulier, des chiffres de l’UNICEF.

    [23] En 1766, après avoir subi la torture, le chevalier de la Barre, à peine âgé de 21 ans, est condamné pour « impiété ». Il est décapité et son corps jeté aux flammes avec l’exemplaire saisi chez lui du « Dictionnaire Philosophique » de Voltaire.

    -------
    Outre les références citées en notes, on lira avec grand intérêt !

    Christian Albertan, « Jean Ehrard, Lumières et esclavage. L’Esclavage colonial et l’opinion publique en France au XVIIIe siècle » , Annales historiques de la Révolution française.
    http://ahrf.revues.org/11508

    Marie Leca-Tsiomis, « Jean ERHARD, Lumières et esclavage. L’esclavage colonial et l’opinion publique en France au XVIIIe siècle » , Recherches sur Diderot et sur l’Encyclopédie, numéro 43 Varia, [En ligne], mis en ligne le 26 novembre 2008. . Consulté le 19 septembre 2016.
    http://rde.revues.org/3812

    Ann Thomson, « Diderot, Roubaud et l’esclavage » , Recherches sur Diderot et sur l’Encyclopédie, numéro 35 Varia.
    http://rde.revues.org/179

    Article d’@Anarchosyndicalisme ! n°151 Oct-Nov 2016
    http://www.cntaittoulouse.lautre.net/spip.php?article834

    • Qu’apporte cette précision de la « traite intra-africaine » pour une "« clientèle » africaine" dans ce texte ? à part un dédouanement de l’occident et un détournement du sujet, je ne voie pas trop. Et au passage cette précision prend vraiment lea lecteurice pour une buse, comme si tout le monde n’étais pas au courant que l’esclavage existait hors du contexte de l’histoire moderne... et comme si cette précision n’étais pas le plus gros poncif qu’on puisse sortir sur le sujet. Ca me semble être du pure #whitesplanning

      Il me semble évident que les militant·e·s afro-descendant·e·s actuels auquel se texte semble vouloir répondre parlent et veulent parler de l’esclavage par les pays occidentaux pendant la période classique et moderne, et n’ont pas d’intérêt pour la grèce antique ou l’empire ottoman dont ils sont de toute façon déjà largement informé·e·s par tous les fafs, FNoïdes et bravepatriotes depuis belles lurettes.

      Par rapport à Voltaire, c’est bien de sortir Candide mais c’est aussi une réponse qui tombe à coté, il semble que le texte qui pose problème soit l’"Essai sur les Mœurs et l’esprit des Nations"(1756)
      voici un extrait explicitement raciste :

      Leurs yeux ronds, leur nez épaté, leurs lèvres toujours grosses, leurs oreilles différemment figurées, la laine de leur tête, la mesure même de leur intelligence, mettent entre eux et les autres espèces d’hommes des différences prodigieuses. Et ce qui démontre qu’ils ne doivent point cette différence à leur climat, c’est que des nègres et des négresses transportés dans les pays les plus froids y produisent toujours des animaux de leur espèce, et que les mulâtres ne sont qu’une race bâtarde d’un noir et d’une blanche, ou d’un blanc et d’une noire.

      source ; http://www.contreculture.org/AG%20Voltaire.html

    • « Nous n’achetons des esclaves domestiques que chez les Nègres ; on nous reproche ce commerce. Un peuple qui trafique de ses enfants est encore plus condamnable que l’acheteur.
      Ce négoce démontre notre supériorité ; celui qui se donne un maître était né pour en avoir. »
      (tome 8, page 187)

      Lettre à Michaud de Nantes, son associé dans l’armement du Congo (Cité par César Cantu, Histoire universelle, 3ème édition, Tome XIII, p 148. Accessible sur Google books)
      « Je me félicite avec vous de l’heureux succès du navire le Congo, arrivé si à propos sur la côte d’Afrique pour soustraire à la mort tant de malheureux nègres... Je me réjouis d’avoir fait une bonne affaire en même temps qu’une bonne action. »

      l’Essai sur les moeurs, Voltaire publie le Traité de Métaphysique. La thèse de l’origine différente et de l’inégalité des races humaines est déjà présente, dans toute sa nudité et toute sa violence.

