vendredi 9 décembre 2011

Oh yeah, sure, sing as long as you want...



A la fin des années 70, j'avais entendu à l'occasion des législatives de 78  ou des présidentielles de 81 je ne sais quel politique de droite faire valoir qu'à l'ouest les États démocratiques laissaient aux gens le droit de s'exprimer comme ils voulaient, de critiquer les gouvernements sans risques etc. alors qu'à l'est on ne pouvait même pas se déplacer sans passeport à l'intérieur de l'URSS. 

Le fait est que l'argument semblait imparable, la liberté d'expression et encore moins la liberté de contestation n'étant pas exactement des produits d'appel pour le socialisme made in USSR.

Autant on peut adhérer à la critique léniniste selon laquelle le système électif à l'occidentale est une liberté formelle, autant on peut ne pas inclure dans les libertés formelles la libre expression, la libre disposition de sa personne, le droit d'association etc.

Me réveillant d'un long sommeil dogmatique, j'ai fini par comprendre que si effectivement certains des droits de l'homme étaient plus "respectés" à l'ouest qu'ils ne l'étaient à l'est, cela ne tenait nullement à une tolérance per se du système capitaliste mais bien plutôt à une priorité de valeurs entre le capitalisme et le socialisme.

Comme son nom l'indique, ce qui fonde le système capitaliste c'est bien la recherche du profit et rien d'autre. L'argent est la valeur cardinale, le reste importe peu.

Certes on pouvait reconnaître que les U.S laissaient tourner et diffuser à l’international des films comme "All the President's Men" ou tout autre film démontant les mécanismes de l'exploitation économique ou exposant les conditions de l'impérialisme américain à l'échelle mondiale.

De même tous les protest songs étaient librement diffusés dans le commerce et Jimi Hendrix pouvait dés-interpréter l'hymne américain, cela faisait grincer des dents mais le premier amendement était là pour le protéger des censeurs. John Lennon pouvait chanter "Give Peace a Chance" all he wanted, et tous les autres avec lui autant qu'il voulaient, personne ne pouvait les en empêcher.

Par comparaison avec la France où certains titres de Brassens étaient interdits d'antenne comme l'étaient certains films (La Bataille d'Alger, Français si vous saviez) ou livres (La Question de Henri Alleg), les U.S semblaient bien libertaires.

Je ne crois plus du tout que le système capitaliste puisse être crédité de sa pseudo tolérance vis-à-vis des opinions divergentes et de sa longanimité par rapport aux critiques qui lui sont adressées de son sein même.

Basically, le capitaliste se fiche de ce que l'on pense de lui, de ce qu'il fait et de la façon dont il le fait, la seule chose qui l'intéresse, le motive et le fait agir c'est la recherche du profit. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger et tous les autres peuvent chanter all they want, pourvu que cela n'entrave pas les affaires.

Par contre dès qu'il s'agit de syndicalisme et de lutte des classes, le capitalisme est tout de suite beaucoup, beaucoup moins tolérant et le temps n'est plus aux petites chansons protestataires qui ne gênent personne.

La sauvagerie des répressions des manifestations syndicales ou des mouvements de revendication salariale dans l'histoire des E.U montrent bien que la "tolérance" qui serait une des vertus du capitalisme trouve très rapidement ses limites dès qu'on approche du cœur du système.

La liberté d'expression au sein du système capitaliste c'est bien joli mais il ne faut tout de même pas que cela devienne sérieux (read, prevent us from making money) parce qu'alors the tune isn't the same. 

Ce ministre giscardien avait pour lui un argument apparemment irréfutable, il oubliait juste de le développer. En gros vous pouvez protester tant que vous voulez, ("tous les jours même, de la mairie à la gare de Créteil" comme disait Coluche) mais acceptez en échange de vous faire exploiter par le système en vendant votre force de travail pour le minimum qui vous est nécessaire pour vivre et acheter nos produits.

Il en va des protestations et de la liberté d'expression dans le système capitaliste comme des élections : Votez pour qui vous voulez comme vous l'entendez, vous êtres libres... jusqu'au moment où cela ne nous convient plus.

