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The Searching Life and Enigmatic Death of Albert Camus

Edward Curtin

Everyone wants the man who is still searching to have already reached his conclusions. A thousand voices are already telling him what he has found, and yet he knows he hasn’t found anything. Should he search on and let them talk? Of course.”
Albert Camus – “The Enigma” in Lyrical and Critical Essays

Albert Camus’ search ended sixty years ago on January 4, 1960, the day he died. Although he had already written The Stranger, The Rebel, The Plague, and The Fall, and had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, he felt his true work had barely begun. Alongside the car in which he died, his briefcase lay in the mud.

In it was the uncompleted, hand-written manuscript of his final quest, The First Man, an autobiographical novel written in a raw emotional and lyrical style that was liberating him from the prison of a classical form he felt compelled to escape.

He was on his way to a new freedom, in writing and in life, when he was cut down. The book was published posthumously in 1994 by his daughter and son.

It is a beautiful peek into a reserved man’s youthful inner development, the loneliness of a poor boy made fatherless by an absurd war, and the ways in which the boy “had to learn by himself, to grow alone, in fortitude, in strength, find his own morality and truth.”

It explains a lot about Camus’ later writing and why, at the end of his life, he was so isolated and criticized by the right, left, and center for his various political positions.

He could not be pigeonholed. This drove many crazy. His allegiance was to truth, not ideologies. He was not a partisan in the Cold War between the U.S./NATO and the U.S.S.R. An artist compelled by conscience and history to enter the political arena, he spoke in defence of the poor, oppressed, and powerless.

Among his enemies were liberal imperialism and Soviet Marxism, abstract ideologies used to murder and enslave people around the world. He opposed state murder, terrorism, and warfare from all quarters.

He was an artistic anarchist with a passionate spiritual hunger and an austere and moral Don Juan. He was a mystery to himself in many ways. He made mistakes. But he was honest and honorable.

He is the kind of thinker we need today. But he is still easily used and abused by those with their own agendas, and in that way, he is emblematic of the ways the search for truth today can be manipulated.

It is a sly game, one that only can start to make sense when one puts concentrated effort into unraveling the endless propaganda that is the fabric of our lives today.

Anyone who has followed the evidence knows that Russia-gate, Ukraine-gate, the anti-Putin hysteria, and the new Cold War is a fabrication concocted by deep-state intelligence and political forces in the United States and the West. Of course, many will deny these facts.

Anti-Russia hysteria has filled the airwaves for years. It is pure propaganda that is manna from heaven for liberals and conservatives wishing to maintain their religious belief in American holiness, even as the U.S./NATO has surrounded Russia with military forces.

Anything that can intensify this mania is used by the corporate media. It is a very dangerous game of nuclear brinkmanship.

For many people, studying such issues in depth is beside the point. As Camus wrote in 1954, “Today one takes a side based on the reading of an article.” In 2020 it may be just a headline.

Here is a case in point. Perhaps minor, perhaps not.

A relative, knowing I had previously written about a book claiming that Camus’ death in a car was not an accident but an assassination carried out by the KGB, recently sent me a link to an article in The Guardian, the paper that published a tiny portion of the Edward Snowden documents after allowing the Intelligence authorities to censor them, then oversaw the destruction of all Snowden’s computer documents, and finally became a full-time mouthpiece for the security state.

The article was entitled: “New Book Claims Albert Camus Was Murdered by the KGB.” The article was published on Dec 2, 2019 and my relative naturally assumed it was a new book.

So did I, but I didn’t know there was a new book. A year ago I had written about a book, Camus deve morire (Camus Must Die), published only in Italian in 2013 by the Italian writer Giovanni Catelli, that claims that Camus was assassinated by the KGB. So I read the article and was perplexed.

There is no new book; there are new translations into French and Spanish of the same book from 2013. The French edition has a forward by the American writer Paul Auster, who finds Catelli’s argument convincing.

More than a year ago Catelli had kindly sent me an English version of his book, which I had read before writing about it, and I assume I am the only person to have read the book in English. I think it is persuasive, but not dispositive.

The recent Guardian article was picked up by various publications that repeated much of it, adding incorrectly that The Guardian interviewed Catelli, etc., implying that it was all new.

This was picked up by other publications that repeated this plus other erroneous claims, including one from a linked New Yorker article from 2014 that says, as do many others, that Catelli’s claims of a KGB hit on Camus couldn’t be true because Camus had a train ticket in his pocket and only made a last-minute decision to ride in the car back to Paris with his friend Michel Gallimard and his family.

This is false, but it fits into the attractive theme of “an absurd death.” The truth is Camus had written a letter on December 30 to Maria Casarès that he would be taking a car, not the train, adding – believe it or not – that he would be arriving on Tuesday, January 4, “taking into account surprises on the road.”

Then on the night of January 2, he had a nightmare in which he was pursued by four faceless men on a country road where he got into a car to escape and another faceless man drove the car straight into the side of a house, as Camus awoke terrified.

As I said, it’s a sly game, this publication business where little things can mean a lot, or not. Subtle points. Many mistakes. Some out of ignorance, others intentional. Things repeated. The timing often important to send implied messages.

This speculation about Camus’ death began in 2011 when the media were abuzz with a report out of Italy that, rather than an accident, Camus may have been assassinated by the Soviet KGB for his powerful criticism of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, their massacre of Hungarian freedom fighters, and for his defense and advocacy of Boris Pasternak and his novel, Doctor Zhivago, among other things.