      Descendu sur ce petit amas de boue, et n’ayant pas plus de notion de l’homme que l’homme n’en a des habitants de Mars ou de Jupiter, je débarque vers les côtes de l’Océan, dans le pays de la Cafrerie, et d’abord je me mets à chercher un homme. Je vois des singes, des éléphants, des nègres, qui semblent tous avoir quelque lueur d’une raison imparfaite. Les uns et les autres ont un langage que je n’entends point, et toutes leurs actions paraissent se rapporter également à une certaine fin. Si je jugeais des choses par le premier effet qu’elles font sur moi, j’aurais du penchant à croire d’abord que de tous ces êtres c’est l’éléphant qui est l’animal raisonnable. Mais, pour ne rien décider trop légèrement, je prends des petits de ces différentes bêtes ; j’examine un enfant nègre de six mois, un petit éléphant, un petit singe, un petit lion, un petit chien : je vois, à n’en pouvoir douter, que ces jeunes animaux ont incomparablement plus de force et d’adresse ; qu’ils ont plus d’idées, plus de passions, plus de mémoire, que le petit nègre ; qu’ils expriment bien plus sensiblement tous leurs désirs ; mais, au bout de quelque temps, le petit nègre a tout autant d’idées qu’eux tous. Je m’aperçois même que ces animaux nègres ont entre eux un langage bien mieux articulé encore, et bien plus variable que celui des autres bêtes. J’ai eu le temps d’apprendre ce langage, et enfin, à force de considérer le petit degré de supériorité qu’ils ont à la longue sur les singes et sur les éléphants, j’ai hasardé de juger qu’en effet c’est là l’homme ; et je me suis fait à moi-même cette définition :

      L’homme est un animal noir qui a de la laine sur la tête, marchant sur deux pattes, presque aussi adroit qu’un singe, moins fort que les autres animaux de sa taille, ayant un peu plus d’idées qu’eux, et plus de facilité pour les exprimer ; sujet d’ailleurs à toutes les mêmes nécessités ; naissant, vivant, et mourant tout comme eux.

      « Mais qu’est-ce donc que Voltaire ? Voltaire, disons-le avec joie et tristesse, c’est l’esprit français ».
      (Victor Hugo. « Shakespeare »)

      #anarcho_bourgeois

    • Bonjour @mad_meg ,

      Des amis m’ont transmis la réponse que vous avez bien voulu me faire sur Seenthis. J’ai pris assez de temps pour vous répondre car, comme indiqué plus bas, j’ai cherché, sans les trouver, quelques références.

      Votre première remarque est la suivante :

      Qu’apporte cette précision de la « traite intra-africaine » pour une "« clientèle » africaine" dans ce texte ? à part un dédouanement de l’occident et un détournement du sujet, je ne voie pas trop. Et au passage cette précision prend vraiment lea lecteurice pour une buse, comme si tout le monde n’étais pas au courant que l’esclavage existait hors du contexte de l’histoire moderne... et comme si cette précision n’étais pas le plus gros poncif qu’on puisse sortir sur le sujet. Ca me semble être du pure #whitesplanning

      Je vous rappelle que le titre de mon article était « Les Lumières et l’esclavage ». La question de l’esclavage « pèse » donc la moitié du titre. Il était légitime qu’elle soit au moins succinctement abordée. Vous écrivez « comme si tout le monde ne savait pas que l’esclavage existait hors du contexte de l’histoire moderne » . Votre assertion est erronée ou du moins imprécise car l’esclavage ne concerne pas que le passé, il continue à sévir dans l’histoire moderne. Au jour d’aujourd’hui, il y a quelques 36 millions d’esclaves dans le monde (1), ce qui est à peu près l’équivalent de la population du Canada. Ce n’est donc pas « rien ». Or l’esclavage actuel se maintient dans l’indifférence quasi-générale : où sont les écrivains, les intellectuels, les militants de gauche et d’extrême gauche qui osent dénoncer publiquement le problème et militer pour qu’il cesse ? J’en voie fort peu. Et permettez-moi de m’étonner que l’on critique les Lumières pour ne pas avoir été assez radicales contre l’esclavage il y a 200 ans tout en se moquant bien du sort des 36 millions d’enfants, de femmes et d’hommes qui sont réduits aujourd’hui à ce triste sort. C’est une énorme contradiction. Si j’étais chrétien, cela me rappellerait la parabole selon laquelle on voit plus facilement la paille dans l’œil de son voisin que la poutre de son propre œil.

      Vous écrivez ensuite :

      Il me semble évident que les militant·e·s afro-descendant·e·s actuels auquel se texte semble vouloir répondre parlent et veulent parler de l’esclavage par les pays occidentaux pendant la période classique et moderne, et n’ont pas d’intérêt pour la grèce antique ou l’empire ottoman dont ils sont de toute façon déjà largement informé·e·s par tous les fafs, FNoïdes et bravepatriotes depuis belles lurettes.