De même que "La dictature, c’est ‘ferme ta gueule’ ; la démocratie, c’est ‘cause toujours'", l'expression des protestations et des opinons dissidentes et critiques c'est « cause toujours tu m'intéresses », l'essentiel est que tu ne touches pas à ce que je t'ai pris avec ton accord puisque je ne t'y ai pas physiquement contraint.

Sinon tu chantes et tu critiques autant  que tu veux et tu votes pour qui tu veux, tu es libre... jusqu'à un certain point...

25 commentaires:

Ned Ludd a dit…

Je suis surpris que je n'avais pas parlé de Paul Robeson plus tôt. Comme tu as sans doute lu son biographie a Wiki, je n'ai pas besoin à elaborer.

Une des chansons de Joe Hill Pie in the Sky

Cette semaine, le Sénat aux EU a voté la loi sur le budget militaire. Dans la loi, il y a une provision que les EU peuvent arrêter n'importe quelle citoyen "suspecté" de terrorisme ou d'avoir des rapports avec le terrorisme et le imprisoner pour une durée indeterminée. Good-bye the 4th Amendment.

Moins grave, le UE a décidé de donner 200 milliards au FMI qui alors peut prêter la somme au UE. Où est le sens dans tout cela?

Toute la semaine a donné que de mauvaise nouvelles.

Anijo a dit…

La liberté est le pouvoir de faire tout ce que les lois permettent
~Charles De Montesquieu

Flocon a dit…

Regarding Paul Robeson, I didn't know him but your links to Joan Baez et all led me on his way.

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« Dans la loi, il y a une provision que les EU peuvent arrêter n'importe quelle citoyen "suspecté" de terrorisme ou d'avoir des rapports avec le terrorisme et le imprisoner pour une durée indeterminée. Good-bye the 4th Amendment ».

Isn't that another reason to think that OBL has won the war?

The U.S is economically on its knees and the country is discarding its own provisions against tyranny and despotism...

Cultivons notre jardin...

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« le UE a décidé de donner 200 milliards au FMI qui alors peut prêter la somme au UE. Où est le sens dans tout cela? »

Oui c'est surprenant comme lorsqu'on apprend que tel ou tel État veut recevoir autant qu'il a donné au budget communautaire.

Cela semble paradoxal ou non-sensical mais je crois (je n'en sais rien en fait, I just believe -ce qui ne mène pas loin-) qu'il s'agit de techniques financières et comptables)

C'est une usine à gaz dans laquelle les fonds doivent parcourir un certain parcours probablement. Mais ça paraît bizarre yes.

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« Toute la semaine a donné que de mauvaise nouvelles ».

Toute la semaine tu es passée, c'est une première bonne nouvelle, et toute la semaine il y a eu des titres de Hank Mobley, des images des 69 stations du Nakasendo, quotes from Plato or Jung et peut-être es-tu allée voir Intouchable or some other good movie.

En plus le weather is as sweet as can be.

And you still can rely on them... Weren't they cute?

Flocon a dit…

Salut Anijo, glad to hear from you.

Montesquieu était avant tout un magistrat and therefore il raisonne en magistrat, c'est-à-dire en juriste et non en moraliste.

Quand il est question de tolérance il est question de morale.

Question : Qui fixe, et comment, les règles qui détermine ce qui est est "moral" ou ne l'est pas?

According to the quote by Montesquieu, Iranians are free as long as they obey their laws. And the same goes for the Chinese, the Russians or whatever society you can think of.

Even the ancient Mayas were free (those who were sacrificied on the altars of their religion) since they were acting (and their executioners) within the frame of their laws.

Si la liberté est déterminée par la loi alors il n'y a pas de liberté puisque la loi peut toujours décider de ce qui est "bien" et de ce qui ne l'est pas.

Nous revoilà à Nietzsche et au Fondement de la morale ou à Beyond Good and Evil.

Le Bien et le Mal étant choses éminemment relatives, il n'y a plus ni Bien ni Mal absolument, encore moins si c'est la loi qui en décide. Mais qui décide de la loi si ce n'est ceux qui ont their own agenda regarding morality?

