Civilisation in France is unravelling amid widespread violence, the spread of conspiracy theories and the influence of radical Left-wingers dreaming of a new revolution, President Macron has said. The Times has the story.
Ministers are concerned about a breakdown in law and order since a spate of attacks on elected representatives plus incidents such as the deaths of three police officers in an accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs and alcohol and the stabbing of a nurse by a psychiatric patient. …
“No violence is legitimate, whether verbal or against people,” Macron told the weekly cabinet meeting, according to an official summary. “We have to work in depth to counter this process of decivilisation.”
Presidential advisers said the term was a reference to Norbert Elias, the 20th century German sociologist who described how self-restraint and social inhibitions had civilised Europe, first in royal courts and then among the rest of the population, in his book The Civilising Process.
Macron is said to believe the process has gone into reverse in what one adviser called a “Trumpisation of minds and a denial of reality”.
“Taboos are falling one after the other. There is no more restraint,” one minister said, attributing the trend to social media. “People are getting used to comments that are more and more violent, to mud-slinging and to accusations that are more or less brutal.”
Macron is said to believe that the trend is present throughout the West but that in France it is driven not so much by the populist Right as by the radical Left. He has blamed followers of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the France Unbowed party, who one minister said wanted to bring back the Reign of Terror, the period of the French Revolution marked by massacres in 1793 and 1794.
There have been weeks of violent protests against Macron’s pension reforms, including an attack on the great-nephew of Brigitte Macron, Macron’s wife.
Macron has been criticised for using the term ‘decivilisation’ because it is the title of a book by Renaud Camus, the author behind the ‘great replacement’ theory, which holds that white Europeans are being deliberately replaced by migrants in a plot hatched by capitalists in the search for cheap labour. A totally ludicrous suggestion, obviously…
To be fair, ‘capitalists’ – the Left-wing term for business leaders and investors – do seem to have an insatiable demand for importing cheap labour, and governments have put up too little resistance to this despite its social and economic costs. And the woke do seem to hate the sight of white people and want to ‘diversify’ them wherever they see them in any kind of numbers. But the idea that these two distinct agendas – cheap labour and woke anti-white animus – combine in some kind of global plot driven by business leaders and investors acting in concert to replace white people is, well, a fanciful Left-wing conspiracy theory.
Clutches of malign and self-interested agendas do not a conspiracy make.
Macron doesn’t seem to mean this though. He just means Left-wing activists have become more violent. But this is France.
Worth reading in full.