X Close

France’s demographic civil war Politicians are drumming up anti-Islam sentiment

The Right is weaponising demography in France. Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty


April 4, 2022   6 mins

When I was 15, back in the very early Eighties, I spent the best part of a summer is a sleepy corner of “la France profonde”. The family I stayed with were hard-up members of the nobility, trying to earn a living from their meagre estate while the moat dried up and their chateau slowly tumbled about their ears. During the course of my stay, Madame — the mother of six — made a trip to Paris for the first time in decades. Normally unruffled, she returned in a state of shock. “Paris maintenant, c’est un macĂ©doine,” she declared, meaning that, compared to the last time she had been there, the capital had become what we would now call “diverse”.

The French are decreasingly guarded about exposing their dislike of the emerging demography of France — where a large and growing North African population inhabits suburban rings around the tiny cores of many historic cities from the Mediterranean to the Channel. I thought of my hostess from 40 years ago when travelling with my wife near Rheims last year. Our hotelier, a woman with an elegant home and her own family mark of champagne, told us enthusiastically about the wonderful Monsieur Zemmour, an intellectual writer and broadcaster who had not at that stage declared himself as a presidential candidate but who she thought might just save France.

Arriving in the village in the Pyrenees Orientales where we spend much of our time, we heard the same from our elderly, highly cultivated neighbour and an artisan friend of hers. Of course, neither would actually vote for Zemmour if he stood, they assured us (not entirely convincingly), but he was very impressive. And had we noticed the first veils arriving in the nearest town and occasionally in the village itself?

This is a region that Pepin and his son Charlemagne captured from the Moors in the late ninth century, a fact attested to by a series of local Romanesque chapels dating from the following two centuries. Our neighbour and her friend felt they were witnessing a reversal of the Carolingian handiwork: an area once wrested from the Muslims by the Christians was being wrested back, not through warfare but through migration and a higher birth rate.

The French have long been obsessed by demography — and with good reason. When Napoleon dominated the continent early in the nineteenth century, his population was at least half as large as Britain’s — even including Ireland — and also half as large again as what was to become Germany. In its glory — in the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries — France was Europe’s population behemoth.

But whereas in the century before the outbreak of the First World War, France’s population grew from around 30 to around 40 million, Britain’s rose from around 25 million to around 45 million, despite the massive emigration by which people of British origin had settled vast swathes of the globe, from California to Tasmania. Over the same period, not only was Germany unified, but its population rose from a little over 20 million to around 65 million. Industrialisation was also slower in France than in Britain or Germany, in part due to the lack of raw materials; the best iron deposits were lost to the Germans with Lorraine. But it was a lack of manpower which proved decisive, whether in the factories or at the front.

It was clear long before the bloodiest battles on the western front that France was a second-rate power dependent on British and Russian allies just to hold its own. The defeat of 1870 at the hands of the Prussians and their allies was a national trauma; the ignominy of the lost lands beyond the ligne bleu of Alsace and Lorraine were deeply etched on French consciousness. And population — or lack of it — was blamed. As early as 1849, a French parliamentary deputy saw national decline as rooted in demography: “The first element of power is population, and on this point 
 France is in full decay.” By the time of the outbreak of war in 1914, more than half of French parliamentarians were members of the Parliamentary Group for the Protection of Natality. French family sizes had shrunk long before those of other European powers, for reasons till not entirely clear. We know enough to understand that the cause was a comparatively low birth rate, though, rather than a high death rate: perhaps the French peasants figured out how to limit their procreation earlier than people elsewhere.

But if defeat in the Franco-Prussian war excited a demographic alarm, the travails of 1914-1918 turned the problem into a source of despair. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau may have got a lot of what he wanted in the Treaty of Versailles in terms of punishing Germany, but he declared: “The treaty does not say that France must undertake to have children but it is the first clause which should have been included in it 
 One can take all of Germany’s guns, one can do whatever one likes, France will be lost because there is no more Frenchman.”

