This priceless privilege

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 09.14.52The right to be oppressed (most mercilessly) by one’s own people

The Algerians would rather forget that not only did they

commit many atrocities, both against the French colonists and tens of thousands of Algerians, but that the Algerian population had not been unanimously supportive of the FLN before the advent of independence.

They claimed that the Algerian War was a struggle against racial injustice and discrimination, yet the result was

ethnic cleansing of the million French residents of Algeria, 11 per cent of the population, including Jews, practically all of whom left in the few months after the signing of the Evian Accords.

The freedom fighters turned out to be power fighters.

Once they were installed in power they instituted nothing that any political philosopher would recognise as a regime of freedom. The only sense in which the new regime was freer than the old had been was freedom from the old oppressor.

The new oppressor, which

immediately killed 15,000 to 30,000 fellow countrymen who had fought on the old oppressor’s side, was, however, of the same ethnic, cultural and religious origin as the population it oppressed. How much of an advance was this, and was it worth the lives of half a million people to make it? If the answer is yes, then it is to admit that it is preferable to be oppressed by one’s own people rather than by people of alien origin, even if the weight of the oppression is objectively similar.

To be oppressed by a foreigner

gives an extra dimension of outrage to the oppression, but on the other hand permits the hope that if only the foreigner can be expelled all will be well.

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: