I'll quote from them a little, because you need to know. But I am not trying to steal their sales. If you get a copy, that's a revolutionary act in itself.
Roma and Arabs in Europe and Latinos in America, take note. This about protecting your rights.
The English version, “Time for Outrage,” just came out (Quartet Books in UK) and probably has elites in the England and the US shaking in their Italian shoes. Author Stephane Hessel is a French version of the Justin Bieber phenom at the other end of the age scale. He is 94 and wants us to get mad and take to the streets – peacefully. Peacefully because he thinks there is hope for reform. More is at http://www.timeforoutrage.net .
An earlier French bestseller, “The Coming Insurrection,” is even more inflammatory and is recently available at Border's, etc., for $12. It is Glenn Beck's (Fox News) “favorite” book. He raves about it a lot. It's by a controversial (but not convicted) group of young French intellectuals called “The Invisible Committee.” They think Western Civilization is at death's door, so let's help it pull through. It'll take stopping traffic and all kinds of flows (data, electricity, etc.) in the metropolises, but the alternative is worse. More is at http://www.thecominginsurrection.net .
"Indignez-vous!” sold a million copies (!) in four months around the holidays. And that's just in France. The UK edition, “Time for Outrage,” just came out around February 1, 2011. Really, this book, once translated into many languages, could become the best-selling nonreligious (I didn't say “antireligious” and it isn't) book in history.
IN CONTRAST, THERE'S “THE COMING INSURRECTION” by the “Invisible Committee” in France. Some claim those persons are the authors and a commune, and a violent one. They, on the other hand, stubbornly claim they are not the authors but scribes (copying down discourses had with others). The are not necessarily all from a specific commune or any commune, but they share "complicity." They want to tear down human institutions that have failed us.
Western civilization and all of the organizations under it have failed because they have had to compromise to survive and reproduce. They have become corrupt, self-serving, lost their reason for being, and are in an irretrievable state of collapse. The seeds of their destruction were sown in their inception and the necessity of compromising. Complications have done them in. The Committee sees that the only stable state possible in human arrangements (as in physics) is at or near equilibrium, at a nearly atomic level, the level of individual persons or small groups with similar interests.
And the authors (as I'll call them) specifically deny being accomplices in a sabotage of the French TGV (Very Fast Train) line that some of them were jailed for.
In "Time for Outrage," Hessel sees a way out in reforming the edifice of Western civilization. But the cornice-eagles are falling onto the the sidewalk. People are falling through the rotten old floors. It's so ugly that people can't stand to live in or near it, and it's already collapsing anyway. Why, somebody might get killed.
Perhaps somebody like Mr. Hessel might be the architect of a new edifice. But are there any more like this 94-year-old hero?
Some will criticize "The Coming Insurrection" for being too pessimistic (it isn't) and not offering anything to replace the old edifice. But when everyone can see that a building needs to come down and the man with the wrecking ball is called, is it reasonable to ask him to design a new building? Is a replacement even needed, another Twin Towers?
Since Western civilization already is collapsing, the only decision is whether to help it along, enjoy new freedoms from control by corrupt, inhuman forces -- or suffer individually from psychic distress and collectively from physical privation.
FOR MORE ON "THE COMING INSURRECTION," SCROLL DOWN TO THE NEXT BLOCK OF BOLDFACE TYPE. First, Indignez-vous! http://www.timeforoutrage.net
Stephane Hessel's little book “Indignez-vous!” (“Get Indignant!” or “Get Outraged”), or “Time for Outrage,” says history is a story of human progress, step by step, toward individual rights for all. Mr. Hessel quotes the UN Declaration on Universal Human Rights, which he helped to write, in saying "everyone has the right to a nationality," even, he says, undocumented "illegal" immigrants everywhere and displaced Palestinians in the Middle East). Also "everyone has a right to social security" (with little S's, meaning Freedom from Want for all) and to “rights indispensable for his [and her] dignity and the free development of his personality.”
You have to read all of this in either language version ("Time for Outrage" or "Indignez-vous!") of Hessel's book to get the power of this. Get a hard copy – much better for thumbing through and waving around and even throwing around.
Stephane Hessel thinks humanity will get there (achieve universal rights) but that he, like Martin Luther King, might not make it to the mountaintop. He is 94 years old as of this writing in February 2011. And like MLK he thinks nonviolence is the way. There are exceptions, "when people are occupied by forces immensely superior to their own." Such was the case of the French Resistance he was part of, and activities he almost was hanged for, when facing the superior violence of the Nazi War Machine in World War II.
Before you read further, I tell you that I am siding with “The Coming Insurrection.” Of course I'll tell you why. (You can scroll down to the boldface text.)
However, before getting to that, Mr. Hessel's book is as if he wrote the script for the protests in Egypt and nearby countries, which is why you need to buy a copy of “Indignez-vous!” or “The Coming Outrage” right now.
In 2009, already in his nineties, he came with his wife to the Occupied Territories, he saw the aftermath of Israel's “Operation Cast Lead” violence in Gaza, and he got outraged – 1400 civilians killed and only 50 Israeli soldiers only injured. The plight of the Occupied Territories is today the main source of Mr. Hessel's long-running moral indignation.