Inter-war, the French made efforts to boost their numbers. Prolific mothers were offered medals. The Alliance pour l’Accroissement de la Population française advocated larger families. It also supported immigration of Europeans, ideally Catholics, who could be absorbed into the French nation. Hundreds of thousands of Poles, Belgians and Italian came to live in France between the wars; France had a foreign-born population three times as large as the UK’s in the 1930s (almost six times if the Irish are excluded from the UK figure).

And yet, in 1937 Paul Reynaud, a minister and later prime minister, still lamented: “There is a single factor which dominates everything: the demographic factor. Forty-one million Frenchmen face sixty-seven million Germans and forty-three million Italians, these last two countries linked by the Berlin-Rome axis.
 As far as numbers are concerned, we are beaten.” Germany’s fertility rate had plummeted as well, but the enemy over the Rhine was still far too numerous for France to compete. Population pessimism was a critical component in the general atmosphere which led to the collapse of 1940.

After the Second World War, things looked up — demographically and in every other way. France had its own baby boom, moderate though it was, and although fertility rates have fallen in recent decades, they are still higher than in most other European countries, not least Germany. A residue of Catholicism as well as an atmosphere conducive to women combining parenthood with a career seem to have helped.

The French population also swelled with the arrival of people from the former colonies, first the pieds noirs fleeing the conflict in Algeria, then Algerian Muslims and migrants from the once vast French Empire south of the Sahara. But here lay the rub. Earlier migrant groups had been quite easily absorbed. In the Pyrenees Orientales, for example, hundreds of thousands of Spaniards fled Franco’s advance in 1939, and today their descendants have completely merged with the locals who share their Catalan identity. But although France’s republican and secular ideology demurs from formally categorising citizens, those from more distant cultures have not integrated to the same extent.

That’s not to say that France completely failed in its efforts to absorb this new wave of immigrants. A survey from, admittedly 17 years ago, showed Muslims in France much more likely to identify primarily with their nation than with their religion — when compared with those in Germany, Spain and the UK — and more likely to hold favourable views of Christians and Jews.

But, since then, France has suffered particularly acutely from Islamist terrorism. The attacks on the Bataclan and the Charlie Hebdo offices are just the most notorious examples; similar incidents in a Jewish school and a supermarket, as well as the murder of a teacher offending Islamic sensibilities, have angered and stirred up the country. Around half of French Muslims report experiencing discrimination and two thirds believe their religion is negatively perceived by their fellow citizens.

Moreover, though the French state avoids and in some cases bans the collection of data by religion or ethnicity, there is plenty of evidence — both anecdotal and statistical — that French Muslims are more prone to deprivation and unemployment than their non-Muslim fellow citizens.

Now, the political rhetoric around French demography is as charged as it was 100 years ago. Today the worry comes not from across the Rhine but from over the Mediterranean. A demographic pessimism hangs over France much as it did back when Reynaud despaired in the face of a larger German population. More than 60% of French people believe that white Christians will be rendered extinct by Muslims. There is talk of lost suburbs where women and men are increasingly separated in public. A French journalist who worked on a story of no-go Islamic zones recently received death threats and is under police protection. Around 20 retired generals have warned that Islam is taking over parts of the country and have raised the possibility of a racially-driven civil war.

In this febrile atmosphere, it is small wonder that two of the leading candidates in the fast-approaching presidential election are explicitly anti-Islam. Zemmour has said he is standing “to save France from Islam” and has called on Muslims to abandon their religion. Marine Le Pen has proposed a headscarf ban and compared Muslims praying in the street with the Nazi occupation. Not to be outdone, the centre has followed the lead of the Right: President Macron has vowed to fight “Islamic separatism” and his interior minister has taken an activist line in controlling Muslim political associations. Although the Left is generally more sympathetic to minorities, it has a strong tradition of secularism (laĂŻcitĂ©) which often rubs up against Muslim practice.

