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”
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.
Continue reading “François Fillon v. The Media”
Former prime ministers of France are a teeming species, of which Dominique de Villepin is a member. He occupied the office, 2005-7, during the presidency of Jacques Chirac. His new book, Memories of Peace for a Time of War, is the background to an interview with Vincent Tremolet de Villers in Le Figaro, published on 13th November, and entitled French diplomacy has met an impasse. Here, in extracts from the interview, are some of de Villepin’s insights into the First World ideology that depends for its continued existence, precariously, on the integrity of all the “End Of” theories relentlessly piled up by the prophets. Neoliberalism.
Continue reading “Neoliberalism: The End Of All That Went Before”
Here, from the official website of the socialist deputy (Loire-Atlantique), Monique Rabin, is the conscience and negotiating position of the French extreme Left in its purest form. Unless The Europeans has been gulled mercilessly by an online hoax, it preserves intact the holy writ of French revolutionary sentiment: that the Empire perish, but that its values endure… No country on earth, as it now seems, is more deeply mired in its own humanitarian ‘values’ than France.
Unless it is Germany. The common governing sentiment of these two exceptional countries has finally led Europe over the brink into full view of ultimate demographic extinction. Self-extinguishing values are no values at all, but this black irony is forever lost on the European Left. In France, during the present politically consanguineous tenure of president François Hollande and prime ministers Jean-Marc Ayrault, then Manuel Valls, the Parti socialiste has become crazed by fissures both deep and delicate, and paralyzed…..well, by paralysis. The general mood in the country now runs bitterly counter to the high moral sentiments of Mme Rabin, as expressed in her atavistic appeal to socialist purity: an appeal whose echo from government grows weaker by the hour, and must inevitably disappear altogether.
Mme Rabin’s open and unlimited invitation to migrants to come to France is larded in the original with intimate thou-thines, while she dismisses the French taxpayers who must shoulder the huge burden without complaint as the ugly face of France. French SDF, the sans domicile fixe, receive no mention at all, although it is certain that pressure from immigration is acting to slow or perhaps even stall their own migration from the streets into social housing. Such, in France, is the Left’s haine de soi [self-contempt], not to mention its sweet companion, self-satisfaction, so lovingly dissected in this remarkable contribution to national suicide.
Continue reading “The Beatitudes of The Left”
“The defining feature of modernity is its inability to reproduce itself within the limits of resemblance”. Such is the economy of expression employed by the German writer, Peter Sloterdijk. Perhaps the sense of the aperçu could even be enhanced by substituting “within the limits of recognition”. Be that as it may, in this interview with Le Figaro, Sloterdijk, as social pathologist, continues his mauling of modern progressivism’s high priesthood, as it quits the House of History in jocular procession, bound for Angela Merkel’s uplands of future-funded compassion. The word might still be mightier than the sword — the experiment is best avoided, but alas it is no match for the pulverizing faith of those who ride the war-horse of modernity. It never will be.
Continue reading “The Limits of Resemblance”
Roger Scruton’s little book of lucid prose, How To Be A Conservative, is his first work to have been translated into French. Extracts from De l’urgence d’être conservateur were recently published in Le Figaro under the introduction, Our heritage is also the property of those who have not yet been born. “Although Roger Scruton is a prominent figure in the intellectual life of Britain, he is little known in France. None of his books had been translated into French until Les Éditions de l’Artilleur repaired the omission. Rich, nourishing, stimulating, like the most captivating of conversations, this essay offers a rare pleasure: to explore the sharpness and depth of an intellectual position.”
In How To Be A Conservative, Scruton leaves a coherent intellectual trail. But the scent crosses a river and gets lost when he appears to genuflect before one of the great shibboleths of Leftist orthodoxy: the independence of race and culture.
Continue reading “How To Be A Conservative”
La Manif(estation) pour tous is a conservative movement dedicated to the protection of family life in France. Its name is an ironic play on Marriage pour tous, slogan of the successful push for gay marriage, and as such is only awkwardly translatable: perhaps as ❛Demo for All❜. The organization is currently led by Ludovine de la Rochère, one of its founders. It is implacably opposed to gay marriage, surrogacy, and the bringing up of children in the homosexual demi-monde.
La loi Taubira, named for the generally despised and now departed Garde des Sceaux [Minister of Justice], established gay marriage as a legal right in France in 2013. The groundswell of failed opposition to the law immediately transformed itself into a campaign for its repeal, which continues to be prosecuted despite the now lengthening shadow of the fait accompli. Some politicians of the Right, notably the once and perhaps future president of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, think aloud about the outside possibility of repeal, only to shrug it off as yet another unwanted opportunity for social bloodletting. The supporters of La Manif pour tous are determined to weigh heavily in the coming political turmoil of the 2017 presidential election campaign.
La Manif is adamant that homosexual marriage is wrong in principle, and that its long-term effect is incalculable. Far from being the matter-of-fact non-event of gauchiste mythology, soon to be forgotten or accommodated by conservatives, gay marriage is denounced by La Manif as a worming-out of the institution of the family; a militant’s travesty, hiding the sadness and resentment of the clown.
The following article from Le Figaro runs through La Manif‘s flagship issues.
Continue reading “To The Defence of The Family”