For those who study history, all these issues are complicated by CIA involvement, which is not to say that Soviet forces did not massacre Hungarian freedom fighters or that Pasternak should not have been defended and the massacres condemned. Those things are clear, while others are murky, as was then and is now the CIA’s intention in so many terrible events around the world.

This murkiness is created by the mass media that does the bidding of the intelligence agencies.

These reports of a KGB hit on Camus were based on an article in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, and came from the remarks of Catelli, an Italian academic, Slavic scholar, and poet.

Catelli said that he had read in a diary, published as a book, Ceĺ́ý zͮivot, written by Jan Zábrana, a well-known poet and translator of Doctor Zhivago, the following:

I heard something very strange from the mouth of a man who knew lots of things
and had very informed sources. According to him, the accident that had cost Albert
Camus his life in 1960 was organized by Soviet spies. They damaged the tyre on the
car using a sophisticated piece of equipment that cut or made a hole at speed.

This claim was quickly and broadly rejected by Camus’ scholars and it just as quickly disappeared from view.

But in 2013 Catelli published Camus Must Die that suggests there may be more to it than those early dismissals of the Corriere della Sera report indicate.

One has only to harken back to the 2013 mysterious death of journalist Michael Hastings in the United States, when his car accelerated to over 100 miles per hour and exploded against a tree on a straight road in Los Angeles, to make one think twice, maybe more.

To question that death is of course to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist, a bit of mind control straight from the CIA’s playbook.

Camus and Hastings. Tree lined straight roads, no traffic, outspoken writers, anomalous crashes, different countries and eras – tales to make one wonder. And probe and research if one is so inclined. Read more than one article. Perhaps a book or two.

Whatever the cause of Albert Camus’ death, however, it is clear that we could use his voice today. I believe we should honor and remember him on this day that he died, for as an artist of his time, an artist for our time and all time, he tried to serve both beauty and suffering, to defend the innocent in this murderous world.

Quintessentially a man of his age, he was haunted by images that haunt us still, in particular those of being locked in an absurd prison threatened by madmen brandishing weapons small and large, ready to blow this beautiful world to smithereens with weapons conjured out of their hubristic, Promethean dreams of conquest and power.

For we live in plague time, and the plague lives in us. Like the inhabitants of the rat-infested French-Algerian city of Oran in Camus’s The Plague, the United States is “peopled with sleep walkers,” pseudo-innocents, who are “chiefly aware of what ruffled the normal tenor of their lives or affected their interests.”

That their own government, no matter what political party is in power (both working for deep-state, elite interests led by the organized criminals of the CIA), is the disseminator of a world-wide plague of virulent violence, must be denied and divorced from consensus reality.

These plague-stricken deaths visited on millions around the world – by Clinton, the Bushes, Obama, Trump – must be denied by diverting attention to partisan politics that elicit outrage after outrage by the various factions and their minions.

The true plague, the bedrock of a nation continually waging wars against the world, is avoided. Presently, it is the liberals that are “shocked” that Trump is the President as he bombs Iraq and assassinates Iranian leaders. These are the same people who went silent for the last eight years as Obama ravaged the world and lied about his cruel policies.

Their outrage over Trump’s victory reeked of bad faith, with most of them supporting Hillary Clinton, a neo-liberal war-monger par excellence. Further “shocks” will follow when Trump leaves office and the latest neo-liberal avatar succeeds him, whether that is this year or in 2024; conservatives will resume their harangues and protestations, just as they have done during Obama’s reign. The two war parties will exchange insults as their followers are outraged and the American Empire, built on the disease of violence, will roll along or perhaps disintegrate. No one knows. But the plague will rage on and the main stream corporate media will play along by sowing confusion and telling lies in big and little ways.

For “decent folks must be allowed to sleep at night,” says the character Tarrou sarcastically in The Plague; he is a man who has lost his ability to “sleep well” since he witnessed a man’s execution where the “bullets make a hole into which you could thrust your fist.” He awakens to the realization that he “had an indirect hand in the deaths of thousands of people.” He loses any peace he had and vows to resist the plague in every way he can.

“For many years I’ve been ashamed,” he says, “mortally ashamed, of having been, even with the best intentions, even at many removes, a murderer in my turn.”

The rats are dying in the streets. They are our rats, diseased by us. They have emerged from the underworld of a nation plagued by its denial. Unconscious evil bubbles up. We are an infected people. Worry and irritation – “these are not feelings with which to confront plague.” But we don’t seem ashamed of our complicity in our government’s crimes around the world. Camus knew better. He warned us,

It’s a wearying business being plague-stricken. But it’s still more wearying to refuse to be it. That’s why everybody in the world looks so tired; everyone is more or less sick of plague. But that is why some of us, those who want to get the plague out of their systems, feel such desperate weariness.

Yet the fight against the plague must go on; that was Camus’ message. If not, you will be destroyed by your own complicity in evil. You will be plagued by your own hand.

Were Camus alive today, he would no doubt be struck by the constant stream of news reports exemplifying the hubris of our technological rationality, a mode of thinking that has made a fetish out of technology, worships efficiency, and considers any critical protest as irrational.

