November 4, 2005
Thickening the Plot
Borrowing a thought from frequent commenter KarmiCommunist, who seems ever exercised over the limitations of dualism, I think we've got the wrong end of the dog when we ask whether the riots in France are a "French intifada" or only a natural militant response to the social anomie and economic dislocation that are inevitable under extreme social-welfarism. Let's suppose that they started out as the latter... what are the odds that corrosive Islamism will somehow get twisted into the weave as time passes and turns riot into rebellion?
We assume a riot either is or is not an uprising; Dualism. But in fact, it changes constantly, because it is a dynamic hydra that has not one head or a dozen heads but thousands and thousands. The rioters do not seem to have been militant Islamists at the beginning; the violence arose spontaneously from grief, anger, Gallic gall, and seething resentment. But as I noted in a previous post, events are simply events with no inherent significance; it is we hairless apes who invest observation with consequence; we spin a thread, then another, then we weave the threads together into the big tapestry of meaning.
I don't mean to get all hippie-dippy on you. A Molotov Cocktail is thrown into a building; that is a fact, it is measurable: we know what gasoline is, we know what a bottle looks like, we can tell when something is on fire. But is it jihad? An angry assault upon the cops because the thrower's brother was arrested? Or maybe insurance fraud? Even if it started out as the latter, how difficult would it be for others, victims or the rioters themselves, to inspire an act of simple arson with the organized and exciting rationalization of Holy War -- even ex post facto?
There's your real danger: that what begins as a race riot can metamorphose, inside its coccoon of post-hoc justification and organization, into jihad. The search for meaning is universal; but French Socialism-Lite has stripped France of such meaning. France isn't France anymore; it's a cog in the
United States of Europe European Economic Community European Union. The entire continent is sans frontières, and humans need frontiers -- boundaries, walls, fences, divisions between this nation and the other.
For the immigrants who fled Algeria for France, and even more so for their children who grew up in atomized "Eurabia," the only meaning they can access is the one they or their parents left behind; around them they find only a moral, religious, and nationalistic vacuum. As we Republicans have said many times about the Democrats, you can't fight Something with Nothing; that is even truer for faith-based immigrants in the faithless wasteland of today's Europe, where the only acceptable belief is nihilism.
This is why I do not particularly fear that what is happening in France and Denmark and elsewhere on that continent will spread to the United States, or even to Great Britain; we are not the same. Most Americans are religious; and even those of us who are not religious still have a strong quasi-religious belief in our own exceptionalism: America is different, and real Americans know that. Immigrants to America can find new meaning and significance to replace the old; to a large extent, it works to suppress resurgence of old-world values.
We understand the concept of Americanism, even if we argue about what it encompasses; but I don't believe the French even have the word, let alone the concept of, Francism. How would it differ from Netherlandism, Belgism, or Italianism? America had the advantage of always being defined by a philosophy, an ideology, a creed, rather than the blind chance of people living near each other who happened to speak the same tongue. We have weathered the changes brought by the technology-shrunken world much better than has Western Europe.
Eastern Europeans are in better shape because at least they have vitalities to cling to -- their newly gained liberty and democracy -- that seem almost holy after decades of being nothing but little cogs in the big machine of the Evil Empire. And Great Britain still has a sense of self that transcends any tenative toe they have stuck into the waters of the European Union (within the memory of living Brits, all of occupied Europe was arrayed against England during the Battle of Britain). But I believe the French elite have lost their national identity, and I can't envision Jacques Chirac or Dominique de Villepin rising up in defense of French nationalism against imported Algerian Islam. And that's sad; France used to have a unique national identy as recently as under le général de Gaulle.
Europe needs another crusade.
If France can bestir itself to rediscover what makes it unique in the world, and if it can start teaching its children (and their parents and grandparents) what it means to be French and why that is vital for them, then they may redevelop a national identity to defend against Islamism in the great struggle over meaning. But if they contine along the present course, we may one day be asking "who lost France?" the way somebody lost China.
