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Just another day in the democratic French Republic

Le Monde has released an article reporting on the publishing of books by French politicians, a veritable cottage industry. The report confirms a few things which any observer of the genre will long have noticed, e.g.:

  • That French politicians write books to give off airs of literary gravitas.
  • “‘The exercise is getting banalized and is leading to a profusion of writings of variable quality,’ stressed [pollster] Brice Teinturier […]. [N]ew criticisms are addressed to politicians who are in office: they are criticized for writing instead of working.”
  • “Sophie Charnavel, head of the publisher Robert Laffont, considers that certain books are only there to occupy space and ‘are standardized’ so that their author is invited to the morning radio shows. A marketing exercise.”
  • That, as a rule, no one is reading the bulk of these publications.

E.g., European Commissioner for the Economy Pierre Moscovici’s memoirs have exactly zero reviews on Amazon.fr. Moscovici is well-known for his striking resemblance to pornographic actor-director Pierre Woodman.

The ultra-Zionist Socialist former prime minister Manuel Valls – who, being married to a Jewess, once declared that he was “eternally linked to the Jewish community and to Israel” – pointedly entitled his book Not a Drop of French Blood (his parents are Spanish and Swiss; and he is currently serving as a municipal councillor in Barcelona).

Admittedly, a few heavyweights are able to sell: Nicolas Sarkozy’s latest memoir The Time of Storms (volume I) has sold 238,000 copies and François Hollande’s The Lessons of Power has sold 200,000 copies (miraculous given how inert Hollande was as president). A few big names of the far left and far right like Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Philippe de Villiers can also break into six-digit sales.

I was most struck however by a throw-away paragraph at the end of the article:

There remains however one unknown person before the 2022 presidential elections. The question is now sharply posed: till when will last the big publishers’ consensus to never publish a book signed by Marine Le Pen? For now, the cordon sanitaire [quarantining of the far-right] remains the rule for the 10 biggest publishers. “[Publishing her] would mean participating in her detoxification, which I do not want to do. My hat as a citizen takes precedence over my hat as a publisher,” said Olivier Nora [the CEO of the publisher Grasset]. Here too, economic and political motives are intertwined: “Morally, I am not ready to do this,” concluded Muriel Beyer [deputy head of Humensis, a major political publisher]. “And, professionally, my authors would not want to be part of the same publishing house as her.”

Thus we have a tacit agreement among the major publishers to exclude a candidate who appeals to a solid third of French voters and who has made every effort to assert her “republican” and “democratic” credentials; fully abandoning her father’s rebellious streak on race, World War II and the holocaust, Charles de Gaulle and the Algerian War, etc. Today, you’ll occasionally hear praise of Marshal Philippe Pétain from our globalist President Emmanuel Macron, never from putative far-rightist Marine Le Pen.

The article also makes clear that the big publishers range politically from centrist to far-left in political orientation and that the few who publish right-leaning books are subject to moral opprobrium.

The public censure and politically-motivated discrimination faced by Le Pen supporters likely also accounts for the fact that her party often runs the same candidates for both county and regional elections (60% of candidates running in the regionals are also running in the counties). Few people are willing, or can afford, to take the professional and social hit of public association with one of France’s most popular political parties.

Number of candidates by party running for both the regional and county elections: Rassemblement National (RN or National Rally), is Le Pen’s party.
Number of candidates by party running for both the regional and county elections: Rassemblement National (RN or National Rally), is Le Pen’s party.

A fine democracy we live in! A few will come to the conclusion that there is a slight contradiction between liberal-democrats’ idealistic pretensions and real human psycho-social power dynamics. It’s a shame Our Moral Betters are not more honest with themselves about the nature of their vaunted political pluralism and their instinctive demand of hegemony.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Censorship, France, Marine Le Pen 
Learning French with Alexandre Cormier-Denis

The Québécois are a unique people, for the most part descending from a relatively small founder-population hailing from various parts of France, creating a besieged nation of 8 million French-speakers surviving for centuries in an Anglophone sea. I recently learned of a new menace to Québécois survival: the French.

Indeed, the Québécois nationalist Alexandre Cormier-Denis had this to say about French expats in Québec (those with some knowledge of the langue de Céline may also try to listen to the video):

They are experiencing the Great Replacement in France, they are experiencing the immigration disaster, they come here to live Justin Trudeau’s dream and ultimately to drown us in a horde of metics. Like sons of bitches,[*] like filthy leftists! FILTHY LEFTISTS! That’s the kind of French immigration we have in Quebec.

And the right-wingers . . . whom I salute, there are not a lot of them. Look at the results of the French elections in Quebec [of expat voters], I think [the far-left Jean-Luc] Mélenchon finished in second place after Macron, Marine Le Pen was fifth and [the conservative François] Fillon was third or fourth. We have filthy leftists!

It’s also who we attract. We are also responsible for this. If and when the French left-wingers leave, this does not bother us. We’ll keep the right-wingers. The French are a disaster. How often have we seen French people in the street, with their disgusting accent in English, speaking to their children: “Would you like to know the strawberry? [spoken in English] It’s disgusting!

They come to Montreal and they teach their children English! They’ve come to Anglicize us! C’est dingue ça ![**]Guys, we’ve been in the national struggle for the French race in North America for 400 years! We’re not here so you can Anglicize us. Bordel de chiasse ![***] God fucking damn it!**

And who are we? We are the French race in America. We have been resisting for four centuries and it is certainly not so we can get fucked over by FILTHY French leftists who want to break our balls by living their bilingual dream or God knows what.

The video went viral on French nationalist Twitter and has contributed to the popularity of Cormier-Denis’ online talk show Nomos-TV where he provides entertaining politico-cultural analyses and news-roundups while reminding the French people in the clavardage how to speak properly.

Notes

[*] Comme des enfoirés.

[**] It’s crazy!

[***] Literally: “Diarrhea-whorehouse!” but with the sentiment of “God fucking damn it!”

 
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Quebec, Quebecois 
The Key to Macron’s Success...and Failures

In previous articles, we have seen how French pollster Jérôme Fourquet in his The French Archipelago has statistically documented the rise of social liberalism, the growing presence and character of Muslims, and the general decline of shared identity in France.

Another crucial phenomenon is what Fourquet calls “the cultural, geographical, and ideological secession of the [French] elites” (p. 94). On the one hand, there is a certain retrenchment as French elite media have reduced influence and reach on the general population, on the other the elite is seeking to emancipate itself from the constraints of the people, evidenced by flight into gentrified neighborhoods, private schools, and outright expatriation.

The decline of the mainstream media

There has been a steady decline of French mainstream media over the past years. The television station TF1 used to enjoy a hegemonic share of 45% of viewers in 1988, falling to a mere 20% in 2017 (p. 80). News broadcasts, entertainment, and sporting events on TF1 meant “a very large part of the population experienced the same thing at the same time” (p. 79). Conversely, increased media pluralism has meant a decline in social consensus as “the leading mass media, with their large audiences, participated in the creation of a common and shared view of the world” (p. 79).

The national newspaper Le Monde, has declined from selling 408,000 issues in 2002 to 300,000 in 2016, though if anything this does not seem too severe given the rise of online news consumption. Various magazines have similarly lost between 15% and 30% in sales. This change has put print publications under enormous economic pressure by no means made up for by meager online advertising revenue. Mass layoffs of journalists have been a frequent occurrence.

Fourquet warns that we are on the cusp of even greater changes for the media, again citing the young: “the media and news landscape which is maintaining itself with difficulty risks being completely transformed within 15 years, when the generation of Baby Boomers, which make up the last bloc of readers of the press and watchers of historic TV channels, will have passed away” (p. 82).

The practical result of greater media pluralism is a decline in social consensus. Elites live more and more in their own reality defined by legacy media that resonate emotionally with them. The lower classes are increasingly defecting and being subject to entropic variation (allegedly, about a third of French youths believe in “chemtrails” and weather-control programs [e.g. HAARP], p. 83).

Rising class segregation: gentrification, schools, expatriation

Share of people in Paris who are workers or non-managerial employees.
Share of people in Paris who are workers or non-managerial employees.

City-centers have become gentrified with high property prices. In the 1980s, workers and non-managerial employees typically made up around 55% of residents in cities like Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, and Nantes. Today, they make up only around a third, having been replaced by urban professionals (p. 99).

Social inequalities are also evident in the growing popularity of private schools. In France, private schools essentially mean Catholic schools and used to be attended not so much because of class divides but because of religious preference. Now, wealthy people are more over-represented in the private school system, anxious parents doing what they can to escape the declining public schools. This phenomenon is most severe in the major cities such as Paris and Marseille, where vast swathes of the public student body has been Afro-Islamized.

France’s new black or Muslim inhabitants are generally less sensitive to issues of anti-Semitism or the sanctity of the holocaust. Bullying of Jews by Muslims is supposed to be so widespread that it is said that there is not a single Jewish pupil left in the public schools of Seine-Saint-Denis, the vast Afro-Islamic-majority county making up the northeast corner of greater Paris. Two thirds of Jewish parents who opt to send their children to Jewish schools say they fear their child will be attacked for being Jewish (p. 212).

The share of students from poorer families has collapsed in France’s elite schools. The famous École nationale d’Administration, the Haute École de Commerce (the top business school), and other elite schools have seen the share of lower-class students fall from 29% in 1950 to 9% in the 1990s. Today, children of managers and members of the upper classes make up 85% of students (p. 102). Whether this is due to cognitive stratification or nepotism, elite and working classes are more and more separated.

Besides the wealthy’s increasing self-segregation in their own physical and media spaces, Fourquet points to the disappearance of many common experiences between the classes. Cheap colonies de vacances, basically summer camps, used to be one such experience which has since fractured: the rich now opt for expensive specialized experiences (horse-riding . . .), the poor may get cheap and cheerful subsidized offers from their municipalities, and the middle class is increasingly foregoing the experience altogether.

Until 2002, young French men performed military service regardless of social class (contrary to perception, the upper classes did not serve significantly less than the general population, p. 103). Macron is the first president of the French Fifth Republic to have not fulfilled military service.

The most radical phenomenon of elite secession is expatriation, with France’s educated and wealthy classes going abroad for better work opportunities and/or lower taxes. In 2002, 385,000 French were registered as living abroad. By 2017, the figure was 1,264,000, more than tripling over just 15 years (p. 360). Great Britain, Switzerland, and Luxembourg are popular destinations, each of which have lower taxes, particularly for high earners.

What’s more, 16% of French engineers now work abroad, twice as many as in 2000 (p. 116). Many of these may be permanent expatriates and not engineers on a temporary mission abroad.

More generally in Europe, the Erasmus student exchange program has been a massive enabler of brain drain from peripheral Europe to wealthier countries in northern Europe. The program has clearly contributed to the deracination of young educated Europeans.

Belgium, as a partially French-speaking country with low taxes on certain forms of wealth, is a popular destination for tax exiles. A few prominent examples include: the actor Gérard Depardieu (though he recently sold his home there), television personality Arthur, Bernard Arnault (owner of the LVMH fashion company), and many members of the Mulliez family (owners of major retail chains Auchan, Decathlon, Leroy Merlin…). Around 50 of Switzerland’s richest 300 residents are French (pp. 113-4).

Macron’s powerful but limited base

 
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Emmanuel Macron, France, Neoliberalism 
Or, the Accidental Biopolitics of the Culture Wars

Culture wars seem to be everywhere across the West these days. American politics has notoriously been plagued for decades by divisive conflicts over guns, abortion, and gay marriage (now replaced by the exotic trans phenomenon). Europe is also no stranger to such conflicts, whether within or between countries, though in the postwar era these appeared somewhat subdued.

