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Macron turns on the liberals Once seen as the anti-Trump, France's president is now the bĂȘte noire of the American commentariat

The former centrist saviour now appears Burkean. Credit: Regis Duvigneau /AFP/ Getty

The former centrist saviour now appears Burkean. Credit: Regis Duvigneau /AFP/ Getty


December 2, 2020   6 mins

Surely no world leader can have experienced such a rapid fall from grace in the eyes of America’s liberal press as Emmanuel Macron. When he defeated Marine Le Pen to assume the French presidency in the spring of 2017, American commentators, traumatised by the election of Donald Trump just a few months earlier, immediately elevated him to the pantheon of saviours of liberalism, alongside the other claimed colossi of postmodern liberal statesmanship, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau. 

When the Gilets Jaunes protests threatened to unseat Macron from behind his gilded desk in the Elysée, the extremely heavy-handed crowd control methods employed by the French police were brushed off, if they were remarked upon at all, as the necessary response of the liberal state to urban disorder. Despite the inchoate and ideologically-fluid demands of the protestors firmly coalescing on the side of the radical left before the protest wave finally fizzled out, the Gilets Jaunes were framed as a right-wing populist revolt as if by necessity.

Macron was no longer the last-ditch defence of French liberalism from the radical right: he was the anti-Trump, a liberal strongman willing and capable of keeping the world safe for Washington Post commentators by rolling back the then-seemingly unstoppable wave of populist anger, at the helm of a country more or less interchangeable with Europe as a whole in the American imagination.

It is a marker of how far US commentators have self-radicalised since then that Macron is now the target of the New York Times and Washington Post, after daring to criticise their new race-centric ideological passions, and the complex algebraic equations of moral worth and political validity which derive from them. 

Following a wave of brutal jihadist murders targeting innocent French civilians, it is Macron who is the villain in their eyes, for launching a counterattack against the Islamist insurgency within France. There is only one permissible response to jihadist terrorism for European leaders, it seems, which is to light some candles and resolutely ignore the situation until the next attack: to take any meaningful action to prevent future violence is to find yourself accused of Nazism by the American press which idealised you just a few short years ago. 

Once lauded as the liberal bulwark against Europe’s nativist far-right, Macron is now morally suspect for tackling the continent’s Islamist far-right; Europe’s “anti-Trump” is now only comprehensible as a Trumpian figure in the eyes of the New York and Washington press, but there is increasingly little value in paying attention to the hysterical wailing of American commentators.

Instead, we can more profitably assess how far Macron’s worldview has evolved in the nearly four years since he came to power by reading his latest long interview with the Groupe d’Études de GĂ©opolitiques thinktank, published earlier this month. Macron is fond — perhaps too fond — of sharing his important thoughts with the world in long, expansive interviews, and his latest interview is perhaps the purest distillation of the genre. 

Yet by cutting through the lofty generalities to examine the specifics of how Macron now views the world, we see him as he sees himself, a liberal of the right, and a defender of the French and European Enlightenment against Chinese totalitarianism, the seductive lures of Europe’s radical right, and the counter-Enlightenment obscurantism of both jihadists and Americans.

Macron begins by asserting that the multilateral framework of what is still nostalgically termed the liberal international order no longer functions. “The UN Security Council no longer produces useful solutions today,” he declares, and “some, such as the WHO, find themselves hostages of the crises of multilateralism,” the latter diagnosis surely being derived from the COVID experience. Indeed, he notes, “we have a crisis with the multilateral framework of 1945: a crisis in terms of its effectiveness, but, and it is even more serious in my opinion, a crisis in terms of the universality of the values upheld by its structures.”

That crisis, for Macron, is the growing rejection of the very ideological underpinnings of liberalism by the rising civilisation-states of Eurasia, and by the resurgence of political Islam as a force in international politics.

On the tenth anniversary of the Arab Spring, Macron observes that what was birthed by the crisis of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and North Africa was not the expansion of liberalism on which his predecessor Sarkozy gambled so much, but instead “the return of the mindset of certain peoples and of religion in politics,” and “an extraordinary acceleration of a return of religion on the political scene in a number of these countries.”

The liberal triumphalism of the post-Cold War moment, “based to a great extent, both academically and politically, on a fiction that was the ‘end of history’ and an implicit idea that was the ongoing spread of democracies, individual liberties, etc” was misguided, Macron declares; instead, the clearly observable result is that, contrary to the aspirations of both the Arab Spring protestors and their external supporters, “authoritarian regional powers are re-emerging, theocracies are re-emerging”.

Liberalism is no longer in expansive mode, then, but is instead fighting a defence for its own survival, even in its core European territories: “the fight against terrorism and radical Islamism is a European struggle, a struggle about values,” he declares, where our “struggle today is against barbarity and obscurantism.” The forces of jihadism and autocracy that defeated the Arab Spring abroad now threaten Europe itself even in our own heartlands. Indeed, he continues, “the combat of our generation in Europe will be a combat for our freedoms. Because they are being overturned. And so it will not be the reinvention of the Enlightenment, but we will have to defend the Enlightenment against obscurantism.”

The obscurantism Macron speaks of is not purely external: he also warns of a political current within Europe, “a crisis of the post-1968 and 1989 Western societies,” a form of what he confusingly terms “neoconservatism” but which we could perhaps better term “reaction” or neoreaction, “which is challenging 1968,” and which, he declares — no doubt with an eye on the ever-present electoral threat of the radical right — is a rational and understandable response to the failures of neoliberalism.

The Washington consensus which underwrote post-Cold War neoliberalism, Macron muses, “turned into a dogma whereby the truths were: less state intervention, privatisations, structural reforms, opening up of economies through trade, financialisation of our economies, with a rather monolithic rationale based on the accumulation of profits.”

Whatever the benefits for the workers of China and the CEOs of the United States, the result for the middle class across the Western world was disaster: “it has reduced part of our population to a feeling of uselessness, with deep economic and social, but also mental tragedies: our middle classes in particular, and part of our working classes have been the adjustment variable of this globalisation; and that is intolerable.”

Identifying himself with the “struggle against this mechanism of capitalism,” the former investment banker now portrays himself as a sceptic of Anglo-Saxon neoliberalism: but it is perhaps more accurate to say that he sees himself saving liberalism by cutting away its excesses, saving liberalism from itself in the economic sphere in a way analogous to his rejection of the American excesses of liberalism in the cultural and political spheres.

The Washington consensus is dead, he declares, and the time for a “Paris consensus,” no doubt under his tutelage, has begun. What this means in practice is not elaborated on with any degree of specificity — he comes out for a vague form of a Green New Deal — but it is hard to avoid the impression Macron’s economic strategy is subordinate to his already expressed  geopolitical musings.

Indeed, and with a degree of triumphalism, Macron now declares that his vision of European strategic autonomy, so controversial when he first advanced it, has been borne out by events. “Three years ago, when I spoke about European sovereignty and strategic autonomy, I was taken for a lunatic,” he muses, “and these ideas were dismissed as French whims,” but no-one’s laughing now. The German defence establishment, represented by the craven Atlanticist submissiveness of the defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, may still complain, but “fortunately, the Chancellor [Angela Merkel] does not share this point of view.” 

Assuaging the outrage of think-tankers by stressing Europe’s close bonds of alliance and friendship with America, he nevertheless emphasises the continental bloc’s need to “prevent the Chinese-American duopoly”; indeed, he repeatedly links the two rival superpowers when he argues Europe’s need to assert technological and political independence from both.

A geostrategic Europe, with a sphere of influence in Africa which he terms a partnership, is at the heart of his vision: chiding Africa once again for its excessive birth rates (and for the first time linking it to Europe’s demographic decline, a dynamic where “for one European country demographically disappearing, in the same period, one African country appears”) and for the abuse of Europe’s asylum system by African economic migrants, Macron posits a Euro-African relationship where France’s post-colonial interests and those of Europe as a whole are perhaps uncomfortably elided.