One last non-dualist answer to the question above: "this book is a mirror: when a monkey looks in, no acolyte looks out."
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 4, 2005, at the time of 6:21 PM
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Tracked on November 5, 2005 5:47 PM
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The following hissed in response by: stackja1945
France is sitting behind a cultural Maginot Line. The original Maginot Line stopped the Nazis, but only in one area, there was a gap through which the Nazis gained their victory. What is the gap this time? Multiculturalism? No one culture to hold the nation together.
The above hissed in response by: stackja1945 at November 4, 2005 7:25 PM
The following hissed in response by: RBMN
'We're French,' but not 'real' French
By Katrin Bennhold
International Herald Tribune
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2005
He will show you his French driving license and even his French identity card. But ask him what his identity is and he will say "93." "Nine Three" - the two first two digits of the postal code spanning the roughest suburbs on Paris's northeastern fringe - stands for unemployment and endless rows of housing projects. It stands for chronically high crime rates, teenage gang wars and a large immigrant community.
"The question of being French is irrelevant - what's in a piece of paper?" said Walid, 19, who is of Algerian descent, dismissively putting his identification card back into his jeans pocket. "I'm from the ghetto, I'm from 93, end of story."
They have spent their whole life in France, but for their whole life they have felt trapped in a cultural no man's land
"We are French, but we also feel like foreigners compared to the real French," said Mamadou, whose father came to France from Mali decades ago and married his mother, a French woman. Who, according to him, are the "real" French? The answer comes without hesitation and to vigorous nodding by a groups of his friends: "Those with white skin and blue eyes."
"How many times have I gone into Paris and have been shouted at 'Go home!" he said. "Home is here," he added. "But it doesn't really feel like home."
"We are all janitors here," said one young man, who appeared to be the leader of the group. "It's our destiny."
"Looking Arab means you either spend all day at the mosque or you are criminal scum," he said. "People generalize all the time, but you can't. Nobody talks about white French people as Christian."
While sociologists and immigration specialists say that the religiousness of immigrants is often exaggerated, they say it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. "Many of these guys are no more Muslim than other French people are practicing Christian," said Christophe Bertossi at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris. "But if they are given no other identity the Muslim label risks becoming the thing they fall back on."
The following hissed in response by: Erik
This dpa article (in German) from NetZeitung ends on a rather worrying note:
Und einer der großteils muslimischen Krawallmacher sagt derweil einem Reporter ins Mikrofon, nach dem Fastenmonat Ramadan werde es «jetzt Krieg geben».
And one of the largely Muslim rioters told a reporter on microphone, that after the fasting month of Ramadan "it will be war."
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Well, the question is whether the French will decide, finally, to fight back for real. If they do, there will be a lot of dead rioters... can the Chirac government withstand the public outcry?
That is the danger with a parliamentary system: Bush is at a low point now, hovering around 40% approval (on those polls that don't deliberately underpoll Republicans)... but there are no elections for a year, and nothing can speed that up. Bush has a year to recover; and he's not the one running anyway.
But France has a parliamentary system, despite direct election of Jacques Chirac (his term expires in 2007, I think). And Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who actually runs the government, can be sacked by a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly, as I understand it. If de Villepin were ousted, Chirac would be a total lame duck until his term expired, and he would likely be unable even to get the nomination for the presidency (and as soon as he ceases being president, he will probably be indicted -- or whatever they call it in France).
Theoretically, de Villepin could be sacked at any time, especially as his bitter rival, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, is the president of the UMP, the majority party in the National Assembly; thus the president and prime minister must tread carefully.
Sarkozy waits in the wings. If he pushes for a heavy crackdown, and Chirac/de Villepin sack him (as they might), then if the riots continue, Sarkozy will be in an excellent position to sweep back in 2007 on a war-with-the-Moslems platform.
