Monday, August 5, 2019

So Long, Marianne

This is not a post about Leonard Cohen. And it is not even a post about Marianne Williamson. Instead I am using the name Marianne to draw our attention to what is happening in France today. As you probably know, Marianne is a type of goddess, worshipped by the French for personifying the French Republic, especially the ideals of freedom and equality.

Guy Milliere offers a highly dispiriting picture of today’s France. Most especially, he shows us the state of the Emmanuel Macron presidency. I will admit that I held out hope that the technocratic and brilliant Macron could steer the French ship of state toward a more economically liberal future. I was not alone in holding out such hopes. By now, however, they are dissipated.

No one is paying much attention to France, what with the drama of Brexit playing out across the Channel, but still. Milliere opens by explaining what happened on or around the most recent Bastille Day celebrations. In principle, they express national pride. This year, not so much.

Paris, Champs-Élysées. July 14. Bastille Day. Just before the military parade begins, President Emmanuel Macron comes down the avenue in an official car to greet the crowd. Thousands of people gathered along the avenue shout "Macron resign", boo and hurl insults.

At the end of the parade, a few dozen people release yellow balloons into the sky and distribute leaflets saying "The yellow vests are not dead." The police disperse them, quickly and firmly. Moments later, hundreds of "Antifa" anarchists arrive, throw security barriers on the roadway to erect barricades, start fires and smash the storefronts of several shops. The police have a rough time mastering the situation, but early in the evening, after a few hours, they restore the calm.

A few hours later, thousands of young Arabs from the suburbs gather near the Arc de Triomphe. They have apparently come to "celebrate" in their own way the victory of an Algerian soccer team. More storefronts are smashed, more shops looted. Algerian flags are everywhere. Slogans are belted out: "Long live Algeria", "France is ours", "Death to France". Signs bearing street names are replaced by signs bearing the name of Abd El Kader, the religious and military leader who fought against the French army at the time of the colonization of Algeria. The police limit themselves to stemming the violence in the hope that it will not spread.

Winning a soccer match gives licence for looting and pillage. Several days later, the team wins another match:

On Friday, July 19, the Algerian soccer team wins again. More young Arabs gathernear Arc de Triomphe to "celebrate" again. The damage is even greater than eight days before. More police show up; they do almost nothing.

The migrant violence had begun before Bastille Day:

On July 12, two days before Bastille Day, several hundred self-declared African illegal migrants enter the Pantheon, the monument that houses the graves of heroes who played major roles in the history of France. There, the migrants announce the birth of the "Black Vest movement". They demand the "regularization" of all illegal immigrants on French territory and free housing for each of them. The police show up but decline to intervene. Most of the demonstrators leave peacefully. A few who insult the police are arrested.

Milliere sees national decline. Politicians are not even trying to stem it, to bail out the sinking ship of state. Instead, they are leading the nation toward it. Macron’s popularity is in very serious decline:

France today is a country adrift. Unrest and lawlessness continue to gain ground. Disorder has become part of daily life. Polls show that a large majority reject President Macron. They seem to hate his arrogance and be inclined not to forgive him.They seem to resent his contempt for the poor; the way he crushed the "yellow vest" movement, and for his not having paid even the slightest attention to the protesters' smallest demands, such as the right to hold a citizens' referendum like those in Switzerland. Macron can no longer go anywhere in public without risking displays of anger.

To respond to the Yellow Vest movement, Macron just had parliament to pass a new law, outlawing protest and suspending the presumption of innocence. It tramples basic civil liberties. No one cared. It was passed:

Instead, he asked the French parliament to pass a law that almost completely abolishes the right to protest, the presumption of innocence and that allows the arrest of anyone, anywhere, even without cause. The law was passed.

Some might conclude that Macron is authoritarian. But, Milliere notes, when it comes to anarchists and to the Muslim migrant population, his policy is appeasement:

Macron does not appear authoritarian, however, with violent anarchists. When facing young Arabs and illegal migrants, he looks positively weak.

For decades now France has welcomed Muslim migrants. It has prided itself on not being as racist as America. The result: the French nation has been divided against itself, partitioned:

Macron knows that the partition of France already exists. Most Arabs and Africans live in no-go zones, apart from the rest of the population, where they accept the presence of non-Arabs and non-Africans less and less. They do not definethemselves as French, except when they say that France will belong to them. Reports show that most seem filled with a deep rejection of France and Western civilization. An increasing number seem to place their religion above their citizenship; many seem radicalized and ready to fight.

Why does Macron appease Muslims? Simply put, their growing numbers make them an important voting bloc:

Macron is aware of the demographic data. They show that the Muslim population in France will grow significantly in the coming years. (The economist Charles Gave wrote recently that by 2057, France will have a Muslim majority). Macron can see that it will soon be impossible for anyone to be elected President without relying on the Muslim vote, so he acts accordingly.

As for the rest of the nation, traditional culture has been disappearing. France’s best and brightest have emigrated to London:

Macron pays no attention to the growing cultural disaster also seizing the country. The educational system is crumbling. An increasing percentage of students graduate from high school without knowing how to write a sentence free of errors that make incomprehensible anything they write. Christianity is disappearing. Most non-Muslim French no longer define themselves as Christians. The fire that ravaged the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was officially an "accident," but it was only one of the many Christian religious buildings in the country that were recently destroyed. Every week, churches are vandalized -- to the general indifference of the public. In just the first half of 2019, 22 churches burned down.

The French government is not addressing these problems. It has found the one fight it is willing to engage. This fight is more theatrical than real... something that appeals to the French. Marianne's nation has gone to war against climate change. As though the French production of greenhouse gasses made a scintilla of a difference… to anything:

The main concern of Macron and the French government seems not to be the risk of riots, the public's discontent, the disappearance of Christianity, the disastrous economic situation, or Islamization and its consequences. Instead, it is climate change. Although the amount of France's carbon dioxide emissions is infinitesimal(less than 1% of the global total), combatting "human-induced climate change" appears Macron's absolute priority.

In place of Marianne, the French are now worshiping a child named Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist… who should be in school learning about something, anything:

A Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, age 16, -- nevertheless the guru of the "fight for the climate" in Europe -- was recently invited to the French National Assembly by members of parliament who support Macron. She delivered a speech, promising that the "irreversible destruction" of the planet will begin very soon. She addedthat political leaders "are not mature enough" and need lessons from children. MPs who support Macron applauded warmly. She received a Prize of Freedom, just created, which will be given each year to people "fighting for the values ​​of those who landed in Normandy in 1944 to liberate Europe". It is probably reasonable to assume that not one of those who landed in Normandy in 1944 thought he was fighting to save the climate. Such minor details, however, seem beyond Macron and the parliamentarians who support him.

Of course, can you imagine the stupidity required to believe that the D-Day landings were about climate change. They were really about saving the French from themselves.

In order to appease its Muslim population, the French government has been excusing crimes against Jews. 

Macron and the French government also seem unconcerned that Jews -- driven by the rise of anti-Semitism, and understandably worried about court decisions infused with the spirit of submission to violent Islam -- continue to flee from France.

On July 25, 2019 when the Israeli soccer team Maccabi Haifa was competing in Strasbourg, the French government limited the number of Israeli supporters in the stadium to 600, not one more. A thousand had bought plane tickets to come to France to attend the match. The French government also banned the waving of Israeli flags at the game or anywhere in the city. Nonetheless, in the name of "free speech", the French Department of the Interior permitted anti-Israeli demonstrations in front of the stadium, and Palestinian flags and banners saying "Death to Israel" were there. The day before the match, at a restaurant near the stadium, some Israelis were violently attacked. "The demonstrations against Israel are approved in the name of freedom of expression, but the authorities forbid supporters of Maccabi Haifa to raise the Israeli flag, it is unacceptable," said Aliza Ben Nun, Israel's ambassador to France.

As I said, the French nation is dying before our eyes. Germany came late to the migrant game, but it can see its future in France. And you were wondering why Great Britain is trying to detach itself from the sinking European ship. 


whitney said...

I got a new lumbar pillow for my leather club chair and it's beautiful and so comfortable and I love it and every time I get something that I really like I think "how much longer, how much longer". We can all see the instability that is being manifest all over the Western world and even if there were a way to stop it there's no will. Appreciate your life and pray.

David Foster said...

Arthur Koestler would not have been surprised...his 1950 novel of ideas, The Age of Longing, was about the loss of cultural self-confidence in the West and specifically in France. The book is really worth reading; I reviewed it here:

Still, only a few years ago I thought that of the 3 major European countries--France, Britain, and Germany--it was France that had the greatest chance of surviving in something like its present form, because there was still more self-respect in that nation than in the other two. Evidently not.

UbuMaccabee said...

It's like watching a puppy being devoured alive by a spider. Islam is the spider.

Sam L. said...

The French are proactively surrendering, to avoid the rush.