Yet it is surely in his vision of Europe as a commonwealth, a continent where we share a sense of belonging and ineffable political values despite our division into discrete nation-states, that we see Macron’s evolution most clearly: the defender of the French Revolution’s values has become an unexpected Burkean. It is not just that his horror at the tyranny and fanaticism of what became of the Arab Spring shapes his worldview, as the French Revolution did Burke’s, with his drift to the right deriving from a similar claimed desire to save liberalism from its own worst excesses.

Macron also echoes Burke’s conception of Europe as a political unit, an orderly and pacific civilisation of its own, and a commonwealth of shared values to be defended against internal and external challengers. Whatever divides us Europeans, he asserts, in a quote which could be lifted directly from Burke’s 1796 Letters on a Regicide Peace, “something unites us. We know that we are European when we are outside of Europe. We feel our differences when we are among Europeans, but we feel nostalgia when we leave Europe.” 

But above all, Macron observes, citing our moderate economic ideals, our belief in the value of culture, and our neighbourly relations with the Middle East and with Russia, “we are not the United States of America”. He is surely fortunate then, in the reaction he has now solicited from the other side of the Atlantic: if the basis of Macron’s creation of a geopolitical Europe in his own image is that of our deep and essential difference from the United States, then he has no greater ally than the American press, which draws the dividing lines between Us and Them more clearly with every passing day.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

arisroussinos

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

An article that sums up the historical moment quite well.

Macron is unusual among politicians in that a) he is capable of thought, and b} his diagnosis is often correct. Of course, like all politicians and the vast majority of ‘commentators’ he arrives at this understanding some years after the rest of us, but we must be grateful for small mercies. Sadly, on current trends, those small mercies will not be enough to save Europe from Islam and economic and demographic collapse.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Demographic collapse is an issue but it does peak and trough, grateful for the small mercy that a steadfast church of ten thousand can be built on stronger foundations than a laissez-faire church of a hundred thousand.

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Doubtless liberalism has self-harmed enough to allow Islam re-entry. Of course it’s now too late to do anything about it; our ONLY hope is we accomplished Brexit…perhaps it will save us

lev.eakins
lev.eakins
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I wouldn’t underestimate Europe’s capacity to put a stop to any existential threat. For all our faults, we’re remarkably resilient and capable.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  lev.eakins

I’m afraid that today’s Europeans – or certainly those with any power or influence – or neither resilient or capable. They don’t even have a moral backbone, never mind armies capable of fighting.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  lev.eakins

I wouldn’t over estimate it either…. if the only response to wanting a deal like Canada is a load of rubbish that we can’t have one *because we are closer to the shoreline than they are*, as a pre-text for some punishment beating style deal, then that’ll be an inauspicious example of the gap between Macron’s thinky-pieces and his actions, at least for anyone wanting a defence of enlightenment values that has a chance of success.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

https://www.opengovpartners

I wouldn’t get too high on Macron. His actions are sure to disappoint even if his words sound soothing.

Aden Wellsmith
Aden Wellsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Macron is toast.
He made one major error, and he made it because he is an insider.
He should have had a full audit of government debts, pensions included and sent everyone their fair share as a bill
His one opportunity was on taking power. He failed, and now he is to blame.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Aden Wellsmith

“He should have had a full audit of government debts, pensions included and sent everyone their fair share as a bill”
You really don’t understand how accounting/liabilities work – but keep trying.
P.S. All that information is public – google it.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I agree, Macron is an unusual politician – he does actually think about stuff, and unlike most of them he’s not always wrong, either. So he’s worth paying attention to. Not many Western politicians you can say that about these days.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

*Some years after the rest of us*… :)) a finely delivered stilleto…

Steve White
Steve White
3 years ago

Well the old adage that if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything is true. At least he has an actual worldview. I think that puts him ahead of most of his technocrat contemporaries in Europe.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve White

It sounds to me like Marcon is just growing up. The heady days of student Liberalism does not stand up to the realpolitik of actual reality, as it were. But then the very healthy skepticism of China does need to not be balanced by similar feelings for USA, leaving France and Europe alone, to be slowly carved up by China – skepticism of China needs to be used to tie closer to USA. “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.–Winston Churchill”

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Trudeau (to pick a name at random) would be exactly like Macron if people kept getting killed in Canada with the regularity they get killed in France. Trudeau has no really pressing need to grow up, and Macron has. Weirdly as well as the defender of Enlightenment and secular state values he is starting to sound like a Leaver.
Without the uber level managerialism of the EU (massive democractic deficit so all it has is bureaucratic managerialism) European countries with independent action but inevitably huge common interests could far better and more quickly find solutions to their problems that we have been able to over the last 30 years or so.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Trudeau made it quite clear when there began to be a few people wandering across the Canadian border that he didn’t really mean they were welcome, after all. But Trudeau is actually rather dim, and I’m not sure his response to a real problem would involve rethinking his views in any serious way, he would just hold contradictory ideas. Macron, whatever his failings, isn’t dim, and so his views expand or change as he integrates new information.

James Pelton
James Pelton
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Trudeau hasn’t the intelligence to grow up. No one in his family ever bothered to try to make him mature.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve White

You need technocrats to run the state – that shouldn’t be hard to understand.
Or you can have someone tweet…about his daughter’s shoe company.

James Pelton
James Pelton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I was a technocrat. That’s a terrible idea.

David Lewis
David Lewis
3 years ago

Trudeau a colossus ? A colossal fool would be more accurate.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lewis

He’s a colossus when it comes to ethical strikes against him by the Canadian parliamentary standards system. Three so far, for various forms of malfeasance and lies etc.

David Lewis
David Lewis
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

WE know 😉

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lewis

He’s a colossus of the Atlanticist consensus, especially its soft totalitarian social “justice” form. An obstacle to a better World.

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lewis

I think this was a joke; I hope it was anyway

Zak S
Zak S
3 years ago

“The forces of jihadism and autocracy that defeated the Arab Spring.” Neatly ignoring the extent to which the the forces of jihadism and autocracy were the Arab Spring.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  Zak S

It seemed for a hot minute as though the people sought to join the western world. But the thing about revolutions is that they can turn in unpredictable ways. It’s like dice: one in six chance of replacing the old regime with a better one, three in six chance of the new boss being the same as the old boss, and two in six chance of it being far worse.

crediniente
crediniente
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

so true, so depressing, so true, the Arab springs were doomed to fail because the societies they exist in only respond to uprising from the common man by mowing them back down.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  crediniente

I predicted that the Arab Spring would fail at the outset, because the Arabs seem incapable of uniting in a common cause. This is why they failed to crush Israel despite several attempts and superior manpower.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

‘It’s like dice: one in six chance of replacing the old regime with a
better one, three in six chance of the new boss being the same as the
old boss, and two in six chance of it being far worse.’

Would you apply this theory to Brexit?

Patrick Pending
Patrick Pending
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Yes, but who wants to live forever in a straitjacket ruled by the drudgery and fear of percentages

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

No. Vollunarilly pulling out of a voluntary agreement with other nations in the region isn’t revolution.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

It seemed to the western media, anyway. I’m not sure why the Arab world would want to become western – they aren’t western. Whatever solution they look for with regard to what they se as the problems of their society is going to inevitably reflect their own way of thinking about the world, and if it doesn’t it’s not likely to work for them.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Liberalism is no longer in expansive mode, then, but is instead fighting a defence for its own survival, even in its core European territories:
Liberalism barely exists; those who once wore the label have moved onto progressivism if not outright leftism. The classical liberal premise of a free exchange of ideas is gone, and instances like Macron are but one example. If one is looking to the US press for anything resembling liberalism, that person needs to readjust his/her focus.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I think Macron’s defence of enlightenment liberalism will last as long as he needs it for electoral purposes. He is just as much a tub thumper for big government, state interferance in individual speech and thought and national/ethnic protectionism as any despot in the middle east. Almost as much as Johnson in fact, though i guess he is wider read and far more intelligent. Maybe his intelligence makes him less dangerous, but not a lot less!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Which one of the things you cite comports with what ‘liberalism’ means? If that’s what the enlightened version looks like, I shudder to think what the previous iteration was like.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

a liberal of the right, and a defender
of the French and European Enlightenment against Chinese
totalitarianism, the seductive lures of Europe’s radical right, and the
counter-Enlightenment obscurantism of both jihadists and Americans.

Europeans are crying out for someone with this exact distillation of views. The only question is if Macron is genuine and has the stamina to withstand the attacks. He cannot feign confusion of why the liberal left establishment is attacking him however. The trajectory of the left has been predictable and consistent over the last two decades.

crediniente
crediniente
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

The left everywhere have over and over proven themselves useless when it comes to dealing with radical islam. They climb under the hijab that so many muslim women are going to prison, many for years or decades, to get out of. They go so far, as in the ACLU in the US, to fight for the *rights* of muslim communities to perform FGM on their infants. They are so deeply terrified, on a chromosomal level, of their own innate bigotry that they turn backflips enabling terrorists and predators in order to prove to themselves they are as not like everyone else as they really are. And then when the rest of us point out their errors to them they turn back flips passing hate crime laws and policing speech to call those of us who see these predator groups more accurately for what they are, bigots.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

m pathy, you left out the biggest point from the article above, and even the writer tucked it in as if an afterthought – “Macron posits a Euro-African
relationship where France’s post-colonial interests and those of Europe
as a whole are perhaps uncomfortably elided.” The Liberal Atlanticist on both sides seems to want open borders to the South, but the actual people are getting very worried about this.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
3 years ago

I’m agreeing with a Frenchman. What is happening?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Yes…France….

Tom Adams
Tom Adams
3 years ago

Too late – the demographic trend is set and reversing it is now impossible. We’ve been lucky to live in a unique sweet spot in history, but more than one variety of totalitarianism is about to engulf the West.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

May the best totalitarianism win! Islam, EU, China…it will be an entertaining spectacle.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I do not get the Totalitarianism of EU. I would call it a Liberal Decay State. I would say Continent wide self loathing has turned to self harming. USA Liberals are in the same boat, but are counterbalanced by the very large number of Deplorables who keep struggling along.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

“…Continent wide self loathing…”
the average person goes to work and pays his/her taxes. They are not paying attention to clowns on twitter “banging on” about colonial crap.
The Continent is a rich peaceful place.
P.S. Germany is a different story.

James Pelton
James Pelton
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

The deplorable are rock stars.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Adams

The dreadful movie Zardoz with Sean Connery has a truth to it. The movie has a race of immortals who live in beauty, intellectual and artistic perfection, but are so tired of it just going on for eternity they teach a race of Barbarians to extreme warlike ways, arm them, and them open the doors to their lands as a way to end the endless perfect tedium. They are then slaughtered and put out of their eternity of ennui. Macron has gone along with this till lately, but now is beginning to think it may be a flawed plan.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

“…race-centric ideological passions, and the complex algebraic equations of moral worth and political validity which derive from them….”

What a great line!

Kevin Joubert
Kevin Joubert
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

“Obscurantism” wasn’t bad either. Had to look up the exact meaning and it describes the ‘progressives’ perfectly.

crediniente
crediniente
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Joubert

I agree but it’s not just a strategic position with leftists, what’s more scary about it is that there are all these mental gymnastics they have to do wherein they hide the truth from themselves as well. Which makes them really dangerous.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Not just complex algebraic, but imaginary numbers are all over the place in the equations, the square root of minus one being part of every calculation, and 1619 being the magic number all reckoning should add up to.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
3 years ago

Thank you for a well-written and clear-sighted article. I would perhaps add one main point in support of Marcron’s strategies. They draw on methods arising directly from the French colonial concepts of cultural assimilation and the mission civilisatrice. At least from the nineteenth century onwards, a colonial subject who adopted French language and culture, and who took on board the French-style education offered in most colonies, could claim full French citizenship. That’s a very imperfect summary; and the system was not always applied consistently from one territory to another. However, a relative who worked in the British Cameroons in the 1950s and early ’60s said that one of the most striking features of the neighbouring French Cameroons was that if such Cameroonians were asked their nationality, most of them, regardless of their background, answered “French.” A friend born and raised in what was then Upper Volta (now Burkino Faso) said the same had been true for a large proportion of that former colony’s population.

This is very different from British concepts and practice; and it perhaps explains some of the striking tensions between these mostly Islamic immigrant populations, and French culture at large. You (or at least your parents) are brought up in the hope that the Republic’s motto of liberté, égalité, fraternité applies to you; and when you get there you discover that it does not apply after all, partly because your religion and, in most respects, your culture, do not fit with the Republic’s centralised concepts of identity and, especially, of laïcité.

It’s a recipe for a kind of resentment unique to France’s engagement with Islam and Islamism. But given that those concepts are core to the Republic’s identity, it makes perfect sense for Macron to seek control over the totalising aspects of Islam. In particular he is recognising that what needs to be dealt with is not what, in the UK’s quasi-liberal delusions, we call “Islamic extremism”. What needs to be addressed is the political and cultural power of Islamism as a whole. Whether it is peaceful or not is a distinction that fails to acknowledge the danger of the thought behind Islamism. You cannot, or should not, censor thought; but you can cut off the thought’s supplies ” its money; its propagandists; the possibility that its supporters receive the same encouragement and support as supporters of Christianity; rendering illegal a system of education that seeks not only deliberately to undermine a child’s ability to identify with the nation in which he or she lives, but to destroy that nation’s identity.

Mr Macron deserves far more support from other European leaders than he has received so far. As this article points out, the cultural differences have to be recognised at the most fundamental levels, and supported by an action-shaping perspective that here is aptly described as Burkean. Macron is the only leader in Western Europe who seems to have the cultural and political confidence and courage to do all that publicly.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Adams

‘Macron is the only leader in Western Europe who seems to have the cultural and political confidence and courage to do all that publicly.’

True. But it is far too little, too late, and you simply have to accept that western, liberal democracy is over. It has been destroyed partly from within by progressive relatives and, it must be said, some rapacious forms of financialisation and capitalism.

Further, the EU sees China as a model to be emulated, and we have just seen a US presidential election stolen. The MSM across the West is devoid of all truth or objectivity, and our education systems teach our children to hate their own societies. As the response to Covid shows, In 30 years we have gone from defeating the Soviet Union to becoming the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, there has been a complete failure to spread liberal democracy to the rest of the world, (not least because much of the rest of the world doesn’t even want it. Equally, there has been a complete failure to turn the Third World into the First World. Thus it has been decided to turn the First World into the Third World.

One could go on, but it is all too depressing.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

With USA it is the pig ignorance of the political people to even understand that alien cultures may have an utterly different reality to an American. Arabian, and ME, society was always feudal. The farm lands and even the towns were owned by the hereditary ruling families, the populations worked on shares or as tenants. Reciprocal obligations existed, a man would pass his tenancy down to children etc. and as an example, post WWII Iraq only 2-3% were illiterate, and all this was not on paper.

The West then decided to give the lands to the people and democracy them, but no deeds and contracts existed to use, so natives were appointed to oversee the removal of the Feudal obligations and lands. What in fact happened was all were turned out essentially and the system broken. Naturally this ended up in Saddam Hussein.

The ME worked thousands of years till till the 1960s on the 5 part agriculture, animal labour, human labour, seed, irrigation, land ownership. Which ever part you owned you got 1/5 the crop. A good peasant had his animals, saved his grain, did his own irrigation channels, and worked the land and got 4 parts. I just tell this to give the background on how it was, the land owned by the traditional aristocracy.

USA ended share cropping mainly 1920s, Europe, say, WWI and went into urban manufacturing for the displaced. The ME did not have that, it was just ended with no real adaptation. The Shah of Iran, King of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and all over, the end of feudal labour without the factory to absorb them, a disaster. The impossibility of justly redistributing the land and buildings, it was all a mess, and really was Post WWII when it hit as the West felt they had to free the people, but did not give them a viable way to change to a better way to make a living. Strong men took control.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

So… your argument is that the medieval system was a lot better than what replaced it? Have you ever heard of the appropriately named “Dark Ages”? Yes, the modern world, like every other era, has problems. But people now live into their 80’s, and don’t die in their 40’s as they did and do in medieval times and places. They eat better. They work far fewer hours… blah. Why should I continue? Anyone who defends the “traditional aristocracy” with their inevitable ‘traditional suffering” isn’t really worth an argument.

