In the context of the moralization of the migration issue and the radicalization of feminism, the deputies voted to remove the word “race” from the first article of the Constitution, and also to prohibit it from “gender differences”. What do you think of it?
Mathieu Bok-Kote: The proposal to remove the word "race" from the Constitution did not arise in politics yesterday. It is worth remembering that this was one of the pre-election promises of Francois Hollande in 2012 year. Here is the following logic: if races do not exist, as stated today, why mention them at all? This sees the constitutional end of the process of combating racism. Why not?
But everyone should think about such a paradox: at that very moment when we want to ban the word “race”, the racial question again becomes acute in the center of political life because of the actions of ultra-left groups, the most illustrative example of which is “Indigenous people” . This movement intends to complete decolonization by denationalizing France, which implies its submission and conversion to multiculturalism, which wants not only to return the concept of race to public debate, but also to make it a fundamental civic and representative category. All this leads to an increase in the importance of the race in matters of affiliation, which in turn aggravates open racial separatism, which is now increasingly observed in the university environment. In principle, if you look closely at the documents underlying this movement, it is easy to see that it cultivates almost naked racism against whites. If there are racist movements in France, they come from here. This movement contributes to the self-isolation of communities and tries to sow division in the core of the nation. Be that as it may, all this, apparently, does not cause particular concern among the large media, which accept representatives of this movement as big democrats. Racial hatred is now officially banned, with the exception of cases when it is directed at those who are called "white", because here we are talking about the criticism of the "dominant" group by the "oppressed." The wicked conscience of the West has a great future.
Let me say a few words about racial sociology, which is increasingly being cultivated in universities. Do we need to put the Frenchman, German, Scotsman, Englishman, Russian, Latvian, Quebec and Dutchman into one category, because they are all “white”? And do the same with Malian, Kenyan and African American, because they are “black”? This idiotic desire to put race at the forefront is inherently extremely regressive: it pushes for the abolition of history and culture for the sake of transforming human groups into large zoological categories. But since this proposal comes from the left or, rather, part of the radical left, it is treated with favor, or at least without much condemnation.
In this regard, I have a question about the meaning of this vote of deputies, who, it seems to me, are incredibly divorced from political realities, although they should have paid close attention to them. What do the deputies who support the amendment about such a frightening radicalization of affiliation think?
- Can such verbal progressivism actually reduce or correct inequality and injustice?
- Let's start with an obvious fact: language develops, and from era to era, natural selection is conducted, which is nothing more than a civilization of morals. In our world, it is no longer customary to say “Negro”, “Fritz” or “Yid”, and, in general, this is wonderful. The history of norms of politeness reminds us that permissible and unacceptable words change depending on the era, and we can only rejoice that the use of some insults that were actively used in the past can seriously affect our reputation. It also happens that the "politess" is slipping in the direction of the euphemization of reality, when the deaf is called hearing impaired, and the blind is called blind. I do not know that all this gives apart from the fact that it separates language from reality and closes it in the space of internal references.
Anyway, now it is not even about this, but about the real "orielization" of the language in the media environment. Often the task is to hide the reality, as evidenced, for example, by the endless references to coexistence in the period of widespread collapse of society. In addition, there are attempts to distort the essence of reality. Recall, for example, the former British Home Secretary, Jackie Smith (Jacqui Smith), who said in 2008 that the attacks should be called not Islamic, but anti-Islamic, since they contradict the peaceful nature of Islam. Jacques Toubon, in turn, plays with numbers and definitions to create the impression that there has been no mass immigration in France for over a decade. He is engaged in a real falsification of reality, which makes ordinary mortals believe that the authorities are now guided by reality, and not trying to falsify them. This ideologization of the language should have pushed us to reread Milosz and Koestler, who have devoted very bright thoughts of ideological blindness.
The cultural war that replaced class struggle is primarily a battle for the right to determine the significance of our symbolism and transform the rules and guidelines that underlie a common world. We are talking about determining the parameters of general perception and the admissibility or inadmissibility of certain social phenomena. How do we imagine society? And how can we represent it? In essence, political correctness is an inhibitor installed in the center of the public space, whose task is to force out to the periphery those who disagree with the dogma of multiculturalism. Moreover, this political correctness is becoming more radical against the background of the collapse of the society of multiculturalism, as if trying to prevent people from realizing it at any cost. In this perspective, multiculturalism is the ideocratic and authoritarian regime.
A small example: in the past few years, there has been talk of “activating xenophobic rhetoric,” which is considered a good thing to fear. They even talk about the rise of intolerance in Europe and the fact that democracy was under threat due to the strengthening of nationalist tendencies. We all know such rhetoric perfectly well. Only here you can look at the situation differently: for the last 40 years we have witnessed the gradual criminalization of national feelings. It has reached the point that even the most innocent manifestations of patriotism are equated with terrible nationalist overruns. On the basis of all this, the need for roots has been devalued morally. The people are no longer supposed to strive for historical continuity or to protect borders from mass immigration — all of these will immediately be called signs of the strengthening of the ultra-right in political life.
Therefore, are we really seeing the activation of xenophobic rhetoric or is it just a breakthrough of the ideological and informational dam, on the path of national feelings? Do we really see the return of racism in 70 years after the Second World War, or is it, finally, a clearly indicated refusal to put a xenophobic label on everything that is somehow connected with the nation? In any case, any political struggle implies a struggle to determine reality, but it is not infinitely flexible and ultimately declares its rights, regardless of whether we look at it in the face or not.
- Recall another, more anecdotal example. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo decided on an ongoing basis to introduce pedestrian crossings in the colors of the LGBT rainbow after one iridescent crossing painted homophobic oaths. In addition, the National Assembly will also adorn LGBT flowers for the first time. Does this mean that this supposed policy of fighting discrimination against minorities ultimately betrays the ideals of equality and unity of the republic?
- I'm not sure that this example can be called anecdotal. Insults of homosexuals, of course, are unacceptable, and this needs to be talked about, moreover, persistently. This is disgusting and low stupidity, which can only cause shame.
Nevertheless, in this case, we see how political correctness turns these insults into a tool: it tries to make them believe that they are symptoms of the rebirth of homophobic demons in France. Therefore, everyone needs to urgently get up and drive them away. This follows the logic of the sociology of multiculturalism, which claims that Western societies are built on the basis of a patriarchal, homophobic, racist, and sexist structure. And this structure, of course, needs to be urgently destroyed. But can we save prudence? As you can see, the media system is ready to take advantage of any event in order to support the rhetoric of Western hostility to everything unlike.
And everything can go even further. If France follows in the footsteps of the United States, we will begin to talk about the struggle not with homophobia, but with transphobia, will again want to impose gender theory on everyone and will advocate recognition of the third sex in administrative forms in order to do away with the binary display of sexual differences. Those who decide to stay away from the obligatory applause will be brought into the ranks of the reactionaries. All this should lead us to the idea of “combating discrimination”, which all politicians urge us to do without thinking about the theoretical framework for its implementation. The slightest difference is now seen as illegal discrimination that must be addressed.
Another moment. It is worth thinking about what can, within the framework of media logic, turn an ordinary occurrence into a political phenomenon. These insults are perceived as a political phenomenon that requires political reaction. But what kind of ideological matrix turns events and political phenomena, and how does it work? Why, for example, is the Telford scandal presented as an incident with little political significance? Why have we been so reluctant to talk about large-scale sexual aggression in Cologne? Why is the security blow to mass immigration silenced or even denied, and to the extent that those who mention it are equated with racist preachers and haters?
In fact, everything that casts doubt on the greatness of multiculturalism society is said with great reluctance: there are fears that if the information reaches the people, he may draw undesirable conclusions. As a result, it even comes to criminalization of bad news media, as we have seen in the example of repeated ideological processes that have touched a number of French intellectuals and journalists in recent years.
- It turns out that political correctness in France is reaching a new level? Régis Debray is right when he talks about the Americanization of Europe?
“To be honest, anti-Americanism is not particularly peculiar to me, but it seems to me that today it is simply necessary to criticize a new form of ideological imperialism that comes from America and pushes every nation towards de-culture. If I am not an opponent of the United States, this does not mean that I want to become an American and allow alien social-historical categories to be imposed on France. Speaking of political correctness, from the point of view of the history of American culture, one can even speak of a peculiar ideological puritanism, which consists in striving to cleanse society of all cultural and symbolic roughnesses in order to conform with the dogma of multiculturalism. It is necessary to suppress the discomfort caused by postmodernism and endlessly show contemporaries with clear signs of virtue, as Vincent Trémolet de Villers said. This is done with the help of ritual and everyday condemnation of phobias existing in our world, up to the invention of new ones, such as fear of fat people. Those who bother to look at what constitutes an American university today, and what contradictions there exist, will be sincerely appalled.
In addition, the ideology of multiculturalism, which has turned political correctness into a mode of information censorship, can be viewed as a continuation of the totalitarian tendencies of modernity, which are now in a new guise. We again dream of a united, peaceful and absolutely transparent world. A world without identity, predators, smokers, drinkers, womanizers, adventurers and special relationships. In other words, this is a world without friendship, a fully programmed, smooth and combed world. Joseph Kessel would have died of boredom in him, and Sylvain Tesson would have fled to hell. Once again we begin to dream of a new man, only this time it is a man without prejudice, belonging, culture, desires and the old world with which he was associated. Political correctness is intended to strangle the part of the old world still living in it in order to ensure its passage through the matrix of multiculturalism, which will cleanse it and allow us to adopt a new image of humanity freed from the terrible burden of Western history. Because for the formation of a new humanity, it is necessary to end the West in general and Europe in particular. If you do not understand this, then you absolutely do not understand modern progressiveism.
- Political correctness has long matured in North America. When exactly did she start? How did she establish her cultural hegemony?
