Progressivism, as is little if ever observed, is a deeply immoral project — both in its structural assumption that personal values can be processed on an industrial scale, and in its spiralling consequences. ‘Western Values’ have been trading while insolvent on the global morality-market for decades, with the result that European culture is now threatened, amongst other things, by an implacable army of new Bowdlerites.
His name has passed into the language. Thomas Bowdler, an English physician, re-processed Shakespeare to render him inoffensive to genteel 19th century women and children. And in contemporary Europe, it is powerful ‘progressive’ women particularly, who have taken up the crusade to place European high culture beyond reproach from any quarter. Cherchez la femme. From their respective citadels in the French national government, Françoise Nyssen (Minister of Culture) and Marlène Schiappa (Minister with Responsibility for Gender Equality) are pushing moral vanity towards its imaginary limits. In this anecdote from Le Figaro, it is the Florence Opera that twists the end of Carmen — in order to oblige a hashtag. #MeToo.
FIGAROVOX/ANALYSIS : To avoid showing the death of a woman, the opera Carmen has been rewritten. Welcome to the era of thought-policing through art.
Continue reading “Don Harvey No Match For Carmen”
There 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’.
Continue reading “The Ethnology of Postmodern Tribes”
Returning to the economist Thomas Piketty’s blog entry for 30th June, 2016, in Le Monde, he begins thus: ❝Let’s be honest: until dawn on 24 June 2016 nobody really believed that the British were going to vote for Brexit. Now that the disaster has struck, it is tempting to feel discouraged and to abandon any dream of a democratic and progressive re-foundation of Europe. However, we must persevere and live in hope, for we have no other choice: the rise of national self-seeking and xenophobia in Europe leads straight to disaster.❞ [The Europeans’ italics]. And then: ❝[…] there is something profoundly nihilist and irrational in this attitude of reverting to xenophobia, […]❞
Continue reading “Thomas Piketty, Optimist”