FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What’s Your Climax?

France, 1940. Our nation is paralyzed and shocked when Nazi armies roll over the border in a few days destroy the allegedly invulnerable proud French army. Almost overnight France is occupied by a racist, gloating Wehrmacht singing its surprise victory over its traditional soft, liberal, corrupt enemy.

The shock is so great it’s too early for effective resistance. You must think of your own survival.

The Germans are notoriously thinskinned and vindictive and take reprisals against disagreeables.

People are so depressed and German victory seems so inevitable that resistance seems useless.

But slowly it begins with what the French call refus absurde (“absurd refusal”) just simply refusing to accept that the Nazis would win and even if they did it’s better to fight back, somehow.

Many résistants often spoke of some “climax” when they saw an intolerable act of injustice, or bizarre stupidity, after which they could not longer remain passive.

Gradually the defiance instinct takes organizational form. It’s not easy to put together a fighting coalition of liberals, conservatives, communists, socialists, anarchists, Catholic nuns and priests, military officers and students.  Key is an open mind to embrace attitudes one personally disagrees with.

Feeling their way into the dark resisters improvise. Small cells, networks, guerrilla tactics, creating an underground newpaper.  Barricades come later now is for the hard unromantic grind.

In the 1940s it took a foreign army to liberate France with the help of resisters like Camus and Samuel Beckett.

Trumplandia is not wartime France. Yet many of us behave as if we’re in a newly Occupied America because that’s how it feels.

Jumping the gun? An exaggeration? A misuse of historical model?

We’ll see.

More articles by:

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail