Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Jean-Paul Sartre on the French Communist Party

I was dealing with men who only considered people of their party as comrades, men who were covered with orders and prohibitions, who judged me as a provisional fellow traveler, and who placed themselves in advance in the future moment when I’d disappear from the melee, taken back by the forces of the right. For them I wasn’t a whole man; I was a dead man on reprieve. No kind of reciprocity is possible with men like that; nor any mutual criticism, which would have been something to hope for…. We lived in a poisoned atmosphere of thoughts that didn’t resist examination, but that they avoided examining. It was putrid, and we were never sure that they weren’t in the process of slandering us somewhere.

- Jean-Paul Sartre, A Fellow Traveler of the Communist Party, 1972