C M
C M
3 years ago

I agree with everything you said, except that people today work far fewer hours than in the “Dark Ages”. In fact, the opposite is true. Serfs (European slaves) worked much less than today’s workers because the tech didn’t exist to work at night, in winter, during bad weather, etc. Also, 3 months of religious holidays a year.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  C M

Sure thing, CM. Well, you and 7882 can catch the bus back to the 1000 years of Catholic ignorance called the medieval times, those wonderful feudal times. I won’t be at that stop.

C M
C M
3 years ago

Neither do I. There are enough reasons to reject the feudal system. Working time is not one of them. It is very much a problem of today.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Adams

Wish I could upvote this more than once. Where British liberals are disdainful if not downright suspicious of what their cultural values are, the French are more clearminded

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

We seem to have loads of people in academia or the Broadcast media and civil service who have somehow created, (from some kind of guilt miasma? who knows?) a cringey, anyone-but-Britain, ‘too posh to push’ type of attitude and mindset.

They’re not actually against British, European, French values they just think it’s beneath them to do anything whatsoever to assert them.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Adams

Well said Martin. A far better analysis of the context and thrust of Macron’s policy than the original article. That it’s timely and good policy… and counters the nationalistic wing-nuts isn’t a bad thing.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Adams

As you say that’s because of the French constitution that really makes explicit the separation of religion and state which is (obviously) the precise opposite of the uniting of religion and state that Islam explicitly is.

I have always thought our very fudged constitution was a good thing (in giving almost infinite flexibility) but in this respect I think it leaves too much leeway to lazy politicians who will always put off till tomorrow whatever they possibly can.

Basically to co exist in Europe Islam has to have some kind of Reformation in which a secular version emerges that operates in the same way as the Catholic or Protestant churches (or Hindus and Sikhs)…otherwise it’s impossible to see how you reconcile that questioning sceptical tolerance of classic Western Enlightenment thinking (it’s hard to say liberalism now as the whole meaning of that word has become changed..but in it’s old fashioned sense; small ‘L’ liberalism) with the set-in- stone ideas of a religion that sets laws subject to it’s script, which at the end of the day is basically early Medieval and specifically meant to be the unchanging, and unchangeable, authority on everything.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

“Basically to co exist in Europe Islam has to have some kind of Reformation” Precisely what they’re doing, although it’s not seen as that now. The important fight happening in the Muslim world right now isn’t between Shia and Sunni, but between it’s modern and medieval wings in their own reformation battle. My money is on the modern. They don’t have the fanatics, but they do have the brains and the money, and it’s precisely this wing that Macron is speaking too.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
3 years ago

Well put! Thank you. (And see my longer reply to Ted Ditchburn.)

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

Please give me one example of the ‘modern’ wing of Islam and its relative influence re financial strength and intellectual heft, or given that the latter is difficult to measure, membership numbers. Thank you. I do know that modern, moderate scholars do exist (many more existed in the not so distant past in the 20th century) but their influence has shrunk in the 21st century. That’s the tragedy we should be focussed on. It’s very well to be chiding the catholic conservatives on this forum and asking them to take the bus back to the dark ages, but save your precious finger wagging for more deserving culprits who are bringing the dark ages back to our world.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

I am convinced that you and others are correct in saying that “to coexist in Europe Islam has to have some kind of Reformation in which a secular version emerges . . . “. Because I am a 70-year-old very orthodox Christian, converted in his late 20s out of a fundamentally irreligious perspective, I find it difficult to be dispassionate on this subject. However, it seems indisputable that any such secularising Reformation within Islam would require something just about opposite to what happened in Christian Reformations.

Christian Reformations ” be they within the early church in the fifth and sixth centuries, in the medieval Western church in the thirteenth century, in the rise of Protestant churches from the sixteenth century onwards, in the Methodist revival of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (the list is endless) ” have almost always been driven by a desire to recover what has been lost of the Gospel through the church becoming too like the world around it. So in almost all the ones I’ve mentioned, and in most others I can think of, there has been a strong element of “back to the Bible”, and especially to the New Testament’s teachings about individual holiness and the church. Almost always, these Reformations led to a weakening of power relationships between earthly and spiritual institutions and rulers.

I have read the Quran, and know that a secularising Reformation of Islam would require not a return to the values of the Quran, but a move away from them. In that respect, such a Reformation would inevitably have an impact more profound, more fundamental in its impact on Islam’s religious fundamentals, than did any Christian Reformation on orthodox Christianity.

Tim Hurren
Tim Hurren
3 years ago

I remember watching the development of the ‘Arab Spring’ beloved of so many Western politicians and just knew even then that, despite the feeling of liberation, it would end in tears. After all the reason why so many strong men were in power in the Arab nations was that, very tragically, they were the only ones capable of holding together competing groups within the nations. What really surprised me was the naivete of the liberal elite which would include the likes of Macron who simply didn’t see this coming. I am certainly no expert of social and political issues but if I could see that this was obvious, why didn’t they? It takes long time for anything resembling democracy to become embedded and there are usually many setbacks. That should be plain as a pikestaff, especially for French politicians with any understanding of their own history! The challenge for those in the West who want to help develop good governance is to offer practical and steady encouragement to those in the population who want to build a more secure and free society. Revolutions are rarely the answer and often pave the way for more authoritarian regimes whether they be led by religious militants or secular ideologues.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Hurren

Well said on the Arab Spring and on revolutions! I clearly remember that a progressivist friend was overjoyed by the Arab Spring ” by the rise of what seemed to be democratic aspirations in the countries concerned. When I told him I was far from overjoyed, that it would all end in tears, he was appalled at my scepticism. When that was exactly what happened I didn’t have the heart to remind him.

At the time, and like you, I suspect, I was struck less by the inevitability of that dismal ending, than I was by the naivety of the well-meaning progressivist-liberals (like my friend and almost all my work-mates) who could not see it coming. But that’s in the nature of the progressivist mind-set. Its idealism blinds its followers against the realities of human nature.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Hurren

I recall at the time listening to NPR interview young Egyptian liberals, and realized (a) they all spoke fluent English, (b) they had internet access, and (c) there not enough of them to fill a stadium, which is where the jihadists, if they came to power, would herd them after mass arrests.

crediniente
crediniente
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

Many, many female participants in the Arab Spring in Egypt were horribly sexually assaulted. Which tells alot about what kind of ‘revolution’ it truly was.

crediniente
crediniente
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Hurren

I feel now after having watched so many (and there is an excellent documentary on the one in Bahrain that didn’t make the press much) that they were allowed to go on in order to bring out into the open the opposition to government so these people could then be dealt with . They were doomed to fail because those governments do not believe in concepts of freedom or democracy to begin with. The best the west can do is to support apostates in their battle to repeal apostasy laws in islamic nations so that activists can begin to throw off the yoke of islamofascism without the risk of death. Politicians like Macron are absolutely essential because they stand up to the thugs trying to enforce stone age mores on open democratic society and are willing to fight then with laws and police if necessary. I am not saying he will win, though for the sake of France I hope he will. But I am relieved that he’s trying. Westerners can support/donate to CEMB, (Maryam Namazie) Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s ‘AHA Foundation’, or any of the “Ex-Muslims of” organizations all over the world. These folks are working to move beyond islam and take their compatriots with them. Ex-muslims, who are some of the smartest and definitely some of the bravest people on the planet, are paving the way out of islamofascism and they need to be supported.