The consensus is that Macron and his associates will succeed in stealing the thunder of the two far-Right candidates and that he will emerge as the clear winner. Despite the enthusiasm of my interlocutors last year, Zemmour seems to be sinking while Le Pen rises. She will have to do much better in debates with Macron than she did in 2017 if she is to stand a chance of not being trounced; Macron’s superior intellect counts a lot with the French, who are unapologetic about their respect for brain power.

But bear this in mind: when Le Pen’s father faced Jacques Chirac in the second round in 2002, the far-Right candidate received just 18% of the vote; 15 years later, his daughter got almost 34%. In a France once more obsessed by its own demographic decline, the unthinkable is increasingly becoming thinkable; the unsayable becoming sayable. Nothing can be discounted.


Dr. Paul Morland is a business consultant and senior member at St Antony’s College, Oxford. His latest book is Tomorrow’s People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers.


Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

75 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
polidori redux
polidori redux
2 years ago

I don’t regard myself as belonging to any “wing”. But it just strikes me as obvious that large scale immigration from countries with a radically different culture will lead to conflict. The curious part is why our political elites think that, somehow, The West will be immune to this.

Last edited 2 years ago by polidori redux
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Call it what it is colonialism. Then you can deal with it

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

We definitely need some in government who can study what Islam means from history and from the Koran. Most are ignorant of it.

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Your mistake is presuming it is simply that they haven’t thought it through. They have, and know exactly what it is that they’re doing.

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

But why would they do it?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Leon Wivlow

Because that is what the leaders believe.

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  polidori redux

When in doubt, choose the chicken wing.

James Pelton
James Pelton
2 years ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Our elites think that the West will be immune to it is because they will be. They, not the West.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
2 years ago

France’s demography sounds like a “great replacement” to me. Oh wait, I forgot, that’s a conspiracy theory only believed by right-wing loons.

2 books: Camp of the Saints (if you can find a copy) and Submission. 50 years apart but both tell the story of a French nation collectively committing suicide.

Last edited 2 years ago by Brian Villanueva
Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Yes, us right-wig loons also realize that Muslims do not separate “church & state”, like Western democracies do. The concept is completely foreign to them.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

We don’t appear so far behind them.

Jesper Bo Henriksen
Jesper Bo Henriksen
2 years ago

It seems to me like the massive inflow of Ukrainian refugees into Europe has made it more permissible to say the obvious: some newcomers fit in better than others.
European migrants are less likely to demand, for example, that the locals stop serving the pork dishes they have enjoyed for centuries, or that their women accept harassment for wearing comfortable clothing in summer.
Here in Scandinavia we have many descendants of recent Middle Eastern immigration waves complaining that the Ukrainians have been treated better than they have, although they have been the beneficiaries of everything our welfare state has to offer and more, such as special swimming hours for women only at our local tax-funded athletic facility.
I don’t imagine the Ukrainians, once established, will be as troublesome.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

It’s almost as if white Western peoples do not have the same right to their cultures as others. What’s going on today is nothing more than “reverse colonization”.

JĂĄnos Klein
JĂĄnos Klein
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

Indeed. In the French case, it’s clearly stated by many North African immigrants, especially the Algerians, that they’ve come to make France pay for the harm they caused to Algeria during recent colonial times.
Eric Zemmour (unlike Macron) has said, in essence, that France has nothing to apologize for since it built up the country from almost nothing.
I wouldn’t know.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  JĂĄnos Klein

Britain also build up many countries from nothing and when they were ready gave them democratic self rule, even though in some cases they became dictatorships. This history is hated for some reason, but many in those countries are willing to admit that it is true.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

Christians are blaphemed on TV and in the media but one word going the other way and you have a riot on your hands. So we are held down because of fear. It doesn’t change the truth though.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony Conrad
anna.draycott
anna.draycott
2 years ago

