Monday, November 28, 2005

Quo Vadis, France?

The battle for the future is being fought in the minds of the Western public. It's in those dark and frightening spaces that we will find the answer to the question of the survival of Western Modernity, if it survives, if it survives as something we can recognize. The battle for the survival of the West might already be lost, and we might face the blood-dimmed tide already. Europeans seem to have given up the will to live as free and independent people in favor of sliding into decay and death at the hands of knife-wielding Muslim fanatics bent on world domination and the return to primitivism as World Spirit. Here we look for signs ot the future, signposts along the roadside, as it were, that show us the direction of the West. Below we have two pieces on France, recently visited by Islamic havoc, and we see the mind of the French at work, sort of, if one can call it thought at all.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in France express satisfaction with the way Nicolas Sarkozy faced the recent episodes of civil unrest, according to a poll by CSA released by Profession Politique. 48 per cent of respondents believe the interior minister was as tough as required in dealing with the situation.

Conversely, 23 per cent of respondents believe Sarkozy was too tough, while 25 per cent expected him to be tougher.

On Oct. 27, riots broke out in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois after the death of two teenagers who allegedly were being pursued by police officers. On Nov. 17, French authorities declared a "return to normalcy" in the whole country. Over 20 nights of violence—which spread to 19 French provinces—at least 8,973 vehicles were torched, 2,888 people were arrested, 126 police officers were injured, and one person died.

In the first days of rioting, Sarkozy referred to the alleged troublemakers as "scum." On Nov. 8, French president Jacques Chirac authorized a state of emergency. Sarkozy declared, "For a period of 12 days, searches will be possible every time we suspect possession of weapons (in order to) systematically apprehend troublemakers and systematically prevent a spread of violence."

In mid-November, Sarkozy openly advocated for the deportation of foreigners who were involved in the violence—even if they are in France legally—declaring, "The Migration Act allows expulsion. I am the interior minister and I implement the rules."


Polling Data

How would you define the attitude of Nicolas Sarkozy in dealing with the problems in the suburbs?

He was as tough as required


He was too tough


He was not as tough as he should have been


No reply


Source: CSA / Profession Politique
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 957 French adults, conducted on Nov.16, 2005. No margin of error was provided.

Chirac's influence sinks to new low
By Henry Samuel in Paris
(Filed: 28/11/2005)

Jacques Chirac's presidency hit a new low yesterday when a poll revealed that most voters think he now has little or no influence over events at home or abroad.

Of those polled, 72 per cent regarded the influence of their president - who turns 73 tomorrow - over what happens in France as "weak".

Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac: perceived as a lame duck

Two thirds said his clout on the world stage was feeble, while only 36 per cent thought he held any significant sway over European politics.


The poll, conducted for Le Parisien newspaper by the CSA institute, was all the more humiliating in that the opinion of supporters of Mr Chirac's conservative ruling UMP party was scarcely more favourable than those of voters on the Left. Only 43 per cent of UMP voters thought he still had a leading role to play in France.

With presidential elections not due until 2007, the poll raises serious questions about Mr Chirac's perceived lame-duck status and his ability to maintain his authority.


Mr Chirac's 10th year in power has been a bad one. He has a notched up an unenviable string of defeats - not least over the referendum on the European constitution.

The poll is also an indictment of his handling of the wave of rioting in the poor suburbs this autumn.


The pair appear to have gained political credit from the riots - Mr Sarkozy for his tough stance, and Mr de Villepin for his statesmanship.

[T]he fact that he took three weeks to solemnly address the French [after the rioting began] was manifestly a mistake," said Mr Cayrol.


Some analysts say his absence from the political stage has been carefully orchestrated to allow his protégé, Mr de Villepin, to appear as the nation's de facto leader, and a credible presidential alternative to his rival, Mr Sarkozy, who leads the UMP.


The prevailing view is that the president will stop at nothing to block Mr Sarkozy's rise to power - even if it means backing a socialist candidate.