For Camus was deeply influenced by ancient Greek philosophy. He wrote,

Greek thought was always based on the idea of limits. Nothing was carried to extremes, neither religion nor reason, because Greek thought denied nothing, neither reason nor religion …. And, even though we do it in diverse ways, we extol one thing and one alone: a future world in which reason will reign supreme.

He would be appalled by the arrogance of a nation led by technocratic experts and politicians who have embraced the power of pure reason devoid of values. Despite all rhetoric to the contrary, the embrace of technical reason, which is innately amoral, has caused many of the problems we seem unable to remedy.

These include environmental catastrophe, high-tech wars, GM foods, drone killings, drug addiction, and nuclear weapons, to name but a few. For such problems created by technology, our esteemed leaders have technological answers. The high-priests of this technological complex – organization types all – use the technology and control the information which they then present as “facts” to justify their actions.

The absurdity of this vicious circle is lost on them. Their unstated assumption: We have a prohibition to prohibit.

If it can be done, it will be done. We have no limits.

Camus thought differently:

In our madness, we push back the eternal limits, and at once Furies swoop down upon us to destroy. Nemesis, the goddess of moderation, not of vengeance, is watching. She chastises, ruthlessly, all those who go beyond the limit.

Camus reminds us that we must break free from the “mind-forged manacles” that render us prisoners of hopelessness. This world as a prison is a metaphor that has a long and popular tradition.

In the past hundred or more years, however, with the secularization of Western culture and the perceived withdrawal of God, the doors of this prison have shut upon the popular imagination, with growing numbers of people feeling trapped in an alien universe, no longer able to bridge the gulf between themselves and an absent God.

Death, once the open avenue to the free life of eternity, has for many become the symbol of the absurdity of existence and the futility of escape.

“There is little doubt that the modern cult of power worship is bound up with the modern man’s feeling that life here and now is the only life there is,” wrote George Orwell in 1944.

Camus was haunted by these images, intensified as they were by a life of personal isolation beginning with the death of his father in World War I when he was a year old and continuing throughout his upbringing by a half-deaf, emotionally sterile mother. His entire life, including his tragic art, was an attempt to find a way out of this closed world. This was his search.

That is why he continues to speak today to those who grapple with the same enigmas, those who strive to find hope and faith to defend the defenseless and revel in the glory of living simultaneously. Not absurdly, he left clues to that quest in his briefcase on the road where he died – the unfinished manuscript to his beautiful Le Premier Homme (The First Man).

It was as if, whether he died in an accident or was murdered, the first man was going to have the last word.

In his last novel, The Fall, he left us Jean Baptiste Clamence, a nihilist worthy of our times, a lawyer dedicated to abstract justice, a phony actor who, in the name of absolute sincerity, lies in order to mask his destructive nihilism that knows no bounds. He reminds me of our power elites. His maxim cuts to the heart of our modern madness:

When one has no character, one has to apply a method.

Albert Camus had character. Let us honor him.

I can imagine Camus saying with Hamlet:

Oh, I could tell you –
But let it be, Horatio, I am dead;
Thou livest; report to me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.

Let us do just that.

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Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 13, 2020 9:01 AM

“he [Camus] spoke in defence of the poor, oppressed, and powerless.” This is an absurd judgement, as anyone who has read The Outsider would know. In that book, which is clearly autobiographically inspired (as can be seen from “A Happy Death” the original version), all the Arab characters, male and female, the poor, oppressed and the powerless in the context, are nameless. The Camus character has no sense of their existence as persons. He provides false witness against the Arab woman for no good reason. The Camus character is clearly on the side of himself, sexism, racism and French imperialism. He cares nothing for human rights, the law and justice, never mind the poor, oppressed and powerless.

Camus was a pied-noir, one of a social group were the subject of one of the most intensely internalized of French colonializations, within one of the most bitterly fought of any of the European colonizations.

While some semblance of understanding was held within the mainland of the Fifth Republic (although when I was in Marseilles for a while in the early 1960s I was repeatedly detained and even twice arrested for simply resembling “an Algerian”), despite the widespread popular perception of Algerians as a murderous rabble of countless, dangerous nameless Arab thugs, the almost universal mindset of the pied-noir community in Algeria did not accord native Algerians even that scrap of identity: not just countless and nameless, they were for most not even differentiable as individuals. Against that, Camus’ apparently collaborative stance cannot be judged without much more nuance, especially acknowledgment of the fact that, in the novel, Camus was presenting a philosophical basis for ethics and morality in a purposeless and meaningless Nietzschean universe–his overriding ‘context’–as well as an acceptance of the fact that, however ‘clearly’ autobiographical a novel is, it is still a novel and a novel’s characters and their settings can and often do bear little to no ‘clear’ identity with an author’s experience or their own, personal viewpoint.

The following cuts and paste because, at present, I’m too unexpectedly busy to post a more time consuming, DIY response. And I recalled this article:

One summer afternoon in 1939, on Bouisseville Beach, just west of Oran, an acquaintance of Camus’, Raoul Bensoussan, had a run-in with two Arabs who, he believed, had insulted his girlfriend. “Raoul returned with his brother to argue with the Arabs, and after a brawl he was injured by one of them, who had a knife,” Todd writes in his biography. Raoul came back armed with a small-caliber pistol, but the Arabs were arrested before he could pull the trigger.