According to Montesquieu, tout le monde est libre. Ou inversement, personne ne l'est, ce que je crois bien volontiers.

Puis il y a la liberté formelle et les différentes formes de liberté.

Hmmmm... Vaste sujet indeed.

Anijo a dit…

Salut Anijo, glad to hear from you.
Why, than you, merci.


According to Montesquieu, tout le monde est libre. Ou inversement, personne ne l'est, ce que je crois bien volontiers.

According to Montesquieue, tout le monde is free only to the extent that the laws permit, meaning, of course, that tout le monde is not all that free after all.

Flocon a dit…

"tout le monde is not all that free after all."

Which goes along with the conclusion of the post:

Tu chantes et tu critiques autant que tu veux et tu votes pour qui tu veux, tu es libre... jusqu'à un certain point...

Anonyme a dit…

Where are men and women most free today?

SemperFidelis

Flocon a dit…

Hi SemperFidelis,

Since I'm just back from surgery, I simply can't properly answer your question (SemperFidelis a question? That's not like him :-)) )

But just in relation to what you seem to understand under the word "freedom", I can tell you it's certainly not in France.

Should be better tomorrow or the day after tomorrow...

Anonyme a dit…

>>Should be better tomorrow or
>>the day after tomorrow...
"As nature bows down her head /
See what tomorrow brings":
http://tinyurl.com/cq2gzzk

-Jan
CDN

Anonyme a dit…

It is certainly not in the USA. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

SemperFidelis

Flocon a dit…

Jan alway with an appropriate video at the ready... ;-)

Flocon a dit…

Thanks for your wishes SemperFidelis,

re the quote by Montesquieu.

The interesting part of it his that he defines what liberty is: "Le pouvoir de faire".

It's a rather restrictive an static definition since one may question if all that is to say about liberty is the possibility to act/to do.

On the other hand, one must take into account the historical context during which Montesquieu wrote his work.

In XVIIIth century France (and Europe for that matter) laws were largely open to interpretations and transformations according to the will and whims of monarchs, kings, emperors and rulers of all sorts.

Montesquieu certainly was aware that there was more to liberty than just the possibility to do or not to do but under the historical context of the time, he had to put a strong emphasis on the concept that "liberty" was not depending on the bad or good will of any individual, be it the king, but was guarantied by law.

Now of course, one may object that laws are all but eternal. Just consider how Berlusconi had laws voted by his croonies so that his "liberty" (to do) could be preserved from too curious magistrates.

And the same goes in France where there'll always be a majority of vassals to vote any law their ruler demand be voted for whatever reason.

I find John Stuart Mill's definition of liberty more intellectually challenging.

My liberty ends where the liberty of my next begins

(This is not of course the exact English wording of Mill but you know what I'm referring to)

The definition is much more dynamic than that of Montesquieu but of course is also less connected to political science and more related to Mill's own personal philosophy.

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As pertains to your very question, one must know what is the freedom you refer to.

Pour ce qui est de la liberté formelle de protester et de critiquer, c'est un phénomène qui devient à peu près mondial à présent.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been tolerated until someone (Bloomberg?) decided enough was enough and they were expelled from Zuccoti Park.

Is that much different from how the Chinese autorities or the Iranian one procede? Only North Korea or Saudi Arabia would be more radical.

For what I know, the Occupy Wall Street movement was made up of American citizens "democratically" protesting -in accordance with the American Constitution- the way their country was being run down the drain.

Isn't it a bit like protest songs and social marches? Sing and protest as long as you want but don't exagerate (we define what is exagerate) otherwhile we'll teach you who's in charge in here.

Anonyme a dit…

Flocon: You provide a long response to a very short question.

I cannot respond in kind due to the press of events here. So I will ask to be excused for a few days.

Re Montesquieu's view, it seems to me that a man has the greatest possibilities for action today in Somalia. There, he can accomplish anything he wishes, limited only by the physical power of others to resist him.

SemperFidelis

Anijo a dit…

Salut Flocon,
Hope you're recovering well from your surgery. Best wishes from New Mexico.

Hi SemperFi,
Nice to see you're still around these parts.

