- Share to or
St. Petersburg court forces Russian communists to take down Jean-Paul Sartre anti-anticommunist meme
Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay “Maurice Merleau-Ponty est vivant,” written after the death of his philosopher friend, contains the following maxim: “Tout anticommuniste est un chien.” “Every anticommunist,” that is, “is a dog.”
The quotation has since been embraced by the activists of Russia’s communist party, CPRF, who turned it into a popular meme. Last year, Sartre’s aphorism became the matter of a lawsuit.
Today, a court in St. Petersburg satisfied the state prosecutor’s complaint, which demanded banning the Sartre quotation from the Internet, on the grounds that it “demeans human dignity” and promotes “political and ideological hatred.”
Initially, 42 defendants had been listed in the complaint, but, as many of them desisted and took down the Sartre meme, the number of defendants dwindled to just six. Among those who withdrew from the case was the CPRF member Alexey Filippov, who had been fined 10,000 rubles (or about $140) in early 2022, for “igniting hatred” with the Sartre quote.
CPRF members have argued in court that the offending line had been translated into Russian by Sergey Fokin, a full professor with a doctorate in philology. Fokin himself has ignored the court summons to appear as an expert witness.
- Share to or