From this encounter, Camus fashioned the novel that has come to define him. In the opening pages of The Stranger [published as The Outsider in the UK], his anthem of existentialism and alienation, Meursault, Camus’ strangely detached antihero, joins his mother’s funeral procession in the Algerian countryside. “The glare from the sky was unbearable,” he writes. “I could feel the blood pounding in my temples.” The sun of Tipasa has morphed into a sinister force in Meursault’s world—a catalyst for violence and symbol of a universe bleached of significance. Later, on a beach much like Bouisseville, Meursault encounters an Arab with a knife and shoots him to death for no other apparent reason than the unnerving brightness and heat. “It was the same sun as on the day I buried Maman and, like then,” he writes, “my forehead especially was hurting me, all of the veins pulsating together beneath the skin.”
[…]
The [Outsider] concludes with Meursault in his cell, preparing for his execution, following a trial in which his lack of emotion at his mother’s funeral is cited as proof of his depravity. Facing imminent death on the guillotine, Camus’ protagonist acknowledges that existence is meaningless, yet he now rejoices in the sheer sensation of being alive. “For the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the benign indifference of the world,” he declares in the last lines of the book, a cry of defiance and a joyful assertion of his humanity.
[…]
Camus had often demonstrated his opposition to the abuses of the colonial system, from his exposé of the famine in Kabylia to his May 1945 investigative trip for Combat to Setif, site of an anti-French protest by Algerian veterans that had triggered a massacre by French forces. As the war escalated, he looked on with horror at attacks against civilians by French ultranationalists and the army. But while he was sympathetic to the idea of greater autonomy for Algeria, he was also disgusted by FLN bombings of cafés and buses and rejected demands for independence. In 1956 he arrived in Algiers with the hope of arranging a truce between the FLN and French forces.
[…]
The visit was a humiliating failure. The two sides had passed the point of reconciliation, and even supposedly neutral Algerian leaders who escorted Camus to meetings were working secretly for the FLN. Besieged by shouts of “death to Camus” from right-wing French zealots in an Algiers meeting hall, Camus returned to France, shaken.

Camus continued to seek a middle path. He intervened with French authorities to save the lives of dozens of condemned mujahedin, but refused to support the armed struggle. “People are now planting bombs on the tramways of Algiers,” he famously told an FLN sympathizer following his acceptance of the 1957 Nobel. “My mother might be on one of those tramways. If that is justice, then I prefer my mother.” The FLN never forgave him for rejecting its cause. Eventually, Camus stopped commenting altogether on the war, a retreat that some equated with cowardice, but that Camus justified, saying that any comment he made would inflame one side or the other.
[…]
Camus’ equivocating role during the Algerian War has never stopped igniting controversy. Columbia University historian Edward Said, in Culture and Imperialism, berated Camus for having an “incapacitated colonial sensibility.” Particularly damning for Camus’ critics is the absence of developed Arab characters in the author’s body of fiction, a telling indication, they say, that while Camus sympathized with Arabs in general, he cared little about them as individuals. Kaplan says that Camus was simply a product of his time, and the deeply segregated society from which he came. “He knew the settler population, their poverty and their issues,” she says. Even so, many Algerian Arab writers “are deeply engaged with Camus.”

For Olivier Todd [Camus’ biographer], the quality that resonates for him is Camus’ “honesty,” his refusal to insist on absolute truth. “He is constantly doubting. He has doubts about the Communists, about the future of Algeria, even about himself,” Todd says. Yet it took Todd decades to warm up to him. Todd met Camus twice, once in a Paris café in 1948, when the writer sat down at the counter with a newspaper and ogled Todd’s young wife. “I was furious,” says Todd. “I said aloud, ‘Who is this asshole? Who does he think he is?’” A decade later he was introduced to Camus on the Boulevard St. Germain and “disliked him intensely. His clothes were much too loud, and he was aggressive with me. He defended the pieds-noirs too much.” But after five years immersed in his life and literature, after hundreds of interviews and repeated trips to Algeria, “My feelings about him have changed completely,” Todd says. “I ended up liking him immensely.” [Emphases added]

Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, October 2013

Steve Hayes
Steve Hayes
Jan 11, 2020 2:21 PM

“he [Camus] spoke in defence of the poor, oppressed, and powerless.” This is an absurd judgement, as anyone who has read The Outsider would know. In that book, which is clearly autobiographically inspired (as can be seen from “A Happy Death” the original version), all the Arab characters, male and female, the poor, oppressed and the powerless in the context, are nameless. The Camus character has no sense of their existence as persons. He provides false witness against the Arab woman for no good reason. The Camus character is clearly on the side of himself, sexism, racism and French imperialism. He cares nothing for human rights, the law and justice, never mind the poor, oppressed and powerless.

Wowa
Wowa
Jan 8, 2020 9:01 PM

Awesome and inspiring! Thank you!

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 8, 2020 7:28 AM

The article was entitled: “New Book Claims Albert Camus Was Murdered by the KGB.” The article was published on Dec 2, 2019…

From the linked article:

Camus died on 4 January 1960 when his publisher Michel Gallimard lost control of his car and it crashed into a tree. The author was killed instantly, with Gallimard dying a few days later. Three years earlier, the author of L’Étranger (The Outsider) and La Peste (The Plague) had won the Nobel prize for “illuminat[ing] the problems of the human conscience in our times”.