Along with human rights monitor Richard Goldstone, Mr. Hessel compares the operation to “crimes against humanity.” That is a pretty strong accusation considering he had a Jewish father, condemns specific terrorist acts against Jews, and himself nearly was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp.
It is “unbearable,” he says, how Israel is treating the Palestinians. “Alas,” he says, “history does not give enough examples of people who draw lessons from their own history.”
Inidignez-Vous! / Time for Outrage discusses two views of history, one optimistic and one pessimistic. Hessel, the wise old philosopher, takes this view: "But my natural optimism, which wants all that is desirable to be possible, carried me rather towards Hegel. Hegelism interprets the long history of humanity as having a meaning: It is the freedom of man progressing step by step. History is made of successive shocks, and the taking into account of challenges. The history of societies thus advances; and in the end, man having attained his full freedom, we have the democratic state in its ideal form."
And then there is the other view, which led a friend of his father to commit suicide, and it's illustrated by the painting Angelus Novus by Paul Klee. "It says progress is made by freedom of competition, striving for "always more"; it can be as if living in a devastating hurricane." The friend interpreted the painting as showing the angel opening its arms as if to hold back a tempest, which is identified with incessant progress. This is the "Life is just one damn thing after another" view of life. (A friend of Rockeller is said to have made this comment on learning the Oil Trust was being busted. Perhaps this is why Rockefeller suffered clinical depression for most of life despite his wealth.)
"The Coming Insurrection" (Semiotext(e) Books / MIT Press) treats this view of history -- why life might not seem worth living and how to remedy that -- in 132 small pages ($12 at Border's and Barnes & Noble).
While Stephane Hessel's stance is summed up in the title "Indignez-vous!", which means, literally, "Get indignant!", "The Coming Insurrrection" declares, "It is useless to get indignant about openly unconstitutional laws .... It's futile to LEGALLY protest the complete implosion of the legal framework." We need something extralegal, and the Invisible Committee is going to give it to us!
After 30 Years of US One-Party Rule (Vichy-Nazi) ...
In the long history of man, institutions (states like Israel and the US, other social forms) have often failed mankind. In fact, "The Coming Insurrection" says we are not just in a social crisis, but Western Civilization itself is already, now, in a state of collapse. The Invisible Committee expounds in seven chapters (“Circles” 1-7) on interest areas in this civilization in which breakdowns have occurred and in which the cures are worse than the disease.
In each of these circles, or milieus, threats and opportunities are revealed. This takes the reader through the eighth "chapter." The remaining four are tactical, telling how to join with those you can in small, informal organizations and how to break down the flows that make the metropolis "desert" work (vulnerable lines of communication and supply).
Circles (failing areas of activity) include:
The Self as an island to be marketed to (Circle 1),
education to make a "good citizen," employee, family, couple,
work as all there is to life, for “upward mobility,”
metropolis / NETropolis (Circle 4) requires many kinds of flows, grids,
economy (Is it already discredited, or can it make life itself “virtual”?),
environment as something to pay and sacrifice for,
civilization as spaces to preserve illusions (only) of freedom, democracy, nation.
The Invisible Committee regards the circles as containing threats and opportunities (vulnerabilities).
Like Mr. Hessel's book, "The Coming Insurrection" explains situations of hopelessness, but in more detail. It also shows how hopelessness makes starting over necessary. Hessel believes that hopelessness can be overcome by indignant protest and resistance that will bring needed change. The Invisible Committee believes Western Civilization itself is hopeless. (Did Obama really mean it when he said, "Yes we can!"? How many more Obamas, false promisers, can you take?)
In America there is no such thing as loyal opposition, no Republican versus Democrat. For at least 30 years, there has been, effectively, ONE party in the USA with two wings, Republican plus Democrat, "Republicrats." Neither wing is loyal to the nation, the people, human rights -- to anyone or any thing. I call them the "Vichy-Nazis" because the Obama Administration reminds me of the French collaborationist government in the Second World War, and the Republicans remind me of the Nazis and all fascists -- believers in corporate control of the state and everything else. Both wings are loyal to the organizations and lobbyists that bribe them the most. Rich people like the Koch Brothers of Kansas tend to win out.
Lobbyists buy out politicians of both sides until politicians become rich enough to retire in ease and luxury from public "service." This form of government became totally dominant about 30 years ago.
Obviously there is no way of escaping this long-endured trap other than by the methods described by the French book "The Coming Insurrection" (since translated and available at Border's & Barnes and Noble for $12). Protests seem to have produced meaningful change recently in Tunisia, but it is by no means clear that the massive protests in Egypt will do the same. Don't be surprised if Mubarak or his right-hand man Suleiman survives as head of a US-puppet government. Read "The Coming Insurrection" to see why mere indignant protest might fail in Egypt.
Now is the "Time for Outrage" and, soon possibly, in the US and Egypt, "The Coming Insurrection."