In the book he put out in the middle of the debate on ‘our’ ‘national identity’ -more proof that this was all setup in advance-, For the Nation, Eric Besson brings undeniable proof that the French nation is a figment of the imagination, a vast scam taken up by the republicans in order to establish their tyranny over the unfortunate ones who were previously bound by the monarchy.
“In France, the Nation created itself from a succession of invasions and migrations, and from powerful centralizing regimes which follow the invasions and consolidate the acquired power. France is a nation created by the State.” p21
“This territory, because it is not a place of dwelling but one of crossing and migration, can only be governed by a strong central power, able to frame these ceaseless flows with values and rules. Our Nation could only be built by this centralizing power, sometimes exterior to the Nation itself, which imposed itself and its law.” p23
From which it follows, that the ‘Nation’ is an entirely artificial thing, the dream of tyrants rather than of the ‘people,’ whose unity and devotion are clearly false. And how disgusting it is to read the same Besson blabber on on the ‘common will,’ the ‘particular voluntarism,’ etc. that this ‘Nation’ requires, like a kid playing with puppets and filling them with wills of his own invention, when we speak of millions of actually living persons with real feelings and thoughts of their own!
All this leads us to ask: Why? Why doesn’t Eric Besson, aware of the violence that this artificial centralization, originally the policy of monarchs, has produced (“this unity was not always achieved without brutalities” p28), conclude that the French Nation has no real existence? That maintaining it through violence is a horrible thing?
Because, Eric Besson reveres the nation the way a religious fanatic reveres his God and commands respect from each and everyone. The connection is particularly evident when he explains how the nation was born, why it is so great, the beauty of the landscape, and how he whitewashes the capetian monarchy’s regrettable ‘brutalities’ for how it made France ‘shine’ for the first time around the world.
Besson demonstrates a great knowledge of French history, vastly superior to mine. But there’s something he lacks: he is unable to connect the dots. He takes the nation for granted, and everything is interpreted in that light. But I think everyone will agree on this: what exists only by virtue of the use of violence and crime does not deserve to exist at all. So it is that I deny that there are nations, much as it makes many people uneasy. Nationalism is not an extremist philosophy solely sported by the far-right. It is a philosophy that obtains consensus across the political spectrum. Without it, the State loses the authority to forcibly bind us all together.
The nation is a forced marriage.