In France, in vitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood will attract the ire of conservative groups, considering such measures unnatural or threatening to the family. There is also growing conflict between French liberal-secular culture and the practices of Muslim immigrants, whether over headscarves, burqas, public religious practice, or sexual segregation.

Between the countries of the European Union, there is an increasingly sharp clash between those Central Europeans who still believe in traditional marriage and the ethnic basis of the nation, and Western Europeans who want to impose a new vision of society under the banner of newly-conceived human rights.

What is the meaning of such conflicts? In no case can the discussion be rational. Cold reason can never move the masses or even be the main driver of any really dedicated movement.

What is the source of such conflicts? Different populations within a society become emotionally attached to various symbols and fight to impose these in the public space. The populations in question can be geographical (urban vs. rural), generational (old vs. young), ethnic (especially for immigrants hailing from very different cultures than the natives), or even cognitive (across our societies political polarization is often predicted by different levels of education).

These populations create subcultures that resonate with themselves through their interaction, lifestyle, and cultural institutions (schools, academia, media). The latter may explain the severity of culture wars in the United States: America has long been big enough to sustain different television stations catering to liberal and conservative sensibilities; this media pluralism thus heightening the polarization of the population. In Europe, national television has tended to be officially non-partisan and thus better able to sustain a kind of social consensus.

In recent years, polarization between educated elites and the popular masses has tended to increase and social media has contributed to an outright fragmentation of the population into innumerable subcultures (from alt-right nationalism to furry fandom).

Democratic politicians, being motivated to win elections, everywhere capitalize on culture wars so as to mobilize voters.

Conservative culture wars are essentially defensive in nature. People grow up with certain things being a given – say, marriage between a man and women, White England, or no Islam in schools – and are shocked when these symbols of wholesome normality are violated. This is the politics of nostalgia and, however healthy such reactions might be, they are essentially negative – defined by what they are against, not what they are for – and tend to lose in the end.

By contrast, progressive culture wars are not rooted in how things were in the past but in new lifestyles and new cultural movements. The new cultural imperatives are typically promoted in a top-down manner by certain left-wing or ethnic elites; but it is also natural enough that young people with a completely different way of life should chafe at the norms and constraints of the past. Traditional cultures emerge in a context of high infant mortality, low life expectancy, lifelong hard labor, and severe economic and other insecurity. The values emerging from and suitable for eighteenth-century French peasants will not necessarily be appropriate for or resonate with functionarized office workers.

Many culture war issues are inherently biopolitical and have profound effects on humanity’s evolutionary future, above all through demographic and reproductive patterns.

Today’s liberal and conservative culture warriors rarely think in evolutionary terms. Liberal dogmas are essentially predicated on the protection of perceived victims (women, ethnic and sexual minorities) and their various rights (both in terms of autonomy and entitlements). Christian conservatives have their own imperatives essentially deriving from the traditional doctrines of their religion (against abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage, etc) justified not by reason but the perceived will of God.

Some conservatives are somewhat consciously biopolitical, insofar as they are opposing immigration to maintain their ethny’s predominance in their territory or promoting fertility to sustain national power.

In the cases of liberals and religious conservatives, acts are judged as moral or immoral in themselves. Rarely is a culture war issue judged by the outcomes of this or that policy.

In the ancient republican tradition, best articulated by Aristotle, biopolitics is a fundamental duty of the State according to the following imperatives: that the people perpetuate itself through begetting children, that these children be bred and educated to the highest standards possible, that the society have the right-sized population (neither underpopulated nor overpopulated), and that the society have the common identity necessary to solidarity. The ancient Aristotelian biopolitical tradition harmonizes wonderfully with the modern Darwinian one.

By these criteria, policies and customs should also be judged according to their biological effects. On immigration for instance, Aristotle considered that immigrants should be received insofar as they harmoniously assimilate into the society. Plato went further, prescribing that subversive and divisive elements of the population should be purged through mass expulsion.

Evolutionary nationalists tend to be sympathetic to conservative political movements.

It is obvious that conservative politics almost everywhere is implicitly ethnic, that is, tends to appeal to the historic majority population. Conservative French presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy for instance campaigned on issues of French identity – banning headscarves in schools, fighting (Afro-Islamic) crime, and so on – because they knew these would appeal to native French voters. Right-wing voters’ culturally conservative and ethnic instincts favoring their own people and culture are evidently grounded in psychological mechanisms that emerged throughout our evolutionary history characterized by frequent tribal warfare. Tribes that favored their own people and culture, those for whom this emotionally resonated, tended to outcompete those that did not.

Certain conservative policies are explicitly demographic, such as opposition to immigration and support for higher fertility. But that is just about where the evolutionary relevance of conservative politics ends. The ethnic instinct will not necessarily actually adaptive ends, especially in a modern context very different from that in which we evolved. Right-wing voters’ conservative-ethnic instincts may have evolved to help defend and sustain their tribe, but these sentiments often become focalized on symbolic historic attachments or are outright deviated by media-political elites towards inane causes.

https://twitter.com/GuiDurocher/status/1359922565880434688

Similarly, while liberals generally support the diversification of the West, they sometimes support policies, for other reasons, that support white majorities.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: Abortion, Eugenics, Genetics, IQ 
Audrey Pulvar’s Racialist Move Is Backed by Left-Wing Parties and Media

The times they are a changin’.

Just last week I wrote that “we are witnessing a racialization of French politics as increasingly colorful and woke youths reject the old generation’s quaint commitment to colorblind secularism as the bedrock of national identity.”

The latest sign of this is provided by Audrey Pulvar, a prominent TV journalist of Afro-Caribbean descent who recently switched to a career in left-wing racial politics as the deputy-mayor of Paris.

Appearing on the popular TV station BFM, the Afro-Socialist politician had this exchange:

Pulvar: That people who are discriminated against for the same reasons and in the same way feel the need to meet together to be able to talk about it, that doesn’t shock me deeply depending on how it’s done. . . . I prefer meetings “reserved for” [a group] than meetings “forbidden to” [another group].

