Jumping from page to page of these contrasts, liking contradiction anyway, I find premonitory notes which deserved te be better know when they were written. If somebody smiles at them today, it will be with the superiority of the Invader justifiyng his conquests.
In this way, the re-birth of Poland or the creation of Czechoslovakia are events but not reality.
It is easy for us to remember History today, after the war followed by Yalta, which shared out Europe; nobody can tell me that de Gaulle condemned Yalta since in fact he accepted the invasion of Czechoslovakia, when he was extremely powerful in late 1968. However that may be, it is now 1973 and I am in Poland and this mixture of 1973 and Ça Ira! Comes quite naturally to me in the place where I am writing. Sentences like the one above and the following strike me enormously:
A few million Czechs, a few hundred thousand Slovaks and a majority of Germans, Little Russians, Poles and Hungarians form a vast circle of rivalries and hatreds through which Europe will contract many crises and suffer many disappointments.
The author of these lines, Paul Colin, holds theories which are rigorously wrong and shows that he understands absolutely nothing of Central Europe since he advances theories saying that Czechoslovakia does not exist, when this country has resisted Hungarians, Austrians, Russians and Germans for a thousand years:
Czechoslovakia does not exist – really, realistically. But in the illusion of creating it and the hope of achieving their present aims, some States with no real governments or rather some governments with no lucidity, no programme, have adopted the Czechoslovakia event and let themselves be madly guided by it.
It is true that this country was only one year old as an autonomous state, but how dangerous the thought of a programme remains since its only way out is by force.
This means that Ça Ira!, with its oppositions and its differences of opinion, is the perfect bystander. I have reached Number 6 of September 1920 (apart from the note on Picabia) and the review has not yet sprung into its real life. The confusion resulting from the 14-18 war and the suffering of Belgium means that people who were active at that time in 1920 Antwerp conceived a passion for the revolution in Russia, and some admired its ‘programme’, which more and more has proved to be only a ‘Big Brother’ of the world. And yet again I must quote te one who was to become pro-Nazi, Paul Colin, in this very place:
Having a programme is being reasonable. Being inspired by events puts oneself under the control of the passions that engender them, it is being sentimental (or opportunist). It demands a theory of inchoherence or abdication, and completely despises the supreme necessities of political, social and economic life, of the progress of States and of the State.
Collection OU, 7, Ingatestone, Essex, 1977.