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Political legacies, metastatic cancers

par Pierre-Alain Lévy

Our time is the reconstruction of minds, some speak of refoundation, undoubtedly! The XXth century, behind us, let’s talk about it, a paradoxical and terrifying century. A century of ocellated, camouflaged barbarism. Two revolutions that have rocked the world, in Russia, in Germany, communist and Nazi, USSR and Hitler’s nightmare. Slimy and nauseating black tides that poured their miasma on Europe.

Millions of men and women were engulfed in it, millions of them also died and disappeared body and soul. Incandescence of Europe glowing from the fires and destruction that ravaged it. Destroyed cities, razed to the ground, burned lands. Tearful faces of the innocent. Propagation of red or black plagues on land and sea. Ashes, worship of evil, censorship, oppression, death sentences, deportation, camps, blind militancy, annihilation of the individual, regimentation, caporalization of the mind, militarization, undermining of freedom, the right to expression, freedom of the press, mass killings.

On both sides propaganda and manipulation… Words piled up like siege towers, latent war, falsified memories and yet memory repression. This is what happened in Europe in the XXIst century and which continues to pursue us today.

Vladimir Veličković (1935-2019)
“Eléments & documents utilisés”, 52/100, signé et daté Velikovic 1979, sérigraphie couleur, 70×100 cm

This is our heritage, cancers that metastasize

The war, first of all civil, that is to say circumscribed within the countries where totalitarianism has taken control of the power, of the state. In the order of time, USSR and Germany. Lenin, Stalin and Hitler, because unfortunately we have to name them. Today, Putin and Si Jin Ping.

Olécio partenaire de Wukali

Totalitarianism and tyrants first attack their own nationals, their speeches are rooted in the nauseating mire of nationalism, xenophobia and the imperialist will to conquer. Political trials. Read, reread G. Orwell, A. Koestler, A. Solzhenitsyn, J. Semprun, M. Kundera, E. Corti, Primo Levi, Vassili Grossman

What is the use of literature? Such was the title of a small collective book published in the Sixties where Sartre had dipped his pen. The question deserves to be asked again. Always, constantly! Jonathan Littell a few years ago in The Kindly Ones and today Giuliano Da Empoli, Grand Prix of the French Academy 2022 with The Wizard of the Kremlin

The balance wavers, the reason goes wrong, the earth slips under the feet when the great upheavals arise. The comfortable crutches of habituation no longer support us, the horizon shakes. Death returns, as if it had never left us! Pandemic, war, words of the past, words of old! Literature is there, rooted. To resist, to face up to it, to find the courage, and first of all that of being free and of thinking!

Vladimir Veličković (1935-2019)
Poursuite, 1977, Huile sur toile, 196 x 146cm, trois panneaux

History has caught up with us!

We are the heirs of this historical memory. The history, for many the one “of daddy’s manuals“, is the one that from now on bursts every evening on our television screens. How easy and especially comfortable it was to talk about old political debates, from another time, and after all to wash one’s hands of it! Effects of platform, that is to say put to the taste of the day, of television platforms. To say to be of right, of left, and in France in particular! In short, to gargle with words, to take a break is so easy, not to think anymore, to be satisfied with slogans! In France, they want to be “insoumis” or “nationals“, pushy politicians, contemptible and manipulative, and basically without courage! Players of tricks, swindlers of the freedom and the democracy.

Ah Putin, a man who has some – who is beating the crap out of the Americans – who is bringing his opponents to heel – who is putting his country back on its feet after the globalized elites, who only wanted to cut Russia up after the fall of the USSR…” This is more or less what we can hear around us. Admiration of the force, of the authoritarianism. Moscow “new Rome”!

Extreme right which pays homage to the reactionary and violent totalitarianism of the master of the Kremlin, also submitted to the one who finances it
Amnesiac Left never freed from its Leninist and Trotskyite demons
Both, as if by chance, sharing the same shadows: detestation of the state, anti-Americanism and anti-progress, anti-capitalist (structural and religious and anti-Enlightenment for the extreme right, stupidly Marxist for the other)

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Heading-illustration Three paintings by George Grosz. From left to right: 
L’explosion. (1917). Huile sur toile, (47.8 x 68.2 cm). MoMA. New York
Der graue Mann tanzt / L’homme en gris. 1949. USA
Les funérailles (1917-1918)( À Oskar Panizza). Huile sur toile, 140 x 110 cm, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart

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