Journalist: You’re playing on words, this amounts to the same thing . . .

Pulvar: If there is a workshop on discrimination against black or mixed-race people, or black or mixed-race women, something tells me that 90% to 99% of the participants, spontaneously, will be the people concerned. If a white man or white woman happens to come to this workshop, I would tend to say that we shouldn’t throw them out, but we can ask them to be quiet. We can ask them to be a silent spectator.

The discussion was held in the context of controversy over coloreds-only meetings being held in French universities by the country’s leading student union (UNEF).

Pulvar was roundly criticized by conservative and nationalist politicians for these comments, with Marine Le Pen calling on prosecutors to investigate the politician of color for incitement to racial discrimination. Jordan Bardella, a nationalist Member of the European Parliament, denounced the Parisian left’s “hatred of whites.”

Politicians across the left however backed Pulvar’s racialist discourse, including her own Socialist Party and the far-left Clémentine Autain and Jean-Luc Mélenchon. This marks a drastic racial radicalization of the left in France: as recently as 2017, Mélenchon opposed such coloreds-only meetings.

Mélenchon said at the time: “I am totally opposed to this kind of event. I am shocked by the very idea that people hold racialized meetings. I do not believe in the existence of races and I think human beings are all the same and that a difference of skin color or hair does not break our similarity.”

As recently as 2017, Pulvar’s current superior, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, also opposed an “Afro-feminist festival” which would have had some blacks-only workshops. Meanwhile Le Monde has been providing fawning coverage of Pulvar.

This kind of open racial politics is a novelty in the mainstream French left. Previously, such rhetoric had been the preserve of marginal activists like Houria Bouteldja, an Algerian whose “anti-colonial” group, the perversely-named Party of the Indigenous peoples of the Republic (PIR), seeks to eliminate all barriers to immigration and deconstruct France’s identity and way of life. In Bouteldja’s estimation, immigrants should be under no obligation whatsoever to adapt to, let alone “assimilate” to, French society. Bouteldja referred to indigenous Frenchm people as “souchiens,” a diminutive of “Français de souche” (French-by-descent) which also sounds like “sub-dogs.”

Algerian “anti-colonial” activist Houria Bouteldja
Algerian “anti-colonial” activist Houria Bouteldja

Activists like Bouteldja did not face much persecution as long as they avoided aggressive anti-Zionism – she herself was happily employed at the government-run Arab World Institute. But when allowed on television, Bouteldja was treated as something like a punching bag whose “communitarianism” the mainstream participants could denounce together. Today, Bouteldja’s racialism is now officially embraced across the French far-left and center-left.

Personally, I am not against coloreds-only meetings as such. The problem is in the hypocrisy of the motive and the lack of reciprocity. There is no doubt that the left would reject ever granting indigenous Europeans the same right. What’s more, it’s perfectly understandable that blacks and Arabs would want to have meetings for themselves. That is perfectly natural for the members of any self-respecting race or ethny. But why hypocritically couch such racial meetings as a response to discrimination, that is to say white malfeasance?

No, Audrey Pulvar, own up to your racial activism and I am sure we will find a solution amenable to everyone and where indeed you’ll never have chance to be oppressed by white folk again.

This is a good a time as any to recall that Audrey Pulvar had recently wished the French Communist Party a happy 100th birthday as “a great party which has so counted in the history of emancipation.” She is now also pushing trans activism as the latest progressive crusade.

Indeed, uber-gentrified Paris is currently governed by a Socialist-Green-Communist coalition with strong Zionist, Afro-racialist, and feminist tendencies. Not only should one have privilege and power, but one must also be acknowledged as the victims, as the moral betters of one’s opponents, all the while having absolutely no consistent principles of government nor any courage to oppose, as the egalitarian left normally would, the ethno-state of Israel’s decades-long occupation of Arab lands and disenfranchisement of the Palestinians.

Une synthèse !

 

Time and again, we are somberly warned of the grave threat to democracy posed by Marine Le Pen as the leader of a quasi-fascistic party, the National Rally (Rassemblement National or RN). Yet, what the French politico-media class seems to fear most is a bit of genuine democracy, unmediated by slippery politicians and smarmy journalists.

Le Pen recently announced that her first measure if elected Présidente – an increasingly-plausible scenario – would be the holding of a “great referendum” on immigration. She told France Inter radio:

My first decision will be the organization of a referendum on immigration. Because it’s now been decades that the various governments have been taking decisions on immigration without the French people ever being heard or questioned on this topic. According to opinion polls the French people has disagreed for decades with the policy that is being conducted on immigration.

Le Pen was somewhat vague on the content of the referendum, mentioning “several questions” that would be posed, including presumably one on the FN/RN’s years-old signature promise: a reduction of net immigration to a quasi-negligible 10,000 per year.

She also presented two other main planks. One is the partial suspension of the Schengen Agreement, which ensures check-free circulation between EU countries, to longer apply to non-EU nationals. Somehow French borders would have to be tightly monitored for non-EU nationals while letting European citizens through. How this would be done is unclear, but in any case it’s very common for national governments to temporarily/semi-permanently reinstitute border checks despite their Schengen commitments.

The last plank would be a tax break for the “middle classes.” Le Pen’s economic policy, once defined by a protectionist and anti-EU social nationalism, now seems decidedly fluctuous.

In other news, the liberal-globalist establishment paper Le Monde is really fretting about a potential Le Pen win.

According to several polls, around half of left-wing voters (defined as those voting for the hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the center-left Anne Hidalgo, or the Green Yannick Jadot) would abstain from voting in the event of a Le Pen-Macron second round presidential election. The paper claims that voters are less likely to see in Le Pen a fascist menace and many are tired/disgusted of voting for Macron, “president of the rich,” as a lesser evil.

