OPINION

Shifting allegiance

In 1976, a leaflet by Andre Glucksmann on fascism was published in Greek. It was not about fascism per se, but that which was meant by the political left in the postwar era: Fascism, Nazism, all general right-wing authoritarian regimes – pre- and post-WWII – as well as anything that was considered unsavory by the international communist left forms of political practice, from social democracy to the parliamentary right. The French philosopher had originally published the article in Sartre’s review «Les temps modernes» in 1972. At the time, he was an esteemed researcher at the National Research Scientific Center and a Maoist with a history of armed struggle in May 1968. Using his stature as a researcher, he dogmatically called General De Gaulle and his descendants France a »fascist dictatorship.» The leaflet was late in being published in Greece, since during the four years that elapsed between 1972 and 1976, Glucksmann had joined the ranks of the anticommunist New Philosophers who, led by the well-dressed Bernard Henri-Levy, brought down (with the help of the media) Soviet propaganda structures in France. Glucksmann has used his pen ever since to support the 1999 «humanitarian bombing» of Serbia, and in 2003 argued that Saddam Hussein did indeed harbor weapons of mass destruction. Recently in Le Monde (January 30), he published an article in support of the French Neo-Gaullist presidential candidate. Glucksmann’s opportunism is certainly not surprising. He is neither the first nor the last to join the strongest camp. Jean-Marie Laclaventine reminded him of this in Le Monde (February 6): «You have venerated Mao, you have admired George W. Bush, you would have adored Picrochole,» he wrote, in reference to Rabelais’s villainous king. A peevish commentator of the media age, Glucksmann is a mirror image of the Greek intelligentsia.