As our world tumbles forth towards ever-more-previously-inconceivable levels of absurdity, you better learn to laugh or you’ll be crying all day.
The latest example is the move by the French government to ban Generation Identity (GI), a civil society movement opposing immigration and defending native European culture. GI had just executed one of its trademark direct actions in the Pyrenees, with a few dozen activists patrolling the Franco-Spanish with vehicles and drones to identify illegal immigrants and report them to the police.
The government no doubt considers the ban to be part of a balancing act: as legislation is being passed to eliminate “separatism” within the Muslim community, so Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin considers that native French “separatists” embodied by GI must also be eliminated. But what does the use of authoritarian measures against Muslims and Europeans, who each want to live in their own way, say about France’s multicultural future?
While GI is being dissolved for opposing illegal immigration, those enabling this criminal behavior have been fêted by the cultural class (the most prominent being lawbreaker Cédric Herrou’s glamorous reception at the Cannes Film Festival, pictured above). More recently, several Green members of parliament went to the Franco-Italian border to help illegal immigrants dodge the police and find safe houses. Though the police encountered the politicians and were suspicious, the Greens faced no repercussions.
For what it’s worth, there is a significant chance that a court will eventually annul GI’s dissolution. After all, the group was threatened with massive fines and imprisonment for a similar anti-illegal immigration action in the Alps but a court of appeals cleared them of any wrongdoing last December.
At the head of this circus is President Emmanuel Macron, himself a notoriously slippery figure, a “young and dynamic” hardcore globalist who will both make extreme attacks on the very notion on French identity and entertain a subtle but quite real dialogue with forbidden right-wing ideas and media.
Macron’s tic-like use of the expression “en même temps” (at the same time) has become something of a running gag: thus the president thoughtfully enunciates both sides of an issue, studiously avoiding pinning himself to anything. He recently told the Guardian: “I believe in continental [European] sovereignty, I believe in the Nation-States, I do not believe in neo-nationalism.”
Macron wants to be the president of all Frenchmen and colorful neo-Frenchmen. This extends, it must be said, to alienated nationalist voters. He will give interviews to “far-right” magazines like Valeurs Actuelles. He telephoned Éric Zemmour, the Sephardic intellectual who is the most “nationalist” voice on French television, after the latter had been verbally abused on the street by a Muslim.
He’ll even cite Charles Maurras, the archetypal French nationalist intellectual of late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (equal parts anti-Judaic and anti-Germanic), to explain citizens’ alienation: there is too great a chasm between le pays légal (the legal country, i.e. the politico-legal apparatus) and le pays réel (the real country). A Macron aide was also criticized for meeting with Marion Maréchal (formerly Le Pen), Marine Le Pen’s popular niece. All this may seem insignificant but causes real consternation and hostility among the self-appointed guardians of morality in the media.
Last December, Macron gave a qualified defense of Maurras and the war hero-cum-collaborationist Marshal Philippe Pétain in an interview with the magazine L’Express:
I fight with the greatest strength anti-Semitism and racism, I have fought all of Maurras’ anti-Semitic ideas, but it is absurd to say that Maurras must no longer exist. I built myself on hatred and rejection of the spirit of defeat [of 1940] and the anti-Semitism of Pétain, but I cannot deny that he was the hero of 1918 and a great soldier. One should be able to say it. Because of the society of indignation, which is often a mere posture, we no longer look into to the nuance of history [les plis de l’Histoire] and we simplify everything.
Very sensible words. Macron has also explicitly warned against importing American cancel culture and racial grievance politics.
En même temps, in a breakthrough interview with the hip new globo-homo online media Brut, Macron sought to please this audience with a new plan to rename French streets with “300 to 500 names . . . stemming from our [Afro-Islamic] neighborhoods or immigration.” The “heroes” of “a whole part of our Black, Maghrebi youth” have not been “recognized.” Thus must the demographic Great Replacement of the indigenous French population logically be accompanied by a cultural Great Effacement of the physical symbols of the indigenous people. Macron has also acknowledged the existence of “white privilege.”
We also witnessed the strange spectacle of the President of the French Republic interfering in the U.S. electoral process following the Capitol Hill occupation, with a pious statement in front of . . . an American flag.
One could reasonably conclude Macron is a cipher. On one level, he is unafraid to engage with politically incorrect ideas (witness his repeated calls for dramatic action to be taken to reduce Africa’s birth rates). As a politician, he embodies a longstanding French executive tradition of trying to go beyond the left-right divide. In this instance, however, Macron wishes to fuse the eminently national French republican tradition with . . . today’s ethnomasochist, anti-borders, nation-wrecking left.
Ultimately, the patterns of postwar French history have been remarkably stable, notwithstanding a few great spasms (Algerian War-Gaullism-May ‘68, triumph of the Left in 1981). One may say that Charles de Gaulle and François Mitterrand made (semi-)serious attempts to inflect French history in certain directions, but overall the head of State, whatever his personal qualities, presiding over these processes seems to scarcely matter at all.
The tendencies will deepen and the absurdities amplify further, much further. We are only scratching the surface. To convince yourself, consider the dreams – self-evident and non-negotiable – of the Green-Pink-Red coalition governing the City of Paris . . . The ride has only just begun!