      Vous affirmez que les « afro-descendants » sont largement informés sur la traite par « l’empire ottoman ». Je ne sais pas ce qui vous autorise à proférer une telle affirmation. Malgré d’assez longues recherches, je n’ai trouvé strictement aucune étude pouvant servir d’assise à votre affirmation. Tout au contraire, en interrogeant autour de moi des amis « noirs de peau » (pour reprendre une terminologie exécrable) et des amis de ces amis il m’est apparu que si quelques-uns avaient vaguement entendu parler de la traite intra-africaine, la plupart « tombaient de cul » en la découvrant. La traite intra-africaine est une réalité qui émerge à peine depuis quelques années dans les consciences. Et cette réalité, plus on la creuse, plus elle apparait comme effrayante, tant et si bien que les auteurs « noirs » qui travaillent la question finissent par dire que si la traite atlantique est constitutive d’un crime contre l’humanité, la traite africaine constitue un véritable génocide : non seulement par la mortalité lors de la traversée des déserts dans des conditions épouvantables mais surtout par le passage systématique garçons dans des « ateliers de castration », avec une mortalité de l’ordre de 70 à 80 % et une infécondité pour les survivants. Comme l’esclavage intra-africain s’est poursuivi au XIXème siècle et même aujourd’hui, il y a des traces iconographiques qui font froid dans le dos. Une présentation édulcorée de la question, mais intéressante, a été faite sur Arte (2).

      Au total, je vous retourne votre question : pourquoi donc ne faudrait-il pas aborder dans un article sur l’esclavage la forme d’esclavage la plus massive, c’est-à dire l’esclavage intra-africain ? Voyons vos arguments :

      – ce serait pour dédouaner l’Occident de ses propres crimes. Remarquons que, même si cela a pris trop de temps, l’Occident, ou du moins la France puisque c’est ici qu’on vit (et où ont vécu les Lumières dont il est question dans mon article) a déclaré officiellement par la loi n°2001-434 du 21 mai 2001 « la reconnaissance de la traite et de l’esclavage en tant que crime contre l’humanité » (https://www.herodote.net/La_traite_un_crime_contre_l_humanite_-article-17.php), à l’égal de la Shoah et des autres génocides du XXe siècle et a proclamé le 10 mai journée des « Mémoires de la traite négrière, de l’esclavage et de leurs abolitions » . Je ne crois pas beaucoup aux lois, mais j’aimerais tellement que le Qatar (premier pays esclavagiste) ou le Maroc par exemple (150 000 esclaves) abolissent dans les fait l’esclavage et reconnaissent que c’est un crime !

      – ce serait inutile en général car « tout le monde serait au courant » . Affirmation totalement gratuite qu’aucune étude ne vient étayer en ce qui concerne la traite intra africaine.

      – ce serait inutile en particulier pour les « afro-descendants » qui n’y porteraient aucun intérêt (on se demande bien pourquoi) et surtout qui seraient « largement informés par par tous les fafs, FNoides et bravepatriotes depuis belle lurette » . Assertion fausse à au moins deux niveaux :
      1/ Il y a maintenant des afro-descendants qui découvrent la traite intra-africaine, qui s’y intéressent, et de plus en plus, un petit tour sur « youtube » vous en donnera d’assez nombreux exemples.
      2/ comme indiqué plus haut, il n’existe pas d’étude prouvant que les « afro-descendants » soient largement informés », le constat que j’ai pu faire montre même l’inverse.

      – Finalement, c’est dans la dernière ligne du paragraphe cité qu’on comprend votre motivation : les fafs, FNoïdes et bravepatriotes parlent de l’esclavage intra-africain, donc les autres doivent s’interdire d’en parler. Votre logique est une logique que l’on connait bien en politique : taire la vérité car elle pourrait mettre en contradiction telle ou telle théorie. Ce fut la logique du Parti Communiste qui étouffait tous les méfaits du stalinisme sous prétexte de « ne pas désespérer Billancourt ». On connait le résultat de cette politique de l’autruche : ça marche un certain temps, puis ça s’effondre, parfois violemment. A l’inverse des taiseux de la vérité, je pense que toute vérité doit être dite. C’est la condition même du débat démocratique. Et si nos adversaires disent une vérité, rien ne doit nous interdire de dire la même. Sauf à se mettre dans des situations éthiquement inadmissibles et qui pourraient friser le ridicule : si MadameLe Pen, à l’encontre de certains fondamentaliste de son parti, affirmait que « Oui, la terre est ronde », serions-nous pour cela dans l’obligation de proclamer qu’elle est plate ? Assez de calculs politiciens minables !

      Votre deuxième grand point concerne Voltaire. Vous écrivez

      Par rapport à Voltaire, c’est bien de sortir Candide mais c’est aussi une réponse qui tombe à coté, il semble que le texte qui pose problème soit l’"Essai sur les Mœurs et l’esprit des Nations"(1756)
      voici un extrait explicitement raciste :

      Je dois dire que, malgré mes recherches, je n’ai pas trouvé un exemplaire de l’Essai sur les mœurs et l’esprit des Nations comportant cet extrait. La référence que vous citez (http://www.contreculture.org/AG%20Voltaire.html.) donne un passage très court, et j’aurais bien aimé lire ce qu’il y avait avant et après. J’observe que la citation est tirée d’une édition de 1805, soit bien après la mort de Voltaire. Si quelqu’un parmi les lecteurs dispose d’un accès à l’édition originale, je serais preneur des deux ou trois pages qui précèdent et suivent cette citation. Dans l’attente, et s’il ne s’agit pas d’une interpolation, ce que le texte permet de conclure c’est qu’il s’agit d’une description raciste, mais racisme et esclavage ne sont pas synonymes. Ma deuxième observation sur ce point, c’est que, comme indiqué dans mon article, la pensée des Lumières évoluent au fil du temps. Je me permets de me citer

      « Pour schématiser, on peut observer trois phases : celle où l’esclavage est ou admis (quelques rares auteurs en resteront à ce stade) ou du moins n’est pas identifié en tant que question (première moitié du siècle), celle de la mise à jour de cette problématique et donc du début de la réflexion éthique avec des contradictions et des ambigüités, et enfin celle de la révolte et de l’affirmation de l’anti-esclavagisme ».

