April 2, 2018

Bulgaria says the famous French feminist Julia Kristeva was a secret agent.

The NYT reports. Kristeva — who was born in Bulgaria — denies it, and Bulgaria has posted its entire dossier on line.
Martin Dimitrov, a Bulgarian political scientist at Tulane University who has written about State Security, said the documents do seem to show that Ms. Kristeva knowingly, if not enthusiastically, shared information on French intellectual and political life with the agency.... “Was she a spy? State Security thought so; she says otherwise,” Mr. Dimitrov said. “This raises a question that is more moral than legal: Namely, who is a spy?”

By 1971, the year of her alleged recruitment, she was established and well-connected enough to be deemed a useful source of information by State Security. She was writing prolifically and was part of a group of politically engaged intellectuals around the avant-garde journal Tel Quel, including the critic Roland Barthes, the novelist Philippe Sollers (whom Ms. Kristeva married in 1967) and the philosopher Jacques Derrida....

In multiple reported meetings between that year and 1973, Ms. Kristeva allegedly offered information on French political and intellectual figures, Arab progressive movements, Bulgarian émigrés and other subjects, most of which is deemed “of little interest.”...

According to the dossier, the agency formally released Ms. Kristeva from the ranks in 1973 after handlers cited frustration with her “completely pro-Maoist” politics and her general lack of commitment....

In 1976, after she wrote a letter to a government office complaining that her parents were not allowed to visit their new grandson in Paris, a document reads: “Sabina is employing the same tactics once again — trying to get something from us without giving anything in return.”
The highest-rated comment at the NYT:
It appears she did what all canny intellectuals in totalitarian regimes do: you do what you have to do to survive, hopefully without compromising too much. She traded innocuous gossip relating to her intellectual circle in France in order to gain certain privileges for her parents in Bulgaria.

Nothing wrong with that, she did not appear to have betrayed anyone, or harmed anyone. She was much too smart not to have realized she was talking for a purpose. Nonetheless, she was so ineffectual the Bulgarian secret service dropped her. (Truth be told, what was there to reveal about French intellectuals? How many cigarettes they smoked that morning? lol)

Intellectuals don't need to pass a purity test, they just need not have compromised their principles.

22 comments:

mccullough said...

What’s to say about French intellectuals. She did her job. They are harmless fools.

rhhardin said...

Read Sollers's _Women_ with a new eye.

tcrosse said...

She caught the eye of Jean-Paul Sartre.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

She Named Names. I thought that was the worse offense a leftist could make.

The Drill SGT said...

We can joke about the Bulgarians and the secrets of the French intellectuals, but China is doing this today on a scale many orders of magnitude larger to conduct espionage in the West.




buwaya said...

SGT,

This is true.
Weak as you are, the Chinese are your only real rivals.
They take this seriously.

William said...

She was irrevocably opposed to oppression everywhere, except where it could materially benefit close relatives.

Qwerty Smith said...
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Qwerty Smith said...

The Chi-Coms paid me to help them understand America's contemporary philosophical foundations, so I've been telling them how Ta-Nehisi Coates and Joy Behar take their chai lattes.

Ray said...

Thousand grains of sand is what a lot of Chinese spying is. Basically take a whole bunch of information, such as interviews, and put it all together.

The Chinese industrial spying seems to be a lot more effective than what the Eastern Block did.

Where the Eastern Block, and now Russia does much better, is on memes / information warfare / dezinformatsiya. The CIA invented AIDS, US created ISIS, Ukraine government is Nazi's, etc. This goes back to the time of Lenin.

And where the Russian and Chinese are both attempting to influence online discussions, through paid trolls / posters. In China the term is 50 Cent Party or Army for paid posters.

buwaya said...

"In China the term is 50 Cent Party or Army for paid posters."

You used to be able to spot these guys in conversations about the South Chine Sea/West Philippine Sea Islands. They were the people making racist anti-Filipino posts.

There are less of them now it seems, though maybe they became more sophisticated.

Mike said...

SoCal is crawling with ChiCom spies. Worse they’ve also figured out the birthright citizenship loophole (Ted Kennedy is the dead gift that keeps giving) and are running birth House in LA and Orange counties. They sneak in alien Chinese women who are already pregnant so they can pop up in ERs and pop out a dual-citizen child. Their handlers arrange for SSA cards and passports in kids name. Voila. They go home and can come back whenever to spy for China because they are citizens of USA. Bornn here. And they use welfare of course. Why use Chinese money when dumb old America will pay?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I wonder in what foreign countriy’s spy agency files the Althouse dossier will be found and whether it will be the same country as Meade.

madAsHell said...

Slipping into the I-never-had-sex-with-that-woman, and it-depends-on-what-the-meaing-of-is-is territory.

Ray said...

Mike,

What the birth right Chinese forget, is by being a US Citizen, the IRS now has their claws into you... And a lot of the birth right Chinese babies, will grow up to be part owners of Chinese entities that are bit murky on the finances...

So any assets worldwide they have any percent ownership of, now has to be reported to the IRS.

It's a fad on the birth right citizenship. It gets them into top schools in China. And China has the issue where property rights seem to be more about who you know, than the rule of law. So US assets are seen as a lot safer. This has driven a huge increase in property values in certain areas of the US. Usually areas with better school districts such as San Marino, Arcadia, Walnut, Diamond Bar, etc.

buwaya said...

"And a lot of the birth right Chinese babies, will grow up to be part owners of Chinese entities that are bit murky on the finances... "

The IRS cannot enforce anything in such a murky mess. European foreign assets are a problem for US residents (not just citizens) because of the IRS, but Asian ones are much more difficult to investigate.

Fernandistien said...
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Fernandistien said...

I don't think people are going to accuse Dartmouth feminists of practicing geography:

"Part of this commitment is to transform the practices and structures of geography itself.

To that end feminist geographers have made critical interventions into the conduct of research in geography, introducing feminist epistemologies and methodologies that challenge the masculinist formulation of science as objective, neutral, and value-free, instead arguing that research always has a positionality that produces situated knowledge.

They have thus highlighted the masculinist nature of fieldwork and made the case for more interpretative approaches to research that utilize qualitative methods."

Positionality produces situated knowledge. OK.

Cooke said...

Ugh. I had to suffer through her work in graduate school.

n.n said...

So, color diversity (i.e. racism, sexism, etc.), warlock hunts, abortion rites, and political congruence, were plots hatched by our enemies. Clever and effective. The dodos never knew their advocates.

ChurchSox said...

I'm not sure it's a bad thing for the Bulgarian secret police to deem you useless as an informant.

Josephbleau said...

My biases with respect to Bulgarians remain intact, a search for a photo of her supports lack of hotness.