What’s more, the French left is extraordinarily divided with currently around a dozen candidates. Le Monde laments these “kamikaze” candidates make a Le Pen-Macron runoff more likely and, naturally, urges in an editorial for a revival of the “republican front” to disenfranchise and exclude nationalist voters through a cartel of all the other parties.

Finally, we are witnessing a racialization of French politics as increasingly colorful and woke youths reject the old generation’s quaint commitment to colorblind secularism as the bedrock of national identity.

Controversy is now focused on France’s main student union, the National Union of Students of France (UNEF), has been openly organizing coloreds-only meetings so participants can talk about their feelings without the oppressive glare of white people. There is talk of defunding or even abolishing the union, but it is being backed by various left-wing leaders like Mélenchon and the Socialist Benoît Hamon, who are increasingly giving up on the principles of the secular colorblind left.

Ethnic and religious polarization provides fertile ground for Le Pen. If she wins, appeal to direct democracy seems like a worthy gambit. Referenda are a regular feature of democratic life in neighboring Switzerland and have ensured that the Swiss people actually have some say over their national destiny. The British referendum on leaving the European Union – whatever one thinks of that – has ultimately been acted upon despite the kicking and screaming tantrums of vast swathes of the establishment and traditionally-dominant “educated” strata of the population.

While there are natural risks of misfire, the referendum is a powerful means for Le Pen to appeal to yellow-vest voters and sanctify policies with the blessing of the Popular Will. There is no surer way of blowing through the inevitable and systemic attempts at sabotage by the legacy politico-media class. En avant !

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: France, Immigration, Marine Le Pen 
A review of For a European Awakening

Olivier Echeinlaub (ed.), Pour un Réveil européen: Nature – Excellence – Beauté (Paris: La Nouvelle Librairie).

In Europe today, it is easy to fall into permanent numbness amidst the omnipresent falsehoods, frivolousness, and slouching. That makes it all the more remarkable when one encounters some who resist, some who hold to an ethos, to the legacy of an entire civilization . . . an invigorating oasis in the most sterile spiritual desert.

Thus I came across this remarkable little book by the Iliade Institute, “For a European Awakening,” with contributions from over a dozen French activists fighting for the cause of indigenous Europeans and their exceptional civilization. The book is part of Iliade’s growing collection of attractive paperbacks for the European wishing to reconnect with his roots and look to the future without flinching, covering issues as varied as European identity, poetry, demonization by the media, the Middle Ages, and the European dimensions of Shakespeare and Nietzsche.

The authors include a wide variety of contributors from the French identitarian cultural ecosystem, including teachers and university professors, historians, book and magazine editors, PhD students and graduates, and the occasional high civil servant and corporate manager. Among them we have the philosopher Alain de Benoist, Iliade co-founder Jean-Yves Le Gallou, and the young Thibaud Cassel, an alumnus of the European institutions.

The book represents an ethical synthesis, almost a manifesto, of what we might indeed call the Iliadic or Vennerian school of French identitarianism. The collection seeks to give intellectual and practical answers to the question: How is a self-respecting European to behave today? The work is organized according to the three Iliadic slogans:

  • Nature as foundation.
  • Excellence as goal.
  • Beauty as horizon.

The result is an impressive medley of essays on topics as varied as economics, urban development, environmentalism, spirituality, work, and political philosophy.

The Iliadic school emphatically affirms the spiritual continuity of European civilization, from the ancient Greeks through the Romans and medieval Europeans right up to the moderns. One can rightly ask: Is there really such a Tradition – and not a fundamental instability – in European history? And anyway what of this survives among the rapidly declining, sad, and squishy Europeans of today? What commonality is there between the Greek explorer-pirate and citizen-soldier, the Roman farmer-legionnaire, the Christian knight or monk, the early-modern scientific and world-conquerors and . . . the European of today – the less said about which the better? What is really left of the mos maiorum, the ancestral traditions that sustained our societies?

Iliade does not propose a return to any particular tradition – Stoic, Christian, or other – but a kind of general elevated ethos drawing from Europe’s varied spiritual roots. One may deem it post-Nietzschean or neoclassical. At bottom, it is an elitist, aristocratic ethos challenging us to achieve individual excellence within an organic community, guided by the Hellenic trifecta of Nature, Excellence, and Beauty.

In terms of politics, there is a muscular rejection of the social contract, in favor of an Aristotelian vision of flourishing grounded in human nature, that of, inter alia, a social, spiritual, unequal, intergenerational, and hereditary animal. Hence a decidedly particularistic and biocentric worldview: “Ethos does not mean for the Greeks a universal morality founded on the opposition between good and evil: ethics is the way in which beings bear themselves in the face of the world over the course of their usual sojourn. The ethos of a people draws its roots from a tradition and rests on transmission” (147).

The basic fact of continuity with ancestral tradition lies in human nature. Indeed, we need “a realistic conception of human nature . . . based on the teachings of ancient wisdom bolstered by the discoveries of modern European science” (p. 31). Iliade happily integrates the latest biological science – the Anglo-Americans have long had a much stronger empirical tradition – into a very French intellectual tradition of deep knowledge of history and philosophy. Indeed, the reader gets something of a crash course in Greek and Roman ethical terminology, with ample references not only to French authors, but also and especially to great German thinkers (Schmitt, Jünger, Hölderlin, Heidegger . . .).

The historian Henri Levavasseur admirably sums up the insane hubris of the blank-slatist emancipatory project against human nature:

In the name of the struggle against all forms of discrimination, the advocates of the “blank slate” are determined to deconstruct the classic anthropological categories. They want to definitively impose, first through media and social pressure, then through judicial and State coercion, a “fluid” model of identity, meant to replace “natural” families and nations, entities considered to be oppressive or outdated. In this view, the sovereign individual must be able to choose its identity in complete autonomy: the social order has no other role than guaranteeing the existence of this free choice. . . . This deathly ideology however is crashing against the wall of reality . . . (p. 32)

This vision applies naturally to nations – considered as nothing more than contractual economic spaces – and, in horrifyingly surreal fashion, to biological sex itself. The result however of going so brutally against the grain of human nature is merely ugliness, sickness, and chaos, as witnessed by the perpetual ethnic strife of multicultural nations.

