The French, Coming Apart

From the interesting article The French, Coming Apart

Note that in the analysis below, economics/the material world is seen as critical, while culture/spirituality is seen as secondary.

I will make my disagreement known in my comments below.

At the heart of Guilluy’s inquiry is globalization. Internationalizing the division of labor has brought significant economic efficiencies. But it has also brought inequalities unseen for a century, demographic upheaval, and cultural disruption. Now we face the question of what—if anything—we should do about it.

I’m taking “globalization” to mean “increased international competition: economic, demographic, cultural.”

Nobody worried about “globalization” when Europe owned 80% of the entire world (more if you throw in the United States), and had extensive settler colonies “from palm to pine”.

The question isn’t “globalization”. The question is why did Europe shift from being winners, to being losers, on the ever-more-competitive planet we live on.

A process that Guilluy calls métropolisation has cut French society in two. In 16 dynamic urban areas (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Rennes, Rouen, Toulon, Douai-Lens, and Montpellier), the world’s resources have proved a profitable complement to those found in France. […] But globalization has had no such galvanizing effect on the rest of France. Cities that were lively for hundreds of years—Tarbes, Agen, Albi, Béziers—are now, to use Guilluy’s word, “desertified,” haunted by the empty storefronts and blighted downtowns that Rust Belt Americans know well.

The world economy has been changing since 1492, and France has been somewhat able to keep up to about 1980 or so.

(Take a look at the most powerful business in France in 1980, and compare it to today.
Then, take a look a the most powerful business in the United States in 1980, and compare it to today.

Actually, a case can be made that French culture hasn’t been the trendsetter since before World War One.)

Guilluy doubts that anyplace exists in France’s new economy for working people as we’ve traditionally understood them. Paris offers the most striking case. As it has prospered, the City of Light has stratified, resembling, in this regard, London or American cities such as New York and San Francisco. It’s a place for millionaires, immigrants, tourists, and the young, with no room for the median Frenchman. Paris now drives out the people once thought of as synonymous with the city.

Yet economic opportunities for those unable to prosper in Paris are lacking elsewhere in France.

For centuries now, Frenchmen have chosen the State – especially the Welfare State – as their One and Only Saviour.

Now, the Welfare State serves a new master: Muslim immigrants.

The White, Native Frenchman weeps and cries: but that isn’t going to change a single thing.

(For one thing, we know whose voting base is growing… and whose is shrinking.)

It isn’t going to bring back the aborted dead, either.

I don’t have a gram of pity for them. Sure, Islam is a wicked religion, but unlike the wicked ideology of Secularism, it isn’t interested in killing their own children.

I can hardly fault God for deciding that the people who bear their children alive shall inherit the future. As for those who aborted their future…. their nation shall receive her wages in time and on Earth, and the individuals who did the murdering or stood silent will receive their personal wages later.

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. — Psalm 9:17

Why people insist that God can be mocked is beyond me.

Especially as they wither and rot and fall apart, right before the eyes of the world.

France’s best-performing urban nodes have arguably never been richer or better-stocked with cultural and retail amenities. But too few such places exist to carry a national economy. When France’s was a national economy, its median workers were well compensated and well protected from illness, age, and other vicissitudes. In a knowledge economy, these workers have largely been exiled from the places where the economy still functions. They have been replaced by immigrants.

The 1950s of Social Europe is dead: and all the crying after what has been lost ain’t going to get that back.

For one thing, the supposedly idyllic 1950s was the rotten soil of the rebellious 1960s, which lead immediately to A) the intellectual climate that currently governs Our Contemptuous Masters and B) their choices in governance, immigration, and culture which is pointedly enforced today, over any and all objections.

Moreover: I believe the even the memory of the freer, expanding, liberal Europe of the 19th century has been largely lost.

And for the locally-focused, broadly libertarian, increasingly capitalistic Christian Europe of the pre-Enlightenent, pre-Absolute Monarchical Era? That isn’t even whispered now.