“The accident seemed to have been caused by a blowout or a broken axle; experts were puzzled by its happening on a long stretch of straight road, a road 30 feet wide, and with little traffic at the time,” Herbert Lottman wrote in his 1978 biography of the author.

Catelli believes a passage in Zábrana’s diaries explains why: the poet wrote in the late summer of 1980 that “a knowledgeable and well-connected man” had told him the KGB was to blame. “They rigged the tyre with a tool that eventually pierced it when the car was travelling at high speed.”

Convenient tree. Who planted it? Quentin Tarantino?

From the present article:

One has only to harken back to the 2013 mysterious death of journalist Michael Hastings in the United States, when his car accelerated to over 100 miles per hour and exploded against a tree on a straight road in Los Angeles, to make one think twice, maybe more.

To question that death is of course to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist, a bit of mind control straight from the CIA’s playbook.

Camus and Hastings. Tree lined straight roads, no traffic, outspoken writers, anomalous crashes, different countries and eras – tales to make one wonder.

January 1960, with, worldwide. probably no more than a couple of hundred mainframes, if that, thermionic valves and magnetic core stores, a decade away from the first even-just-two computer network and no consumer car electronics;

June 2013 with, everywhere, high-precision, sophisticated microchip radio communications and computerization, advanced, automative electronic control and highly-integrated related technologies?

Come on. Camus deserves better than that. Much better.

Greek thought was always based on the idea of limits. Nothing was carried to extremes, neither religion nor reason, because Greek thought denied nothing, neither reason nor religion …. And, even though we do it in diverse ways, we extol one thing and one alone: a future world in which reason will reign supreme.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 8, 2020 5:41 AM

[The Guardian] then oversaw the destruction of all Snowden’s computer documents

The Guardian then oversaw the destruction of its copy of all Snowden’s computer documents. And their other free press partners along with Glen Greenwald have somehow lost their appetite for further publication. Meanwhile Assange rots and Snowden lives in cyberspace. The moral is clear: compromise costs.

Anti-Camus
Anti-Camus
Jan 7, 2020 9:10 AM

Camus “influenced” / “inspired” a certain Ian Brady:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4512514/Ian-Brady-confessions-Myra-Hundley.html

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Jan 6, 2020 1:08 PM

Somehow, the end of Albert Camus’ life is now connected to the end of the life of the Iranian Lt. General Soleimanei.

Soleimanei and Camus certainly would have enjoyed a good discussion. They are both in their own right the Gold Standard of Integrity and Understanding of what is really going on, on planet Earth. Camus had not only lived through his own challenges and tragedies – he also reflected the tragedies of the time he observed and witnessed.

He would have vomited over the openly expressed fascist threats of fascist U.S. In conscious places it is a well know fact that cultural sites are under special protection and the agreement to spare cultural sites and landmarks was indeed heeded for the most part in WWII – which allowed the Cologne Dome to survive a bombed city.

The link to the Trump Doubles Down On Insanity To Hit Iran Cultural Sites article is also noteworthy for its comments to the threat of the out-of-his-non-existing-mind FAKE president of a gone mad nation.

Grafter
Grafter
Jan 6, 2020 9:49 AM

Nothing to concern yourselves with here. All this talk of war and illegal invasions. Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and watch the good old BBC. Everything is fine. Don’t worry. Oh look the Great British Bake Off is about to start and there’s that terribly nice newsreader man informing you that Catherine Duchess of Cambridge is a very talented royal lady. Aaaaah ! Isn’t it great to be safe and far away from all this continuing slaughter of innocent people ?

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Jan 6, 2020 1:19 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Yes, by all means. Enjoy your cuppa tea and scones, knowing that your Sub-Prime Minister has aligned himself and his landslide electorate with the murderer of Soleimanei.

What this woman is saying (believe it or not) is now also valid for every exceptional Brit. For the simple reason of having to take for granted that the majority of people in Iran know that the UK is also highly likely involved in this assassination and for sure part of the ‘regime’ change crowd.

I would love to hear what Albert Camus would say about all this for sure.

BigB
BigB
Jan 6, 2020 3:38 PM
Reply to  nottheonly1

The word on the street is that Bojo was in Mustique and Raab was only informed afterwards. Naturally, Raab aligned himself with Pompeo, as any good Zionist would. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard anyone mention that pre-emptive murder, outwith all International Law, is an act of war and crime against the peace. Not in the public domain, anyway.

We now have the emergence of the Trump/Bojo and Pompeo/Raab axis of alignment at the very core of neoliberal globalisation. Which, as an anarchist, is a spectacular achievement for any two electorates to produce. Whether it causes anyone, other than me, to examine the abusive state/subject co-dependent relationship …it remains to be seen.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 6, 2020 8:21 PM
Reply to  BigB

Craig Murray outlines the Bethlehem Doctrine, a Judeofascist concoction that is used by Israel, the USA and whoever else deals in murder as religious observation, as a justification for one of their butcheries, and which defines ‘imminent’ in a way that defies commonsense and most other International Law experts. Talmudic casuistry, or pilpul, as the basis of ‘Western Moral Values’. To dispute this revelation is deeply ‘antisemitic’.

paul
paul
Jan 6, 2020 5:33 PM
Reply to  Grafter

Let’s concentrate on all the really important stuff like how Prince George likes giraffes and what colour dress his mum is wearing.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Jan 6, 2020 9:39 AM

Yes, a very good writer, great literature, I’ve read most of his books. But taking aim at the usual Aunt Sallies, i.e., communism (of the Stalinist variety) and fascism is easy, money for old rope. No-one – currently, except the case-hardened eccentric – would support a Stalinist or Fascist regime, or unless they were paid to. We could all sit back and be righteous in situations such as these. However, there are times when you have to take sides; which is precisely what we are (I hope) doing, or at least what we think we are doing.

