We live to tread on kings
‘O gentlemen, the time of life is short;…
An if we live, we live to tread on kings;’
Bodies covered with tarpaulins, sheets, littering the terraces of various cafés… The horror of the slaughter that took place in that hall. It’s surreal.
Unable to do anything in that situation. In the name of their religion these god-crazed fanatics put a bullet indiscriminately in all the living unfortunate enough to cross their path. Super-trained suicide bombers that self-appointed religious leaders have promised will go to heaven, taking with them the greatest number of people possible in their killing spree. And the sole purpose of all this is to impose terror. To make those who live in a peaceful society, far from the battles that the army conducts against a nation they have not chosen, smell the smell of blood. To punish a population because a State has decided to conduct a war, hold people responsible who had no say in these decisions. Revenge of a State, in the most cowardly and easy way, not touching those concerned, but breaking eggs to make a show of force by making a bloody omelette.
We are concerned. Concerned about this kind of indiscriminate massacre, that sees in all individuals nothing but lives to be taken, bodies to plant bullets in just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, for having had the misfortune to cross the barrel of one of the god-crazed, who are our enemies as well as the State, regardless of the ideology of these fanatics. The god-crazed who carry out massacres in the name of their religious fanaticism in Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Niger, Egypt, Lebanon, and Paris … But we know that, under other ideologies, others have perpetrated and continue to perpetrate actions whose only aim is to strike randomly elsewhere in the world in the name of ideas that are enemies of freedom. We are talking about complete freedom, whole and indivisible. That which blasphemes against all authority and destroys all power, be it in sacred books or the facades of States. Not that which the State shakes like a rattle as it governs us, also, through terror.
We don’t know where to turn. On the one hand there is this horror, all these lives shattered in the blast of a few minutes, and we are saying it’s not over, that that time we were the “lucky” ones.
And on the other hand there is the State’s response. The state of emergency extended for three months. The State’s power over our lives and activity tenfold. Summons, house arrests, houses raided day and night, ban on demonstrations, threat of revocation of nationality, and a threat hovering over all those who have an ‘S’ [security threat] card, attributed to both religious fanatics and revolutionaries and many others alike, putting them all in the same basket.
And then there is the massive deployment of the military and police in the streets, who feel the need to give us a demonstration of the extra power that the State has bestowed on them. And the famous “national unity” evoked a few days after the attacks. The enemy of revolutionaries, those who want to get rid of the State, not see it opportunely strengthened in this context. That which attracts crowds to come and meditate on these places of death singing the Marseillaise draped in French flags and shouting “Long live France, long live the Republic.” Crowds that speak of freedom, as if we had been free before this tragedy. Which in a way is accepting the state of emergency, saying that it is the god-crazed who took away our freedom, thus completely clearing the State, finding excuses for it. The same national unity that leads to accepting the grip of the State over our lives, is also that which brings together religious leaders, while they are the ones, whoever they are, that nourish fanaticism, even when they say they are moderates.
What both sides want is for us to live in fear, that we cease to be alive, change our habits, resign ourselves to staying quietly at home without raising any criticism. But we won’t accept the terror that they are forcing on us. This silence of death that they want to reign. And we will never accept the alternatives that States, which are capable of all the terror that we know them to be, offer us, often brandishing it “anti-terrorist”.
So, to the salt of our tears, we add the spice of our passion for life, and our desire for revolt.
They will never make us give up. — Let’s live and rebel, against all power! — Neither religion, nor nationalism!
(“Lucioles” n°24 – février 2016)