      Voltaire lui aussi évolue : l’Essai est de 1756, le Candide de 1759. Sans d’ailleurs passer sous silence qu’elles ont été précédées d’exécrables vaticinations, quand une pensée évolue, ce sont me semble-t-il, les dernières positions dont il faut tenir compte pour « juger » un auteur.

      En vous remerciant encore de la peine que vous avez prise pour me répondre.

      (1) - (http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2014/11/17/pres-de-36-millions-d-esclaves-dans-le-monde_1144709 – Estimation de l’ONG Walk Free)

      (2) - Emission Arte Thema https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Xa4nR3EWM

      Vous pouvez lire aussi Le génocide voilé de Tidiane N’Diaye, Gallimard, Continents noirs, 2008 et les travaux de Salah Trabelsi

    • Merci pour ta réponse @anarchosyndicalisme
      Et Non je n’ai pas les textes de voltaire en édition originales sous la main pour te prouver mon copié collé ! Tu affirme qu’il n’a jamais dit de choses racistes ni esclavagiste et maintenant tu dit « Voltaire lui aussi évolue : l’Essai est de 1756, le Candide de 1759. »
      C’est très interessant merci pour toute cette volonté de dialogue.

      Ciao et bonne journée en 1756.

    • @mad_meg Tu sors des passages de leur contexte en niant les évolutions de la langue et autres nuances... Tu fais aussi références à des lettres qui sont connues pour être apocryphes... Ces sources sont utilisées par des suprémacistes noirs afin de calomnier les Lumières. Tu ne répond que à ce qui t’arrange. En accusant la CNT-AIT de racisme en donnant des sources aussi litigieuses tu calomnie. Tout comme tu calomnie dans d’autres posts en utilisant toi-même les catégorisations raciales chères au PIR et à ses avatars associatifs.

    • Le coup du complot suprématisme noir qui en voudrait aux lumières et auraient hacker Google book pour y insérer des textes apocryphes c’est super drôle. Je te demande pas de sources j’ai ma dose de rigolade pour un moment.
      Bonne soirée et merci

    • Parler avec les deux me fait le même effet que de discuter avec des membres des jeunesses identitaires. J’ai lu que Céline, Drumont et Rebatet sont considérés comme anarchistes de droite. Nous avons là une longue lignée littéraire et cultivée.

      WP : Polysémique, le terme anarchie s’entend sous des acceptions, non seulement différentes, mais absolument contradictoires. Employé péjorativement, comme synonyme de désordre social dans le sens commun ou courant et qui se rapproche de l’anomie,
      L’anarchisme de droite est une sensibilité philosophique et politique caractérisée par un refus d’adhérer à une société ou un système s’appuyant sur la démocratie parlementaire, le pouvoir de l’argent, les idées reçues en matière d’ordre social, et plus généralement toute forme d’autorité se réclamant d’eux.

      Un test :
      " Nous n’achetons des esclaves domestiques que chez les Nègres ; on nous reproche ce commerce. Un peuple qui trafique de ses enfants est encore plus condamnable que l’acheteur.
      Ce négoce démontre notre supériorité ; celui qui se donne un maître était né pour en avoir. »"
      Comment traduire ce passage dans une langue qui a évolué ? Comment vont jouer les nuances ?

    • @unagi @mad_meg insinuer que la CT-AIT cautionne l’esclavage en les comparant aux fachos c’est de la calomnie lénifiante.
      Pour Voltaire il vous a déja été répondu qu’il avait évolué. Et comme pour tout le monde la position qui compte c’est la dernière. De Mussolini qui a commençé comme socialiste mais je penses que ce qu’on retiens c’est plutôt son activité fasciste...
      Toujours est-il que vous semblez refuser le fait qu’on questionne la pèriode des Lumières. Réflexe autoritaire propre aux postmodernes anti-Lumières. Si Voltaire est criticable, la pèriode en soit à permi la liberation de l’esclavage, du servage, à permis plus tard la libération féministe etc.
      Ce qui est rassurant c’est que de fait vous validez le reste de l’article et l’analyse des autres auteurs de la pèriode. Tout n’est peut-être pas perdu ...

