Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why was I suspicious of Snow?

I just read an article in The New Statesman where article writers quoted C P Snow (that version of capitals, minuscules, spaces and no points) as saying a very nasty thing.

Brendan Simms and Charlie Laderman signed this article in The New Statesman*, the cover story called "The Longest Hatred", where all anti-Semitism throughout history is described repeatedly as "paranoid". In its conclusion, they say "the only way to deal with a paranoid man is to give him something to be paranoid about" - quoting "C P Snow".

Here is their context:

Moreover, with Dieudonné and his ilk claiming that attacking Jews is the best way to harm the “establishment”, some say that governmental protection only stokes their paranoia. Well, as C P Snow said, the only way to deal with a paranoid man is to give him something to be paranoid about.

I am sorry, but in France it is not just a question of protecting Jews from attacks. And C P Snow said his words in another context.

France is trying to make "paranoid men" (as they are perceived) ponder about what France can make them paranoid about in other ways than just protecting Jews.

And France is doing so in a somewhat paranoid way.

Some here seem to be paranoid about me, to the extend of leaving the reading of my blogs to Russian residents and to oldest generation here.

I gave some details in French on this post:

New blog on the kid : La Russie, surveille-t-elle les autres lecteurs de mes blogs?

Yesterday, a lady was nearly about to note my blog urls, a cardboard like this:




A younger man, either son or nephew or whatever or perhaps someone whose guest she was (somewhat darker skin than she), drew her back and told her to hurry up. Taking up a phone and photographing would have taken a second or two. What he really wanted was her not becoming in any way involved in reading my blogs.

Where I most often hang around in Paris, I am dealing with such paranoia.

And some seem paranoid on whether I am German too, as if National Socialism were a question of German national culture.**

When paranoid is the new normal, people not necessarily paranoid can be stamped as such over not sharing the general culture in some set of questions where they live.

Well, I happened to read this article on "the longest hatred" and found its authors somewhat paranoid about antisemitism. Which means, if I have some positions they can label as antisemitic, they might tend to be paranoid about me - and label me as paranoid - and (following Snow!), "give me something to be paranoid about".

How did they react to Dieudonné Mbala Mbala? Sure, he has done some very bad things in one show. But that was not quite what they took up.

"In January, he responded to the killings of Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris by signalling solidarity with the perpetrator, Amedy Coulibaly."

Specifically for the killing? Or for something other, connected to it in his previous existence?

I read one paper (Nouvel Obs, I think) which states his widow has fled to one Islamic country.

The article was very clear that France had been giving Madame Coulibaly hell, well before Monsieur Amedy Coulibaly.

But he had not said even he was feeling like Amedy Coulibaly. He had said, newsstory:

«Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly» : Dieudonné réfute l'apologie de terrorisme

He might have compared the own situation to that of Charlie Hebdo, thus comparing those in France trying to silence him to the terrorists trying so with Charlie Hebdo.

And he might have had some inside information on Islamists giving Amedy's wife (now widow) a refuge in return for such an act, and have felt for a man under that kind of pressure from extorsionists. As Amedy was killed, this can neither be confirmed nor infirmed by hearing him.

Or, he might have compared Amedy and Charlie. As I did myself***, both of these, the terrorist and the terrorist victims taking a shot at religious "fundies" in a way which might seem a bit paranoid about them. And which at least is clearly unfair.

But no, to Brendan Simms and Charlie Laderman it is all clear that Dieudonné was simply expressing solidarity with Amedy Coulibaly. To them he is a cold blooded, hearltless antisemite, if not capable of himself killing Jews, at least of applauding one who did. Despite his denial.

En première instance, le 18 mars, le tribunal correctionnel de Paris avait notamment relevé, dans l'association de «Charlie» et «Coulibaly», l'«amalgame provocateur» fait par Dieudonné «entre le symbole de la liberté d'expression qui a coûté la vie à des journalistes et un auteur d'acte terroriste auquel il s'identifie».

A provoking, but not unfounded likening. Both target fundies.

As for calling Charlie Hebdo a "symbol of expression of speech", it seems France prefers expression of speech to be concentrated to such symbols. I think Stalin and Khrushchev also had their symbols of free speech°. But they hardly had free speech.

And in France, as Charlie Hebdo has become a "symbol of free speech", it seems free speech about Charlie Hebdo has been suppressed. But those trusted to provide free thinking for others°° will not get anything which can exonerate Diedonné, and they are perfectly willing to quote someone like C P Snow. A man willing to give paranoid men sth to be paranoid about. Wonder if that was Hitler's rationale about Jews, if he had found them paranoid? And perhaps as unfoundedly, perhaps not, as it is unfoundedly that some people target me as paranoid, even if it may come off so, when I openly list some things they might have given me "to be paranoid about".

Aragorn in LotR had another recipy for Sam. Yes, a brief moment of giving him something to be frightened about, but after that some honest and well meaning and well seeming and beneficent words and acts, to allay it and to reason about it.

Tolkien who wrote the character into fictional being was a wiser man than C P Snow and his two admirers. I noted they were both from Cambridge, and Tolkien's friend C. S. Lewis noted Cambridge both Christian and Atheist are more of a Puritan and a "Paranoid" heritage than Oxford. Even if he did not use that pseudomedical word, he said "brood, more ambiguously than they think, about persecution".

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Saints Philip and James, Apostles, Martyrs

* "Free thinking since 1913" ** In Sudetenland, there was a conflict between two national socialisms, the Czechoslovak and the German one, with the Czechoslovak as more agressive. "Edvard Beneš ... A member of the Czechoslovak National Social Party, he was known as a skilled diplomat," said the wiki I linked to. He did not waste diplomatic skills on Sidet Germans, once he had used them to get Sudentenland under his grip. *** "De ce point de vue, cette caricature par CHURLISH HEBDO était une insulte aux Juifs tués récemment en Hyper Cacher." As I said here:

New blog on the kid : Je suis intégriste aussi ...

° Radio Erevan, radio Erevan ... do Red Army soldiers get vacation? "In principle, yes. For instance they got one to Budapest or Warszaw in 1956, to Prague 1968, to Afghanistan ..." That was about as much as free criticism as was allowed about these matters. And Radio Erevan gave that symbolic "free speech" by which they could claim "free speech is not suppressed". °° As distinct from giving others sth to freely think about.

No comments: