In the conditions of moralizing the migration issue and the radicalization of feminism, the deputies voted to remove the word "race" from the first article of the Constitution, as well as to prohibit "gender-based differences". What do you think of it?
Mathieu Bok-Kote: The proposal to remove the word "race" from the Constitution arose in politics, by no means yesterday. It is worth remembering that this was one of Francois Hollande's election promises in 2012. Here the following logic operates: if races do not exist, as stated today, why should they be mentioned at all? This is seen as the constitutional completion of the process of combating racism. Why not?
Only then should everyone think about such a paradox: at the very moment when we want to ban the word "race", the racial issue again becomes an acute problem in the center of political life because of the actions of ultra-left groups, the most revealing example of which are "Indigenous Peoples of the Republic" . This movement intends to complete decolonization by denationalization of France, which implies its subordination and conversion to multiculturalism, which wants not only to return the notion 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 belonging, which in turn exacerbates open racial separatism, which is now increasingly observed in the university environment. In principle, if you look closely at the underlying documents of this movement, it is easy to see that it cultivates an almost undisguised racism against whites. If there are racist currents in France, they come from here. This movement promotes self-isolation of communities and tries to sow a split in the core of the nation. Be that as it may, all this, apparently, does not cause much concern to the major media, which accept representatives of this movement as big democrats. Racial hatred is now officially banned, except when it is aimed at those who are called "white", because here it is a question of criticizing the "dominant" group on the part of the "oppressed." The impure conscience of the West has a great future.
Let me say a few words about racial sociology, which is increasingly being planted in universities. Should I include a Frenchman, a German, a Scotsman, an Englishman, a Russian, a Latvian, a Quebec and a Dutchman in one category, because they are all "white"? And do the same with the Malian, Kenyan and African American, because they are "black"? This idiotic aspiration to put racial identity at the heart of the matter is inherently extremely regressive: it encourages the abolition of history and culture in order to transform 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 detached from political realities, although they should pay close attention to them. What do deputies think that supported the amendment on such a frightening radicalization of belonging?
- Can such verbal progressivism actually reduce or correct inequality and injustice?
- Let's begin with the obvious fact: language develops, and from the epoch to the epoch there is a natural selection, which is nothing but a civilization of morals. In our world it is no longer customary to say "Negro", "Fritz" or "Jew", and, on the whole, it is fine. The history of courtesy reminds us that permissible and inadmissible words vary depending on the era, and one can only be glad that now the use of some actively used insults in the past can seriously affect reputation. It also happens that the "polytesse" slides in the direction of a euphemism of reality, when a deaf person is called a deaf person, and a blind person is called blind. I do not know what this is all in addition to separating the language from reality and closing it in the space of internal references.
Be that as it may, now we are not even talking about this, but about the real "orellization" of the language in the media environment. Often the task is to hide the reality, which, for example, is talked about, for example, endless references to coexistence in the period of widespread disintegration of society. In addition, there are attempts to distort the essence of reality. Let us recall at least the former Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, Jacky Smith (Jacqui Smith), who stated in 2008 that terrorist attacks should be called not Islamic, but anti-Islamic, as they contradict the peaceful nature of Islam. Jacques Toubon in turn plays with figures and definitions to create the impression that in France for 40 years there is no mass immigration. He is engaged in a real falsification of reality, which makes ordinary mortals believe that the authorities are now guided by realities, and do not try to falsify them. This ideologization of the language should encourage us to reread Milos and Koestler, who devoted very bright thoughts to ideological blindness.
The cultural war that has replaced the class struggle is primarily a battle for the right to determine the significance of our symbols and to transform the rules and guidelines that underlie the common world. It is 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 fact, political correctness is an inhibitor established in the center of the public space, whose task is to displace those who express disagreement with the dogma of multiculturalism on the periphery. And this political correctness is becoming more radical against the background of the collapse of the society of multiculturalism, as if trying at all costs to prevent people from realizing it. In such a perspective, multiculturalism is an ideocratic and authoritarian regime.
A small example: for the last few years there have been talks about the "activation of xenophobic rhetoric", which is considered a good form of fear. There is even talk of an increase in intolerance in Europe and the fact that democracy has been threatened because of the strengthening of nationalist tendencies. We all know this rhetoric. Only here the situation can be looked at differently: the last 40 years we have seen the gradual criminalization of national feelings. It has come to the point that even the most innocuous manifestations of patriotism are equated with terrible nationalistic rebounds. On the basis of all this, the need for roots was depreciated morally. The people are no longer supposed to strive for historical continuity or protect borders from mass immigration - all these will immediately be called signs of strengthening the ultra-right in political life.
Is it really true that we are seeing an intensification of xenophobic rhetoric, or is it just a breakthrough in the ideological and informational dam, on the path of national feelings? In fact, do we see the return of racism in 70 years after World War II, or is it finally a clearly marked 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 person or not.
- Let us recall another, more anecdotal example. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, decided on a permanent basis to introduce pedestrian crossings in the colors of the LGBT rainbow after one rainbow crossing was painted with homophobic curses. In addition, the National Assembly will also be decorated for the first time in the colors of LGBT people. Is it not possible that this supposed policy of combating 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. Insulting homosexuals, of course, are unacceptable, and this must be said, and insistently. This is disgusting and low stupidity, which can only cause shame.
Nevertheless, in this case we see how political correctness turns these insults into an instrument: it tries to make them believe that they are symptoms of the resurgence of demons of homophobia in France. Therefore, everyone needs to get up urgently 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 destroyed urgently. But can we keep prudence? Apparently, the media system is ready to take advantage of any event to support the rhetoric about the Western hostility to everything unlike.
And everything can go even further. If France follows in the footsteps of the United States, we will start talking about fighting not with homophobia, but transphobia, again want to impose a gender theory on everyone and will advocate the recognition of the third sex in administrative forms to end the binary display of sexual differences. Those who decide to stay out of obligatory applause will be brought into the ranks of the reactionaries. All this should lead us to the idea of "combating discrimination", to which all politicians urge us, without thinking about the theoretical framework for its implementation. The slightest difference is now seen as illegal discrimination, which must be combated.
Another point. It is worth thinking about what can, within the framework of media logic, turn an ordinary incident into a political phenomenon. These insults are perceived as a political phenomenon that requires political reaction. But what kind of ideological matrix turns accidents and political phenomena, and how does it work? Why, for example, does the Telford scandal be presented as an incident without special political significance? Why are we so reluctant to talk about a large-scale sexual aggression in Cologne? Why is the security blow due to mass immigration suppressed or even denied, to the extent that those who mention it are equated to preachers of racism and spreaders of hatred?
In fact, everything that calls into question the greatness of the society of multiculturalism is spoken with great reluctance: there are fears that if information reaches the people, it can draw undesirable conclusions. As a result, it even reaches the criminalization of the bearers of bad news, as we saw 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? Is Régis Debray right when he talks about the Americanization of Europe?
- Frankly speaking, I personally am not particularly anti-American, but, it seems to me, today it is just necessary to criticize the new form of ideological imperialism that comes from America and pushes each nation to deculturation. If I am not the enemy of the United States, this does not mean that I want to become an American and allow France to impose social and historical categories that are alien to it. Speaking about 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 bring it into line with the dogma of multiculturalism. It is necessary to suppress the unpleasant sensations caused by postmodernism and endlessly give contemporaries vivid signs of virtue, as Vincent Trémolet de Villers said. This is done with the help of ritual and everyday condemnation of existing in our world of phobias up to the invention of new ones, like the fear of fat people. Those who will struggle to look at what the American university represents today, and what contradictions exist there, will be genuinely appalled.
In addition, the ideology of multiculturalism, which turned political correctness into an information censorship regime, can be viewed as a continuation of the totalitarian tendencies of the present, appearing now in a new guise. We once again dream of a single, peaceful and absolutely transparent world. The world without identity, predators, smokers, drinkers, ladies' men, adventurers and special relationships. In other words, this is a world without friendship, a completely programmed, smooth and combed world. Joseph Kessel (Joseph Kessel) would have died in it from boredom, and Sylvain Tesson (Sylvain Tesson) would have fled to hell. We again start dreaming about a new person, only this time we are talking about a person without prejudice, belonging, culture, desires and the old world with which he was connected. Political correctness is designed to stifle the part of the old world that still lives in it to ensure its passage through the matrix of multiculturalism that will purify it and allow the adoption of 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 put an end to the West as a whole and Europe in particular. If you do not understand this, you do not understand modern progressivism at all.
- Political correctness for a long time ripened in North America. When exactly did it begin? How did it establish its cultural hegemony?
- If it's simple, it originated in the campuses of American universities at the end of the 1960-ies and developed until the 1980-ies, when it had already taken deep roots in the university environment. In 2000-ies, it became a hegemonic trend in the media. This is the fruit of the radical trends of the 1960-ies and a strange mixture of neo-Marxism with the most poisonous forms of counterculture. Speaking schematically, she relies on radical criticism of Western civilization, which is accused of forming an alienating image of a person. This image must be destroyed with the support of various minorities that were subject to its hegemony. For this, it is necessary to criticize and censor what was recently the norm of our civilizations, and to extol what was on their periphery. In philosophical terms, political correctness is based on a radical inversion of the normative system of our civilization, which now must neutralize and destroy the core of its own existence. In addition, she is now obliged to self-determine through those who were excluded from it historically, but are now being lauded with almost religious zeal.