“If it is simple, it originated on the campuses of American universities at the end of 1960's and developed until 1980's, when it had already taken deep roots in the university environment. In 2000, she became a hegemonic trend in the media. It is the fruit of the radical currents of 1960-ies and a strange mixture of neo-Marxism with the most poisonous forms of counterculture. Speaking schematically, it relies on the radical criticism of Western civilization, which is accused of shaping the alienating image of man. This image must be destroyed on the basis of the various minorities that were subject to its hegemony. For this you need to criticize and censor what has recently been the norm of our civilizations, and praise what was on their periphery. Philosophically, political correctness rests on a radical inversion of the normative system of our civilization, which now has to neutralize and destroy the core of its own existence. In addition, it is now obliged to self-determine through those who have been expelled from it historically, but are now being exalted with almost religious zeal.
More specifically, political correctness today relies on a culture of universal supervision: everything that goes against the dogma of multiculturalism is condemned by militant groups that have become real pros in terms of outrage (this is a very profitable profession). Not a week goes by without condemning one or another aspect of the old world and reminding us that we still have a long way to go to form the ideal society of multiculturalism. Political correctness is fueled by scandals, sometimes real, but mostly artificial, which it theatrically arranges for the public to remain vigilant about the threat of the return of the old world, even in such a seemingly neutral form as nostalgia. She is always on guard and does not close her eyes. Sometimes she makes a fool of herself, as was the case with an inclusive letter. Then she pretends to stop, but then with new forces takes on her crusade as soon as the news cycle returns to its former course. In this perspective, any criticism of political correctness implies a criticism of the functioning of the media system and an explanation of its hidden bias.
- Was the election of Donald Trump a blow to this system? Have American leftist intellectuals launched a process of self-criticism on this?
- Just the opposite. American left-wing intellectuals only became even more radical. They no longer have a shadow of doubt that they are right. Against the background of Trump, who is caricatured and will not prevaricate, often unpleasantly embodies everything that they hate, they revel in their own beneficence and even more push their moral superiority. They have never been as confident as they are now. They are seriously asking if America is slipping into fascism. President Trump’s policies are often troubling, but can be criticized without such excesses. But are ideological leftists capable of imagining an adversary who would not be the enemy of the entire human race? They have always had the temptation to start a moralizing crusade campaign in order to expel everyone who does not fit into their dogmas. Political pluralism for them does not exist: they see only the avant-garde (they, of course, attribute themselves to it), which should be exalted in every way, and the rearguard, a standing marsh of humanity, to which one should not pay attention, because history has already passed a death sentence. Deep down they believe in the political benefactor of ostracism. The threat to them is that an increasing majority of the population does not pay attention to accusatory campaigns in the media. What is even more serious, the more the mass media call for publicly punishing a person or an idea, the more actively this part of the population is guided by it. Polarization of society is stronger than ever.
- Can this ideology, which is alien to European and in particular French culture, be firmly established in Europe? Can it cause a populist reaction like in the USA?
- We underestimate the share of popular protest against political correctness in what is now called the rise of populism. Ordinary mortals are justifiably tired of wanting to control the language, the overgrown cult of all sorts of minorities, ideological delusions such as inclusive writing, radical feminism, which endlessly blames patriarchy, although our societies have never been so equal, trans-motions seeking to destroy the fundamental principles of sexual differences, etc. A mere mortal feels a desire to radically change his culture and gives a fight. Under the conditions of such an ideological “bombardment”, visibility can only be created up to a certain limit. Our societies are really ready for openness to another way of life: this is where the greatness of liberal societies lies. At the same time, they are not eager to turn into one big camp of ideological re-education under the open sky, in which preachers at every corner accuse them of backwardness. Let me briefly dwell on the concept of “populism”. “Populism” is a rude word without a clear definition, which is used for moral or political discredit of those who disagree with the dogmas of multiculturalism. We are frightened by his rise, but they don’t say what they are talking about. It is possible that this henceforth ritual criticism of populism in the media only contributes to popular discontent, which leads to a protest vote, which we have seen in the example of Trump, Brexit and the Italian elections.
- Alain Finkelkraut (Alain Finkielkraut) speaks about the need to abandon political correctness, while not slipping into “political baseness”. Will this equilibrium become increasingly unstable in the face of the crisis of the West? How to save it, no matter what?
- I agree with Alain Finkelkraut. Political correctness and political baseness are two sides of the same coin, which often manifest themselves in a completely disgusting way in social networks. Anyway, I will not hide pessimism: I less and less believe in the future necessary for civil dialogue of democratic politeness, although I consider it to be absolutely necessary. If we want politics to be civilized, or at least to retain its polemical component, it must be part of a common world that goes beyond our deepest differences. The framework for this was formed by the nation. When she falls apart, the psychology of a civil war appears on the surface. I’m not sure that we’ll be able to contain the radicalization of political rhetoric. As I have already said, some people do a total indecent act on the Internet. Social life requires certain propriety. In addition, it presupposes a pluralism of opinions: no camp can demand a monopoly on truth, good and justice.
With all this, I am convinced that the more actively the dominant rhetoric will deny reality and demonize those who are trying to remind of its existence, the more it will push up to rebellion large sections of the population and create favorable conditions for politicians who are able to direct dissatisfaction. In fact, the conversion process has already begun. Let's see what shape he will take.