I’m old enough to remember an influx of Ukrainians to my mining village in the north of England just after World War 2 – ‘displaced persons’ they were called then. After a little initial wariness, we soon discovered they were hard working, family-minded folk, not much different from us. In time, they bought an old shop that they converted into a Ukrainian Club where their children learned Ukrainian.
From time to time, they held open days when the whole village enjoyed displays of dancing, sampled Ukrainian food etc. They preserved their culture but mixed with locals too; my dad played dominoes in the pub with Mr Czuplak who spoke two languages: Ukrainian and English with an impenetrable Lancashire accent.
They were also aspiring, encouraging their children to work hard at school and aim high. If my childhood experience is anything to go by, these resilient, industrious people will be an asset.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

You have a city in Sweden that became the rape capital of the world after a certain inflow. Merkel acted very stupidly at the time.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

The infamous ‘Malmo’?

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

It isn’t just the French. We’re all committing demographic suicide, and I include my childless self in that judgement. Don’t get the wrong idea. I never wanted children and I have no child-shaped hole in my soul now I’m too old to start down that road. But I finally understand what people mean when they say those who do not have them are selfish. We are rotten with selfishness, and it’s killing our civilization. Very few of us will ever make any contribution of any significance to our societies outside of children, but we all have ideas of ourselves as being men and women of great vision and leadership. In truth, the number of people in any given generation who can be termed “great” — the Newtons, the Picassos, the Einsteins — can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The rest of us are mediocrities, and the only thing we CAN contribute are children.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Thank you for that contribution, well stated. I also think that we forget our entire life is but a nanosecond in all of time.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. James 4:14

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

Humility and truth can only lead us upwards but he that is proud should get ready for a fall.

Frederick B
Frederick B
2 years ago

It’s not just France, sadly. Here in England and Wales, White British births fell to 58.4% in 2019 and given the ongoing collapse in births in 2020 and 2019 may now be close to a minority. Add to that, the Tories new open borders immigration policy (deceitfully called a “points based” policy) which is set fair to exceed even the insane immigration levels of recent years, and we are staring minority status in the face.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
2 years ago
Reply to  Frederick B

It very much appears that wealth is such a strong negative driver of birthrates that nothing else can make up for it. This is great news for the world, since it means economic growth will eventually stabilize the global population (UN says we will cap out at about 12B people in about 2100). This is bad news for any industrialized country that wants to retain its ethnic composition though.

Trying to raise birthrates with economic incentives doesn’t work. You have to win by choosing your immigrants carefully based on who can be most easily assimilated into your culture.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

I note that the more alive churches are full of good marriages and lively children.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

And in America, 85% of those children will leave the faith of their parents, likely permanently. We are not only not having babies in the West, even those who do so are catastrophically failing to successfully pass on the Greek-Jewish-Christian hybrid that we call Western culture.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Frederick B

That is true but we have also aborted 9 million babies since the 1968 act and the culture predominately now thinks nothing of sleeping around as opposed to starting a family and building a marriage. So we have also shot ourselves in the foot.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

It always fascinates me as to how discrimination, cruelty, disenfranchisement and worse against Christian and white people around the globe attracts not one jot of comment or concern in politics and the media? It is equally perverse that in a democracy such as France, and of course Britain, one ostensibly has freedom of speech and views…. but not if it is ” anti islam”?….Voters are sick to the back teeth of this hypocrisy, along with the sanctification of Eco and LBGT by politicians, and my experience of chatting to ordinary people in France reflects this real anger…. actually ditto on England.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago

Then why isn’t it ever voted out?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

Because of fear of hate crime/speech laws

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

That is true but the average man in the street doesn’t agree with it, neither do these forums generally. We seem to be sold over to a tiny voiciforus group of people.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago

But voting is usually private isn’t it? How would anyone even know how you voted?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

Good point. I think it is because we vote them in. My MP isn’t open about it but on investigation she and others are the reason it is never voted out. I was banned by our local paper for even mentioning it. All I can do is not vote for her but there is not much I can say as the local tory political party is a law unto itself unlike the local councillors.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

That is true but on the other hand Islamic people are real people that we can encourage where we get the opportunity even though we might not agree with their religion or they ours.

