[...] When de Gaulle returned to a liberated France, he invited Bernanos (along with Maritain and Teilhard de Chardin) to return with him. Characteristically, Bernanos alienated those in the Resistance whom he had supported during the war years. For Bernanos considered the France that was growing out of the aftermath of the war to be morally windswept. He bitterly attacked the communists and the left in general for promoting an idea of man that was thoroughly irreligious. But he refused to support democracy. He argued that the war had not been a struggle between democracy and dictatorship, but between two kinds of dictatorship, a political one and an economic one. And now, once the war was over, Europe was choosing between a communist dictatorship (political) and a capitalist dictatorship (economic).

In two lectures that he delivered in 1947, Bernanos argued that the idea of France had meant, for many millions, freedom of thought, the domain of universal reason, and a conception of man as free: "There are millions in the world who have not read and never will read M. Sartre who have ever before them the same image of France our ancestors had." This idea had been destroyed in 1940, and was being destroyed again by a new technological order, the order that had invented the atomic bomb and the free market, and now the idea of a European market.

Times were coming, he warned, when the only law would be an economic one, a time "without pity for the weak, since the only law will be that of efficiency." The threat that hangs over Europe "is the threat of a worldwide totalitarian and highly centralized concentration of power which, sooner or later would make of free man a kind of monster." Democracy was not the answer, since democracy always chose egalitarianism over freedom [freedom without responsibility]. The entire planet was going to become "an immense piece of machinery and man a sort of industrious insect."

The solution proposed by Bernanos in a nutshell: "the worldwide mobilization of all spiritual forces."

Prophecy from France's Dostoevsky
By S. Morris

Posted on the Independent Newswire on 16 January 2002
Ref: www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=119849

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