[Marxism] opiate (????) of the masses (Les Schaffer)

Gilles d'Aymery aymery at ix.netcom.com
Mon Nov 15 16:53:31 MST 2004

[Les Schaffer wrote:]

incidentaly, i met a young couple (working as au pairs)  from France 
the other day.  while talking politics they told me that in France, no 
one is allowed to wear religious ornamanets visibly over clothing. 
crosses and such have to be worn under a shirt. i gather also that 
when a french leader  addresses their nation on TV for example, the 
God bless France line is absent. this is totally unlike the US. perhaps 
in france religion is still an opiate. i have my doubts about my own 


The interdiction to wear religious ornaments visibly is a relatively 
recent phenomenon that was triggered by the backlash against the 
growing Muslim population in France. Until the muslim "threat" 
developed, many French were wearing their little totems around their 

But yes, there is a long tradition of separation between church and 
state in France. It took from 1789 to the Third Republic to weaken 
the Church and keep them corralled within their domain. The Third 
Republic saw the rise of free public education in all the country, which 
was mainly rural. The school masters of that time were 
overwhelmingly socialists. They slowly replaced the clergy in the hall 
of powers, until the bourgeoisie (local commerce, businesses, etc.) 
took control in the villages. There rised a new veneration: That of the 
"instituteur" and "institutrice." Reading became more important than 
believing... It's also under the 3rd Rep. that workers for the first rime 
got paid holidays ("les conge's paye's") -- cf. Le'on Blum, etc...

Not even Le Pen would say "God bless France!" today, or, "I swear 
to tell the truth, so help me god"...  I suppose the frogs decided to 
help America (against the Brits) to become independent, so that they 
could export the Middle-Ages to the New World. They succeeded 

This said, there's been a religious revival in France for the past 20 
some years...but it's a Christian revival...and, again, the interdiction of 
public display of religious ornaments is a direct response to concerns 
raised by the rise of the Muslim community.

Religion? Not only the opiate of the masses, but the antinomy of 
reason... That I recall, no one uttered a call to reason in the campaign 
trail for the past two years -- I'll be glad to stand corrected. Welcome 
to the American Middle Ages!

Gilles d'Aymery

More information about the Marxism mailing list