CHOOSE ALL YOUR GODS WELL.
Today, the French government inducted another four resistance fighters to the Pantheon. Good point: they could keep on doing this for a million years. Bad point: Why should most resistance fighters and their descendants would have to wait thousands of years to be recognized as equally worthy?
Worse: this shows that the French republic is (mis)guided, to this day, by (what I call) celebritism and arbitrariness (what makes those four resistance fighters more valuable than others? That they were connected to a general, De Gaulle, one of them by genes)? And even worse: but I better reserve this for the punch line.
Pan-Theon: All Gods. Choose your gods well, don’t just pick up a few, and make others angry. Yes, silly and erroneous decisions diminish civilization. Be it indirectly giving weapons to the so-called Islamist State (as Obama worried he would, and then did!), or just pointing at a few, as they were Muhammad, worthy of a discriminatory cult.
Why to worry so much about France, some will sneer? One of my USA friends recently, slightly infuriated as she was (thanks, in no small measure to my finely tuned devilish ways), told me “Nobody cares about France anymore, the place has become so irrelevant. Look at me, I learned French, and my children are learning Spanish.”
Most people do not know why France is so important, but a hint is that France gave birth to both England as we know it, and gave enough of a shove to England in America, to give birth to the USA (something finalized at Yorktown, when the three French commanders, La Fayette, Rochambeau, De Grasse, and the American commander, Washington brought the rendition of the British Army and its German troops). The USA itself, at this point, is just an addendum to Frankish history. That’s not just a slight, but a heavy duty.
The truth, and the French are the first to forget it, is that the Imperium Francorum (“Empire of the Franks”) was the successor state of the Roman Empire, SPQR, the Senātus PopulusQue Rōmānus, or more directly, of the Imperium Romanum (Roman Empire). After four centuries of Frankish recovery (including stopping and reversing the Islamist invasion), the Roman Empire was officially re-launched at Christmas 800 CE, when Charlemagne was crowned by the Pope one and only Roman Emperor in Rome (to Constantinople’s rage).
So all of Western Europe is actually the set of Frankish successor states.
Thus it matters what France is doing today. It was good that the Frankish Franco-German leaders, Hollande (because, as the Franks, is ancestors came from there) and Merkel proposed greater unification for the Eurozone. (Ahead, and because of, Cameron hair brained des-unifying proposals.)
So today, the French government decided to install four resistance fighters to the Pantheon.
Coffins representing the two women and two men — Genevieve de Gaulle-Anthonioz, Germaine Tillion, Pierre Brossolette and Jean Zay — were escorted through Paris streets to be interred Thursday after a sound-and-light show Wednesday night.
The women’s coffins contain only soil from their gravesites: their families didn’t want the bodies exhumed. Maybe they knew, deep down inside, that the ceremony is unfair, and that it is just political exploitation.
Indeed, why not to honor all resistance fighters? And these two women did not die under torture, actually, they did not die at all. Others died under torture from the Gestapo and its minions. At the very least, those who died under torture ought to get to the Pantheon too. The point is that, although these two women resisted, they did not resist to such a degree that they would have been worth of the torture chambers, right away.
Many others were; including British female agents, parachuted in France to conduct sabotage; many were tortured to death by the Nazis. We know this, for example from SS Commander Barbie’s Memoirs. Those girls who parachuted over France knew the risk: to be caught, and tortured to death. But why are they not parachuted, as they deserve, in the Pantheon? And don’t try to tell me they were not French: the moment they parachuted into Nazi occupied France with weapons, they became French, as far as I am concerned.
Hollande apologists will point at rising anti-Judaism (euphemistically, and grotesquely called “anti-Semitism”), and that celebrating resistance to Nazism helps to fight it. Yes, agreed, but my objection stands: why those four, and only those four. Because they were favored? De Gaulle’s niece was carefully not killed, because Heinrich Himmler thought she could be exchanged. She was also from some small French nobility.
So what’s truly celebrated here? Celebritism? At least, in part, and, as far as I am concerned, too much. Celebritism ought to be condemned, it’s something for civilization to leave behind. Celebritism is exactly why we have to choose between Clinton and Bush, as usual. And why Bush’s grandfather was one of Hitler’s most precious collaborators. Celebritism is also why income and wealth inequality has reached much higher level than during the Late Imperium Romanum (which did die, fundamentally, from said inequality… Or, at least, so I claim).
Celebritism supports oligarchy, which supports plutocracy, which supports intellectual fascism, which supports stupidity. Turtles all the way down to hell. Kill celebritism, and, ultimately, you will kill the cult of stupidity. It should not require much brains to realize that being obsessed by those who are famous for being famous is rather hare brained.
The French Republic has a duty to do better, because, historically, it guided civilization. The clowns presently in charge ought to be reminded of their shortcomings. (But, naturally, if too stupid, they can’t understand any of the preceding.)
Note 1: So far there were only 71 persons in the French Pantheon, including one woman (Ms. Curie; why her Nobel Laureate, and discoverer of nuclear energy, daughter, Irene, is not there is another mystery to me). All the “just”, those who harbored Jews at the risk of their lives, as my grandparents did, are there. So there is a precedent for admitting a CLASS, at the Pantheon.
Note 2: The original Pantheon still stands in Rome. To this day, it’s the tallest free standing (purely) concrete structure in the world. (That’s probably why the Christians did not destroy it: too tough, and no stone to steal to build their Vatican and what not…)