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Opinion » Columnists

Land of recurrent fiasco: notes on French decrepitude

28.03.2014
 


By Nicolas Bonnal

Land of recurrent fiasco: notes on French decrepitude. 52462.jpeg

Everybody yawns: this month we will have elections in France. A feminist is going to win the election in Paris; she has promised to replace by a giant commercial mall the famous avenue Foch. Meanwhile newspapers keep denouncing 'Putin's provocations'.

Within two months we will have European elections. Much ado about nothing: for there is no aggressiveness, rage against the machine and so on. There is just the great ageing fatigue of civilization, which Roman poet Juvenal denounced two millenaries ago! 'A great deal of abstentions is waited for', utters Antoine, my friend of the legendary village of Vezelay who runs a tavern and is only waiting for European pilgrims. Even the national front is unable to catalyze the bad moods of the mob, it has become too a post-modern item full of sound but without fury: all flash and no dash. The confusion created by last year's manifestations - against the marriage for all - has withered away. It was more the result of Facebook networks gathering what was left of the former catholic majority than anything else. We should remember anyway that the Catholics built this matricide Europe with the socialists; they will protect and incense it until the end. The young generation will become technocrat and betray like her elders. Great writer Bernanos already longed for the great awakening of French youth: we were in 1946!

Everybody is sending his children in American colleges and schools of commerce.

I was in Paris last month; still a chilling, dirty and deserted city - Chinese tourists were elsewhere and the bourgeois had been skiing for a week - and I wondered the sadness of French destiny since a pair of centuries. According to Nietzsche, European noblesse of sentiment, taste, and manners, is the work and invention of FRANCE. Elegance has now faded and the employees all eat like tramps in the public gardens. The editors are disappearing and the rich Parisians I met, despite the value of their real estate, seemed starved, ill-shaped, bad-dressed, resigned or stuffed with antidepressants; of course always joking. As we know nothing in Paris is serious, even love. To illustrate his mediocre conception of humanity, Wilder found no better place than Paris.

Everybody of course is against Hollande and it is neither my role nor my wish to attack that crumbling president. The press does it, it is an easy job. Of course Hollande is an Illuminati pawn, a banksters' clerk, of course he is a warmonger and a bad warrior and strategist and of course he is surrounded by sex scandals, being nothing by himself. But now infamous DSK is given favourite by the polls for next presidential election.

The problem is that Hollande perfectly reflects French decrepitude. Since de Gaulle, we had only technocrats, Euro-maniacs, agents of American globalization, adorers of immigration and multiculturalism. The Frenchman today is a manufactured product and can be produced in any form desired. So he will vote for the same system, he will conform, he will adapt himself to the awful conditions of life (living in Paris without a fortune is really hard) he has to face in the post-French agenda of this country. While a young revolutionary, I never kept for a long time my illusions. The French had no more guts, they were summoned to conform, submit and disappear. And so they did.

Need an explanation? France was already a bourgeois, old and leftist country at the end of nineteenth century, with an ageing population and a first wave of immigration. The decay was obvious for Flaubert and Maupassant, also for Nietzsche and British observers like Pearson, Lecky or Reed. The first gentleman to have noticed the disappearance of French civilization was Edmund Burke during our failed revolution.

Wrote Edmund Burke at the end of the eighteenth century:

But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophists, economists and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.

Reed, another British observer, remarked after the disaster of Suez (France was run by socialist pawns, as ridiculous and distracted as Hollande and his staff today):

France had no more to lose, unhappily, than the lady in the soldiers' song who "lost her name again": France was left by its revolution the land of the recurrent fiasco, ever unable to rise out of the spiritual despondency where it lay. During 160 years it tried every form of government conceivable by man and found reinvigoration and new confidence in none.

Land of the recurrent fiasco: this is indeed a good term for France. But this would be quite a term to qualify America or the Euroland ruled by wars, debts and the caprices of almighty string-pullers.  

All this was anyway predicted and thus described by the greatest poet of humanity a few centuries ago. As laments Shakespeare's Joan of Arc in these beautiful verses:

Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceases to enlarge itself
Till by broad spreading it disperses to nought.

Nicolas Bonnal

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