The revolt against identity – the last constraint – seems to flow quite naturally from the general collapse of behavioral standards since the Second World War, what we might call the Great Slouching:

Though it may seem difficult to establish objective criteria of “conduct” [tenue], everyone can instinctively define what must be rejected: unkemptness, vulgarity, slackness. The latter takes various forms: slackness of the body (flabbiness or exhibitionism), of behavior (lack of self-control, neglect of rules of courtesy), of the spirit (intellectual laziness, conformism), or of the soul (loss of a sense of honor, lack of courage or lack of faithfulness to one’s principles). (p. 152)

This ethical collapse naturally coincided with and entrenched Europe’s cultural and geopolitical collapse. The historian Philippe Conrad observes: “The ‘dark Twentieth Century’ witnessed global power’s center of gravity move to North America, itself bearing a new model of civilization, initially inspired by Wilsonian universalism and liberal illusions” (p. 8). Europe’s decline was aggravated by societal liberalism, most spectacularly expressed in France with the May ‘68 protests, a decline only partially masked by ongoing technological progress.

 
The Revolution Eats Its Own in Paris City Hall

A strange phenomenon in postmodern life is the schizophrenic attitude towards differences between men and women. On the one hand, our culture denies that there are any significant psychological differences between men and women which might explain the radically different preferences of the sexes in many sectors.

If virtually all UberEats food delivery bikers are men and virtually all nursery caregivers are women, this is certainly not the product of differing psychology and physiology (indeed, such notions are oppressive stereotypes), but purely because men and women have been socialized differently since infancy. More to the point, any under-representation of women in some prestigious and influential sector – politics, tech, universities – cannot be justified on this basis.

Conversely, feminists will sometimes argue that women bring unique added value because of their differences from men. We have often heard the argument, well-grounded or not, that women-led nations did better during the COVID crisis. This is a socially acceptable argument to make, while naturally any claim that men might be better suited to any prestigious role will lead to immediate professional termination.

Personally, I believe such double standards themselves stem from the differences of male and female psychology in humans. Two studies found that girls are more egalitarian than boys as early as four years old:

In Study 1 we compared the egalitarian behavior and attitudes of American girls versus boys by tabulating the extent to which each gender awarded the same number of stickers to, and liked to the same degree, two puppets. One puppet followed the child’s instructions or actions while the other did not during a drawing task in which the child played the roles of leader and peer. In the peer role, girls exhibited more egalitarian behavior than boys. In Study 2, French‐Canadian children were shown two drawings by unknown peers—one messily and one neatly colored—, then asked to distribute stickers to each peer’s drawing. Again, girls exhibited more egalitarian behavior than boys. Results suggest the origins of gender differences in egalitarian behavior occur early in life and merit further investigation.

This basic egalitarian tendency – to favor equal outcomes regardless of objective performance – seems to me to underpin a tremendous amount of today’s political correctness. Our societies are being simultaneously feminized, demasculinized (witness the declining sperm counts, testosterone, and muscle mass of today’s males), and infantilized. This appears to be the product of the combination of soft living enabled by the postwar Affluent Society and the steady ratcheting up of egalitarian ideology in the media and academia (a significantly self-reinforcing dynamic).

The now firmly-entrenched West-European Nanny State reproduces in many respects the matriarchal psychology and totalitarian ethics of Kindergarten: one must submit completely, one must say or do nothing that would hurt the feelings (let alone harm the interests) of any child, and everyone will be taken care of. In this scenario however, the helpless “children” to be protected come to encompass every real or imagined victim group: people of color, sexual minorities, migrants, and, of course, women. In this context, frankness of speech is completely devalued and indeed subject to extreme social ostracism.

Hence a spectacular self-reinforcing dynamic: the more power women acquire, the more our societies emphatically affirm that women are oppressed. Government and private institutions across the Western world are adopting ever-more systematic “positive discrimination” in favor of women: women-only training programs (especially in STEM) and, especially, quotas for female management. Actually, we no longer live in times virile enough to even recognize the discriminatory nature (“positive” or otherwise) of these programs.

In all this, the objective facts of biology are of no import. It matters not that sex differences in brain structure are well documented, as are massive sex differences in preferences (e.g. David Buss), largely in accord with what we expect for men and women’s vastly different reproductive incentives over our evolutionary history. Men would thrive or die according to their fighting ability in coalitions with other men. A particularly successful man might have dozens of children, while many would have none at all. Reproductively successful women by contrast would spend much of their life pregnant or caring for children, with absolutely no reason for her to have any particular appetite for risk.

Today, this evolutionary history would naturally explain why men are more violent than women by an order of magnitude, why men are far more prone to risky behavior (dangerous driving, stunts, heavy drinking . . . take your pick), but also why men are far more likely to engage in the risky business of becoming entrepreneurs and founders of start-ups. Most men are not particularly successful, but a few have the talent, drive, and luck to break through with a Star Wars, an Apple, or a SpaceX. Once the business is well established, the assorted naggers line up to redistribute the wealth. The dynamic is identical to a wife’s nagging her breadwinning husband to redistribute resources in the form of a family vacation (documented in photos to demonstrate social status to peers) or expensive private education for the children. The only difference is that the latter is comparatively legitimate.

Naturally there will be both cultural and biological components to observed sex differences – and, pointedly, the biological component will inevitably to some extent also produce cultural tendencies towards such differences – but the idea that these differences are purely cultural is absurd.

The City of Paris offers a unique perspective on France’s feminist future. Paris proper represents the urban core of 2.15 million inhabitants. That’s the famously gentrified and exorbitantly overpriced Disney Land familiar to numberless tourists from across the world. If President Emmanuel Macron represents mildly autistic entrepreneurial pure globalism, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo represents the trend of multicultural matriarchal social-democracy.