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago

He just doesn’t understand that most of the jihadists are peaceful. It’s just a few bad apples that are gunning people down, stabbing them, or decapitating them in public. And they’re probably all just plants to give the peaceful jihadists a bad name. And really, the right to not be decapitated is just white privilege anyway.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

I may be banned for this but the tiny numbers of decapitations in Europe are the least of the problems. In much of Europe Mohammad is the most common name in primary schools. I like Islam, it is a religion of the Book, it is highly moral, very family based. But I like Europe being what it has been, I do not know when the Europeans voted to be a minority in their lands, but will be in a couple more generations in many parts.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

There are large numbers of cultural Muslims without much if any religious belief living here in the west. However they are hostages of the more religious family and community members. I worked with a lot who in private thought Islam was a nonsense but didn’t want to be alienated from their friends and family. The other factor which I discovered is just how little most Muslims know about the faith they supposedly practice. They don’t read translations of the Koran and many don’t understand the prayers at their Mosques. They’ve about as knowledgeable as medieval peasants at a church where everything was said in Latin. It’s that ignorance which is the fertile ground in which the radicals find their recruits.

A V
A V
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

It’s moral? You must be joking. Or being intentionally blind to all the killings that have taken place. Unless you think those killings are moral.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rense

Always good to see some healthy sarcasm!

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago

“there is increasingly little value in paying attention to the hysterical wailing of American commentators”

Let this be a truth universally acknowledged.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Newman

But if one is going to write about the hysterical wailing of American commentators, it’s a good idea to include an example or two of said “wailing”. This article doesn’t include any. Not one, as far as I could see.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

It is well known that some ‘writers’ at the NYT et al immediately criticised Macron’s proposals to tackle Islamlist separatism/supremacism in France. These people, for some reason, love Islam, although they never move to Islamic countries.

They are rather like all the old Socialists who endlessly criticised the West but never moved to the Soviet Union. Probably because they would have had to do some work in the Soviet Union, which did not have welfare state. You worked or you starved. Or, if sent to the gulags, you worked and you starved.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I know, i was criticizing the author for not including any quotes to support his argument. I”m well aware of the prejudices of the news media these days (and that’s being kind), but an article about U.S. commentators and Macron ought to at least include an example or two.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

That would defeat the aim of not paying them any attention. But here’s https://www.washingtonpost…. – today we have, out of 6 front page opinions, these 4: “The president and his party have gone to war against America” “Giuliani’s vile admission perfectly captures the ugliness of the Trump era” “Do not forget how insane it has been all along” and “The danger is growing that Trump’s lies about the election will lead to violence”. Check in any day of the week for more of the same.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Newman

none of those quotes have anything to do with Macron. The subject was about the hysterical waiting of US pundits about Macron.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 years ago

A politician who can say, “I want France to become a country where we can teach the thought of Averroes and Ibn Kaldun,” has clearly taken a wide view of the situation his country faces and is prepared to fight the Islamists on an intellectual level as well as on the military level. Such a man is worth listening to.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago

I’m glad Macron has defended his stance against “Islamist separatism”, which was the phrase he used, but which a Financial Times journalist misreported as “Islamic separatism”.

It’s a distinction many on the left and right would like to deny in pursuit of their respective agendas, but Muslims in France get it, and fully support Macron’s response to the brutal killing of the teacher, Samuel Paty.

After the attack, the French Council of the Muslim Faith, which is the official representative body of French Muslims to the French state, insisted that French Muslims were not persecuted, supported Macron’s stance on freedom of expression, and condemned international boycotts of French goods.

Following suit, a group of France’s biggest mosques and influential Muslim organisations weighed in unequivocally behind Macron, condemning terror, affirming France’s freedom of expression laws and its official secularism, and condemning those who instrumentalise the religion for ulterior motives.

This is positive. It opens up crucial space for common ground, and it’s a space that should open further with the investigation of the Islamist trouble-making group, the Cheik Yassine Collective, which is accused of leading the campaign of rage that led to Paty’s beheading.

More power to your elbow, Macron.

Madli Kleingeld
Madli Kleingeld
3 years ago

Good journalism…as always, British writers, thank you ,enjoy the read. Must correct one thing in today’s article about Emmanuel Macron. He was a banker for 2 years only…you should not describe him as one . Most of his career background was in the government or associated parts of it.
But you are not the only one, The Times has only recently stopped this incorrect fact.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

..

Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
3 years ago

If Macron was serious in his attempt to reign in radical Islam, he would enact the necessary upstream measures to do so but let’s be real for a second, he won’t, because he is more interested in promoting the interests of France’s largest corporations than hard-working French people.

Let’s see, will he

– reform the Schengen freedom of movement: No
– reform France lax immigration laws to take into account the cultural and educational background of prospective migrants: No
– allow for the mass deportation of irregular migrants: No
– quit the very outdated 1951 convention on refugees: No
– cut ties with the Gulf monarchies, i.e., the main sponsor of radical Islam: No

His is just a posture, a masquerade aimed at containing the electoral threat represented by the Rassemblement National and Marine Le Pen.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago

What Macron’s recent (and now here written about) comments about the problem posed to France and French identity by Muslims who come not to integrate and become French but rather to isolate and remain Islamists has to do with a) promoting the interests of France’s largest corporations; b) the hard working French people; c) reforming the Schengen treaty; d) reform of French immigration laws; e) the deportation of migrants; f) quitting the 1951 refugee convention, or g) cutting ties with the Gulf monarchies I have no idea.

Not that each of them is undeserving of commentary, but that’s not what the essay was about. Rather, it’s about Macron’s take on what actions secular, western democracies must take to deal with migrants who don’t integrate. That’s all. Here, now, and in the context of the article, your comment is interesting but irrelevant, and it’s important that people not confuse them.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

All of the measures Ebthaj Sidiri lists are integral to the problem of Islamists wandering around Europe at will, killing us and generally destroying our societies with the help of their leftie apologists.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Maybe there should be a tyrants lottery where the top prizes would be the tyrannical rule over several dozen European provinces, this would hasten the process of drawing out the wannabe tyrants, which has become a Herculean task amidst the present political subterfuge.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
3 years ago

Problem is Europe is not a unit. Copnceiving of it as a unit is the reason why its is in such poor shape.

Angela Frith
Angela Frith
3 years ago

Brexit will not save us. We closed the door to European Christian immigrants and opened it wide to Islam.

Kate H. Armstrong
Kate H. Armstrong
3 years ago
Reply to  Angela Frith

“We” had no say in the matter AF ….

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  Angela Frith

Brexit? Save you? Hahahahahahahaha! That’s funny!

Penelope Newsome
Penelope Newsome
3 years ago

I find this article totally confusing and do not really understand from it what Macron’s position is exactly. Ok he is against “radical Islam” and US liberals are not; he thinks Europe should stand up for European values, e=whatever they may be. n And so do what exactly?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

A politician desires to be all things to all men, because he or she wants to be voted into power. They try to achieve this by saying things which can be directed at selected audiences, or can be ambiguous, rather than doing things, which tend to be less ambiguous.

Peter Turner
Peter Turner
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

That’s why the fence is such a comfortable seating position for politicians of all persuasions.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Macron is against radical Islam because there is an election quite soon. After that he will be against, or for, something else.

ralph bell
ralph bell
3 years ago

Macron has become such an inspiring and courageous leader. He would definitely get my vote based on the last months.
Brilliant article summarising his interwiew.

Christian Filli
Christian Filli
3 years ago

Macron is one of (perhaps THE) youngest yet arguably most mature leader(s) of the free world today. I can only hope he has the stamina to carry on.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago

Indeed, in the time of Trump, illiberal democracies and small-minded nationalist resurgences, he and Merkel are the only sane people of any standing left. Very lucky.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago

Not sure why the author thinks that ‘liberals’ aren’t concerned with the impact of illiberal and intransigent minorities on secular multicultural democracies, and he certainly doesn’t make the case that they don’t. Oh, right. It’s just click-bait, because dealing with culturally forceful and intransigent religious minorities within a pluralistic and secular democracy is something we all need to think seriously about, left, right, or center. Macron is, and I for one applaud his efforts and insights. Elephants in rooms are ignored at one’s peril.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago

The term, “liberal”, is pretty fluid. In the US it seems to be interchangeable with “socialist” or “leftist” of a Social Justice Warrior bent, while in the UK in connotes a centrist or even a conservative ““ “classic liberal” ““ stance.