After the mid-twentieth century, the French state built a vast stock—about 5 million units—of public housing, which now accounts for a sixth of the country’s households. Much of it is hideous-looking, but it’s all more or less affordable. Its purpose has changed, however. It is now used primarily for billeting not native French workers, as once was the case, but immigrants and their descendants, millions of whom arrived from North Africa starting in the 1960s, with yet another wave of newcomers from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East arriving today. In the rough northern suburb of Aubervilliers, for instance, three-quarters of the young people are of immigrant background. Again, Paris’s future seems visible in contemporary London. Between 2001 and 2011, the population of white Londoners fell by 600,000, even as the city grew by 1 million people: from 58 percent white British at the turn of the century, London is currently 45 percent white.

There are people who choose to have children… and people who don’t.

There are people who value family… and people who don’t.

There are people who have a future… and people who don’t.

While rich Parisians may not miss the presence of the middle class, they do need people to bus tables, trim shrubbery, watch babies, and change bedpans. Immigrants—not native French workers—do most of these jobs. Why this should be so is an economic controversy. Perhaps migrants will do certain tasks that French people will not—at least not at the prevailing wage. Perhaps employers don’t relish paying €10 an hour to a native Frenchman who, ten years earlier, was making €20 in his old position and has resentments to match. […]

[But] even if French people were willing to do the work that gets offered in these prosperous urban centers, there’d be no way for them to do it, because there is no longer any place for them to live. As a new bourgeoisie has taken over the private housing stock, poor foreigners have taken over the public—which thus serves the metropolitan rich as a kind of taxpayer-subsidized servants’ quarters. Public-housing inhabitants are almost never ethnically French; the prevailing culture there nowadays is often heavily, intimidatingly Muslim.

Pride and the refusal to serve — both aspects of Satanism, and in direct contradiction to the example set by Christ — receives its fitting reward.

(Gary North has clearly established that Socialism has Envy at its root…

…but I would not be surprised to see Pride slithering around, at the core of the envious heart.)

At the opening of his new book, Guilluy describes twenty-first-century France as “an ‘American’ society like any other, unequal and multicultural.” It’s a controversial premise—that inequality and racial diversity are linked as part of the same (American-type) system and that they progress or decline together. Though this premise has been confirmed in much of the West for half a century, the assertion will shock many Americans, conditioned to place “inequality” (bad) and “diversity” (good) at opposite poles of a Manichean moral order.

Has these people never heard of Japan? Korea? The Scandinavian Welfare States, before they open their doors to pointedly hostile Islamic immigrants?

A public-housing development is a community, yes, and one can wish that it be more diverse. But it is also an economic resource that, more and more, is getting fought over tribally. An ethnic Frenchman moving into a heavily North African housing project finds himself threatening a piece of property that members of “the community” think of as theirs. Guilluy speaks of a “battle of the eyes” fought in the lobbies of apartment buildings across France every day, in which one person or the other—the ethnic Frenchman or the immigrant’s son—will drop his gaze to the floor first.

Most places where migrant and native French cultures mix, Guilluy expects, will evolve as did the northern Paris suburbs where he works. Twenty years ago, these neighborhoods remained a hub of Parisian Jewish life; nowadays, they’re heavily Arab. The young men living in them feel a burning solidarity with their Muslim brethren in the Middle East and often a loathing for Israel. Jews have faced steady intimidation in northern Paris at least since 2002, […]

Insert gasps of astonishment <HERE>.

Last winter, he told the magazine Causeur:

Unlike our parents in the 1960s, we live in a multicultural society, a society in which “the other” doesn’t become “somebody like yourself.” And when “the other” doesn’t become “somebody like yourself,” you constantly need to ask yourself how many of the other there are—whether in your neighborhood or your apartment building. Because nobody wants to be a minority.

I wonder how much Christians are enjoying being a minority in the West now.