Sorry to bring it up but unfortunately there was a war going on in Algeria (1954-1962) but Camus neglected taking a position on the crucial Algerian question, which I would have thought would have been mandatory. Whose side was he on? It seems to me that when the FLN were fighting for Algerian independence against the pieds-noire and their French overlords, Camus was conspicuous by his absence equally dismissive and supportive of both sides . Very similar to Northern Ireland where the nationalist-catholic population have been engaged in a long war against the loyalist-protestants and their British overlords.

This abstentionist position, which is really a non-position, has historically been adopted by the great virtousi of other-wordly love of mankind and saintliness, but

” … whether from Nazareth or Assisi or the castles of Indian Kings, have not employed the instrument of politics – force. Their kingdom was not of this world. The man who is concerned about the welfare of his soul and the salvation of the soul of others does not seek these aims along the path of politics. Politics has quite different goals, which can only be achieved by force. The genius, or demon, of politics lives in a state of inner tension with the God of love.” (Politics as a Vocation – Max Weber)

Power or Virtue, the choice is yours.

Edward Curtin
Edward Curtin
Jan 6, 2020 11:38 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Francis,

So it’s either the FLN slaughtering innocent civilians or the French military slaughtering them? Which slaughter do you choose?

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Jan 6, 2020 12:56 PM
Reply to  Edward Curtin

Mr Curtin

You have summed up exactly the monastic option. Okay if you are alright with that. Q.What side did you take in the Vietnam War? How was the Vietnam war won? By chanting? Were the participants all the same? Were these wars justified or not? Is there any difference between oppressed and oppressors? If so, what is the nature of this difference. War is terrible but slavery is worse. For an oppressed people to choose to fight against their oppressors they have to take up arms to liberate themselves. That is just a flat historical fact.

I remember as a kid during the 196os the British were confronted by armed uprisings in Malaya, Kenya, Aden, and Cyprus and they lost since their days of empire were coming to a close. To repeat these were armed struggles just as the FLN’s struggle against French colonialism was an armed struggle. Which is it to be for the ‘Wretched of the Earth’ to use, Fanon’s phrase. Quiesence or Resistance?

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 6, 2020 5:03 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

There are much better options to taking up arms against an oppressor, Frank. Oppressors can be brought down via Finance, & Macroeconomics. Taking up arms is a fool’s choice. Toppling finance architecture of oppressor nations is far easier than taking up arms believe me.

When Bear Stearns was murdered outright and eviscerated financially on March 10 2008 it was not taken down with arms or threats of arms. Bear Stearns was imploded intentionally through naked short selling whereby the SEC will _never_ reveal to the American taxpayers who was involved in the naked shorts.

MOU

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 9, 2020 11:15 AM

Oppressors can be brought down via Finance, & Macroeconomics. Taking up arms is a fool’s choice. Toppling finance architecture of oppressor nations is far easier than taking up arms…

Shoot the opressors’ internally oppressed instead. That’ll bring ’em down. Great strategy. You should set up a 527 PAC.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins
Jan 11, 2020 4:11 PM
Reply to  Edward Curtin

First & foremost, Edward, thanks for a most revealing and thought provoking article, in every sense, that made my day for the most abstract of reasons > humour: (lol) until today, I had completely forgotten about the author of Doctor Zhivago, moreover, the meaning of his name, being a ‘Parsnip’. ‘Tis kinda’ funny now, thinking back, whilst relating my present experience & predicament on the precarious FUKUS/NATZO engineered Balkans, where most people appear to be becoming gradually oblivious to their historic culture & roots, in terms of learnings, leanings & lending, today.

Boris Pasternak/Parsnip was clearly far removed from Bulgaria’s Pumpkin Borisov. On the street, that is PM Borisov’s ‘handle’ > ‘ Tikvata ‘ (the pumpkin) and he has truly grown to resemble one, in many ways, both physically & intellectually ripe for Halloween,
after many directions from the CIA. Trick or treat . . . ?

