Heute Tolerant, Morgen Fremd

Heute Tolerant, Morgen Fremd

2018-00-00 widgets.001“Tolerant today, strangers in our own country tomorrow. Strong borders. Merkel must go!” In the wake of the ‘BAMF-scandal’, in which asylum applications were improperly approved by the Bremen office of the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge¹, a poll conducted for Cicero Magazin für Politische Kultur shows that a majority of Germans now want a federal Committee of Enquiry into the conduct of migration policy since 2014. Germany’s generous Willkommenskultur — its still-current policy of welcoming migrants — is coming more and more to be seen as ein Luftschloss ohne Ausweg”. A daydream with no exit.

CICERO MAGAZIN FÜR POLITISCHE KULTUR : A majority of Germans want a Committee of Enquiry on refugee policy. That is the finding of an INSA poll undertaken on behalf of Cicero. Even amongst those with a migration background, almost half were in favour.

Continue reading “Heute Tolerant, Morgen Fremd”

The Europeans : The Ideal & The Real

The Europeans : The Ideal & The Real

2018-00-00 widgets.001Was it accident or prescience, that in his celebrated fresco Raffaello Sanzio drapes Plato in red, Aristotle in blue? The lofty but malleable Ideal in disputation with the mysterious Real, which is always economical with the Truth. Flexible theology versus rigid natural law. Sentiment versus observation. The Up There contra The Here, Now & Then. Left versus Right. To borrow a cosmological principle, Raffaello seems to capture the Greek singularity from which European life and culture have flowed ever since in their prodigal variety, building breadth and depth with every century’s turn. The Europeans, to cut the matter short, identifies with Aristotle — while of course remaining in charmed and quizzical contact with the contemporary descendants of his mentor.

1968 En Marche !

1968 En Marche !

2018-00-00 widgets.001Be 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

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The Ethnology of Postmodern Tribes

The Ethnology of Postmodern Tribes

2018-00-00 widgets.001There is no such thing as the non-tribal condition. When postmodern Man boasts of having gone through the process of ‘de-tribalisation’ to become a ‘citizen of the world’, he fails to notice that induction into a different type of tribe is unavoidable: the alternative being cultural statelessness. The new allegiances are drawn along axes other than ethnicity or dependence on one cultural  patrimony or another. The willing, de-tribalised outcast immediately becomes an ‘antifascist’, a ‘feminist’, a radical free-marketeer, a ‘gender-bender’, a no-borders anarchist, a human rights advocate, an inner-city cosmopolitan, or a ‘chardonnay socialist’. Or any or all of them. These are the sirens that drown out any concept of home, culture, or civilisation. But the new abstract categories are no less tribes than the pseudo-religious cults that shore-up membership by vilifying outsiders and freezing all relations with them. Dialogue between xenophiles of this or that exotic culture is endlessly fascinating. But de-tribalised, Occidental, Postmodern Man — Hommo Nullius — has no conversation at all.

The American writer, Tom Wolfe, is described in today’s article from Le Figaro as an ethnologist of postmodern tribes — a profession that began in earnest in 1970 with the publication of Radical Chic.

FIGAROVOX/INTERVIEW : Tom Wolfe — the ‘Balzac’ of New York — examines the America of Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein for Le Figaro Magazine. At eighty-six, the inventor of ‘the new journalism’ has lost nothing of his verve, and continues to heap all the conformity of his times onto the ‘bonfire of the vanities’.

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The Simmering Civil War in France

The Simmering Civil War in France

FIGAROVOX/INTERVIEW : For Damien Le Guay, it is futile to speak of “murderous folly” or “acts of barbarism” when describing terrorist crimes committed on our soil. It is time to name the reality of the situation unambiguously, without being afraid of “playing into the hands” of the Front national.

Damien Le Guay is a philosopher, essayist, literary critic, and public speaker. He has published La guerre civile qui vient est déjà là (éditions du Cerf), “The coming civil war is already here”. Continue reading “The Simmering Civil War in France”

Macron in Athens

Macron in Athens

2018-00-00 widgets.001What can one make of this speech of President Macron’s in Athens, on the 7th September? Clearing the bar of abject banality by no more than a whisker, it threatens to set a criterion for the next five years. One thing at least is clear: Macron is perfectly happy to make enemies of presidents Juncker and Tajani, of the European Commission and Parliament respectively, by threatening their prestige. And what should Mutti think? Had the speech been given on the floor of the Bundestag instead of al fresco in Athens, its Teutonic length would have been called into question even by the Empress of Europe.

Macron and Merkel appear to suffer from different strains of utopian delusion. Although at opposite ends of their political careers, both have had apotheosis cast upon them. We are in for a bruising time, then, as matriarch and upstart negotiate the paths of their respective, improbable, and dissonant agendas. Macron is for the siphoning of power from the member-nations into the super-nation, that is, from Berlin to Brussels. No can do. His proposals, as outlined in the speech, sound academic and corny at best: not the best marks of statesmanship.

The speech from the Pnyx is best taken, if taken at all, at a gallop. It is turgid and repetitive, rambling and at times incoherent, although by no means devoid of content. It has been translated by The Europeans from LREM’s transcript, with a clenched-teeth determination. Why? Because a ‘Macron baseline’ would be useful, if only to judge the development of his rhetoric over the next five years. Continue reading “Macron in Athens”

Where are they now?

Where are they now?

CICERO MAGAZINE : A study examines the role of the media during the migrant crisis. The alarming conclusion: the media appointed themselves as the mouthpiece of the political elite and ignored the people’s concerns. The consequences are disastrous, and not only for journalism.

Pictures from autumn 2015: happy people at Munich’s central station holding “Refugees Welcome” placards high, teddybears flying through the air, colourful balloons rising into the sky, the columns of refugees rapturously applauded. Germany, so it seemed, was in the grip of collective welcome-hysteria. Particularly affected by this feeling were the leading media, who virtually rolled over to declare a Willkommenskultur public holiday — if not yet actually in force, then to be demanded. Continue reading “Where are they now?”