Is that much different from how the Chinese autorities or the Iranian one procede? Only North Korea or Saudi Arabia would be more radical.

Surely, you exaggerate

New York City on Tuesday reopened the park in Lower Manhattan where the Occupy Wall Street movement was born not long after a judge upheld the city’s move to clear the park and bar the protesters from bringing back their tents or sleeping overnight.

Note that they were not expelled permanently from the park, it was just the encampments which were forbidden.

The mayor’s office sent out a message on Twitter at 1:19 a.m. saying: “Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protesters can return after the park is cleared.”

There are 1575 comments to this article in the NYT !!

Flocon a dit…

SemperFidelis,

Flocon: You provide a long response to a very short question.

Maybe is it me or is it my Frenchiness... Also, some short questions call for long answers.

ex: What is life? Encyclopedias have been written on the subject and no definitive answer has been provided so far...

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Re Somalia. Indeed, that country may be considered a good example of what Montesquieu was thinking of: No laws or no autority to have them implemented means the only natural law: That of the jungle where liberty belong to the mightiest.

(although the term "jungle" may not be the most appropriate regarding Somalia)

This could be an interesting starting point re libertarianism but I'm afraid my answer would be a tad longer than the question, all the more so since there was no question asked in this particular case...

Flocon a dit…

Anijo,

"Surely, you exaggerate"

You should know by now that my name isn't "subtlety" ;-)...

1575 comments!!! Needless to say I haven't read all of them but the most recommanded by the NYT'readers.

These American readers are far more ferocious and critical that I am (besides, I cannot be critical or whatever, not being an American citizen).

I was about to cut and paste somme comments but they are too numerous to do and also you don't need me to read them.

Yet, that one seems to be in adequation with the Robber Barons poster:

This is the world we live in now: the people speak up, and the elites beat them down.

------

they were not expelled permanently from the park, it was just the encampments which were forbidden.

Which means they're not forbidden to wander as individuals with their pets if they want but protesting isn't allowed.

Now, if they want to write protest songs about it, publish books or shoot films about their experience, that's fine as long as it poses no threat to the robber barons' wealth.

That's what is called formal liberties in Marxist parlance: Children are free to play around as long as they want but they're not allowed to meddle with grown ups' affairs.

Which reminds me of this. Totally un-Marxist but I confess I was an avid follower 20 years ago.

20 years ago like here. Boy! I was 16 when I first saw the movie Bld St Michel in August 1968 (sigh)

Think of it, this song is far from being off topic since it relates the story of people gaining liberty through infringement of the Law (that of the Meanies as a matter of fact).


La loi protège-t-elle la liberté ou est-elle une entrave à la liberté?

A typical subject for the philosophy test at the Baccalaureate.

Now, just imagine the length of my answer.. :-)))

Anijo a dit…

Yes, well..

Anijo a dit…

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
All right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can...

Flocon a dit…

Re this song, I remember I was somewhat surprised by how realistic and nearly down to earth if not squarely reactionnary Lennon was by the time, 1968!

Not that he was right or wrong but at the same period, Jagger was singing Street Fighting Man...

Also, the concept of revolution isn't totatly unheard of in the U.S though.

Anijo a dit…

Flocon, si je me souviens bien, tu ne crois pas que notre révolution était une vrai révolution.

Anonyme a dit…

Flocon: I find the anti-democratic theme of some of your recent writings intriguing. Further development of your ideas about this would be worthwhile.

The anglo-saxon solution to the problem of freedom has settled firmly with Edmund Burke and governments of "ordered liberty." To be fair, ordered liberty does not necessarily require democracy.

For me, the tension between freedom and order are best characterized by two speeches that stand like bookends for the English Civil War. Both Charles I and Richard Rumbold spoke on the gallows, with their executioners standing at their elbows. They both achieved a remarkable clarity.

Charles I on people and their government, moments before his beheading....

"...For the people. And truly I desire their liberty and freedom, as much as anybody whomsoever; but I must tell you that their liberty and their freedom consists in having of government those laws by which their life and their goods may be most their own. It is not for having share in government, sir, that is nothing pertaining to them. A subject and a sovereign are clean different things; and therefore, until they do that, I mean, that you do put the people in that liberty as I say, certainly they will never enjoy themselves."