More seriously, your question to Francis is a fascinating one, in many ways: additionally his response to you is worthy of an answer, & imho, “You have summed up exactly the monastic option. ” Any chance you might reveal more of your good self ?
Is it right, to literally fight the ‘Good Fight’ ?
If so, how ? Of course, we appreciate the dichotomy . . . and preordained pain in the contradiction of human values demonstrated by power & virtue, however, “slaughter”, ‘as reported’, is largely like going to war on hearsay and just obeying orders, regardless of any reality in TNC Corporate Mercenary Rule. So, in answer to your question to Francis, in my mind I know which “slaughter” is the lesser of the two evils, having personally witnessed the orchestration of & legacy of genocide on the Balkans and Northern Sri Lanka. And, I figure that the people of Vietnam know the answer too, as they have to deal with the legacy of Hollywood lies, media deceptions & Agent Orange, still today. I need not remind you of the role that Jim Morrison’s dad (Admiral Morrison) played in the ‘stonkin’ lies over the Gulf of Tonkin, indeed, once before I sent you a link to open the ‘doors’ and your mind to societal mind control and much of its’ roots being from US Naval Intelligence and ‘Laurel Canyon’, as I’m sure you will recall & you unfortunately avoided the issue, (it appeared). When India’s military arrived in Sri Lanka, their behaviours were no better than the Sri Lankan military and after some complacency, despite warnings, Rajiv Gandhi paid the price with his life.
Which slaughter do you choose, Edward ? It might interest you that women were a 60% plus majority in the LTTE and it was fittingly a woman that suicided herself, killing Rajiv Gandhi, simultaneously with a load of innocents, including the photographer that caught the moment on film: but it is also worth considering who financed her & her motivations and her age, rather like the average age of US soldiers in Vietnam.
Teenagers are more impressionable and even easier to reach electronically, than ever . . .
as Trump stands pompously, hypocritically & absurdly in judgement of historically justifiable Iranian behaviours. Which slaughter do you choose, Edward. Indeed, if some Iraqi were to assassinate Colin Powell abroad on holiday and a few of his more eminent hangers on to false reputations, like Blair or Bush, would I thank them ? Would you, too, Edward ? It is surely time for academics and scientists to take a moral stand, especially men, if they wish to become ‘The First Man’ above & beyond their roots &
“… the heart of our modern madness.”

http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/inside-the-lc-the-strange-but-mostly-true-story-of-laurel-canyon-and-the-birth-of-the-hippie-generation-part-i/

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 9, 2020 12:02 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

However, there are times when you have to take sides; which is precisely what we are (I hope) doing, or at least what we think we are doing. Sorry to bring it up but unfortunately there was a war going on in Algeria (1954-1962) but Camus neglected taking a position on the crucial Algerian question, which I would have thought would have been mandatory. Whose side was he on? It seems to me that when the FLN were fighting for Algerian independence against the pieds-noire and their French overlords, Camus was conspicuous by his absence equally dismissive and supportive of both sides. Very similar to Northern Ireland where the nationalist-catholic population have been engaged in a long war against the loyalist-protestants and their British overlords. This abstentionist position, which is really a non-position, has historically been adopted by the great virtousi of other-wordly love of mankind and saintliness, but ”… whether from Nazareth or Assisi or the castles of Indian Kings, [they] have not employed the instrument of politics – force. Their kingdom was not of this world. […] The genius, or demon, of politics lives in a state of inner tension with the God of love.” (Politics as a Vocation – Max Weber) Power or Virtue, the choice is yours.

Sounds like a football match. Jeremy’s Nuances 0, Eton Rowdies 27. One of the pleasures of the New Yorker is that so much of its content is available on the Internet, including far more civilized, humanistic and nuanced interpretations of the motivations of “enigmatic” people like Camus than the voice from the ideological terraces allows, or those who have not understood that finely nuanced ethical behaviour has not been denied even some of history’s most ambitious rulers.

Other insights into the complex mind of Camus came, for me, from a teenage encounter with his Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays (PDF, with other formats also now available on the Internet), first en route to “learning” my still-broken Française and again a few years later in the first English translation. For Camus, along with others not presented in my “formal” or “social” education during that impressionable period in this reader’s life–such as Norbert Wiener (The Human Use of Human Beings), C.P. Snow (The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution), Robert Oppenheimer and, though later, parts of the Nag Hammadi Library–“formative” would be the word.

RobG
RobG
Jan 6, 2020 2:11 AM

This is absolute peanuts compared to what’s happening in France at the moment, but at least they are trying…

Antonym
Antonym
Jan 6, 2020 1:26 AM

These include environmental catastrophe, high-tech wars, GM foods, drone killings, drug addiction, and nuclear weapons, to name but a few.

Some of these Armageddon’s scares are spread by the Pentagon through lackeys like the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2004/feb/22/usnews.theobserver

Mass fear is essential to keep their own stratospheric budgets up.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 6, 2020 8:38 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Israel is a big research centre in all aspects of military and surveillance activity and cyber-warfare. Surely you wouldn’t wish to get in the way of all those lovely profits.

RobG
RobG
Jan 6, 2020 1:23 AM

They (the psychopaths) are now closing down all free discussion, because the war on Iran is about to start.

They – the psychopaths – are just a bunch of little turds.

How on earth can people allow this to happen?!

Robyn
Robyn
Jan 5, 2020 11:56 PM

Wonderful article, interesting and thought-provoking. A fear a man of Camus’ character nowadays would be vilified and then silenced by the MSM. Sad times.

RobG
RobG
Jan 5, 2020 11:35 PM

Song For Insane Times, by Kevin Ayers…

anonymous bosch
anonymous bosch
Jan 5, 2020 10:32 PM

“and the American Empire, built on the disease of violence, will roll along or perhaps disintegrate.”

Two questions here: (1) Could it be natural, and reasonable, to assume that the disease if left without remedy and if left unattended to deteriorate to the worst degree, will eventually claim its host ? (2)Will this disease of exceptionalist unipolarity will eventually be destroyed by its own hand?

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 5, 2020 10:16 PM

Camus is a great distraction from actually discussing what the USA warmonger-in-chief just did by bombing Iran’s top general. Do you think governments everywhere are rushing to install Batshit Crazy Phones for direct link to the White House insane asylum?