Interesting times ahead for France.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at November 5, 2005 3:44 AM
The following hissed in response by: Blank:No One
I think your above scenario is one of extremes, and I don't think the french will go to that extreme. I think the most likely scenario is one in which the government forces basically once again abandons the cites to not-so-benign neglect.
The way I see this happening is that there will be a night of large scale riots and arson, but without a police or fire fighter response. That will cause two things, one the rioters will realize it is pretty stupid to burn your own stuff down. Two, they will have gotten the psuedo-autonomy that they are really rioting for... The 'being left alone' that so many of those rioting talk about.
Then things will start to defuse. The french will never actually formally and legally cede sovereignty over the suburbs, but they will defacto do this in a heartbeat. That was the status quo before Sarkozy promised a crackdown on crime. And that is what will return, but with more confidence and authority by the immigrant communities.
The only potential blow up, is if the rioters, given one night of destructive freedom do conclude it is pretty stupid to burn your own stuff, but instead of stop burning stuff, decide to burn someone else's stuff. But that is not for this spate of riots. That is about three to ten years away. And that is the one that will result in either large numbers of dead rioters, or dhimmitude.
The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
The crackdown is coming too slow...emboldening the 'Insurgents', and opening a door for some serious Terrorist action.
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at November 5, 2005 7:31 PM
The following hissed in response by: hunter
Frankly nothing can be more poetic than for the most openly corrupt members of the axis of weasels to be suffering from what their allegedly 'enlightened' anti-American, terrorist appeasing was designed to prevent.
My heart breaks for the good Frenchpeople who have been once again duped by their lazy worthless leaders into the posture one takes just prior to surrender:
The root of the riots is of course complex:
The terrorists organizing this are taking advantage of the insular, under employed youth.
But they are not organizing the lapsed Catholic youth of France. The terrorists are organizing the Moslem youth of France, and the leaders goals are to take France in a Moslem direction.
That the non-Moslem majority of France cannot or will not rouse itself to defend itself is the real crime taking place.
The riots could be crushed in a night if the decision were made.
I notice the riots have spread to the city itself.
They may not have a lot of time left, frankly.
I wonder if the military would be willing to hand over its nuclear capability to a Moslem led government?
I wonder if we would have the chutzpah to do again to the French military what we did in WWII when there was a doubt about who would control the fleet?
The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree, intimate friends, the ego and the Self dwell in the same body. The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life, while the latter looks on in detachment. - The Mundaka Upanishad
Dualism doesn't mean much when one doesn't even understand the basic instincts of survival, or even the difference between "sweet and sour fruits"...so to speak. Didn't i just post this?!?
Ummmmmmmmmm...nice...humble me just had another Déjà Vu 'moment'...nice.
Anyway, Dualism is a rather simple concept to understand, and Non-Dualism consists of more than "this book is a mirror: when a monkey looks in, no acolyte looks out."
Consider, that the "tree" mentioned above is one's body of flesh, and that inside that "tree" resides more than just some secrets for the survival of that "tree", and at least one extra hint (as in beyond just two 'Thangs) that clearly points to Non-Duality and a realm "of simply not two."
Jesus spoke of that one extra hint, when he mentioned that a 'Spark' or a 'Spirit' resides within each human...others spoke of such, in more detail, much earlier in human history.
BTW, this is not meant as an insult to the Honorable Dafydd...merely an exchange of thoughts whilst we both remain encased in flesh.
It is no secret that the Muslim or Arab or Islam world seeks to regain at least parts of Europe that they once held. Survival stirs a lot of natural instincts, and the human ego is always looking for an advantage...well, perhaps the French are different at this point, since they are quite egotistical even whilst waving a White Flag of survival.
Communism and Socialism do not work. France has more problems than just "youths without jobs", if one takes a look at the retiring French citizens. France is ripe for 'Da Plucking...so to speak gently.
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at November 6, 2005 5:36 PM
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