French President Emmanuel Macron Calls Out American Identity Politics
2021 is only getting weirder.
French President Emmanuel Macron is now condemning wokism for destabilizing France.
According to a New York Times report, Macro said that “Certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States” are sparking national disunity, Islamist movements within France, and undermining France’s history.
The threat is critical race theory and other woke variants being imported to France. Such discourse is unique to the U.S., but appears to be spreading across Western Europe.
Many French elected officials, public intellectuals, and journalists have caught on to the threat that American progressivism poses towards France’s political institutions and overall cohesion as a nation-state.”There’s a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities,” declared France’s education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
The French ruling class, which has embraced various forms of political correctness over the last few decades, apparently has limits to the kind of socially-disruptive ideas they will allow within their borders. As the Times report noted, prominent French actors “have banded together against what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture.”
The recent publication of a book, Race Et Sciences Sociales, criticized overly-racialized narratives and has added further fuel to the fire in France. Younger generations of scholars tend to be more influenced by American political narratives and often take issue with certain scholars’ more restrained takes on race. The Times went into further detail about this:
The publication this month of a book critical of racial studies by two veteran social scientists, Stéphane Beaud and Gérard Noiriel, fueled criticism from younger scholars — and has received extensive news coverage. Mr. Noiriel has said that race had become a “bulldozer’’ crushing other subjects, adding, in an email, that its academic research in France was questionable because race is not recognized by the government and merely “subjective data.’’
The outrage from the death of George Floyd has also sparked mass protests across France, thus showing how American domestic conflicts are becoming increasingly globalized.
A number of French right-leaning officials demanded a parliamentary investigation into “ideological excesses” at French universities and targeted “guilty” academics on Twitter.
While originally starting out as a generic globalist politician, Macron has emerged as a pragmatic nationalist in light of the growing populist movement in France spearheaded by the National Front. This has forced Macron to go rightward on several issues such as addressing the rise of radical Islam in France and the spread of America’s woke virus in French institutions.
Last June, Macron criticized universities for promoting the “ethnicization of the social question’’ — amounting to “breaking the republic in two.’’
Traditionally, France has been civic nationalist in the sense that its national identity is based on a shared culture and foundational principles such as liberty and equality. It has generally been hesitant about embracing full-fledged multiculturalism.
Generally speaking, the French view the United States as a polarized society that is constantly engulfed by internal strife. One peculiar practice France has is its prohibition on the compilation of racial statistics. It does so in order to foster an environment of equality and avoid unnecessary racial conflict.
The jury is still out on France. Nevertheless, the country should be applauded for exercising its sovereignty and rejecting the most divisive aspects of American culture.
There’s no reason for any other country to subject itself to the same problems the U.S. is currently facing.