In a telling manifestation of the schizophrenia at the heart of moneyed globalism, Paris – a city unaffordable to working people, not least because of mass property investment by moneyed interests the world over from Emirati princelings to Russian oligarchs and African dictators – is governed by a Socialist-Green-Communist coalition.

Hidalgo’s deputy, the “ecofeminist” black former journalist Audrey Pulvar, hailed the hundredth anniversary of the French Communist Party saying: “This great party has counted for so much in the history of emancipation and the conquest of workers’ rights… the caricature which it sometimes subjected to does not resist to an examination of the facts.” Thus was celebrated a century of sterile totalitarian tyranny and mass-murder.

This is indicative of the structural left-wing bias of the French democratic system. While Communists co-rule in Paris, any conservative politicians suggesting alliances with nationalists will be marginalized, demonized, and effectively eliminated. And this is despite the fact that the Front/Rassemblement National has no clear relationship, let alone a filiation, with the authoritarian right-wing régimes of the 1930s and 1940s.

 
• Category: Ideology, Science • Tags: Feminism, France, Paris, Political Correctness 

This time, it’s for real!

Earlier this year, the French press released the results of a super-secret survey which found that, if forced to choose between nationalist leader Marine Le Pen and worn-out centrist-globalist President Emmanuel Macron, 48% would vote for Marine to lead their country.

Never has any Le Pen been reported to be within striking range of victory in this way. The pollsters claim that Le Pen’s score is explained by her securing of about one third of the center-right electorate and the mass abstention of left-wing voters who might normally vote for Macron to “bar the way to fascism.”

It’s hard to gauge how accurate the poll is. For one, the detailed results remain unpublished and the margin of error for second-round presidential polling is high. A June 2020 poll found that in a similar scenario 45% would vote for Le Pen and 55% for Macron. That’s still a loser, but far ahead of Le Pen’s actual electoral score from 2017: a disappointing 33.9%.

Perhaps Le Pen’s progress is indeed explicable with what Le Monde calls her permanent normalization”: she is perpetually moderating her discourse and sending signals to make herself more “presidentiable” in the eyes of the mainstream media and skittish center-right voters (think pensioners and bourgeois Catholics disturbed by Afro-Islamization, but also wary of the potential instability and incompetence of a Le Pen presidency, particularly in the economic sphere).

Le Pen’s closer advisor and brother-in-law Philippe Olivier says: “There is no more detoxification, now is the time of presidentialization.”

The moves towards normalization include praise for Charles de Gaulle (loathed by Le Pen père for his abandonment of the 1 million Europeans of French Algeria), the commemoration of the victims of the Vel d’Hiv, agreeing with the media that the Great Replacement” is a baseless conspiracy, and providing only qualified support for the persecuted group Generation Identity on grounds of free speech.

A sign of Le Pen’s attempt to break out of the “far-right” ghetto and join forces with the mainstream right: three heads of regional lists on the National Rally (RN) ticket are not RN members (the ecological essayist Hervé Juvin and the conservative politicians Jean-Paul Garaud and Thierry Mariani).

Le Pen no longer calls for the abrogation of the Schengen Area of free movement within the European Union, but only that non-EU nationals would be checked at France’s borders with European neighbors (how that would be done is unclear). Talk of leaving the euro common currency and restoring the franc are long-gone. In a recent op-ed in L’Opinion, apparently ghostwritten by high civil servants supporting the RN, Le Pen argues that studiously repaying national debt is a point of honor and morality.

In a debate with Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, the Macronist even sought to attack Le Pen from the right saying: “you’re practically soft now.” Indeed, Le Pen now is very careful to distinguish between Islam and Islamism. Islam is “a religion like any other” with its place in France, she says, reserving her trademark “far-right” rhetorical fury for the government’s failure to eliminate “Islamism.”

All this begs the questions: Is a Le Pen victory plausible? Does it even matter at this point?

From a purely tactical point of view, whatever the complaining of dissident nationalists, I have to say Marine Le Pen is broadly right. Yes, her dutiful submission to “house-training” by the media is disgusting and dishonorable. However, assuming one wants a shot at winning, there is not much alternative given France’s electoral setup.

France does not have proportional representation like in Italy – where it can pay to have a nationalist position appealing to only a part of the electorate – but a winner-take-all-system. You simply cannot afford to alienate 51% of voters, even if 25% love you for it.

But France also does not have a purely bipolar political system like the United States, where a Donald Trump could sweep to victory by first taking over the mainstream conservative party and then crafting a message to appeal to almost-half of voters. Le Pen’s game is not to take over a conservative party but to make her historically oppositional nationalist party into a default party of government.

Are the polls credible? A first point: one should not take anything the media says at face value. They make their living by the sensationalism of cultural street-walkers. The media has for decades had a symbiotic love-hate relationship with the Le Pens: at once giving them a voice and tantalizingly suggesting the possibility of a salutary/horrifying nationalist victory (ratings!), while also viciously defaming and demonizing them, in line with the media’s role as the Guardians of Morality. Call it the forty-year cocktease.

Personally, I am skeptical of a Le Pen victory, but I have been wrong before. French voter preferences really are very stable on the whole and the RN (former FN)/Le Pen brand is nothing if not established and polarizing. I don’t see what has changed in the last five years (as opposed to the last 40) to change a critical percentage of voters’ minds. Then again, I am not a formerly apolitical gilet-jaune prole, nor a bourgeois Catholic pensioner. Perhaps some of these groups are more open to Le Pen now, and some leftists will be so disgusted with the Macron presidency as to not vote for him to block “fascism.” But I find that hard to believe.

More prosaically, Le Pen regularly tops the charts of negative approval ratings, with ~47-51% of French people having a negative opinion of her. Although, admittedly, there has been improval of her net negative rating from -34% in January 2020 to -26% in February 2021.

