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murder of Samuel Paty
National Union! No the Defence of the “values of the Republic”!
The sordid murder of Samuel Paty, the professor killed and decapitated by a
fanatic because he had showed a caricature of Muhammad in a course on Moral
and Civic Education, has aroused general horror and indignation. This
reaction has been relayed and amplified by all of the media. In a few hours,
a veritable media and political campaign of great extent has seen daylight,
orientating the tensions and frustrations born of the present situation, not
against an invisible enemy but against an enemy very visible in the
flesh and bones: the Islamist terrorist.
This murder is just in time to relay governmental propaganda against the
“separatism” which, in the well established tradition of state racism,
makes Arab proletarians, usually Muslim, and more generally immigrants,
scapegoats for the crisis, presenting them as dangers to the peace and
security of good citizens. At the moment where the social crisis is going to
express itself and already expresses itself through a frontal attack against
the living and working conditions of proletarians, it is of crucial
importance for the bourgeoisie to diminish the possibility of proletarians
fighting back by accentuating religious and national divisions.
On the topic of paralyzing the proletariat, the ongoing campaign looks to
cement the national union between classes. “They will not divide us,”
Macron declared, calling for unity. This theme is repeated without
hesitation by the left –for example by Melenchon who went even further on
national unity, saying on October 10th: “It is evident that
the goal of Islamist terrorists is to succeed in dividing the French. (...)
Therefore, I call first and foremost for this unity”– as well as that of
the defence of the “values of the Republic.”
But the French – and the non French – are in this society divided into
opposed social classes, between exploiters and exploited. Unity
between the exploiters and the exploited happens always to the detriment of
And the Republic (the bourgeois Republic!) has as its fundamental values,
behind the embellishments destined to abuse the exploited, the law of profit
and the defence of the capitalist mode of production. It built itself
against proletarians whose revolts have been crushed in blood and who have
been sent to the slaughterhouse where it wages wars again and again, and
against populations reduced to slavery or colonised in the countries it has
This hideous and bloody Republic must not be supported but battled against
by proletarians, with the prospect of erecting on its ruins their own
dictatorial power, indispensable for the destruction of capitalism.
Regarding the so vaunted secularism, which is to say neutrality with regard
to religions (1), it has become more and more a tool for stigmatising those
of Islamic faith, as the religion of the part of the French proletariat of
Arab origin. The struggle against the reactionary grip of religious cannot
succeed through education or anti-clerical propaganda, and even less through
state coercion; it can only be accomplished, as the history of the workers’
movement has demonstrated, by the union of proletarians of all faiths in the
struggle against oppression and exploitation.
If it is the role of the police to arrest murders, it would be a grave error
for proletarians to have confidence in the government and the bourgeois
state in order to protect themselves from the murderous fanaticism of the
extreme right, Islamist or not.
Not only because the forces of the extreme right are born and prosper on the
terrain of capitalism in crisis, but above all because it is this government
and this state who led the recent attacks against workers and who will lead
those to come. The authorities speak trembling in a voice of intangible
respect for freedom of expression and assure everyone of their love for
teachers; but they are the very same people who repress teachers on strike,
while having violently repressed the gilets jaunes, workers in
struggle and the most diverse sorts of protests.
There is no other way to defend themselves against the horrors of
capitalism, against the forces of official repression as well as
against the forces of far-right Islamist fanaticism, against the
“democratic” and “civilised” bourgeoisie as against their fascistic
colleagues, against the bourgeois state under every regime, than that of the
return to the orientations, to the positions and to the perspectives of the
international class struggle.
All collaboration with the ruling class and their many political
organizations can only lead to disaster.
The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains! They have a world to
(1) For the republicans of old, secularism was a weapon for wresting control
over the education of youth from the Catholic Church and transferring it to
the bourgeois state, but not a weapon against religion. As Jules Ferry
expressly stated, the schoolteacher should take care not to be opposed to
the religious beliefs of students’ parents.
October, 19th 2020
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