A letter to France

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The terrorist attacks in Paris in early January demand an awakening of French society, writes Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel. Not one driven by the politics of fear that put the country at war, but one of democratic and social aspirations that demand equality for every member of the population and which, he argues here, is the only solution for eradicating the necrosis of hope that fuels the ‘identity’ conflict blighting France today.

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There are ordeals that reveal a nation unto itself. That is the case for those who live in France since the terrorist attacks in Paris on January 7th, 8th and 9th. Will we be able to recognise this France such as it is, such as it works and lives, such as it suffers, such as it dreams and invents itself, such as it straightens itself up and rallies together? Or will we continue to ignore it by denigrating and depreciating it, by lowering it, making it panic by leading it onto this self-hate fuelled by unfortunate questions of identity, of a ‘French suicide’ and by fantasies of submission in which macerate bitterness and resentment?