And Rumbold, moments before his execution as one of Charles' regicides...

...I may say this is a deluded generation, veiled with ignorance, that though popery and slavery be riding in upon them, do not perceive it; though I am sure there was no man born marked of God above another; for none comes into the world with a saddle on his back, neither any booted and spurred to ride him..."

SemperFidelis

Flocon a dit…

Anijo,

Voici le billet auquel tu penses.

Dès le début la question essentielle était posée : "one should start by asking what a revolution is"

Il s'agissait d'une comparaison entre deux événements historiques presque contemporains l'un de l'autre. Je persiste à penser qu'il s'est agi d'une révolution dans un cas et d'une guerre de libération coloniale dans l'autre.

Le mot "révolution" est mis à toutes les sauces (comme les mots "démocratie" ou "racisme" par exemple) et a perdu son sens originel.

Il est question de révolutions arabes. Wich revolutions? Il s'agit de renverser des régimes autoritaires mais pas de changer les sociétés.

Les révolutions française et russe voulaient, entre autres, débarrasser l'humanité du fléau de l'obscurantisme religieux.

Les pays arabes qui ont connu des révoltes en 2011 veulent-ils se débarrasser de l'Islam? Quite the contrary! They want more of it. Talk of revolutions... they want more of the same.

The same goes with the so-called velvet revolution or the carnation revolution.

Bien sûr que ces événements ont été importants pour les pays concerné mais ont-ils vraiment influencé le cours de l'Histoire de l'humanité? Et la révolution castrite? Pas le moins du monde évidemment.

Anyway, il semble que tout le monde veut avoir une révolution dans son histoire nationale...

Cela relève de l'anthropologie culturelle et affective dirait-on...

Flocon a dit…

SemperFidelis, je répondrai plus tard mais là I've got to get some sleep...

Flocon a dit…

SemperFidelis : "I find the anti-democratic theme of some of your recent writings intriguing"

Your very first sentence includes the word that has become like a mantra the world over, a word that certainly has its definition as a concept but has very little substance in the real word: democracy.

My opinion is that what we experience in the name of this word is a farce.
Just two examples:

1°) The European Union is supposed to be "democratic" whereas it is probably the least democratic political instance in the world.

2°) There have been referendums in France, Netherlands and Irland 5 years ago and none was accepted by the ruling elite of each country.

In France and the Netherlands, each respective Parliament voted against the popular vote and in Irland (like happened in another country (Denmark?)) people had to vote again until they said yes because that was the answer the poitical leaders needed to further expand the sheer madness the EU has become.

There exists an election on the European scale in order to elect the European parliament. Said parliament has about no power at all within the whole European business. But it's democratic since people vote for absolutely nothing. Each 5 years there are fewer participants to this sham of an election when people realize they are being duped.

The British people has asked for decades to go out of the E.U. But the ruling elite has always turned a deaf ear to the wish of the Brits. The elite by-passes the voice of the people. Yes but it's democratic since the UK isn't a totalitarian state.

In Europe, democracy is just what it is in China. People want to vote and they think that's democracy? OK then, let them vote for pie in the sky, in the end we decide.

Now, do American citizens feel they have any say in the matter when it comes to governing their country through their Representants and Senators?

Methinks the core of the matter isn't whether we are allowed to vote or not (there are elections even in North Korea) but if we live in police State or not.

And France's record on that topic isn't particularly pretty.

"Élections, piège à cons" was a slogan back in 1968. Ô so true!

Flocon a dit…

SemperFidelis,

"To be fair, ordered liberty does not necessarily require democracy."

Another part of your comment that would call for an answer the length of a thesis...

And again arises the same question: What is this democracy you're referring to?

Le mot démocratie n'apparaît nulle part dans la Constitution américaine (ni dans la Constitution française) pour une raison peut-être toute simple, c'est qu'il s'agit d'un concept de philosophie politique qui n'a aucune valeur pratique en réalité.

If you remember this post I wrote last year, your interrogation about my so-called anti-democratic writings should find their answer in there.