Wednesday, April 3, 2013

France's "Clockwork Orange"

Front Page Magazine reviews a book discussing the increase of youth violence in France. From the review:
If the impressive success of Laurent Obertone’s new book La France Orange Méchanique (France Clockwork Orange) proves anything, it’s that there are a great many French citizens who don’t share their national media’s apparent indifference to the Islamization of France. To be sure, the author’s focus (the name Obertone, by the way, is a pseudonym) isn’t on Islam per se, but on the “veritable cultural revolution” that France has undergone as a result of mass immigration from corners of the globe whose social norms are profoundly alien to those of la belle République.

By “cultural revolution,” Obertone means, in a word, crime. ...
Yet the crime rates are just part of the story. What France is undergoing today, Obertone argues, isn’t just crime but “a new type of ultra-violent crime.” It’s not “’classical’ violence”; it’s a “violence of conquest.” Yet the police response is woefully inadequate; the courts no longer believe in punishment; prisons have become a joke. And the national media all but ignore the whole situation.

... But Obertone’s real subject isn’t all this ultra-violence itself. It’s what he calls “the ideological refusal” of France’s progressive elites to understand it and deal with it responsibly. For those elites, he charges, each episode of ultra-violence is a “cry of injustice” by “the excluded,” by the “victims of inequality.” Meanwhile, the elites, all too often, view the victims of violence, and the police who try to help them, as being “worse than lepers.” What’s going on here? Obertone’s answer – and this is his key point – is that ever since World War II, France’s elites, apparently driven by a “never again!” reaction to the nightmare of war, have forsworn the use of violence – not recognizing, as Obertone puts it, that while it’s good “to temper one’s aggressiveness,” it’s dangerous “to remove it or to reserve it to parasites.” Aggression among members of a species, he argues, is a fundamental party of evolution: natural selection favors the strong who are willing to show and use their strength. If a civilization wishes to endure, its law-enforcement officers must be aggressive enough to overcome the aggressiveness of malefactors within.

But today’s French elites have rejected this truth, replacing physical competition with moral competition. Instead of responding to the ultra-violent tendencies of the “under-socialized” by using whatever power is required to preserve or restore order, these “over-socialized” elites utterly eschew shows of force. They believe not in natural selection but in “social selection” – meaning that they’ve constructed a society that rewards progressive-minded souls like themselves who are willing not just to tolerate the imported perpetrators of bestial and destructive conduct but to lavish them with praise. In the view of the elites, such infinite tolerance is the very definition of virtue, and it is this virtue that, they believe, constitutes their own strength. ...

What France’s elites have done, in short, is to supplant reality itself with a moral code that considers infinite tolerance of “the other” the highest of virtues. But “the other,” note well, is very specifically defined. Since immigrants from East Asia actually integrate very well into French society and commit few crimes, they don’t count as “the other.” Those who do are, by definition, those who, far from fitting in, or even trying to, flatly refuse to adapt – those who are, essentially, at war with French society. At the heart of this mentality, of course, is a profound self-contradiction. Describing elite progressivism as “a religion, an oppression of thought that sustains itself through guilt and self-hatred,” Obertone diagnoses it as “the result of a powerful internal conflict: the over-socialized are torn between their feeling of superiority (they know best and want the entire world to think the way they do) and their advertised submission to the other, as required by their morality.” The ultimate problem with all this, of course, is that while “evolution favors the survival of the best adapted,” the “morality” of the progressive elites works for the extinction of the best adapted. The elites have crafted the doom of their own civilization.

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