And if you thought that having Secularists joyfully and directly spit in your face – over and over again – was bad, just wait until the Muslims get their 50%+1 demographic majority.

After all, we all know how Muslim-dominant nations treat religious minorities, now don’t we.

God is not mocked: murder His little ones, and He will pour out a fearsome level of wrath on your head, right here on earth.

(As for the future? Well, it is at least possible that Arabs — after a century or two of ugly Muslim vs Muslim warfare, and facing a disintegrating and ruined Ummah — will turn to Christ and live.

But Secular Europe? Her future would have been closed off long before AD 2200… in today’s piles of disposable, rotting medical waste.

Remind me to NEVER make an enemy of God.

As for the afterlife? There is only one word of advice, for both Secularist and Muslim:

NEVER make an enemy of God.

  • Not the Father.
  • Not the Son.
  • Not the Holy Spirit.)

To continue:

The central fact is the 70 percent that we just spoke of: they oppose immigration and are worried, we can safely assume, about the prospects for a multiethnic society. Their wishes are consistent, their passions high; and a democracy is supposed to translate the wishes and passions of the people into government action. Yet that hasn’t happened in France.

The Laughing Masters are, well, the Laughing Masters.

Surprise, surprise.

Guilluy breaks down public opinion on immigration by class. Top executives (at 54 percent) are content with the current number of migrants in France. But only 38 percent of mid-level professionals, 27 percent of laborers, and 23 percent of clerical workers feel similarly. As for the migrants themselves (whose views are seldom taken into account in French immigration discussions), living in Paris instead of Bamako is a windfall even under the worst of circumstances. In certain respects, migrants actually have it better than natives, Guilluy stresses. He is not referring to affirmative action. Inhabitants of government-designated “sensitive urban zones” (ZUS) do receive special benefits these days. But since the French cherish equality of citizenship as a political ideal, racial preferences in hiring and education took much longer to be imposed than in other countries. They’ve been operational for little more than a decade. A more important advantage, as geographer Guilluy sees it, is that immigrants living in the urban slums, despite appearances, remain “in the arena.” They are near public transportation, schools, and a real job market that might have hundreds of thousands of vacancies. At a time when rural France is getting more sedentary, the ZUS are the places in France that enjoy the most residential mobility: it’s better in the banlieues.

Isn’t Socialism Grand?

Too bad you can’t predict who the winners of the political contest will be, a generation after the policies of theft-by-majority-vote has been instituted.

Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword.

Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. — Micah 6:14-15

and, from the legendary chapter of Deuteronomy

The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:

So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.

The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.

And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.

Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.

Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.

Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.

Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.

All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.

The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. — Deuteronomy 28:33-51

You know, I doubt if 100,000 White Frenchmen read their Bible daily.

Too bad: they might have picked up on what was coming; repented; and lived.

As Paris has become not just the richest city in France but the richest city in the history of France, its residents have come to describe their politics as “on the left”—a judgment that tomorrow’s historians might dispute. Most often, Parisians mean what Guilluy calls la gauche hashtag, or what we might call the “glass-ceiling Left,” preoccupied with redistribution among, not from, elites: we may have done nothing for the poor, but we did appoint the first disabled lesbian parking commissioner.

There is the Right Sort… and there is everyone else.

But after the first Muslim French President is elected, there isn’t going to be a lot of space for lesbian anything.

Or, for that matter, kafir (infidel) anything… except, perhaps, as the lowest of the poor, left to feed the pigs (until, as in Egypt, even that is taken away from them.)

The welfare state is now distrusted by those whom it is meant to help. France’s expenditure on the heavily immigrant banlieues is already vast, on this view; to provide yet more public housing would be to widen the invitation to unwanted immigrants. To build any large public-works project is to do the same. To invest in education, in turn, is to offer more advantages to the rich, who’re best positioned to benefit from it.

The working-class thieves who loved the Welfare State when it benefited themselves, now whine because the stolen cash now benefits someone else.

Cry me a river.