    • Non non, aucune calomnie lénifiante, à moins que tu ne t’exprimes en vieux français et dans des contextes lointains.
      Effectivement il nous a été répondu, mais par qui ?
      On voit ou te porte ton esprit confus en parlent de libération de l’esclavage et non pas de libération des esclaves. Comme celle des cerfs, etc, etc...

      Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Beaumarchais,
      Bernoulli, Euler, Laplace, Lagrange, Monge, Condorcet, D’Alembert en mathématiques, en physique générale et en astronomie. Cavendish, Coulomb et Volta. Lavoisier, Linné, Réaumur, Buffon, Jussieu, Lamarck.
      C’est plus un siècle féministe qu’un siècle de présence féminine.

    • Autant pour moi, ta liste commençant par une marquise et une baronne, en dit long sur le féminisme de cette époque.

      Rousseau fut de suite fasciné par l’esprit de Louise Marie Madeleine Guillaume de Fontaine :
      « Madame Dupin était encore, quand je la vis pour la première fois, une des plus belles femmes de Paris. Elle me reçut à sa toilette. Elle avait les bras nus, les cheveux épars, son peignoir mal arrangé. Cet abord m’était très nouveau. Ma pauvre tête n’y tint pas. Je me trouble. Je m’égare. Et bref, me voilà épris de Madame Dupin. Mon trouble ne parut pas me nuire auprès d’elle, elle ne s’en aperçut point. Elle accueillit le livre et l’auteur, me parla de mon projet en personne instruite, chanta, s’accompagna au clavecin, me retint à dîner, me fit mettre à table à côté d’elle. Il n’en fallait pas tant pour me rendre fou. Je le devins. »
      Mais je m’égare.

    • Beaumarchais, un des esprits les plus pétillants des Lumières

      J’ai bien ri quand j’ai lu cet éloge de Beaumarchais, barbouze et vendeur d’armes au service du roi, anobli puis républicain, censeur, veuf noir, boursicoteur et capitaliste à l’origine de la propriété intellectuelle blanchie sous le terme « droits d’auteur ».

      Encore un coup des suprémacistes noirs.

      Vous avez aussi des posters de Steve Jobs dans les locaux de la CNT-AIT Toulouse ?

    • C’est une féministe Rousseau maintenant ? Il a été secrétaire... et alors je voie pas le rapport. Ces femmes n’ont pas été invités à écrit l’encyclopédie, ni cités comme Lumières par les anarchosyndicalistes. C’est pas des mecs du XVIIIeme qui vont m’aider à m’en sortir en 2016 et même chose je pense pour les personnes racisées qui n’en ont rien à faire de l’abstraction humaniste des bourgeois blancs du temps de l’apogée de l’esclavage moderne.

      Prétendre comme le fait @critical_hi que les lumières sont a l’origine de l’abolition de l’esclavage et de la servitude des femmes c’est encore une belle confiscation des luttes par des hommes blancs. Si l’esclavage des noirs à été aboli c’est parce qu’illes se sont révolté·e·s et que ca devenais trop cher de poursuivre cette industrie devenu moins rentable d’avoir des ouvrier·e·s endettés. Pour les femmes je vais pas entré dans le détail non plus mais c’est la lutte des femmes et le pleine emploi qui les a émancipées pas les lumières.

      Pour le PIR c’est des suprématistes noirs alors ? C’est quoi ce délire à la Finkielkraut ! Pas de sources bien sur pour lancé cette anathème. Comme @unagi j’ai pensé à des anarchistes de droite, en fait c’est juste des mecs blancs qui veulent garder le monopole de la langue comme l’avaient leur ancêtres « les lumières », exactement pareil que Finki, Zemour, Soral... ils disent comme vous sur Voltaire et n’oublient jamais de rappeler que les noirs aussi ont pratiqué l’esclavage.

      Sinon je suis aussi étonné d’un tel acharnement des anarchosyndicalistes toulousains à défendre la pensée des lumières comme une totalité parfaite et immuable. Je savait pas que les lumières étaient anarchistes, ni même syndicalistes. Il y aurais pas des penseurs anarchistes qui ont parlé des noirs depuis les lumières ? Parce que se servir de texte qui utilisent le mot « nègre » pour parler du racisme en 2016 ca me laisse songeuse. Genre vous auriez pas plutot envie de discuter sur la pensée des anarchistes noir·e·s qui se sont penché sur le sujet ? Est-ce que vous en connaissez plus proches de nous (et moins blancs) que Voltaire &co ? Voltaire et les lumières ca fait deux siècles que des hommes blancs se sont penché sur ces textes, on connais deja en long et en large, il manque pas de visibilité et n’en a jamais manqué. Il est plus que temps de s’occuper de laisser la place et la parole et le choix des mots, aux personnes racisées qui sont toujours silenciées, y compris dans cette discussion.

