Saturday, July 14, 2007

Diversity Or Die

A reader mentioned this in a comment to my post on Bastille Day, and I came upon the related article at Bafweb.

The very trendy socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, celebrated the French National Holiday to the rhythms and beats of African music:

France is about to become an African country, and so it was only logical that the Municipality of Paris and its loony media celebrity Delanoë chose to organize an evening of "African Rhythms" to celebrate the holiday at the Bastille.

To honor "Eternal France" were featured the following:

Alpha Bondy, Amadou et Miriam, Ba Cissoko, Jacob Desvarieux, Daby Touré, Dobet Gnahoré, Fally Ipupa, Ismaël Lô, Amel Mathlouthi, Johnny Clegg, Lokua Kanza, Mory Kanté, Sergeo Polo, Souad Massi, Les Tambours de Brazza, Zao.

The article then tells us to find the name that doesn't belong there. I have no idea. Maybe Jacob Desvarieux? It sounds almost like a French (horrors!) name...

This was entirely predictable: more eager than ever to win over votes from immigrants who flood endlessly into Paris, the mayor of the French capital has thrown overboard the dusty old chords of the accordion, and anything else that still symbolizes the moldy France of an age gone by.

In the gluey new lingo, the street dancing is placed "under the sign of diversity, of dialogue between cultures, through African music. It will be a veritable festival, an invitation to dance and to share for Parisians of all backgrounds and all generations."

But in a few years, the "dialogue of cultures", that pious falsehood whose purpose is to force the suckers to swallow, by means of forceps, the process of Africanization, will be but a distant memory. In 30 years, we will have, you can bet on it, exhibits explaining to the new Europeans what France was like "before."

So with Gay Pride, African Dances, Techno Parade, mosques by the bushel and a celebration of Ramadan, this is not a good time to be named Fernand or Rosine in Paris...

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At July 15, 2007 2:09 PM, Blogger Chrisos said...

I guess we won't agree on this neither.
Listen to different kinds of music does not mean having your own culture erased by the "invading" new cultures.
European culture and history has never been 100% European.
Do you remember the Middle Ages? Europe was not the most evolved region at this time. Knights, monarchs and other stupid guys were fighting against each other, people were ignorants, because the Church wanted them to remain ignorants.
The leading power and the top civilization at this time was the Muslim world (not only arabs, but persians, turks and other assimilated populations). They were able to extending the progress of the greeks. They eventually transmitted this to the Europeans, via Spain and the Crusades.
There was also some technology transfer from China, and so on.
So, as opposed to your pure monolithic view of the great European culture, there has always been a lot of inter and intra diversity in Europe and European culture (more similarities between a Spaniard and a Morrocan than between a Spaniard and a Finnish).

Do you even know where the name "Europa" comes from?

At July 15, 2007 11:21 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

@ chrisos

I never spoke of a pure monolithic European culture. There is no such thing as an absolutely pure culture, and I never said there was. France, for example, is a mixture of Latin, Celtic, and Frankish peoples, with influxes of other groups: Russians, Swedes, German, Italians, Jews, Spaniards, etc... But there are limits to how many non-European immigrants a country can absorb before it loses its essential character. Being French used to mean something - a French person felt himself to be distinctly French. Now it means being anything, so long as you have a French passport. Today the French people are keenly aware that the limit of immigration has long been passed and that the distinct Frenchness of their civilization is in danger. I am not the only one saying it.

Your superficial, not to say juvenile, view of the Middle Ages is laughable. "Knights, monarchs and other stupid guys, etc..." Please read more seriously.

It's not a question of merely listening to music. Diverse forms of music have always existed. It's a question of forcing lower forms of music on a culture that had at one time wonderful song writers, and a long history of great music from the early Middle Ages through the 20th century. It's a question of government-sponsored indoctrination through lower forms of music, and other types of intellectual terrorism, such as affirmative action and forced repentance.

But, the terrible truth is that no one is really fighting this. A small number of patriots speak out and are called fascist pigs, or something similar. So if Islamization and Africanization and dumbing-down are what you want out of a society, then the European cultures of today, France in particular, are for you.

You say you are half-French. I don't know what the other half is, but if it's American it sounds like Berkeley circa 1968... And the half of you that is French needs to shed its silly notions and look honestly at French history. If you really are half-French, you should be concerned that a great nation is today caving in to some of the lowest and most infantile trends imaginable.

There are several theories on the origin of "Europe". I presume you meant the word is Semitic, proving that Europe is a mixture. Of course, Europe is a mixture. But it cannot and must not become an Islamic continent or an African continent. It can tolerate only a small percentage of non-Europeans. Africans have an entire continent of their own and Muslims are in possession of huge swathes of the planet. Diversity can only be maintained if boundaries are observed. Every nation must have one dominant culture, with a tolerable number of minorities that willingly adopt the dominant culture. That is how both Europe and the United States have managed to flourish until now.

At July 16, 2007 5:46 AM, Blogger Chrisos said...

