What about the preamble? Print
Written by Stephanie Benzaquen   
Sunday, 21 December 2008 16:15

Blame the following piece on that guy (yes, the Incorruptible himself, with whom I’m sharing some time at this very moment). As I was reading Martin’s Z Confidential, nodding on many occasions as Martin underlines central touchy issues, some vicious ideas suddenly interfered with my train of thoughts… What if we had at our disposal some instrument to take the measurement of all traitors and double agents, something whose efficacy has been proven by history –in short something like our own Law of 22 Prairial? So, I produced this little horror (it’s rather indigestible, but please bear with me):

THE LAW OF 20 MESSIDOR (it’s July 8 in Convention’s terms)

The Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee –Alytus Chapter (STASAC-Alytus) Tribunal is instituted to punish the enemies of the Strike.

The enemies of the Strike are those who seek to destroy strike liberty, either by force or by cunning.

The following are deemed enemies of the Strike: those who have instigated the reestablishment of serious culture, or have sought to disparage the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee:

Those who have betrayed the Strike in the command of institutions and self-interests, or in any other artistic or activist function, carried on correspondence with the enemies of the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee;

Those who have sought to impede the development of the Strike, or to create over-production within the Strike;

Those who have supported the designs of the enemies of Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee, either by countenancing the sheltering and the impunity of conspirators and strike-breakers, by persecuting and calumniating Strike principles, by corrupting the mandataries of the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee, or by abusing the principles of the Strike or the measures of the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee by false and perfidious applications;

Those who have deceived the strikers or the representatives of the strikers, in order to lead them into undertakings contrary to the interests of the Strike;

Those who have sought to inspire discouragement, in order to favour the enterprises of the tyrants leagued against the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee;


Those who have disseminated false news in order to divide or disturb the strikers;

Those who have sought to mislead opinion and to prevent the instruction of the strikers, to deprave morals and to corrupt the public conscience, to impair the energy and the purity of Strike principles, or to impede the progress thereof, either by (counter?)-revolutionary or insidious writings, or by any other machination;

Contractors of bad faith who compromise the safety of Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee;

Those who, charged with bureaucracy, take advantage of it in order to serve the enemies of the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee or to oppress the strikers;

Finally, all who are designated in previous laws relative to the punishment of conspirators and (counter?)-revolutionaries, and who, by whatever means or by whatever appearances they assume, have made an attempt against the liberty, unity, and security of the Strike, or laboured to prevent the strengthening thereof.

The proof necessary to convict enemies of the Strike comprises every kind of evidence, whether material or moral, oral or written, which can naturally secure the approval of every just and reasonable mind; the rule of judgments is the conscience of the jurors, enlightened by love of the Strike; their aim, the triumph of the Strike and the ruin of its enemies; the procedure, the simple means which good sense dictates in order to arrive at a knowledge of the truth, in the forms determined by law.

Gosh. It sounds pretty bad. I know we will commemorate the beheading of poor St. Brunonus. Yet, do we need to cut more heads in some happy re-enactment of a one-thousand year old event? I bet not. Terror leads nowhere.

Take Robespierre for instance. Right now, in the book I’m reading, he experiences a rather critical phase (to say that he’s in a serious shit would be indeed a more realistic approach) . All his friends let him down (some didn’t like that much his beautiful Law of 22 Prairial). As he leaves in despair some nasty meeting, a great bastard called Barras (a fucking hypocrite, you will see) runs after him under the pretext of comforting him. In fact, Barras wants to get all the secrets of Robespierre to repeat them to his enemies (Don’t worry. Robespierre is way cleverer than this nullity of Barras whose tricks he finds out in one sec).

So, let’s leave here the Law of 20 Messidor. Slightly too negative… After all why to be on the defensive? Why not to open wide our arms and welcome all the wannabe and soon-to-be strikers?

Any declaration or resolution deserves a preamble - who are the strikers?

I propose the following one, in form of a Chinese encyclopaedia:

The strikers are split into: a) belonging to the Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee; b)revolutionary passive; c) revolutionary active; d)fabulous; e) who have no opinion on Zeppelinas in particular and potatoes in general; f) blamed members; g) countless; h) who have never been in Ulan Bator; i) who don’t give a shit of relational aesthetics and similar crap; j) who are included in the present classification; k) who hardly use a fountain pen; l) etc.; m) who dislike European Cultural Capitals; n) who just broke a glass this morning.


P.S. It’s to be completed.

P.P.S. If Martin agrees, I would say: z) confidential