If Ed could take his mind off of Camus for a minute can you imagine what he would write about the world’s arch nemesis sitting in the White House in Gotham D.C.?

MOU

Edward Curtin
Edward Curtin
Jan 5, 2020 11:27 PM

Juggling 3 balls was something I learned with my son. Here’s my latest Mr Trump and his frineds: https://www.globalresearch.ca/war-hoax-redux/5680814

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 5, 2020 11:42 PM
Reply to  Edward Curtin

I agree wholeheartedly with your thesis on Trump neocon crazies & Iran in the Global Research article. I was unaware of where you stood on the warmongers, Ed. We are on the same page, thank God.

Please lambaste the Trump regime right now before he goes nuclear on the histrionics & psychopathology.

Cheers, MOU.

Edward Curtin
Edward Curtin
Jan 6, 2020 12:00 AM

Within the Camus piece is a reference or two to crazy, sick Trump and what he has just done and his connection to the Bushes, Obama, et al. After writing about these creeps for many decades,Regean onward, it gets tiresome, so I try to vary my work and remind myself and any readers that there were and are some people of honor and insight who have fought these devils a long time ago and for many years since. I picked Camus since he is important and the recent reporting on his death raises significant issues about the subtleties of propaganda, among other reasons.

Thanks for your dialogue. We are on the same page, for sure.

Gall
Gall
Jan 5, 2020 9:21 PM

Boston brakes is more of a CIA fave not KGB who used subtler methods such as Ricin or Polonium or some untraceable poison. CIA, MI6 and Mossad always use the more violent methods for what they euphemistically call “executive action” in order to instill terror. This is part of their playbook on assassinations. See:

http://whale.to/b/ciaassassin.pdf

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 6, 2020 8:41 AM
Reply to  Gall

When Po 210 was used to off the jihadist propagandist in London, I Google Po 210 poisoning. Yikes! The first reference was to Po 210 ‘accidental’ poisoning at-would you believe it?-Dimona in Beeyooteeful Israel. Then they found traces of Po 210 on Arafat’s under-clothes, after his ‘mysterious’ demise. Funny old world.

Gall
Gall
Jan 6, 2020 11:09 AM

No surprise the Terrorist State would employ both methods especially on a highly respected target like Arafat. I read about that too. That said though. They’re big on boom and bang being terrorists especially if it can be blamed on others like say 9/11.

Bailed
Bailed
Jan 5, 2020 9:20 PM

A random search “Did the CIA kill Camus” yields a rapid fire series of results:

Did The KGB Kill Albert Camus? – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Camus might have been killed by the KGB for …
Camus’s Death and a Rare French Sports Car – The New York Times
Did The KGB Kill Albert Camus? – Spero News
Camus killed by the KGB? | MetaFilter

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 6, 2020 8:43 AM
Reply to  Bailed

A rapid fire series of ‘stories’ from US propaganda sewers. How convincing.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Jan 5, 2020 9:10 PM

I was spared a lot of wasted time by the assertion that the Hungarian fascists defeated by the Soviet in 1956 were ‘freedom fighters’. Just yet more anti-Soviet, anti-communist agit-prop. Camus made his choice when the world was still under the Yankee boot, as it remains today-give me Sartre any day.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 5, 2020 9:20 PM

The Hungarian uprising was contradictory: on the one hand were outright pro-capitalists and on the other were elements in the bureaucracy who and military (eg, around Pal Maleter) who didn’t want capitalist restoration but wanted socialist democracy. Those brought up on western propaganda will never hear that side of Hungary ’56.

Hungary actually proved that Stalinist bureaucracies are not ruling classes at all, as espoused by liberals and ‘state caps’ et al., but ruling castes. Ruling classes don’t split the way the Hungarian bureaucracy did.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 5, 2020 7:44 PM

Despite all rhetoric to the contrary, the embrace of technical reason, which is innately amoral, has caused many of the problems we seem unable to remedy.

This paean to mysticism and despair in the face of technological advance and its abuses denies a fundamental fact: every ruling class in history has ‘weaponised’ technology, technical reason and knowledge for its own ends which are not rational. Just as they also have weaponised non-rational ideologies and thinking, like religion, to their own ends.

Of course technical reason, science and mathematics, is innately amoral, as is nature and the universe, which is a very great thing. We no longer need or fear capricious ‘gods’, Greek or otherwise, to explain the world. Yet, like Leonardo Da Vinci, scientists are forced to hawk and surrender their thinking, their reasoning and art to those with the resources and motives to use them.

We live in an irrational system that exists solely to enrich a tiny ruling class which for centuries has used and abused scientific knowledge, engineering, mathematics and technical advances exclusively to that end. This must be stopped before our species is killed off simply for the greater ‘glory’ of today’s capitalist kakistocracy.

Technical reason and knowledge must be put to the service of everyone, to rational ends. The howling contradiction between rational means and irrational ends must be shattered — so that reasoning, science and technology in general can truly and universally be liberating, not enslaving, immiserating, alienating, or ultimately extinguishing.

fritzi cohen
fritzi cohen
Jan 5, 2020 5:57 PM

Thank you Ed Curtin. This is a wonderful Sunday sermon.

John Deehan
John Deehan
Jan 5, 2020 4:40 PM

A brilliant analysis of the foibles of both man and the lack of man.l While we breath out their is hope.