❝Be partial… Hold a prejudice in favour of the wife against the husband; the child against the father; the debtor against the creditor; the worker against the employer; the injured against the offender’s insurance company; the sick against the Social Security; the thief against the police; the plaintiff against the judiciary.❞ Thus the “harangue of Oswald Baudot”, one of the youthful soixante-huitard “red judges” of the Syndicat de la magistrature [Judges’ Union], whose ideology, distributed as common currency during the upheaval of 1968, still drives the alliance between media and judiciary in contemporary France. The case of François Fillon, former prime minister and candidate for Les Républicains at the presidential election of 2017, provides the most egregious recent confirmation of the alliance’s ability to strike decisively. As in chess, there are configurations in which white wins against any defence. Fillon was of course playing black: too conservative, too catholic. Then came the torpedo from Le Canard enchaîné…
CICERO MAGAZINE : Mass production and the mass-media raise kitsch to the level of æsthetic criterion for our society. Politics can’t escape it either. Its kitsch is moralistic. We must simply be in favour of peace and justice. It costs nothing, and makes us feel good.
Pictured: Greens MP and Vice-President of the Bundestag, Claudia Roth (left, in case there were any doubt), at the Berlin Christopher Street Day. Continue reading “Political Kitsch”
FIGAROVOX/INTERVIEW : For the philosopher, Pascal Bruckner, the concept of ‘Islamophobia’ is “a weapon of mass intimidation” whose twin objectives are to gag the West and hobble reformist and liberal muslims. Continue reading “First Control The Vocabulary”
If the breath of life could be cornered, it would go the way of the other commons: clinging to the hands of private interests. Media oligarchs have made similar attempts to privatise public opinion. Why exercise the faculties of thought and judgement when the makers of ersatz opinion are there with a ready product? The ❛Party of the Media❜ is relentless in its attempt to seize the democratic commons of public debate, then sell it back to voters in the form of a cut lunch. So it was, before Brexit, before Donald Trump, and now before the trouncing of the media favourite, Alain Juppé, in the first round of the French primary to select a presidential candidate for the Right and the Centre. On all three occasions, the media’s instructions were ignored and the pollsters cuckolded. It must by now be obvious that it is a citizen’s democratic duty to lie convincingly to pollsters, and if possible to put them out of business, because their only function in elections is to pervert the expression of the public will.
Maxime Tandonnet, a former advisor to Nicolas Sarkozy, comments on M. Fillon’s ❛surprise❜ success in Le Figaro.
It’s interesting that FIGAROVOX introduces François Fillon as le Sarthois, a reference to his origins in the department of the Sarthe in north-west France. We are unlikely to see a gauchiste newspaper evoke domesticity in this way, as the Left regards such notions of home and origin as somehow subversive. And with good reason: they are conservative and discriminatory concepts, with no place in Utopia.
The important thing about Michel Houellebecq is his part in liberating French intellectuals from the New Terror of the socialist media and, since 2012, the governing Parti socialiste: that is, those intellectuals who wished to be freed. What they can practically do with their new freedom remains to be seen, as demographic change in Europe continues to bulldoze nice philosophical categories, precisely as outlined in Houellebecq’s novel, Soumission [Submission].
Houellebecq was recently in Berlin to receive a literary prize. His acceptance speech was delivered in French, but The Europeans, having been unable to locate a transcript, has provided here a translation from the Neue Zürcher Zeitung‘s German version. In other words, the text — an abridged version of the speech — has been laundered twice: with what result, the reader will judge. We learn most, of course, when authors speak for themselves, outside of their writerly personæ, and that is why the present labour has been undertaken.
Submission was, and is, important because it was not to much launched, as detonated. It still reverberates throughout French intellectual and media circles, with little fumaroles of outrage appearing here and there in the landscape. What fun it must have been, to crack so many heads.
Jean-Pierre Chevènement has been appointed president of the now revived Foundation for Islam, charged with the formidable task of constructing an Islam that is not just in France, but also of France. Here, Laurent Bouvet in Le Figaro defends Chevènement against the charge that he is innocent of all connection with the French muslim community, and therefore unqualified for the job. Continue reading “The Clientelism of The Antiracist Left”
FIGAROVOX : In an extended interview, Brice Couturier, who was host of France Culture’s morning programme for five years, deconstructs the world of the media-intellectual, where pluralism and real debate are in danger of disappearing. Continue reading “The Party of The Media”