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, beliefs and ultimately behaviour. Sometimes the audience is alive to the manipulation, sometimes it is not. Poor propaganda bounces off its intended recipients, leaving them unchanged  – or unchanged in the desired way. In many cases people, including children, engaged with propaganda, accepting or rejecting the messages they received. The propagandists’ messages were subject to mutations wrought by competing information and the way that each individual processed them. Anti-Allied propaganda The output of press, radio and cinema in the Occupied Zone was controlled by

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45

outsiders, the BBC painted a global society, discovered by the child news reporters of the ‘Stratenfantinosphère’ serial.15 Penny Brown has seen a desire to efface the miseries of daily life in the escapism of French children’s fiction from this period, yet the BBC spoke directly of wartime hardship. At New Year 1942, children were told: ‘the last year was dreadful. The one beginning will undoubtedly be sad too,’ and when Babar worried in February 1942 that the Allies were losing, his v 185 v Explaining bombing friend assured him that ‘it is going badly at the moment

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45
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A conclusion

that in 1946, I joined the army’. He saw bombing as part of the French quest for liberation: an evil to arrive at a desired end. Proximity to bombs made a big difference too. Thus Jean Caniot, Bernard Lemaire and Bernard Leclercq, distant from targets, showed little evidence of lasting fear responses; nor did Madame Th and Christian Solet, both living in parts of Boulogne-Billancourt more distant from the factories. Yet proximity alone cannot explain this absence; Serge Aubrée, Henri Le Turquais and Jean Pochart in Brest, Jean Denhez in Aulnoye and Christian de la

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45

question of how law might contribute to create a just society, one must relinquish the desire to transcend law’s violence. For a law that “radicalized” its self-​reflection up to a utopia of nonviolence can no longer contribute to the political struggle against social domination. Law can only have the power to intervene in the existing social conditions if it retains its power. Only a law that can exercise power can be an emancipatory law –​a law that maintains the critical distance, the negativity of the normative, against the existing status quo. A law that becomes

in Law and violence
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of modern life’ (1863), in The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays, trans. J. Mayne (London: Phaidon, 2006;), pp. 15–16. 2 W. Benjamin, ‘The storyteller: reflections on the work of Nicolai Leskov’, in Illuminations (New York: Schocken Books, 1968), p. 92. 3 Wood, Vectors of Memory, p 17. This idea was echoed at an academic conference in Le Havre in September 2014:  several historians expressed, it seemed, a need or desire to move from ‘souvenirs’ to ‘Mémoire’ (personal memories to Memory, perhaps), as though the former were of less interest or value to

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45

technically neutral. In October 1942, following several months of industrial raids, the official bombing policy statement required that if doubt existed over risks to densely populated areas ‘no attack is to be made’.6 There was a desire in the Foreign Office not to upset relations with de Gaulle’s supporters. Political caution receded, however, as friendly shipping losses nearly doubled to 7.7 million tons in 1942 and the decision was taken to area bomb the Biscay ports in mid-January 1943 (the campaign was called off after Lorient was area bombed without destroying its

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45

express but hard to accomplish: to find a way of organizing our political community in a non-​(or at least less) violent way. If Marx is correct in his famous assertion that philosophy represents “the self-​clarification of the struggles and wishes of the age,”30 it is the task of any emancipatory legal theory to provide for the theoretical articulation of the desires expressed by such movements. Notes 1 In this essay, I draw on arguments that I first presented in my book Kritik der Souveränität (Frankfurt am Main and New York: Campus, 2012); for a conceptualization

in Law and violence
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Jeunesse, Moniteurs de Bagatelle et de Murville and the Croix Rouge des Jeunes. He wrote that their conduct was proof that that they were ‘imbued with the spirit of French solidarity and animated by the enthusiastic desire to serve under Marshal Pétain’s banner’.30 But as already noted, community entr’aide was strong anyway and Vichy’s v 131 v Experiencing bombing rhetoric was layered on top of behaviour inspired by circumstance rather than ideology. Furthermore, young people did not invariably conduct themselves so favourably. A complaint reached Lille’s mayor from

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45

explained. This is particularly evident in the way that blame for destruction is displaced away from the Allies. In Hellemmes, people were angry at inaccurate bombing, but it was les Boches against whom opinion railed as, remembered Thérèse Leclercq, everyone said ‘it’s because of them that our houses are wrecked’. In Lille, Bernard Lemaire agreed: ‘People criticised the English a bit for their bombing, but mostly it was the Germans.’ The desire to shift blame onto the Germans is logical within the wider context of war, as well as a product of hatred. In Hellemmes, many

in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45
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Ian McEwan’s The Children Act and the limits of the legal practices in Menke’s ‘Law and violence’

the law and violence of interpretation could only be contained by an irresistibly transparent language.48 In fact, Hart, as we have seen, presents a law underpinned by social practices that do not require a mythical transparency. Fish’s alternative to the desire for transparency he finds in Hart is a model of competing interpretations: “Whatever is invoked as a constraint on interpretation will turn out upon further examination to have been the product of interpretation.”49 The point of this argument is to show that nothing is beyond challenge. Stability is only

in Law and violence