Who knows! A lot could happen, or not happen, between now and April 2022. French national politics has gone from a stable bipolar system to an incoherent winner-take-all toss-up for whichever personality can win at a particular moment every five years, the whole system readjusting according to that personality’s party, with no coherent opposition. Far-left, Green, Socialist, conservative, nationalist, and centrist-globalist candidates all could plausibly make the second round. And the outcome of the second round cannot be foreseen with great confidence.

Another question: would a Le Pen victory even matter? The 2010s feel like a different era, the heady years of the euro-financial crisis and the migrant crisis, when our governments’ hapless flailing made it seem the whole liberal-globalist order was on the verge of collapse.

 

As our world tumbles forth towards ever-more-previously-inconceivable levels of absurdity, you better learn to laugh or you’ll be crying all day.

The latest example is the move by the French government to ban Generation Identity (GI), a civil society movement opposing immigration and defending native European culture. GI had just executed one of its trademark direct actions in the Pyrenees, with a few dozen activists patrolling the Franco-Spanish with vehicles and drones to identify illegal immigrants and report them to the police.

The government no doubt considers the ban to be part of a balancing act: as legislation is being passed to eliminate “separatism” within the Muslim community, so Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin considers that native French “separatists” embodied by GI must also be eliminated. But what does the use of authoritarian measures against Muslims and Europeans, who each want to live in their own way, say about France’s multicultural future?

While GI is being dissolved for opposing illegal immigration, those enabling this criminal behavior have been fêted by the cultural class (the most prominent being lawbreaker Cédric Herrou’s glamorous reception at the Cannes Film Festival, pictured above). More recently, several Green members of parliament went to the Franco-Italian border to help illegal immigrants dodge the police and find safe houses. Though the police encountered the politicians and were suspicious, the Greens faced no repercussions.

Generation Identity anti-illegal immigration operation at the Pyrenees.
Generation Identity anti-illegal immigration operation at the Pyrenees.

For what it’s worth, there is a significant chance that a court will eventually annul GI’s dissolution. After all, the group was threatened with massive fines and imprisonment for a similar anti-illegal immigration action in the Alps but a court of appeals cleared them of any wrongdoing last December.

At the head of this circus is President Emmanuel Macron, himself a notoriously slippery figure, a “young and dynamic” hardcore globalist who will both make extreme attacks on the very notion on French identity and entertain a subtle but quite real dialogue with forbidden right-wing ideas and media.

Macron’s tic-like use of the expression “en même temps” (at the same time) has become something of a running gag: thus the president thoughtfully enunciates both sides of an issue, studiously avoiding pinning himself to anything. He recently told the Guardian: “I believe in continental [European] sovereignty, I believe in the Nation-States, I do not believe in neo-nationalism.”

Macron wants to be the president of all Frenchmen and colorful neo-Frenchmen. This extends, it must be said, to alienated nationalist voters. He will give interviews to “far-right” magazines like Valeurs Actuelles. He telephoned Éric Zemmour, the Sephardic intellectual who is the most “nationalist” voice on French television, after the latter had been verbally abused on the street by a Muslim.

He’ll even cite Charles Maurras, the archetypal French nationalist intellectual of late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (equal parts anti-Judaic and anti-Germanic), to explain citizens’ alienation: there is too great a chasm between le pays légal (the legal country, i.e. the politico-legal apparatus) and le pays réel (the real country). A Macron aide was also criticized for meeting with Marion Maréchal (formerly Le Pen), Marine Le Pen’s popular niece. All this may seem insignificant but causes real consternation and hostility among the self-appointed guardians of morality in the media.

Last December, Macron gave a qualified defense of Maurras and the war hero-cum-collaborationist Marshal Philippe Pétain in an interview with the magazine L’Express:

I fight with the greatest strength anti-Semitism and racism, I have fought all of Maurras’ anti-Semitic ideas, but it is absurd to say that Maurras must no longer exist. I built myself on hatred and rejection of the spirit of defeat [of 1940] and the anti-Semitism of Pétain, but I cannot deny that he was the hero of 1918 and a great soldier. One should be able to say it. Because of the society of indignation, which is often a mere posture, we no longer look into to the nuance of history [les plis de l’Histoire] and we simplify everything.

Very sensible words. Macron has also explicitly warned against importing American cancel culture and racial grievance politics.

En même temps, in a breakthrough interview with the hip new globo-homo online media Brut, Macron sought to please this audience with a new plan to rename French streets with “300 to 500 names . . . stemming from our [Afro-Islamic] neighborhoods or immigration.” The “heroes” of “a whole part of our Black, Maghrebi youth” have not been “recognized.” Thus must the demographic Great Replacement of the indigenous French population logically be accompanied by a cultural Great Effacement of the physical symbols of the indigenous people. Macron has also acknowledged the existence of “white privilege.”

We also witnessed the strange spectacle of the President of the French Republic interfering in the U.S. electoral process following the Capitol Hill occupation, with a pious statement in front of . . . an American flag.

One could reasonably conclude Macron is a cipher. On one level, he is unafraid to engage with politically incorrect ideas (witness his repeated calls for dramatic action to be taken to reduce Africa’s birth rates). As a politician, he embodies a longstanding French executive tradition of trying to go beyond the left-right divide. In this instance, however, Macron wishes to fuse the eminently national French republican tradition with . . . today’s ethnomasochist, anti-borders, nation-wrecking left.

Ultimately, the patterns of postwar French history have been remarkably stable, notwithstanding a few great spasms (Algerian War-Gaullism-May ‘68, triumph of the Left in 1981). One may say that Charles de Gaulle and François Mitterrand made (semi-)serious attempts to inflect French history in certain directions, but overall the head of State, whatever his personal qualities, presiding over these processes seems to scarcely matter at all.

The tendencies will deepen and the absurdities amplify further, much further. We are only scratching the surface. To convince yourself, consider the dreams – self-evident and non-negotiable – of the Green-Pink-Red coalition governing the City of Paris . . . The ride has only just begun!

 
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