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Ethnism (Ethnisme) - François Fontan



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Ethnism, towards a humanist nationalism - bilingual English-French edition of the book of François Fontan: Ethnisme, vers un nationalisme humaniste.

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Languageenglish + french
Format15 x 21 cm

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Ethnism, towards a humanist nationalism - François Fontan

Ethnisme, vers un nationalisme humaniste - François Fontan

In 1960, a stranger, François Fontan, published a small book with the enigmatic title: "Ethnisme, vers un nationalisme humaniste". In it he explained that language is the synthetic index of the nation. That wherever there is a sure spoken language a given territory there was a nation and each nation had a right to its own independent state. This new doctrine, the intellectual (who was self-taught), called it "ethnism" by reference to the Greek word "ethnos" which means people or nation. Ethnicity redrawn the map of the world by challenging artificial nation-states to replace them with states corresponding to nations whose boundaries were ethno-linguistic and no longer the result of warrior imperialisms. A year earlier, Francés Fontan had created the Parti Nationaliste Occitan (Occitan Nationalist Party now become the Occitan Nation Party). A political organization whose clearly stated aim is the independence of Occitania.

More than fifty years after the publication of the book of Francés Fontan, ethnism is more than ever relevant and represents a future for humanity. Nevertheless, the book is not limited to the definition of an anti-imperialist nationalism of an ethnic type, it presents an analysis of the new relations which must be promoted between nations, between men and women, between age classes and between social classes . It is a project for a society of freedom and love.

Here you have the first translation in oc language thanks to Sèrgi Viaule.

With autorisation and copyright of Jean-Louis Veyrac, 3rd bilingual English-French edition of the book of Francés Fontan, including a Map of European Ethnic groups and a table of the World's Ethnic groups.


There is also an occitan translation of the book by Sèrgi Viaule, available here.

"For the youth the world over, that they may reject false, reactionary nationalism along with false, cosmopolitan socialism. For the youth of Occitania, so that for the first time in 700 years, they dare to be themselves."

    "Speech is not the expression of mankind, it is mankind. Speech is not the evidence of human relationships, it makes them. Speech is the exact measure of mankind"    J. CONILH ("Esprit")

    "If there exists an historical logic valid for the evolution of the class system and its conflicts, there is also an historical logic valid for the development and the awakening of all nations."    R. MISRAHI ("Les Temps Modernes")

    "Socialism can no longer be separated from life, nor can it be separated from the nation."    J. JAURES

    "There is no such thing as abstract Marxism, for Marxism only exists in tangible form. What we call tangible Marxism, is the Marxism that has taken a national form".    MAO TSE TOUNG

The author:
Francés Fontan was born in Paris (1929-1979). His father worked there as a railway controller. His mother, born De Cors, came from an old family of the Gascon nobility. He lived for a while in Nice, then, in 1964, he took refuge in the Occitan valleys of the Italian state and continued his work of political, linguistic and sociological research. During this period he published several texts. Tired of his intense activity as a theorist of ethnic nationalism and a worn-out and discouraged field activist, Francés Fontan was hospitalized in Coni (Cuneo) in December 1979. He died of cerebral congestion on the 19th of the same month.

    Preface to second edition
    Humanity and nations
    Definition of the nation
    Language and thought
    Language - synthetic evidence
    Other characteristics of a nation
    The regions and ethnic families
    Birth, evolution, and decline of a nation
    Today's nations
    Relationships between nations
    Nations and classes
    International exchanges
    Idéologies and nations
    The internationalist programme
    Table of the world's nations

Right-wing forces have so far confined themselves to a non-scientific nationalism or, to be more precise, a sentimental and narrow-minded patriotism, which has led them to commit the worst imperialistic aberrations, to the detriment of the nation's true interests.

Left-wing forces, unfortunately obsessed by class problems, have not studied problems of nations for many years; the first scientific approach to these matters, initiated by Stalin, is applied more and more rarely because it is confused, inapplicable and for a large part, false.

In the meantime, the history of the world marches on increasingly rapidly and is showing us that we are in an era of nationalism more than ever before.

Initially, the fundamental political problem appeared to be that of dictatorship versus democracy, followed by that of capitalism versus socialism. It would now appear that the foremost choice is between imperialism and internationalism, whatever may think the supporters of battles of words, to be likened to retarded dogmatics and mythologists.

In April 1951, Albert Memmi wrote in "Les Temps Modernes" : "All of this has resulted in a certain embarrassment on behalf of the socialists in their attitude towards nationalism, a wavering in the working class parties' ideology. The reserve shown by journalists and left-wing essayists in regard to this problem is telling. They envisage it as little as possible - neither daring to condemn it nor approve it; they do not know how or whether indeed they wish to integrate it and apply it to their understanding of the historical future. In a word, the present left is disorientated by the idea of nationalism".

This book has been written with the intention of presenting an objective study and a rational solution to the problem, within the framework of a global scientific humanism.


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Ethnism (Ethnisme) - François Fontan

Ethnism (Ethnisme) - François Fontan

Ethnism, towards a humanist nationalism - bilingual English-French edition of the book of François Fontan: Ethnisme, vers un nationalisme humaniste.

Write a review