We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Anti-Communist demo in Paris

Another one you didn’t see in the media.

“The demonstration comprised about a hundred protestors demonstrating against the arrest of Vietnamese pro-democracy campaigners. This action was organised by the ‘Alliance Vietnam Liberté’ (Vietnam Freedom Alliance) and various Ngos were invited. A representative of Amnesty International was present as well as Françoise Hostalier, former Human Rights Minister [yes we have one of those in occupied France!] and president of ‘Action Droits de l’Homme’ (Action Human Rights), as well as myself Laurent Muller, president of the ‘Association Européene Cuba Libre’ (European Association for a Free Cuba). The demonstration ended at 17 hours outside the Republic of Vietnam embassy [in Paris].”

It continues with the following:

“I take this opportunity to remind you that tomorrow, 8 April 2003, the AECL is holding a press conference about the latest wave of repression in Cuba. Some 80 non-violent dissidents are currently being tried for ‘treason’ and ‘supplying information to an enemy state’ (the USA). Prison sentences from 10 years to life have been requested [by prosecutors]. It appears that one death sentence has been requested against one dissident.”

The press conference will be held at 15 hours at the aid centre for the Foreign Press, maison de la Radio, 116 avenue du Président Kennedy, 75016 Paris. The best contact I have is Prégentil (Americans will really like the graphics on his front page). Sad note: repression is operating worldwide whilst the eyes of the world are focused on the liberation of Iraq.

A Stalinist Nightmare

What do Stalinists do when they’re a minority in the Party, and they want to oppose pluralist democracy and internal dissent on the grounds of loyalty to ‘democratic centralism’?

Well the French Communist Party ended a chaotic weekend with just this problem. They re-elected Marie-George Buffet as their National secretary, the architect of reforms which allow among other things, several candidates for internal elections, more compromises with the socialists and other heresies for a Party that refused to condemn Stalin until… er, last year, I think. These are the guys that thought Leonid Brezhnev was a crypto-liberal!

At the last minute a revolt by the anti-democrats was averted by persuading them to withdraw their opposition candidates for the leadership election which they oppose on the grounds of revolutionary discipline. Embarrassingly, France’s major news website doesn’t carry a single comment on this story after more than a day: iron discipline or sublime indifference?

What ‘the comrades’ need isn’t a Marie-George Buffet, but a Warren Buffett.

The Wind of Change… in Paris

In Iraq, ordinary people begin to appear and cheer the liberators. In France, the pro-Saddam mob is disappearing as fast as a Republican Guard tank brigade.

I use the French TV station TF1 as my weathervane of authorised French opinion.

The Free French… in exile in London yet again!