The commentators reflexively condemning Macron on the US east coast for racism are probably not “liberal” in the UK sense, but are “liberal” in the US sense.

These “liberals” use postmodern Critical Theory to detect racism in everything.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

as your quotation marks indicate, they aren’t liberals any more, they just call themselves that and think they still are.

neilyboy.forsythe
neilyboy.forsythe
3 years ago

How would anyone know what Macron believes in? It’s an ever changing, garbled mess of conflicting outbursts, as opposed to policies or strategies.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago

“It is a marker of how far US commentators have self-radicalised since then that Macron is now the target of the New York Times and Washington Post, after daring to criticise their new race-centric ideological passions, and the complex algebraic equations of moral worth and political validity which derive from them. “

Incidental to the article’s subject I know, but this is an important insight because it describes a problem common to both the USA and the UK, which is that the political shocks of Trump and Brexit respectively have indeed driven part of the liberal-left into self-radicalised lunacy. It’s worse in the USA obviously, because unlike in the UK where the Tories have been bending over backwards to try to accommodate both sides of the political divide (with limited success, yes, I know), Donald Trump delighted in ensuring that his political opponents remained in a permanent state of petulant rage. This was fun to watch from 3000 miles away, but it was always obvious that it was creating divides and fractures in American society that may never heal.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

What is never pointed out though is that Trump and Brexit were not ‘shocks’ to anyone who has a clue what’s going on. The liberal bubble really is a massive disability. Globalisation, and the speed with which it has happened has torn communities apart in a way that has not happened in 100s of years. And the derangement of the left over what normal sane people call common sense but they call fascism, bigotry and hate is so mind bogglingly stupid it leaves people feeling like they’ve woken up in some insane Orwellian nightmare, with no idea how we got there. It’s not a ‘resurgence of the far right’, it’s reclaiming normal ordinary things like national identity and patriotism that have suddenly become toxic but shouldnt be. The real far right is very very fringe. Boris and even Farage are not even close to far right. The shifting of definitions needs to stop.

SHARMAKE FARAH
SHARMAKE FARAH
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

As I like to say, common sense is often very wrong, which is why I distrust it.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

Or could it be that he now realises that Le Pen was right all along but he just can’t admit it?

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago

Who’s going to pay, though?

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago

Macron can talk well, but can he deliver anything of substance. I am sceptical.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

An article that purports to talk about how the Anglo media have abandoned Macron ought to at least provide a single example of an American column or editorial slamming Macron for his positions. I didn’t see one. Even if true, very weak.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Paragraph 6 links to that single example you seek but there were many more and on social media, Guardian and NYT journos were pretty hysterical with their accusations (with many of the media chums liking or RTing their accusations).

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

Nothing I’ve read, and I subscribe to both the NYT and WaPo (really the flagships of centrist anglophone journalism) and regularly read the Guardian, could be described, as it has been by many commentators, as some sort of general western repudiation of Macron’s views either on Islam, or policing.

Links, please. Not Ben Smith’s interview.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

Feel sorry for you that you seem to believe the bullshit you just wrote. Centrist anglophone journalism, haha. Links cannot be posted here. Look up Karen Attiah’s output on twitter and the Wapo. Heidi Moore from Guardian US on Twitter and NYT’s entire coverage on the issue, including the snarky one linked here – which lies that Macron’s office called the reporter up to deliver a diatribe. You seem to have not received the memo that news is not confined to the genteel broadsheets these days.

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago

” NYT and WaPo (really the flagships of centrist anglophone journalism)”

Hahahahaha! Only in their own eyes. These two rags are so far away from the founding principles of the US that they have become little more than propaganda sheets for the Democrats.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

*wink* I’m not arguing with the proposition. I’m simply pointing out that if you write an article about U.S. pundits and Macron, you should include a few examples.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

hi M. I have the pottery pix. Unfortunately the Harry thread just shut down. How can I send them to you. Should I Just do it here?

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 years ago

Perhaps Macrons greatest asset is he can see his mistakes and can learn from them and the people. Something missing from most politicians.

Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
3 years ago

Macron is representative of the French political class’ schizophrenia. He wants to fight against Islamic separatism but is unwilling to enact stricter immigration laws that could hurt the interests of France’s largest corporations. He wants to prevent irregular migrants to reach Europe but wants to maintain France’s influence and military presence in Africa.

He belongs to a school of thought ” liberalism ” that caused the downfall of the Nation-State and the European civilization, then laments the fact that Europe finds itself struggling to contain the assaults of other civilizations.

Classical liberalism died in the battlefields of WW2. It was replaced by an ideology devoid of any attachment to national and civilizational values: Neoliberalism. At the same time when Neoliberalism gained momentum, the traditional Left gave way to the New Left, a movement that is more concerned about “social” justice than class-struggle.

Eventually, the New Right and the New Left merged together to produce what can be best described as Neoliberal Multiculturalism, also known as “Woke Capital”; the dominant ideology in the Western world. Canada is the perfect example of this trend and the reason why it remains a favorite of both the Woke movement and business elites.

To come back to France, as a product of French multiculturalism, I feel obligated to say a few things about my home-country.

France complains about an Islamic separatism it created by denying its own civilizational substratum.

Due to the trauma generated by the Second World War and the Vichy regime, post-1945 France gradually freed itself from its civilizational substratum, i.e., a Gallic-Roman-Germanic ethnic base and a cultural base that could be best qualified as some form of secularized christianity.

It replaced them with a multicultural universalism where the only principle of legitimacy now resides in an infallible vision of humanism understood as the unlimited rights derived from an individual’s infinite particularities. The result is an abstract social space with no communion other than “the values “â€č”â€čof the Republic”; values “â€č”â€čthat are no match for 14 centuries of Islamic theology, norms, and practices.

In the 1970s, the country stopped bringing in Southern European immigrants to fill its labor shortage because of their unfortunate tendency to unionize and assert their rights. Industry captains such as Francis Bouygues successfully lobbied the Pompidou government to import hundreds of thousands of low-skilled African immigrants without class consciousness in order to destroy the workers’ movement and to permanently weaken the Communist Party which was then the second political force in the country.

At the same time, the New Left broke with the national dimension of French socialism, making its own the defence of all the damned of the Earth with no regard for the notion of cultural compatibility. In the 1990s, the Maastricht Treaty enshrined the liberal vision of the world and of Europe based on the free movement of goods and people. The nation gradually diluted itself in a European federation modelled after the American empire. Notions of nation and civilization are now seen as archaic, fascist even.

Thus, by the 1990s, the process of denationalization was complete, the French nation was just an empty shell ready, sitting on a “Made in China” plate, ready to be devoured by the combined actions of pro-market fanaticism and identity politics.

France does not know how to react to the identitarian assertions of its Muslim youth because it ditched all the values and rituals that made it a nation.

National preference? Gone!
Conscription? Gone!
Uniforms in school? Gone!
Any notion of cultural compatibility? Gone, it’s racist!

Problem? From the 1980s onwards, the children of African immigrants began to reaffirm their Islamic identity. Consequently, at the same time as France was “denationalizing” its Identity, French Africans took the opposite path, reaffirming their cultural affiliation to the Islamic civilizational sphere.

Since the French Republic and with it Western Europe has freed itself from its civilizational substratum, it cannot understand why others would claim any ties to one. Falling victim to its own universalism, the French Republic wrongly assumes that its republican values are compatible with any culture; nothing could be further from the truth.

The Republic is gradually coming to the realization that its universalist values are not as universal as it previously thought. Other cultures have a different understanding of the concepts of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Many French Muslims think of themselves as a separate cultural entity within the French nation. According to a recent poll, 45% of French people under 25 think that “their religious values are incompatible with the values “â€č”â€čof French society,” a figure that has been rising since 2017. Islamic communitarianism is not always violent, of course the number of terror attacks are increasing but the great majority of French Muslims remain peaceful.