    • Non @unagi je constate seulement que depuis l’époque des Lumières des femmes ont participé à la vie des idées par des correspondances, des écrits ou des traductions. Elles ont pu jouer un rôle dans les transferts culturels, elle ont pu se frayer une place dans des domaines réputés masculins, et participer aux débats publics de leur temps. Les Lumières ce ne sont pas seulement des essais et des corps de doctrine mais aussi et surtout le partage des idées et la participation active à des échanges intellectuels. Ces participations féminines sont longtemps restées invisibles et vous venez d’en remettre une couche.

    • Dur, pour un mouvement historiquement blanc et masculin, de devoir faire le deuil de celui de ses privilèges qui lui est le plus cher (j’en suis passé par là moi aussi) : celui de prétendre détenir déjà le nec plus ultra du discours révolté et du projet politique émancipateur. Difficile pour celui-ci d’entendre qu’un discours élaboré sans les femmes, les racisés et tant d’autres minorisé-e-s l’est toujours de fait contre elleux - et que, lorsque celleux-ci prennent leur émancipation en main, ellils ne viennent pas le rejoindre et faire chorus en le remerciant d’avoir déjà forgé tous les outils nécessaires.
      Pourtant un des fondateurs de l’Internationale - la première, celle de 1864 - avait dit un truc fondamental sur « l’émancipation des opprimés ». Il n’était certainement pas le premier : mais c’est de lui, un homme blanc hétéro et un peu bourgeois, qu’on se souvient.
      Vraisemblablement, ni lui ni l’essentiel du mouvement ouvrier depuis, y compris dans ses composantes libertaires n’imaginaient avec conséquence qu’ils pouvaient, en dépit de leur position et de leur combat de classe, compter aussi au rang des oppresseurs.
      Tous les vestiges actuels de cette histoire ne s’accrochent pas nécessairement mordicus à leurs chères œillères.
      Mais au vu ne serait ce que du succès chez les libertaires d’auteurs récents comme Escudero ou Garcia, de la place éminente que tient dans leur propos la construction d’ennemis de l’émancipation en grande partie fantasmés, comme « les post-modernes » ou « les déconstructeurs », accusés par eux de venir de leurs universités plus ou moins américaines pour dévoyer les saines luttes révolutionnaires populaires, et utilisés comme autant d’anathèmes ; comme au vu des accusations de « scission » que provoquent a répétition, depuis des années, voire des décennies, l’irruption sur la scène politique des combats féministes, LGBTQI, des luttes des racisés, des remises en question antispécistes, toutes et tous rendus systématiquement responsables par nos émancipateurs de l’affaiblissement de la critique sociale traditionnelle (la leur, la seule qui vaille, LA critique générique, universelle, exempte de particularisme : celle la même qui, sous la plume de Garcia, serait aujourd’hui désertée, puisque selon une telle perspective, ne pas rejoindre les anarchistes, c’est nécessairement déserter la critique : a fortiori, venir leur porter la contradiction sur ce point.), tous ou presque sont tentés de le faire.

    • Pour revenir au sujet initial du post, il ne serait peut-être pas inutile de s’intéresser aux travaux de quelqu’un d’a priori aussi peu suspect de sympathie pour l’obscurantisme que l’est #Louis_Sala_Molins.

      En particulier, « #Esclavage_Réparation : les lumières des capucins et les lueurs des pharisiens. », où il expose dans le détail deux exemples de condamnation et de combat mené contre l’esclavage en occident au XVIIè siècle - et l’éclairage violent que ces luttes là projettent sur les prétentions anti-esclavagistes des Lumières qui ont suivi.

      Faits historiques qui affaiblissent singulièrement « l’argument » maintes fois ressassé auquel l’auteur du post initial a recours

      Partant d’une société dans laquelle l’esclavage est une sorte « d’évidence » générale, que personne ou presque ne questionne

      de fait, les ressources intellectuelles, culturelles, requises pour penser contre cette institution étaient déjà là, et les philosophes cités n’en étaient pas dépourvus.

      Et c’est vraisemblablement l’inverse qui devrait nous intéresser et troubler notre confort : le fait de la construction de l’acceptabilité de l’esclavage dans l’Europe des XVIIe et XVIIIe siecles, et la part qu’y ont pris les "lumières", plutôt que de céder à la facilité de forger a posteriori de toutes pièces une histoire de « tatonnements » et de questionnements prudents mais rigoureux et de lent progrès dans les ténèbres, tellement plus valorisante !

      Il faut seulement avoir le mince courage intellectuel que requiert de remettre la question sur ses pieds : pourquoi, alors que tout était là, les philosophes dits « des lumières » n’en ont ils fait usage que si peu et si tardivement ?

