Intellectuals of the French Left are, often on their own admission, beginning to look as silly as the postmodernist clique who preferred arcane formulae to clarity of thought and exposition, and with whom they share a revolving door. In any system of rational thought, a proposition is true if it is supported by repeatable observations or rigorous deduction. In the postmodernist system of thought, a proposition is true if at least one poor wretch can be found to believe it. There has of late been a sharp decline in the supply of poor wretches. The Left has been exhausted as much by systematic lying as by hope long overstaying its welcome. What is this exhausted and enervating lie, essentially? It is the doctrinaire liberal lie of the end of history and the irrelevance of geography, both joyfully ceding the stage to the great Integrated Supply Chain that, given total freedom of action, will bless our race with indefinite economic growth, and the general felicity that must go with it…
In this recent piece for Le Figaro, Eugénie Bastié documents the baffled indignation of the French Left-intelligentsia, as they mourn the loss of their most piquant pleasure: moral blackmail. There is a litany of references to writers, political henchmen, and organizations, most of which will be lost on English readers: but they are not essential to the theme. In the age of Google, the reader can follow any of them up if he or she so wishes. A few of the more obscure are explained in the text…
Continue reading “The Exhausted Lie”
It seems self-evident that culture teaches values: not values culture, as might be implied by the political discourse of the West, bereft as it is of all historical perspective. There, human rights recast as universal values have overshadowed any notion of Occidental culture or civilization as anything worth curating, much less preserving intact. Indeed, the word culture barely rates a mention, even as a footnote: except of course as the nullity, multiculturalism, which is dinned daily into every ear. Where national culture comes into conflict with arbitrarily chosen human rights, the latter prevail: except of course when it appears necessary to bomb both of them simultaneously.
The relentless harping on unexplained ‘values’ hides a political vacancy that is yet to be filled. It is a marker for political hypocrisy and Europe’s strategic void. Where there is no strategy (goal), the void is filled by tactics and technocracy (The European Commission). Tactics (“more Europe!”) cannot be passed off indefinitely as strategy. In this interview with Le Figaro, the French writer Robert Redeker sets the record straight on the purpose of politics and education. Needless to say, he mentions no role for the Commission in either.
Continue reading “The Game of Values”
“On the status of women, we cannot compromise. Marianne, the symbol of the Republic, bears her breast because she nourishes the people; she is not veiled because she is free! That’s the Republic! That’s Marianne!” Manuel Valls, political gunslinger, who announced his candidacy for the French presidency yesterday and resigned as prime minister today, is refreshingly scandalous in his selection of socialist taboos for target-practice.
Amongst French socialists, battered and balkanized by interminable feuding and vendetta, the question remains whether he belongs to the Left at all. Ten episodes, any one of which would make him stand far out from the customary users of doublespeak….
Continue reading “Portrait of an Enfant Terrible”
In this year of grand Shakespearean themes, the humiliation of François Hollande repels the gaze as no other. There was no single, richly deserved Nemesis, as was the case with Hillary and Blair; just the utter determination of la Gauche, by a thousand cuts, to render itself ungovernable and so, ungoverning. In the Valhalla-Élysée of last Friday, any lingering illusion of a tameable, ‘broad church’ Left finally disintegrated, when the president scotched his own candidacy for a second five-year term. With this formality removed, the way is now clear for the socialist primary in January. Its manners will be as unrefined as those of the government and party that made it unavoidable, as this piece from Solenn de Royer in Le Figaro explains.
Continue reading “Valhalla-Élysée”