— Counter-Currents —

The Rights of Man

2,414 words

humanrights [1]Translated by George F. Held

Editor’s Note:

The following excerpt from Maurice Bardèche’s Nuremberg ou la Terre promise (Nuremberg, or The Promised Land) (Paris: Les Sept Couleurs, 1948) prophesies that the ideology of universal human rights enshrined at Nuremberg would lead to a New World Order in which European man is destroyed through miscegenation and non-white immigration and a mongrelized and enslaved humanity is ruled by a Jewish technocratic elite. The title is editorial.

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 someday, 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 anymore; she soils, she obstructs, she prevents one from making pretty packagings.

Modern times have come. Listen to the voice of modern times. The Polish laborer who changes jobs 12 times a year is the same man as you; the Jewish rag-hawker who has just arrived from Korotcha or Jitomir is the same man as you; they have the same rights as you on your land [terre] and on your city; respect the Negro, O peasant. 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.

For such, in truth, is the condition of man after the demotion of fatherlands. One perforce supports regimes that make cities wide open to strangers. One demands that these foreigners receive the same rights as the inhabitants of the country, and one condemns solemnly every attempt at discrimination. Then, one recognizes as legitimate only one manner of deliberation: that which is purely numerical. Under this system, what city will not be, in a given time, overcome by a peaceful conquest, swamped by an occupying army without uniforms and offered finally to the reign of foreigners?

The end result is thus attained. National differences will be little by little annihilated. International law will establish itself so much better than native law that the latter will no more have defenders. The national administrations which we were just describing take on in this perspective their true meaning: the States will be no more than administrative districts of a single Empire. And, from one end of the world to the other, in perfectly similar cities (since they will have been rebuilt after bombardments), there will live under similar laws a bastard population, a race of indefinable and gloomy slaves, without genius, without instinct, without voice.

Dehydrated man will reign in a hygienic world. Immense bazaars echoing the sounds of record-players will symbolize this race of men of equal worth [à prix unique]. Rolling sidewalks will run alongside the streets. They will transport every morning to their slave work the long line of the men without faces, and they will bring them back in the evening. And this will be the promised land.

They will not know anymore, these users of the rolling sidewalks, that there was formerly a human condition. They will not know what were our cities, when they were our cities: no more than we can imagine what was Ghent or Bruges at the time of the aldermen. They will be astonished that the earth was beautiful and that we loved it passionately. For them, the universal conscience, clean, theoretical, and die-cut in disks, will illuminate their skies. But this will be the promised land.

And above will reign in fact the Human Person, the one for whom this war was waged, the one who invented this law. For at last, no matter what one says, there is a Human Person. And this is not the Germans of the Volga, nor the people in the Baltics, nor is it the Chinese or the Malagasy; it’s not the Annamese or the Czechs; and of course it’s not the proletariat.

The Human Person, we know very well what this is. This term has all its signification only (one can even say that it only has signification, in the sense understood by the Court) if it refers to a stateless individual, who was born in a Krakow suburb, who suffered under Hitler, was interned, is not dead, and has nonetheless been resurrected . . . in the form of a French, Belgian, or Luxembourg patriot, on whom we are invited to bestow all our respect and adoration.

The Human Person, in addition, is usually provided with an international passport, an authorization to export, a tax exemption, and the right to requisition apartments. We might add that the Human Person, so defined, is most especially the agent [dépositaire] of the universal conscience: he is, so to speak, its electoral urn.

For this role he possesses organs of an exquisite sensitivity which other men lack: thus in a country where he has just arrived, he designates with certainty the true patriots and detects at a great distance the organisms which stubbornly resist the vibrations of the universal conscience. Accordingly these precious gifts are used as is appropriate before public opinion.[1] All their vibratory reactions are carefully recorded, and the total of these vibrations constitutes what one calls at a given moment the indignation or the approval of the universal conscience. They are what formulate finally the dogma which we already mentioned and which has as its title: defense of the human person.

It follows that the defense of the human person, in the sense understood by the Court, is a sort of mathematical truth, almost analogous to the Rule of Three.[2] One can express it thus:

Whoever is stateless and born at Krakow resides within the universal community, and every act which scratches or bruises them resounds deeply within the breast of the human conscience; to the extent that your specific definition distances you from being stateless in character and Krakowian in origin, you separate yourself from the universal community, and to that extent what bruises you has no longer a corresponding resonance in the human conscience. If you are resolutely hostile to the stateless individuals originally from Krakow, you are not at all part of the universal community, and one can do to you whatever one wants without the human conscience feeling the least bit hurt.

These catechumens of the new humanity have customs that are sacred. They do not work the land; they do not produce anything; they find slavery repugnant. They do not mix with the men of the rolling sidewalk; they count them and direct them toward the tasks that are assigned to them. They do not at all wage war, but they like to establish themselves in brilliantly lit shops where in the evening they sell at a high price to the man of the rolling sidewalk what he has made and what they have bought from him at a low price. No one has the right to call them slave merchants, and nevertheless the peoples in whose midst they are established work only for them.

They form an order. It is this that they have in common with our former knighthoods. And is it not just that they are distinguished from other men, since they are the ones most sensitive to the voice of the universal conscience and furnish us the model which we must imitate?

They have also their high priests in distant capitals. They revere in them the representatives of these illustrious families who have made themselves known by gaining a lot of money and by distributing a lot of advertising. And they themselves rejoice to read on the coats of arms of these heroes the amounts of their dividends.

But these powerful men have great concerns. They meditate on the map of the world and decide that one such country will produce henceforth oranges, and another cannons. Leaning on graphs, they channel around the millions of slaves of the rolling sidewalk, and they determine in their wisdom the number of shirts that they will be allowed to buy in a year and the number of calories that will be allocated to them in order to live. And the work of the other men circulates and is registered on the walls of their office as in those panels with transparent tubes in which run without stop various colored liquids.

They are the stagehands of the universe. Who revolts against them speaks against the gods. They distribute and decide. And their servants, placed at intersections, receive their orders with gratitude, and they indicate to the man of the rolling sidewalk the direction in which to go. Thus works the world without borders, the world where everyone is at home, and which they have called the promised land.


1. “Aussi ces précieux dons sont-ils utilisés comme il convient devant l’opinion.” Bardèche frequently uses opinion to mean “public opinion.” His point here seems to be that these special gifts are used before the public for the sake of helping it to form public opinion. — Trans.

2. In mathematics, the “rule of three” is the method of finding the fourth term of a mathematical proportion when three terms are known. — Trans.