Guilluy has tried to clarify French politics with an original theory of political correctness. The dominance of metropolitan elites has made it hard even to describe the most important conflicts in France, except in terms that conform to their way of viewing the world. In the last decade of the twentieth century, Western statesmen sang the praises of the free market. In our own time, they defend the “open society”—a wider concept that embraces not just the free market but also the welcoming and promotion of people of different races, religions, and sexualities. The result, in terms of policy, is a number of what Guilluy calls “top-down social movements.” He doesn’t specify them, but they would surely include the Hollande government’s legalization of gay marriage, which in 2013 and 2014 brought millions of protesters opposing the measure onto the streets of Paris—the largest demonstrations in the country since World War II.

There was a time when any large demonstration would immediately extinguish a law.

That was true… right up to the time it wasn’t.

The Laughing Masters laugh and laugh.

French elites have convinced themselves that their social supremacy rests not on their economic might but on their common decency.

And this profundly corrupt, child-killing, monstrous Ruling Class speak of decency.

Ah well: I’m sure that in the 1950s, tons of Frenchmen insisted that the Welfare State — built on envy, theft, lies, and delusions — was and is the core of the Decent Society.

God is not mocked.

Doing so allows them to “present the losers of globalization as embittered people who have problems with diversity,” says Guilluy. It’s not our privilege that the French deplorables resent, the elites claim; it’s the color of some of our employees’ skin. French elites have a thesaurus full of colorful vocabulary for those who resist the open society: repli (“reaction”), crispation identitaire (“ethnic tension”), and populisme (an accusation equivalent to fascism, which somehow does not require an equivalent level of proof). One need not say anything racist or hateful to be denounced as a member of “white, xenophobic France,” or even as a “fascist.” To express mere discontent with the political system is dangerous enough. It is to faire le jeu de (“play the game of”) the National Front.

Obedience is Required in all Tolerant Societies.

Just as it is in all Socialist Societies.

God is not mocked.

No American will read Guilluy’s survey of contemporary France without seeing parallels to the United States. In one respect, France’s difficulties are, for now, more serious. When Guilluy writes of the “criminalization of criticism of the dominant model,” he is not speaking metaphorically. France’s antiracist Pleven law, which can punish speech, passed in 1972. In 1990, the Gayssot law criminalized denial or “minimization” of the Holocaust and repealed parts of France’s Law of July 29, 1881, on Freedom of the Press. Both laws are landmarks in Europe’s retreat from defending free speech. Suits against novelists, philosophers, and historians have proliferated.

Obedience is Required in all Tolerant Societies.

Just as it is in all Socialist Societies.

God is not mocked.

In France, political correctness is more than a ridiculous set of opinions; it’s also—and primarily—a tool of government coercion. Not only does it tilt any political discussion in favor of one set of arguments; it also gives the ruling class a doubt-expelling myth that provides a constant boost to morale and esprit de corps, much as class systems did in the days before democracy. People tend to snicker when the question of political correctness is raised: its practitioners because no one wants to be thought politically correct; and its targets because no one wants to admit to being coerced. But it determines the current polarity in French politics. Where you stand depends largely on whether you believe that antiracism is a sincere response to a genuine upsurge of public hatred or an opportunistic posture for elites seeking to justify their rule.

To ask the question is to answer it.

Since Tocqueville, we have understood that our democratic societies are emulative. Nobody wants to be thought a bigot if the membership board of the country club takes pride in its multiculturalism. But as the prospect of rising in the world is hampered or extinguished, the inducements to ideological conformism weaken. Dissent appears. Political correctness grows more draconian. Finally the ruling class reaches a dangerous stage, in which it begins to lose not only its legitimacy but also a sense of what its legitimacy rested on in the first place.

All Empires Fall.

Today’s Empire of Tolerance will fall: as will tomorrow’s European Caliphates.

Only the Kingdom of God, grounded in the hearts of repentant, redeemed men, will grow to fill the earth.

Only the Kingdom of God will stand forever.

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