    • Les travaux de Louis Sala-Molins présentent beaucoup d’intérêts et méritent discussion. Mais une chose est sûre, vous ne l’embaucherez pas à son corps défendant dans votre petite initiative raciste :

      "Ceci dit, comme beaucoup, je suis troublé par les dérives racialisantes ou carrément racistes des comportements et des choix idéologiques de certains. Dont je ne suis pas. Dont je n’ai jamais été. Dont je ne serai jamais, sauf naufrage dans la folie..."
      Louis Sala-Molins met les points sur les i http://1libertaire.free.fr/LSalaMolins04.html

    • @Rubber

      Je ne vois pas comment je pourrais m’imaginer « embaucher » quelqu’un comme Louis Sala Molins, ni dans quel but je pourrais vouloir le faire. Je ne vous connais pas, mais vous avez l’air de savoir cela bien mieux que moi.

      De même, je suis des plus curieux de vous lire plus longuement sur la « petite initiative raciste » que vous vous permettez de me prêter ici. Il est vrai que, quoi que je puisse en penser, je n’ai pas l’extravagance de m’imaginer indemne du racisme qui structure la société capitaliste, des rapports sociaux qu’il institue, et que je ne doute pas qu’il me soit arrivé et qu’il m’arrivera comme à tout un chacun ou presque de m’en faire l’agent à mon corps défendant. Serait-ce donc ce que vous entendez par là ? Auquel cas il serait bienvenu que vous précisiez votre propos.

      Pour la discussion, je suis ouvert, pour peu qu’on ait la décence ne pas se permettre d’ôter les mots de la bouche d’autrui, ou de falsifier son propos.

      Mais de curieux interlocuteurs, qui pullulent ces temps-ci chez les libertaires, semblent redouter plus que tout la confrontation à une discussion. En lieu et place, sitôt que confrontés à une révolte, une lutte, une critique contre le racisme, le colonialisme, le patriarcat, l’hétérosexisme formulée depuis un point de vue autre que le leur, et tout particulièrement depuis le point de vue de celleux qui les subissent, on les voit aussitôt, sûrs de leur fait, prétendre décider unilatéralement des seules discussions possibles et jeter l’anathème sur les fâcheux. On l’a vu lors d’un salon du livre anarchiste, et lors de la sortie de quelques uns. Hélas, en s’empressant trop grossièrement de venir mettre n’importe quoi dans la bouche de celleux qui formulent de telles critiques et mènent ces luttes (ou qui, comme je l’ai fait ici, s’en font seulement l’écho) - n’importe quoi, pourvu que cela vienne conforter l’idée flatteuse qu’ils se font du monde et d’eux mêmes, ces étonnants « libertaires » courent surtout le risque de passer pour des analphabètes, des imbéciles ou des falsificateurs, sinon une combinaison plus ou moins heureuse des trois : ce qui, j’en conviens volontiers, n’est guère enviable.

    • @martin5

      « Mais de curieux interlocuteurs, qui pullulent ces temps-ci chez les libertaires, semblent redouter plus que tout la confrontation à une discussion. En lieu et place, sitôt que confrontés à une révolte, une lutte, une critique contre le racisme, le colonialisme, le patriarcat, l’hétérosexisme formulée depuis un point de vue autre que le leur, et tout particulièrement depuis le point de vue de celleux qui les subissent, on les voit aussitôt, sûrs de leur fait, prétendre décider unilatéralement des seules discussions possibles et jeter l’anathème sur les fâcheux. »

      Si je résume, les interventions contre cette ’révolte’ ferait donc partie d’un simple ’backlash’ de vieux blancs tenant à leurs privilège ?

      La culpabilité devrai m’envahir, mais mon identité banlieusarde fait que je ne suis jamais rentrer dans genre de culpabilité judéo-chrétienne.

      Je n’ai pas l’impression d’être confronté à une « une révolte, une lutte, une critique contre le racisme, le colonialisme », mais plutôt une acceptation relativisme culturel au nom d’un antiracisme.

      Je me bat pour émancipation des individus et une société égalitaire en essayant de le faire avec bienveillance (conscient que la fin ne justifie pas les moyens).
      Vos ’arguments’ et vos procès d’intention n’y changerons rien.

      La rhétorique ne suffit pas toujours à se défausser d’engagements politiques.
      Défendre des gens (fussent-ils ’racisé-e-s’) avec des positions ouvertement racistes ou pour reprendre vos mots : relayer leurs « luttes* » de ceux-ci est une position politique.
      Certains ’racisé-e-s’ sont mis en avant et d’autres serons toujours taxés d’être ’noirs ou arabes de service’.