Michael J
Michael J
2 years ago

The western elites’ infatuation with tolerance and cultural relativism will slowly destroy us from within unless firmer action is taken. The census in the UK when released later this year is sure to be a big wake up call.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael J

We have had plenty of wake up calls but still continue helplessly down the same path.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael J

In the UK, ‘Mohamed’ has been the top name given to boys in recent years, no?!

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
2 years ago

It’s good to see a Western culture trying to save its people. Hopefully, the Anglosphere will catch up with France.
I’m in South East Asia. The concept of disliking one’s own culture is impossible to explain here, even to educated Thais, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. They don’t have “www” – white western weakness.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rod McLaughlin
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

I don’t know. I am not particulary enamoured by what the culture is becoming but I think I am in the minority.

Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
2 years ago

I am myself a product of French multiculturalism, yet I have to recognize that they are factual reasons to be worried about France’s demographic evolution. Muslims, especially low-skilled ones, marry into their faith and live among themselves. Their worldview and cultural norms greatly differ from those of France’s historical ethnocultural base.
According to the pew research center, France’s Muslim population is projected to represent between 13 to 18% of the whole population around 2050. Given that France hosts at least several hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and does not allow for the collection of ethnic statistics, I think these numbers are underestimated.
France as a nation is undergoing a process of deconstruction, both in terms of identity and economics. A cohesive and resilient society that historically emphasized the superiority of collective interests over individual ones is giving way to an atomized and fragmented mashup of communities that distrust each other.
This is what sociologist Jerome Fourquet refers as “the archipelisation of France”. France’s oligarchy worship money and freedom. And, in their relentless pursuit of economic growth and cheap labor, they are tearing apart what was once the embodiment of the Nation-state.
However, locked in their Ivory Tower, they cannot perceive that a cultural and social resurgence in at play among many segments of the French population. This resurgence is still fragmented along left and right lines, but as exemplified by the rise of Marine Le Pen, Red France and Blue France are starting to realize who the true enemy is – the pro-european, pro-multicultural centrists.
My guess is that, in the coming years, the divide between left and right will gradually be replaced by a division between nationalists and internationalists.

George Stone
George Stone
2 years ago

This may all change if Putin takes on NATO of course.This whole issue may be irrelevant fairly soon!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

‘Somewhere’ people versus ‘Anywhere’ people

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
2 years ago

France has a choice. It can hold its nose and elect Le Pen/Zemmour or embrace its future status as founding state of the mighty European Caliphate.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

It is not clear how either would be able to alter the demography. Standing up to the Islam lobby is one thing. Reversing the demographic growth is another.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
2 years ago

Macron may be cerebral and a fine debater, but I would think the Bataclan and Charlie Hebdo massacres and the daily adhan speak louder to many French citizens.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ray Zacek
JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

There is an obvious difference between concern about “demographic decline” and concern about the demographic composition. The author gargles clichĂ©s and factoids without any real analysis.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

From the perspective of the state perhaps, but from the perspective of the nation there is no difference.

David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
2 years ago

there is plenty of evidence â€” both anecdotal and statistical — that French Muslims are more prone to deprivation and unemployment than their non-Muslim fellow citizens
At the risk of stating the obvious, I’ll contribute the idea that perhaps this situation might be useful in discouraging immigrants from coming and staying, the question obviously being, at what point are they French, deserving somehow of governmental supplication?

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
2 years ago

According to the ONS, the least productive group of workers in the UK are Bangladeshis and Pakistanis with just over 50% of them (bothering) to work.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
2 years ago

It’s too late to change things in France and elsewhere. The political classes can’t bring themselves to do anything about illegal immigration, much less the legal sort suicidally allowed in France.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago

Please remind me, but has a great European nation with more than two thousand of history behind it ever decided to rid itself of an unwanted immigrant minority?
Surely such a thing is completely impossible in these benign times?