Contrary to what many assumes, French muslims do not wish to establish an Islamic republic in France. In reality, their model of society is not Saudi Arabia but Canada. Ideally, they would like a “Canadianization” of France, i.e., the adoption of a multicultural model similar to what we find on the other side of the Atlantic. The city of Toronto is a perfect example of this, the different communities that make up the city cohabit peacefully but without really mixing outside of work.

French Muslims have found their greatest ally in their desire to Canadianize France in the presence of the Woke movement, itself heir to the New Left of the 1960s. The Canadian multiculturalist model lends itself perfectly to the Woke ideology which reduces an individual’s identity and the oppression he/she suffers to his gender, ethnicity and religion. We have seen this convergence at play during the BLM protests in Europe. The white upper-classes and upper-middle classes living in the gentrified city centres of large metropolises marched alongside the racialist associations active in France’s working-class neighbourhoods.

The problem with Canadianization is that France is not a multicultural federation deprived of a clear national identity like Canada but a nation-state. The French state has been in continuous existence since 843, with an unbroken line of heads of states since the first king of Francia Occidentalis (Charles the Bald). The Canadian multiculturalist model ” itself the b*****d child of a genocide ” was made possible because the original Native populations were eliminated by European settlers. In Canada, the notion of civilization and ethnic roots is irrelevant as no one can claim that “his ancestors were here before”; this is not the case of France and Europe as a whole.

France will have to make a choice. Either it follows a Canadian model based on identitarian and economic liberalism or it constitutionally affirms its ties to the European civilization and adopts a social and economic structure that reflects this choice. Choosing the latter would inevitably lead to a violation of several principles of European and international law, such as the Schengen freedom of movement or the 1951 convention relating to the status of refugees. Additionally, a stricter migration policy could provoke a backlash on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea and put an end to the French presence in Africa.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago

Whilst it is almost against my religion to applaud anything French, I have to confess to agreeing with a lot of what Macron is now saying.

If he could just stop being a pain in the arse over BREXIT and stop allowing / encouraging economic migrants to cross the Channel, I might risk total excommunication by admitting to liking him. Assuming he actually means what he says, which would be unusual for a politician facing re-election.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Actually he’s turning on more or less everyone – except the police. The Times and Jimmy Dore have both reported that Macron has banned the filming or photographing of the police if it ’causes harm’ to the police person or persons in question. (Never mind the harm caused to the person or people being beaten up by the police). The law has been passed by the French parliament. The evil is growing, exponentially.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Macron, in the immediate aftermath of these atrocities, to his credit, has been pretty brave and robust in terms of his attempts to reassert the vital division of state and religion and underline the former’s ultimate primacy, but that’s about as far as it goes.

With the ageing Merkel’s star now inevitably on the wane, he clearly fancies himself as the next de facto leader of the EU and with this issue, particularly given that he arguably scraped the presidency with more or less the entire combined political might of the EU and the French establishment behind him in his run off against a far right Marine Le Pen in 2017, he knows full well that this, domestically speaking, coupled with its vague, ham fisted conflation with socially divisive neoliberal economic policy (which ironically he has essentially been a poster boy for to date) can only play to his advantage with the terminally credulous when he likely faces her again in 2022.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Obviously Marcon has been doing his homework in hitting most of the altRight buttons, is it grandstanding or domestic political bluster to thwart the right?

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

It is a pity that the buttons Macron is hitting are dismissed as altright. Actually what he is doing is what any polity with a significant number of muslims does, including practically all the muslim majority countries. Monitor and license the mosques and madrassas, investigate funding, including that of charities, tightly censor the Friday khutbahs (lest the faithful pour out of the mosques and rampage on the streets). Islam is a political beast.

Penelope Newsome
Penelope Newsome
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

But no countries are monitoring mosques or madrassas or investigating their funding. No countries are standing up to Islam at all, It will be great if Macron really does,

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

But he won’t.

G H
G H
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

Alt right? You need to do some more reading. Whatever he is, he is nowhere near alt right. Unless of course it is used as a tired old insult against anyone who doesn’t share your views

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

He is indeed using alt right as a tired old insult.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

Used altRight in a generic sense to cover the (anomalous) political spectrum, are European demographics not a concern of the altRight?

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago

Sounds good to me. I never understood why the left, which is all about making things more civilised at home, is so horrified at the thought of even criticising a lack of civiliation abroad – or even in ethnic minorities at home, for that matter. I understand the dangers of imperialism, but it’s one thing not to go into other countries and try to civilise them at gunpoint (doing things at gunpoint is very uncivilised, for one thing), and quite another to pretend that up is down and black is white just because it’s foreign.

On the other hand, and by the same principle, I’ve never understood why the right is so anti-Islam. Because Islam goes about one and a half steps further on most topics than the Western right does? It seems like a very small difference for all the vitriol.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Is there an Islamic country that you would be happy to live in? If the answer is ‘No’ you can understand why the right (as you define it) is so concerned about Islam. The Islamisation of western Europe is now an historical and demographic inevitability. That is future that our politicians have chosen for us. You are obviously quite relaxed about that given that you probably won’t be alive to see it. But some of us, whether of the right, left or centre, greatly regret the fact.

For you to state that Islam resembles the right is just nonsense. Islam far more closely resembles the left given that it is a totalitarian belief system that denies agency to the individual.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

What evidence do you have to support the claim that the “Islamisation of western Europe is now an historical and demographic inevitability”?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I think you’ll find that there are 1,400 years of evidence of the way that Islam almost always spreads and conquers. To be sure, Europe has repulsed this spread twice, but having allowed tens of millions of muslims into Europe it is in no position to do so again.

For further evidence, look at the way in which the Labour Party covered up for the grooming gangs etc because they ddin’t want to alienate one of their key voting blocs. All over Europe, the left allies with Islam to destroy western structures and values, aided and abetted by the media.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That doesn’t sound like evidence.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

That’s because you are not listening.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

He or she or they appears to be a few minarets short of a mosque.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

No, it’s because I know the difference between reasoned argument and alarmist nonsense.

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago

Learn to count.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Good luck having a ‘reasoned argument’ with the Islamists when they strike.

chriswroath
chriswroath
3 years ago

No! it’s because you are among a group that won’t even discus this possibility

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  chriswroath

Not at all. I’m asking for evidence. “Because they’re like that” isn’t evidence.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

Other people clearly don’t think you can…

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

I’m not generally bothered by what other people think.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

…and yet you continue to reply to other people when they do not agree with what you think?

Zhirayr Nersessian
Zhirayr Nersessian
3 years ago

As an Armenian I can tell you Fraser is spot on. The West has yet to realize it.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

What do you see preventing it? Macron dared to notice that Islam struggles to find compatibility with Western values, and is attacked for it. There are beheadings, bombings, and the rest, and anyone who notices those things is attacked as “phobic” or some such. In essence, the attackers are supportive of horrible behavior and human nature has always held that you will get more of what you tolerate.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The assertion that Europe is destined to become “Islamicised”, which I suppose means mainly that White Europeans will be a minority and the form of government will be some form of religious dictatorship, rests on at least two simplistic assumptions, including that most Muslims themselves would want this, instead of seeing themselves as participating citizens of democracies (which most do, according to research), and also that demographic trends of the past 30 years will continue for the next 100 or so.

The way to calm tensions is to do more of what already works in France and other countries, where the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by violence and want to live their lives as citizens: keep improving education, and build routes out of ghettoisation and into mainstream economic, business, and cultural life.

The way not to do it is to spread hatred and suspicion of an entire section of the population.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Several European nations have negative birth rates as it is, so there is a math component that is augmented by the prevailing attitude of avoiding the appearance of Islamophobia at all costs, even when the natives are harmed or killed.

If “the vast majority are appalled” as you say, they’re doing a grand job of keeping it to themselves. Problems within Islam are not going to be fixed from the outside; they have to be addressed by Muslims. While most do not participate in violence, there are plenty who condone it and plenty more who may not but are too scared of reprisal to say anything.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

How many condone it?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

The ones paying for it? The ones who want people to die over innocuous things like cartoons but don’t pull the trigger themselves?

