The difference between the US and France

In his “Letter to a Harsh Critic,” Deleuze is responding to an unnamed critic, most likely from personal correspondence with the philosopher Alain Badiou.
The letter alludes to criticism of Deleuze’s project of creative self-realization “becoming” and “schizoanalysis” as being too Oedipal (i.e., traditional, normal, bourgeois) because he is not gay, has a wife and children, teaches classes at Vincennes, and generally behaves too much like a celebrity. It is hard to imagine anyone in the United States receiving criticism for these “faults.” In fact these faults are almost mandatory prerequisites if running for a political office here.

Seen from this perspective it appears that, for the French, the legacy of the French Revolution is still a struggle to understand and realize the meaning of “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” The American Revolution, by contrast, appears to be a struggle over wealthy merchants’ refusal to pay taxes or submit to government authority.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

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~ by severalfourmany on January 28, 2013.

3 Responses to “The difference between the US and France”

  1. […] The difference between the US and France (severalfourmany.wordpress.com) […]

  2. The American Revolution was so much more than that. The principle of taxation without representation was at stake, and then you had several Loyalist politicians supporting actions which would make Americans either second class citizens or slaves, depending on how you look at it.

    The French Revolution, on the other hand, I cannot have as much respect for. Firstly, because of the absolutely bloodthirsty and tyrannical nature of the revolutionaries themselves, and secondly, because of their oppression of the rights of other French citizens who did not share all the same goals as the Parisians who led it–particularly, the way they persecuted the Church and loyal Catholics.

    While the American Revolution established the same rights under the law for all citizens (no matter what prejudices may have still been present), the French Revolution still left plenty of room for strife between fellow citizens and periods of despotism. So, Americans were much more successful in realizing “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the French still had much suffering to undergo before realizing “egalite, liberte, fraternite.”

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