Translated by Guillaume Durocher; Greek translation here
The following is a summary of Julien Rochedy’s speech at a meeting of the Carrefour de l’Horloge, a nationalist think-tank in Paris, on January 16, 2016.
1. I spoke of the question of the state in France, because this question is posed with greater acuity in our country than in other lands. It has been said that, contrary to other nations, the state in France existed prior to the nation, whereas elsewhere, generally, the nation preexisted before equipping itself with a state. By a nation you can understand “a people.” This [line of reasoning] can be excessive. Let us say that in France the state and the nation created themselves concurrently. This makes France a nation-state par excellence: state and nation are so fleshily intertwined throughout history that it seems that to attack the state, for a Frenchman, is also to attack the nation.
2. Without going into a long philosophical treatise on the nature of the state, I will content myself with expressing its goals, the sources of its legitimacy, and the justification for its existence. Generally speaking, the state is supposed to defend interests. In a Marxist conception, the state is based upon the defense of the ruling class’s interests. In a national conception, the state must defend the interests of the people, or of the populations or individuals that make it up, which it has the honor of presiding over. By “defend the interests,” one must understand “guarantee the survival and promote the power of.” In a Hobbesian conception, the state finds its legitimacy in civil concord and peace, which it establishes in society, notably by introducing among men order and justice. In short, the state finds the justification for its existence through its defense of the interests of the people and its guarantee of civil concord.
3. The current problem is that the state (to speak only of the French case) has, absolutely and systematically, reversed all of its original goals. Therefore, it is now possible to question its legitimacy. I will not write here all the possible criticisms that one can make of the current state. They are known: The infantilization of citizens, moral and spiritual disarmament, unreasonable taxation, legislative inflation, methodical rigor in changing the population, forbidding people from defending their honor, whether individual or national, bureaucracy, heaviness, lack of a project, etc. In short, neither the people nor the individual sees his interests defended by the state: On the contrary, he sees them threatened by it.
4. We are therefore before a state in its zombie stage. Films on zombies are flourishing today, yet, what is a zombie? Something which was once healthy, now dead, which goes forward slowly, which is heavy, which no longer thinks, and which has no other goals than to turn against its own family, its former fellow creatures, to devour them. The state today is a zombie. Once efficient, now ponderous, incapable of thinking, of contemplating the future, and whose only aim, even if unconscious, is to try to devour its own people.
5. Before this assessment, there is a simple but no less relevant critique: “It is not the state which must be questioned, but those who preside over it. Why blame the vehicle when the problem is only the awfulness of the driver?” In other words, change the President of the Republic and the ministers, put Marine Le Pen, Philippe de Villiers, your humble servant, a resuscitated Napoleon, or God the Father in their stead, and all could fall back into order. A thought of confounding banality, to which one must answer through history: Why does a state reach its zombie stage? Firstly, because it is dead.
If political forms (the city-state, the nation-state, etc) belong to history, then one must place them in time. They are not absolute and eternal “objects.” They have a youth, a middle age, and a death. History shows thousands of times when people of good sense and high ability seized power when their empires were already moribund. They sometimes succeeded in delaying the due date, but they never reversed the inevitable outcome.
6. Although, alas, we cannot go into the details, we need to recognize that a reform of the state – at the stage it has reached today, with a very high level of complexity, with corruption reigning, with ramifications everywhere, and its idea, in general, no longer being supported – is a task of unparalleled difficulty. Whoever would take power would not succeed in leading a state without being conscious that, before a tree which is about to die can flower again (if one still wishes to believe that it is not already dead), we need to prune as much as possible. The new laws he would make, the new regulations that he would establish, would be added to the old ones, and, poured into the Danaids’ bathtub, the result would be even more ponderousness, incomprehension, and complexity. To heal the zombie state, to direct it, one needs to lop off its head.
7. In any case, neither you nor I are in power, and our friends who hope to take power one day [i.e. the Front National], are not assured of doing so. While waiting for this happy eventuality, if one accepts the idea of a zombie state, one must treat it like a real zombie: We can only flee from it — or shoot it in the head.
1. Following the Ancient Greek myth, the Danaids were condemned to refill a leaky bathtub for all eternity, a metaphor for a vain task. – GD