Chirac's influence sinks to new low

The French can vote for anyone they like, and not too many people would care, as a rule, even the French. But there is a concern when we read that the miserable Chirac will stop at nothing to block Sarkozy's rise to power. We read above that Chirac is unloved by the French, that he's a lame-duck leader, and that he's on his way out anyway. Why does he think he has the power to stop Sarkozy? Who cares what Chirac's opinions are these days? Muslims do. Obviously Chirac has nothing but contempt for the French people, even those who voted for him, for his own party members. He'll sell out his own for his vanity. What more might he do in the time remaining to him as leader of France? What more might he do to secure his place in the world of Islam? What might that slimey little bastard do to the French people in favour of Islam?

Above, according to one poll, about 73 percent of the French people are roughly in favour of Sarkozy's appraoch to law and order in France regarding the recent Muslim rioting. Chirac seems happy enough to sabatoge Sarkozy. Will Chirac dismiss the opinions of 73 percent of the French people? Ten percent are Muslim. At what point does Chirac slide across the pit from being a scum-bag to being a dictator and a traitor?

If the mind of the French public is a dark and empty space of moods and anti-Anglo hysteria, and if Chirac sells them out to the Muslim world from spite and vanity, what's left for us in the West? Might we, in a fit of outrage, find ourselves in a state of genuine hostility toward the French? And might the French, in a state of rage at the betrayal of their own nation not find themselves divided between fascsims? If Islamic fascism prevails in France thanks to Chirac's dirty dealings, and if the French Right goes to extremes against both Islam and America, then what do we do?The survival of the West isn't just a French matter. If France goes Islamic, thanks to Chirac, we are in serious trouble.


Pastorius said...

What kind of job do you think Sarkozy would do if he were elected President. I think he may save France. And, I think he has a chance of being elected.

It seems to me it is the mind of the French government that is screwed up. The mind of the French people is not being represented by their government.

dag said...

My hope is that the French will take to the streets and build barricades and take down the government if Chirac doesn't get out of the way and let the people decide how to conduct their own private affairs.

They've fought many times, in 1789, in 1848, in 1872, in 1968. In the periods between fighting ttheir governments they've also hosted some of the West's greatest intellectual and artistic revolutionaries, the world's top sicentific thinkers, mathematicians, and assorted adventures. France is the way of Europe, and if they fall, Eurpoe falls.

Germany is not the ground of European advance and progress. France is. Half their charm is their obnoxiousness. I don't know what the other half is, never having seen it. but I'm convinced that the French are the key to the future of Europe. If they don't fight Islam in France, then there will be Islam across Europe, and then, again, we'll have to bail them out or circle our own wagons and wait for the end of time till Muslims die out from their own inablity to feed themselves. It's too great a loss for all concerned for us to be complacent or hostile.

I wonder about Sarkozy, thinking that if he can't surmount a challenge from a villain like Chirac that he's not tough enough to win France for Europe and the future. If he can't, then there will be a further contender, someone who is tougher; and who might that be, and what might he be? We might end up with a France we don't like even more than the one we have now.

We see in Chirac the ultimate cynicism of politics today. The polis means nothing to these people. Left and Right are mere terms and superfluous tags that men cast aside at a whim. And yet the polis is the reason for politics, and somewhere someone will rise to the task.

It's interesting to me here, afar, to wonder about the mood of the public, not the thoughts and ideas in the aether but the mood inarticulate, the thoughts unformed as yet. Public opinion is forming into something, and I wonder what it will be when we know it clearly. Whatever it is we'll have to deal with it, and it will affect our own nations and our own people directly. We'll adapt, and our opinions as citizens will come about in reaction to the new meme, the new idea of what it means to live in our time.

Those of us who think as individuals are still products of our time, held hostage to the makers of the paths of our collective identities. Where they cut paths we must follow. So, it should be us who cut through the wilderness of history.

Whither do we go? I'm still thinking about that. No doubt I'll post my thoughts here at some point, and then we'll see how sharp my mind really is. If I'm a dullard I'll certainly find out soon.