      Enfin feindre d’un manque de volonté de débat est pour le moins étonnant.
      Comme les coups ne sont pas des arguments recevables, à moins d’être un curé de gauche, qui tend l’autre joue.
      Je considère qu’il n’y pas volonté de débattre dans ce milieux aujourd’hui. Il n’y jamais eu autant d’attaques physiques autour de ces débats :
      – Plusieurs attaques de la librairie « La Discordia »
      – 1 attaque à « Milles Babords »

      (*) En dehors des séminaires universitaires et des récupérations éhontés quelles sont les luttes du PIR

  • A short history of passports | Destinations | Wanderlust
    http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/magazine/articles/destinations/a-short-history-of-passports?page=all

    The oldest British passport still in existence was signed by Charles I in 1641. Three years later, Charles was dethroned and Oliver Cromwell’s miserablist regime developed an early prototype of the No Fly List by decreeing that no pass be issued to citizens until they promised they would not ‘be aiding, assisting, advising or counselling against the Commonwealth’. The No Sail List lapsed under Charles II who persuaded the secretary of the state to sign these letters so he could cavort with his floozies. Peter the Great, Russia’s ruthless modernising tsar, introduced passports in 1719 and, ingeniously anticipating the multi-tasking 21st-century ID card, used them to control taxes and military service.

    England’s letters of safe conduct were first written in Latin and English but, in 1772, the government decided to use the international language of high finance and diplomacy: French. This didn’t change until 1858, which meant that Britain’s passports were issued in French even as the empire fought Napoleon.

    Spy catchers

    In the 19th century, the passport system began to collapse as railways criss-crossed Europe. To the French government, the rigmarole of issuing such documents and checking those of every Tom, Dick and Harriet seemed pointless. In 1861, France abolished passports and many European countries happily followed suit. The passport returned, however, during the First World War in an effort to keep spies at bay .

    #flicage #histoire

  • Will the Earth Ever Fill Up? - Issue 29: Scaling
    http://nautil.us/issue/29/scaling/will-the-earth-ever-fill-up

    To say that Thomas Robert Malthus was unpopular would be putting it mildly. His 19th-century contemporary Percy Shelley, the revered poet, called him a eunuch and a tyrant. The philosopher William Godwin dubbed him “a dark and terrible genius that is ever at hand to blast all the hopes of all mankind.” As Malthus’ biographer later put it, he was the most abused man of his age. And that was the age of Napoleon Bonaparte. The catalyst for this vilification was the 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population. In it, Malthus—a curly haired, 32-year-old curate of a small English chapel—attacked the claims of utopian thinkers like Godwin, who believed that reason and scientific progress would ultimately create a perfect society, free of inequality and suffering. Malthus took a more (...)

  • Quand la France luttait contre la non-linéarité du repas levantin.

    Karl reMarks : Deconstructing the Theoretical Currents in Middle Eastern* Food
    http://www.karlremarks.com/2015/01/deconstructing-theoretical-currents-in.html

    However, the major food conflict in the 18th century was sparked off by Napoleon’s campaigns in the Levant. The rationalist emperor was incensed by the locals’ way of serving mezzeh dishes haphazardly with no clear order or sequence. As he wrote in one of his letters to his wife: “sometimes the hummus comes first, sometimes the tabbouleh, and one is lost for he does not know what to expect. I miss you very much.” The chaotic way of serving food as it became ready was an affront to the Emperor’s Enlightenment values, and he thought that his attempt to modernise the Levant had to start with altering this non-linear way of serving food.

    Napoleon recruited his chief food theorist Vincent Mangetout to wage his battle against the randomness of mezzeh. Mangetout set out to work, writing a pamphlet lambasting this practice and attributing the backwardness of the people of the Levant to this non-sequential way of serving food. “Much like night follows day, it is the natural order of things to have a definite rhythm. The three-course French meal is the purest representation of this rational order, man stamping his authority on the world through reason and discipline.”

    The pamphlet enraged locals from Syria to Lebanon to Palestine. Local circles were formed to organise opposition to Napoleon’s draconian reforms, and civic disobedience followed. Extremists took to eating their dessert first but they were criticised for being unnecessarily dramatic. Amidst the turmoil, a group of Lebanese thinkers influenced by European ideas yet keen to emphasise their own identity, found a compromise. The meal would begin with the mezzeh, but then progress to the main course and later fruits and desserts. As a result, people eating Lebanese food to this day still find that they are too full when the main course, usually grilled meat, arrives, but they are too shy to admit it so they try to force down a few morsels.

  • Map error hastened Napoleon’s Waterloo defeat - Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11144216/Map-error-hastened-Napoleons-Waterloo-defeat.html

    Via Elisabeth Vallet sur Twitter. Elisabeth Vallet de l’UQAM qu’on aimerait beaucoup retrouver ici...

    If Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, as Wellington is supposed to have said, it may have been lost by Napoleon’s map-makers.

    A printing error left the emperor Bonaparte aiming his artillery in the wrong place, well short of the British, Prussian and Dutch lines, it is claimed. While historical accounts of the Duke’s sang-froid and the fortitude of the British infantry are not in doubt, the discovery could also explain stories of the brilliant Corsican field marshal appearing lost.

    “Napoleon was relying on a false map for his strategy in his last battle,” said Franck Ferrand, the maker of a documentary broadcast on French television. “This explains why he mistook the lie of the land and was disoriented on the battlefield. It is certainly one of the factors that led to his defeat.”

    #cartographie_historique #cartographie_erreur #napoléon