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

What proportion of French Muslims condone killings?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

the proportion that is not saying a damn word about them.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

How do you know who’s saying what in France?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

there is this thing called Google, along with various other search tools, that one can use to find information.

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
3 years ago

What you advocate plays right into their hands. Perhaps you should spend some time reading about how this very set-up played out in similar situations in history. Naivety is out of place on a matter like this.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

One and a half steps? You clearly have no idea.

How many countries use the Bible, Vedic texts or the Analects as the foundation of their constitutions and legal systems as opposed to the quran? If you do not even begin to interrogate the ramifications of this, of course you will never understand.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago

Right-wing Christian theocrats in the US hate Islam because it’s a competing Dominionist ideology. People on the right who are Enlightenment-style liberals oppose Islamism because it’s a Dominionist ideology.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago

There are great numbers of Christians in the US, but how many of them can properly be described as ‘theocrats’? I mean, truly theocrats in the sense that some Islamic countries are theocratic. (Always bearing in mind that establishment of religion is expressly forbidden by the US Constitution.)

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Hi William. I really recommend Anne Nelson’s book, “Shadow Network”, which traces the formation and influence of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP), a coalition of Christian fundamentalists, fossil fuel barons, and gun lobbyists whose aim is to fuse church and state by taking control of the judiciary and education in order to promote Creationism, subdue science, and dismantle women’s rights. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary, is a leading light in the CNP, as is VP Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, the Koch brothers, influential broadcasters, and more.

I used to worry about Islamism, but, as a liberal, I worry way more about these American mullahs.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago

Dear Jaunty Alooetta, Many thanks for the reference. I will look for it. For a quick rule-of-thumb, can you give any indication of the numbers involved?

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Do you mean numbers of people? I don’t, but the power and reach of this lobby is considerable. They can embed a vice president and cabinet-level politicians. They work up lists of sympathetic lawyers for judicial nominations. Their local radio networks, aligned to mega-churches, blanket the south and midwest. The head of the NRA is a member. The Mercers, of Cambridge Analytica, are members. They are highly networked and can, on a dime, mobilise activists in the most obscure, local elections or planning battles, such as against public transit schemes.

Penelope Newsome
Penelope Newsome
3 years ago

This sounds very similar to Islam invading our institutions, tho I doubt if it’s anything like as widespread and successful as Islam.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

That’s a major conspiracy you’re describing. It must be very successful at confidentiality, because I’ve never heard of it..

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

You’re welcome to read the book. It has been widely praised for investigative reporting.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

See this for numbers. Just look at how wicked and evil they all are. https://twitter.com/seanfeu

Penelope Newsome
Penelope Newsome
3 years ago

Interesting that such a thing ads CNP exists, but it is miniscule in threat compared to Islam.

chriswroath
chriswroath
3 years ago

If you worry more that way, then your brain must have been thoroughly washed prior to your indoctrination.

Kate H. Armstrong
Kate H. Armstrong
3 years ago

Betsy DeVos? As education secretary, “has worked to provide government funding for Charter schools in deprived black ghettos”. The quote is from a highly regarded, black public intellectual; one of a number who believe the Democrats have deliberately kept such schools deprived of finance due to an ancient agreement with teaching Unions. Joe Biden, in a recent speech, renewed his promise to teaching Unions to keep Charter schools so deprived. I fear you have been listening to Democratic propaganda. Try You Tube podcasts by Thomas Sowell et al.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

LOL. Exactly. I mean see how oppressive they are? How can people put up with such evil? https://twitter.com/seanfeu

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

As an ‘Enlightenment-style liberal’ with no belief in any God I would much prefer to live in a Christian theocracy than an Islamic theocracy.

Poland, for instance, is arguably half way to becoming a Christian theocracy. I would much rather live there than in the type of Islamic theocracy that France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden etc will become over the next century or so.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

So you’re okay with totalitarianism? You’re not a liberal then.

Myself, I oppose totalitarianism whether it’s in the name of Jesus, Mohamed or Santa Claus.

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago

To equate modern Christianity with modern Islam is absurd

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I didn’t say I was OK with totalitarianism. I merely said that given the choice – and it is a choice that millions of Europeans might face quite soon – I would prefer to live in a Christian theocracy than an Islamic theocracy. Would you prefer to live in Poland or Pakistan? In Mike Pence’s US or Erdogan’s Turkey?

And good luck with opposing Islamic totalitarianism. As we can see from the last 1,400 years, it doesn’t usually end well for those who the opposing.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

You’re misquoting him, which is so obvious that I wonder why you do so.

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago

I am old left and I cannot imagine a great threat to my (semi) socialist ideals than Islam.
Perhaps you can afford to be sanguine because you live so far away from the front line.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

“I’ve never understood why the right is so anti-Islam. Because Islam goes
about one and a half steps further on most topics than the Western
right does?”

I watched a programme from US TV the other night. It was about an immigrant Palestinian couple who murdered their daughter because she had struck up a relationship with a young man without their sanction. He was black, but that wasn’t the issue. The wife held her while the father stabbed her to death. No contrition was shown when they were sentenced.

It was an ‘honour killing’, not uncommon, even in formerly ‘liberal’ Islamic countries like Turkey. They have even happened in the UK

Name me one instance of this behaviour among Christians, anywhere, over say the last 500 years (I’m leaving aside political murders, such as those of British royalty in the Catholic past). Not all religions are the same.

jmcazes
jmcazes
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Read “Affaire Calas”. Voltaire… 1760…
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wi

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

The Inquisition didn’t end until 1800. They just burned a few thousand people though. It was mostly about stealing their property more than anything else.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Germany – 1936 to 1945. Predominantly Christian population with a long history of ‘Christian’ values murdered millions based on the basis of a latent cultural hatred of Jews based largely on a Christian fable about the death of an, arguably fictitious, Jew.

11 people working in abortion clinics in USA from 1993 to 2015 murdered because of their jobs – by Christians.

Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari – USA 2018 – starved their baby daughter to death rather than seek medical aid for religious reasons.

1600 civilians killed during Northern Irish Troubles – might have been a political conflict but victims were identified based on which brand of christianity they were associated with.

Victoria Climbie – UK 2000. Murdered by her Christian mother who believed she was possessed by the devil.

Current abuse and murder of children in Sub-Saharan Africa accused of ‘witchcraft’ by Christians.

There are horrific and continuing murders committed in the name of every religion.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thus the munificence of the Pax Roman. QED?

Penelope Newsome
Penelope Newsome
3 years ago

What can you mean. ? Does the Western right go around behaeading and stoning people to death, cutting off their hands, killing Christians and others they consider opposing Mohammed as Prophet? For goodness sake , anyway what do you mean by” the western right”, ? anyone who isn’t some kind of left Marxist?

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago

The right is anti islam because it understands in a way the left refuses to understand or admit, that over time Islam tolerates nothing but itself. It has never shown a capacity to tolerate others, unless it is dominant and in charge of the legal political system. What Western Europe is trying to do with its new muslim minorities is unprecedented in World history. The left refuses to acknowledge or be concerned about this.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

What’s happening in Scotland regarding free speech laws is a perfect example of this.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

On the other hand, and by the same principle, I’ve never understood why the right is so anti-Islam.

One of the key concerns of the right is that the state should be relatively small and should stay out of people’s lives as much as possible. Islam, however, proposes that Islam should be the state and that this state should be so big that it controls every aspect of your life, including your appearance, and requiring you to go to worship 5 (five) times a day.

The much more apt question to ask is why is the left so tolerant of Islam? Because that is genuinely puzzling: the left that is supposedly less harsh on crime because it understands that there may be social reasons for crime; the left that thinks women should be equal to men in all respects; the left that champions the rights of homosexuals and anyone with an alternative lifestyle; the left that believes in equality – none of those things are even remotely compatible with Islam.

Interestingly, though, if you go to what is traditionally seen as the extreme end of the right-wing spectrum, Hitler was very impressed by Islam.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

And the Islamists were rather impressed by Hitler.