More specifically, political correctness is based today on a culture of universal supervision: everything that runs counter to the dogma of multiculturalism is condemned by militant groups that have become real professionals in terms of outrage (this is a very profitable profession). There is not a week without condemnation of this or that aspect of the old world and reminders that we still have a long way to go to form an ideal society of multiculturalism. Political correctness feeds on scandals, sometimes real, but mostly artificial, which she theatrically furnishes in order for the society 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 will not close her eyes. Sometimes she makes herself ridiculous, as it was during the story with inclusive letters. Then she pretends that she stops, but then with new strength she takes up her crusade, as soon as the news cycle returns to the previous channel. In such a perspective, any criticism of political correctness implies a criticism of the functioning of the media system and an explanation of its latent bias.
- Did Donald Trump's election become a blow to this system? American left-wing intellectuals launched a process of self-criticism in this regard?
- Just the opposite. American left-wing intellectuals have only become even more radical. They no longer have a shadow of doubt in their rightness. Against the backdrop of Trump, who is caricatured, and we will not blame his soul, often embarrassingly embodies everything that they hate, they revel in their own benevolence and even more press on their moral superiority. They have never been more confident in themselves than they are now. They are seriously asking themselves if America is not sliding into fascism. President Trump's policy is often alarming, but it can be criticized without such excesses. But are ideological leftists really capable of imagining an adversary who would not be the enemy of the entire human race? They have always been tempted to launch a moralizing crusade to expel all those who do not fit into their dogmas. There is no political pluralism for them: they see only the avant-garde (to which they, of course, refer themselves), which should be praised in every possible way, and the rearguard, a standing marsh of mankind, which one should not pay attention to, because history has already pronounced him a death sentence. At heart they believe in the political benefactor of ostracism. The threat to them lies in the fact that an increasing part of the population does not pay attention to media accusations. What is even more serious, the more the mass media call for publicly punishing some person or idea, the more actively this part of the population is oriented toward it. The polarization of society is stronger than ever.
- Can this ideology, which is alien to the European and, in particular, French culture, firmly established in Europe? Is it capable of provoking a populist reaction like in the US?
- We underestimate the share of people's protest against political correctness in what is now commonly called the rise of populism. Simple mortals are perfectly justified tired of the desire to control the language, the growing cult of all sorts of minorities, ideological delusions like inclusive writing, radical feminism, which endlessly blames the patriarchy in every way, although our societies have never been so equal, the movement of trances, seeking to destroy the fundamental principles of sexual differences, etc. A simple mortal feels the urge to radically change his culture and rebuffs. In conditions of such ideological "shelling", it is possible to create visibility only up to a certain limit. Our societies are really ready for openness to another way of life: this is precisely the greatness of liberal societies. At the same time, they do not want to turn into one large camp of ideological re-education in the open air, in which preachers at every corner accuse them of backwardness. Let me briefly dwell on the notion of "populism". "Populism" is a rude word without a clear definition, which is used for moral or political discrediting of those who do not agree with the dogmas of multiculturalism. We are frightened by his ascent, but they do not say what exactly we are talking about. It is possible that this now ritual criticism of populism in the media only contributes to popular discontent, which leads to a protest vote, which we saw in the example of Trump, Brexit and the Italian elections.
- Alain Finkielkraut (Alain Finkielkraut) speaks about the need to abandon political correctness, without falling into "political baseness". This balance will become increasingly unstable in the context of the crisis of the West? How to keep 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 manner in social networks. Be that as it may, I will not hide pessimism: I increasingly believe in the future of democratic civility necessary for civil dialogue, although I consider it absolutely necessary. If we want the policy to be civilized, or at least retain its polemical component, it must be part of a common world that goes beyond our deepest disagreements. The framework for this was formed by the nation. When it falls apart, the psychology of civil war emerges on the surface. I'm not sure that we will be able to contain the radicalization of political rhetoric. As I have already said, some people create complete lasciviousness on the Internet. Public life requires certain decency. In addition, it assumes a pluralism of opinions: no one camp can claim a monopoly on truth, good and justice.
With all this, I am convinced that the more active the dominant rhetoric will deny the reality and demonize those who try to remind of its existence, the more it will push large strata of the population towards the riot and create favorable conditions for politicians who are capable of sending dissatisfaction into the right direction. In fact, the process of reorganization has already begun. Let's see what shape he will take.