March 30, 2023

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Le Monde and Censorship: Macron, Algeria and the “correctness” of memory… [Par Lahcen Haddad]

Le Monde and Censorship: Macron, Algeria and the “correctness” of memory… [Par Lahcen Haddad]

It’s classic: Censorship always produces the opposite effect. the world Not breaking the rule: Without publishing Paul Max More’s column, “Reducing French colonialism in Algeria to a love story completes the right-wing question of Emmanuel Macron’s memory”, a simple article that could almost have gone unnoticed, the world It only catapulted it to the most widely read rankings and gave it an unexpected “life after death”. Harsh criticism from popular opinion leaders only fueled the trend.

Political journalist and blogger and former Trotskyist activist Eddy Plenell spoke of the “shocking censorship” in a tweet. the world “Offstages his ‘apology’ to the President of the Republic … which criticizes Macron’s view of Franco-Algerian relations as ‘a love story with its share of tragedy.’

Famous economist Thomas Piketty’s tweet was as strong as it was direct: “Inexplicable and inexcusable censorship by the newspaper. the world We disagree with the site and should not remove it because it displeases the Élysée”. Henry Maler, a teacher and political activist and co-founder of the Agrimt Association, protested in a tweet. the world Censor the forum for not liking Emmanuel Macron. What slavery! “.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon promises not to buy anymore the world : “Take back the site for the quote that Macron doesn’t like! A new step in the decline of a magazine that was once a reference. “Le Monde” bends quotes throughout the year. But when Macron frowns… pro week, I don’t buy this newspaper. Do better. »

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Disturbing Paul Max Morin’s article prompted Élysée to press on the world In order to withdraw an essay on the “rights of memory question” in the Franco-Algerian postcolonial context? First the audit gave excuses the world “Although it is subject to various interpretations, the ‘love story with its share of tragedy’ that Emmanuel Macron uttered during the press conference did not specifically evoke colonialism, as was written in the Tribune, but long Franco-Algerian relations”. It is politically correct to incite “animosity” in the post-colonial context as a result of inter-state relations (para the world and Macron), but as a sense of trauma linked to colonialism, it is a rhetorical device that addresses the question of memory and historical responsibility, a question that can be particularly irritating on the right.

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This is the meaning of Paul Max More’s text. According to him, the question of “memory” served as a showcase to “simulate progress toward reconciliation,” which did not happen. He describes Macron’s speeches as deliberately “a history of love with its share of tragedy” (in 2022), from acknowledging colonialism as a crime against humanity (in 2017). . For Morin, change means fixing the question of memory, as the recognition of the dramas and tragedies of colonialism is a favorite theme for the French left, while the vision of the colonial empire as a source of goodness and civilization despite its setbacks. is the prediction of the right wing. Élysée may be angry, even as the public and political actions surrounding Macron’s visit to Algiers prove to be Morin’s notion of a shift to the right, as he embarks on a full historical work project on memory with Benjamin Stora. It wouldn’t be entirely wrong: the French president sent a message of hope for a common future built together with the youth of Algiers and Oran, indicating that this love story, like all love stories, has problems. A gentle, majestic, carefree harmony, with an eye not on the past but on the future. Instead of memories, we talk about the lovers’ fights, their little stories, the little tragedies of the temporary separation.

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This is why Morin needed to intervene and reshape (and censor) when he put his finger on the wound. Newspaper writing the world When Macron talks about love with a sad side, he is not referring to the colonial era, but rather to the relationship between the two countries. So no backtracking or turning right.

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Indeed, the French president wants to go beyond the traumas of the painful colonial past, but without giving it any color left or right: by wandering between the traumas of memory and the oxymoron of love colored by tragedy. This conceptual difference is a consequence of chronology. This is why Elysee et al the world Talks about the contrast between “colonialism” on the one hand and “long Franco-Algerian relations” on the other.

Is the polysemous risk of Macron’s phrase “a love story with its share of tragedy” worth passing the censor’s hammer? Is Paul Max More’s interpretation of the question of “memory” irrefutable that it is better to “rightize” it, to censor it? Why confuse the debate on a question as deep as the topic itself? That’s for sure the world A man who has built a reputation for delivering lectures on human rights, he doesn’t hesitate to make a simple comment that doesn’t please Elysee. While we spend time counting the sins of others, the true test of our righteousness is sweeping around our own garden.