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

It’d be exceedingly simple to do it by non-violent means, hypothetically speaking. Punitive tax measures, ‘numerus claususes’, appropriation of property etc. Post-war Czechia springs to mind, ending their ‘German problem’ virtually overnight. The Greeks and Turks ended a thousand years of infighting through an exchange of populations. It’d be easy to do any of these things assuming you were not beholden to peer pressure or internationalist forces like the ECHR or UN.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

Thank you for that most encouraging idea.

Fred Bloggs
Fred Bloggs
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

You’ve just cited two instances that were anything but ‘non-violent’. Historians reckon around a million German civilians died during the expulsions in Eastern Europe after the war. Many of them had been living there for centuries. Meanwhile, tens of thousands died at Smyrna alone in the run-up to the Turco-Greek population exchanges. You’re talking very authoritatively for someone so misinformed on the matter.

The solution today is massively scaling back on immigration and a focus on integration, anything else leads to barbarism and massacres.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fred Bloggs
R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred Bloggs

Both of those instances were in the aftermath of brutal conflicts, so those deaths are hardly unexpected.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
2 years ago
Reply to  Fred Bloggs

And how many died the last time the Algerians tried to expel a French population?

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

I note that my previous reply to this was deleted/censorship. I’d say look at post-WW2 Czechia.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

Yes I saw that, very regrettable, but what can one do? Nihil!

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
2 years ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Which great European nation were you thinking about? The UK is about 300 years old, England about 1000, France 700, Italy 150 and Germany about 200. The European continent iself is well over 2000 years old but has always been lived in by a great variety of different people . There is not, and never will be a nation of Europe however.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

I’m afraid he current wave of censorship prohibits a reply. This is no longer the forum it was.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Nations existed before states.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

There has been talk from Brussels, since the war broke out, the latest one on Europe’s soil, not the Second World War, of “the European way of life.” The EU way, I guess. The phrase was uttered during a video link-up conference with the embattled Ukrainian government, from the Brussels end. If Turkey had somehow become a member of the EU since the turn of the millennium, before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, would Turkey’s representatives have bristled at such a phrase? They might have remained indifferent to it – even if, say, Turkey had conspired to win, say, Euro 2000, in the European football championships that year. (Just another international competition). But to be fair to the Turks, which nation in Europe revels in such a phrase as “the European way of life”? Which mass of people? Where? The reality is that it’s not going to be possible, ever, to create a United States of Europe, no matter how hard the EU tries. The idea of a EU army, moreover, is a fantasy. Europe still has proud cultures and traditions, but together they don’t even make a great perfect dish. For historical or cultural or language reasons, tensions may exist even between friendly neighbours. People may accept, even sometimes welcome, great change. But they do not revel in that change, necessarily. The American way of life, a phrase much older and much more familiar than the notional European way of life, is America’s prerogative. Well, it must have been the Americans who coined the phrase. Over the years, it’s a phrase that’s been hollered to the high heavens. And they talk Christianity up much more eagerly over there, in America. They have done for years and years. Europe’s prerogative is seemingly the other way – first, to do away with pride for one’s nation, so to imagine the flag-waving German fans crowding Berlin after their World Cup win in 2014 as a rare treat for folk to let their hair down, and second, to not mention the Christianity. What that means is that there is going to be no hope of summoning up this “European way of life” that has been espoused. Reality will unravel itself fairly quickly. If the “European way of life” phrase was condescendingly uttered to only rile the Russians, it just shows how airy-fairy Brussels is. The Russians, like the Turks, have most definitely never experienced this “European way of life”. If anything, it is the European way of strife that keeps trying to embed itself, across Europe. And if the French are anxious anew, fearful of what world their grandchildren will live in, then it does not matter what Macron does. A country that loses its moorings is never going to be a place to raise a family. Might one early symptom of decline be the banning of nativity scenes outside French town halls? Why take away good cheer from the very young?

