We say that the duty of the sovereign is nothing other than to ensure respect for these essential rights
by Maurice Bardèche
We defend and respect the human person, but an ideal human person, a human person in abstracto, a human person in the sense understood by the Court....This quite naked human person, who does not have a fatherland and who is indifferent to any fatherland, who does not know the laws of the city [city = the political entity of which one is a citizen] and the odor of the city, but who perceives with a very personal instinct the international voice of the universal conscience, this new man, this dehydrated man, it is he whom I do not recognize. Your universal conscience protects a hothouse plant: this theoretical product, this industrial product has no more relationship to a man than a California orange wrapped in cellophane and transported across continents has to an orange on a tree. Both are an orange: but one has the taste of the ground, and it grows and exists on its tree according to the nature of things, and the other is nothing more than a product for human consumption. You have made of the human person a product for human consumption. It figures in statistics (faked besides), it is counted, it is exported, it is transported, it is insured, and when it is destroyed, it is paid for. I am at a total loss: that is not for me a human person.
When we think of a human person, we see a father with his children around him, with his children around his table, in a room on his farm, and he shares soup and bread with them, or in a house in the suburbs, and there is nowhere he’s so well off as on his farm, or in his fourth floor apartment, or in his house in the suburbs, and he returns from work and he asks what happened that day; or he is in his workshop, and he shows to his little boy how one properly makes a board, how one passes one’s hand over the board to check that the work is good. It is this human person whom we defend and respect, this human person and no other, and all that belongs to him, his children, his house, his work, his field. And we say that this human person has the right that his children’s bread be assured, that his house be inviolable, that his work be honored, that his field belong to him. That his children’s bread be assured, that means that a Negro, an Asian or a Semite will not dispute with him about the place to which he has a right inside the city, and that he will not be obliged some day, in order to live, to be the proletarian and the slave of a foreigner. That his house be inviolable, that means that he will be able to think what he wants and say what he wants, that he will be the Master at his table and the Master in his house, that he will be protected if he obeys the edicts of the prince, and that the Negro, the Asian or the Semite will not appear in front of his door to explain to him what it is necessary to think and to invite him to follow them to prison. That his work be honored, that means that he will meet with the men of his trade, those whom he calls his partners or his colleagues, as he wants, and that he will have the right to say that his work is hard, that the chair which he is making is worth so many pounds of bread, that each hour of his work is worth so many pounds of bread, that he has the right also to live, that is, not to wear worn-out shoes and torn clothing, to have his own radio if he so desires, to have his own house if he puts money aside for that, his own car if he succeeds in his work, the share of luxury that our machines owe him, and that the Negro, the Asian or the Semite will not fix at Winnipeg or Pretoria the price of his day’s work and the menu at his table. And that his field belong to him, that means that he has the right to call himself the master of this house which his grandfather built, master of this city which his grandfather and those of the other men of the city built, that no one has the right to drive him out of his residence or out of the council house and that the foreign workmen whose grandfathers were not there when they built the belfry, the Negroes, the Asians and the Semites who work in the mine or who sell at the crossroads will not have at all the power to decide the destiny of his little boy. That is what we call the rights of the human person, and we say that the duty of the sovereign is nothing other than to ensure respect for these essential rights, and to manage his nation well, like a good father of a family as the rental leases say, like a father leads his family; that the laws are nothing other than wise rules, rules known by all, written with the help of the counsel of qualified men, posted on walls and sovereign; and that these rights, without which there is no city, must be defended by force if necessary, and in all cases by an effective protection. As one can see, we are in favor, we also, of the defense of the human person. But in these terms. And not in the sense understood by the Court. It is simply a matter of understanding oneself (de se comprendre).
This man of the earth and the cities, this man who has been man as long as there have been peoples and cities, it is precisely he that Nuremberg condemns and repudiates. For the new law says to him: “You will be a citizen of the world, you yourself will also be packaged and dehydrated, you will not listen anymore to the rustle of your trees and the voice of your bells, but you will learn to hear the voice of the universal conscience; shake the dirt (terre) from your shoes, peasant; this land (terre) is nothing any more; she soils, she obstructs, she prevents one from making pretty packagings. Modern times have come. Listen to the voice(s) of modern times. ...They have the same rights as you, and you will set places for them at your table and they will enter into the council where they will teach you what the universal conscience says, which you do not yet hear as well as you should. And their sons will be respected men (des messieurs), and they will be established as judges over your sons; they will govern your city and they will buy your field, for the universal conscience gives them expressly all these rights. As for you, peasant, if you meet with your friends and long for the time when one saw only local boys at the city fair, know that you are opposing the universal conscience and that the law does not protect you against that.”