Check out the latest interview with Eric Hazan on the Verso website, then read on.
What can you say of a man whose work is sometimes inspiring, and whom you’d like to admire for his long and principled life, but … I have to admit I have a problem with people like Hazan who don’t vote and claim it is some sort of civic act. Or incite people to think of making others “vanish.” Revolution did happen so you could vote! And so we could avoid violence in public affairs. Democracy demands that we believe it matters, remain informed, and make elections count. France does have deliberative processes by which change can happen without violence. When Hazan speaks of “thinking about the means of insurrection,” and dismisses the ‘intermediate stages’ such as “election of a constituent assembly etc.,” what exactly is he encouraging? The ambiguity is irresponsible.
After reading the Verso interview, I think it only fair to give a “tip of the hat” to a group in France which is trying to bring about change from within the system, using the tools inherited from the revolutionary past, for the better. They are called Association pour une Constituante: www.pouruneconstituante.fr .
A personal note: My admiration for the ideals of the Fr Rev (plus having kids come of age) has led me to start teaching a weekly class of writing for children, which I’ve been doing since 2012. It seems so puny and insignificant next to the “revolutionaries” calling for “insurrection” or “vanishing” of institutions. But equality is my personal dream, and giving underprivileged kids a way to speak and be somebody is my chosen method. My wish for all of us is peace, and to have a chance. What is yours, readers?