In a certain sense, in a troubled world, the EU has taken a certain amount of admirable risk in opening up continental Europe. The member states have been very charitable – to the world. But in a sense to, the EU has always tried to be a new guiding light that can rival the might and freedoms of the American behemoth. But a guiding light for the rest of the world to emulate. Will there ever be a North African Union? Will Turkey ever be a magnet for its neighbours in the Middle East in the way France became a home from 1939, post-civil war, for hundreds of thousands of its Spanish neighbours and their descendants? In the 2020s, can some large countries on Europe’s periphery, with their young populations, become a place to live well and dream, in other words, become a desirable destination, not a gateway? I do not imagine the rest of the developing or developed world would wish to see the EU, or Europe, implode on account of said rest of the world not doing its bit to give Europe a bit of a break. But things look bleaker quite suddenly. The West, increasingly ever forgetful of its Christian make-up, is now claiming itself forever guilty. Russia just got undesirable status. Prices are going up, people are static. And there’s no place like home. Anywhere!

Mark Duffett
Mark Duffett
2 years ago

Things seem to be playing out largely as Mark Steyn said they would in America Alone over 15 years ago.

D M
D M
2 years ago

It seems to me that, in trying to get into power, politicians, even Macron !, are responding to anti-Islam sentiment rather than drumming it up.

Last edited 2 years ago by D M
LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

Sacre Bleu!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

Of course the population of Britain believes exactly as above but, not least due to the Orwellian ” hate speech/crime” laws are simply too frightened to publicly express the same views, and for the same reason, to discuss and debate that it is not immigration ” per se” but which immigrants and from where. I speak as the son of parents who were not born here, but England, and respect for all that it is has given me all that I have, and I defend its freedoms and the country that I know… not the one that politicians have warped.

James Pelton
James Pelton
2 years ago

That the French are “unapologetic about their respect for brain power” is wonderful. I wish that we in North America could be similarly characterized.

Ruth Ross
Ruth Ross
2 years ago
Reply to  James Pelton

As do I.

David Harris
David Harris
2 years ago

those from more distant cultures have not integrated to the same extent.”
“French Muslims are more prone to deprivation and unemployment than their non-Muslim fellow citizens.”
Discuss.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

We have a similar problem in Britain. We let in terrorists who believe their duty is to kill the infidel and some believe if they do they will be waited on hand and foot by seventy virgins. Their hearts must sink when they are not instantly killed after murdering. Hopefully not all moslems believe in this way and just want a peaceful life but it is healthy to be aware of what could be going on beneath the service and not just be blissfully asleep.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago

Shouldn’t the Greens be in favour of border policies and a target population for a green UK of 40m over time?

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago

Shouldn’t the Greens be in favour of border policies and a target population for a green UK of 40m over time?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

There is such a thing as too much ‘diversity’, that is if you want a stable society and saying so is hardly racist;There is a very strong desire to preserve one’s own culture in the face of an onslaught of ‘others’.

Last edited 2 years ago by Cathy Carron
JĂĄnos Klein
JĂĄnos Klein
2 years ago

The word Islamophobia is often cited by Muslims and the French hard-left as a foil to antisemitism (judeophobia), with the accusation that Zemmour and Le Pen are especially guilty of it. Marine Le Pen has softened her views of late in order to be more electable, while Eric Zemmour still publicly disapproves of (political) Islam inasmuch at it is incompatible with the modern French Republic, and it appears many French people agree on that.
As to which two candidates will win next Sunday’s first round to go through to the second round, I think we may be in for a surprise. Melenchon, the far left-wing candidate, is very popular, as is Zemmour ( who has managed to unite much of the far Right and centre Right voters ), but Macron and Valerie Pecresse could still manage to make it a classic Centre Left versus Centre Right contest in the end. It’s still not too late to have a bet on the results while the odds on the outsiders are very tempting…

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  JĂĄnos Klein

I pray you are correct. This Macron figure is making me nervous. He has all the characteristics of an autocrat, minus the common sense. Leave it to this Frenchman to bring the worst of both worlds. A strong, intelligent, young, male leader who leads his people right into the WEF’s greedy claws.