Cuckoo Papa!

An open letter to Dr. Gérard Coupat

Here I reproduce an email from Mr. Coupat (the father)[1] and my response to it.

Gérard Coupat to Claude Guillon, 17 May 2010:

Dear Sir:

A group of representatives from the PS,[2] the Greens and others (in particular, A. Vallini, N. Mamere, and P. Braouzec) have taken the initiative and organized for Monday, 21 June [2010] a colloquium at the National Assembly dedicated to the Assessment [le Bilan] of 25 Years of Applying Anti-Terrorist Laws.

Thinking that your presence at one of the three panel discussions[3] would be a considerable contribution to the debate, the organizers desire that you agree to participate in it.

What do you think?

The audience will be composed of members of the legislature, members of associations, judges, university scholars, newspaper writers and union members especially.

Please inform me as soon as possible of your agreement to participate in this reflection.

Quite respectfully,
Dr. G. Coupat

Claude Guillon to everyone, 18 May 2010:

My dear Coupat,

I recall that, when I read your amiable email inviting me to participate, this coming June 21st, at the National Assembly, in a colloquium entitled “The Anti-Terrorist Laws, 25 Years of Application: Assessment,” my first response was suspicion.

Perhaps it was a practical joke, hatched by your son?

But, after all, when one has the bad taste to name a committee[4] for the repeal of the anti-terrorist laws “Calas”[5] (why not “Dreyfus,” while you are at it?), it is easy to envision (without laughing) entrusting the moderation of a debate on the subject to Ms. Lebranchu,[6] a former Minister of Justice, and the entire colloquium to Mr. Badinter,[7] an enthusiastic partisan of the new “European arrest warrant.”

My second reaction was temptation.

Of course! A party in the House of Representatives . . . For an anarchist, this couldn’t be refused like a summons to the police station!

Alas! My supplier of pentrite stupidly got himself pinched in Albania with two kilos. As a result, I am deprived.[8]

“Thinking,” you write, “that (my) presence would be a considerable contribution, the organizers desire that (I) agree to participate.”

The awkwardness of the phrasing slightly compensates for what’s insulting about the proposition.

These members of parliament: did they have any hesitations before voting for or allowing their pitiful abstentions to vote for the so-called “anti-terrorist” laws that they, today, claim to “assess”?

But perhaps they have no more read the texts of the laws passed under their responsibility than La Terrorisation démocratique,[9] the book that I published in September 2009 through Editions Libertalia and that no doubt won me your surprising invitation. . . .

One measures these people’s intelligence and ability to pay attention by the fact that, out of the title’s three words, they have shown themselves incapable of understanding two of them (not less than nine syllables in total, it is true).

As a result, one can grasp the unfortunate imbecility of the legislative debates about texts that affect the lives of thousands of people. I do not know if you have had the curiosity to investigate them. If so, you have been able to verify that, when it comes to yet another law (whose consequences they cannot foresee), the preferred formula of these people is “This text has the merit of existing.”

To me, dear doctor, these scoundrels have the fault of existing.

Far from worrying about their moods, I quite desire their disappearance, as well as the disappearance of the capitalist system, of which these people constitute the maintenance staff.

No justice, no respect!
Claude Guillon

(Published on Claude Guillon’s website on 18 May 2010 and translated from the French by NOT BORED! on 7 June 2010. All footnotes by the translator.)

[1] Father of Julien Coupat, one of the “Tarnac Ten.”

[2] The Socialist Party.

[3] Others invited (and participating?) included Alain Badiou, an ultra-Leftist philosopher, and Eric Hazan, the publisher of The Coming Insurrection, whom Guillon has critiqued here, in a still untranslated text.

[4] The members of which are Giorgio Agamben, Esther Benbassa, Luc Boltanski, Said Bouamama, Antoine Comte, Eric Hazan, Gilles Manceron, Karine Parrot, Carlo Santulli and Agnes Tricoire.

[5] Jean Calas (1698-1762) was a French Protestant merchant who was convicted of murder and tortured to death at a time when anti-Protestant hatred was especially strong in France.

[6] Marylise Lebranchu, a French “Socialist” politician.

[7] Robert Badinter, another “Socialist” who served as the Minister of Justice.

[8] An oblique reference to Guy Fawkes’ provisions.

[9] We have translated the introduction to this book, as well as an interview with its author.

To Contact NOT BORED!