Being French means being open minded and tolerant to others. You do not and cannot loose your identity if you know who you are.
Modern France, whether you like it or not (you don't seem to be a great fan), is not what it used to be and it's normal because everyone evolves. Living in the past never helped, people have to move forward.
So yes, being French still means a lot, but it probably does not match your outdated perception.
You share common ideas with Le Pen or that tiny Austrian dictator (scaring not much educated people by telling them that foreigners are evil), but you say thant you are against demagogues. Yes, you have great references! "Eternal France" reminds me of the millenary reich.

I like the way you respect other people's ideas ("superficial, juvenile", "laughable"), it shows your true nature. And yes, I should probably read more seriously, but almost everyone would agree that living conditions today are much better than when France used to have kings.

No one is forcing no one. We still have a democracy in France, non one forces you to listen to music you don't like. You have the right to choose. I am not a big fan of African Rythms, but it does not bother me as I really can't see how it interferes whith my culture.
And for your info, the Mairie de Paris is independent from the government.
Lower forms of music? Who are you to decide that something is low?

Affirmative action is questionnable, I agree, but what about monarchy? Is it more fair?
I am still able to drink, eat and do what I want, so I don't know which islamization you are talking about in France and Europe. I think that intolerent and close minded attitudes are what provoke rejection and extremism. If immigrants where correctly assimilated into the rest of the population and if there were no social (and not racial or religious) issues, people of muslim and/or african origins would just be like the others. There are lots of successful cases of people with non european origins who were able to become "good" or model French or European citizens. Many people didn't have this chance, but scorn and rejection are not solutions.

My other half is not American, no thanks! I come from the same region than princess Europa. It used to be a leading and wise civilization that preferred business to war and prefered to consider other people as partners rather than trying to create hierarchy. France might have been a leading power, OK (its domination peaked during Napoleon's short reign), but so what? Did people have better lives at this time? Did it make anyone happier? Imperialism and thinking that your country is great is a vain and selfish idea if you don't do any good.

I agree that countries have predominant cultures, but the notion of borders is not always adequate.
Another great example! The US were built on the massacre of native americans, then on the exploitation of what you call minorities (african slaves, "low class" immigrants). These people do not live together, but in parallel ghettos. Southern California, Florida have an important proportion of hispanic people, which are quite different from the cold boring wasps, there might be some problems, but they do not seem to threaten the integrity of the USA.

At July 16, 2007 11:40 AM, Anonymous dauphin_b612 said...

@ chrisos

This is not just listening to different kinds of music. I like Amadou and Mariam, and bought a CD to help them as struggling artists (and who are blind to boot!). There is no problem including African or other sounds in a party, but the theme on the national holiday should be French and a celebration of French culture and music, especially at the Place de la Bastille. Paris and France are not Africa, even if there are African immigrants in France. They would not like it or tolerate it if it were the other way around, and there should be mutual respect. A Syrian I met could not believe what France was letting happen to herself, because he had a love of admiration of France, not of love based on conquest. I understand some of your points, but most of your argument makes no sense to me. As to monarchy, many countries in Europe have modern constitutional monarchies and are not suffering because of it--as a matter of fact, I believe it costs more to maintain the Elysée than Buckingham Palace. They instituted reforms without destroying centuries of heritage and tradition.

At July 16, 2007 12:22 PM, Anonymous zazie said...

I cannot "remember" the Middle Ages, of course ; yet, I do know a (very) few things about history ; I should have said "facts" instead of "things" ; for instance, The Muslim world may have been a great power at that time, but surely not the "top civilisation" ; you seem to have depreciated China...
You have often reproached Europe and America with having had slaves : if you are really interested in this topic, you must know who sailed along the eastern coast of Africa to "kidnap" slaves, who sailed the Mediterranean and took slaves, especially fair-skinned and fair-haired women, whom they sold to the rich merchants and rotten politicians or even sultans of the Islamic world....
So please, for Heaven's sake, stop this stupid quarrel : it is very sad, but quite true, that all countries, all periods of history, and all human beings can be revolting ; and please no longer mistake belief for faith, or rites for God!

At July 16, 2007 1:39 PM, Anonymous En voie de disparition said...


If all cultures are of equal value, why does immigration flow so overwhelmingly in one direction (i.e., from Africa to Europe)? Doesn't the direction of migration imply that some cultures work better than others?

It might be better for this discussion if we replaced the term 'immigration' with the term 'population replacement.' What is taking place is not a diversification of the French people (which is already more diverse than most peoples in this world), but rather the replacement of one people by another.

At July 17, 2007 3:41 AM, Anonymous zazie said...

à Chrisos
About slave-owners, I think you might read the BAFWEB ; there is a very interesting and up-to-date post, written on the 16th of july !

At July 17, 2007 9:10 AM, Anonymous Hephaestos said...

Oh my god! The etymology of Europe is Hellenic not Semitic.

You people do not even know what you are fighting for!

At July 17, 2007 1:09 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

@ hephaestos

I didn't say the origin of the word was Semitic - at least I didn't mean for it to be taken that way. I said there are various theories - the most common one is that the word is Greek, meaning "wide eyes" (or something like that - sorry I don't have my book with me). There is another theory that the word is connected to a Semitic word that means "setting sun".

Because of the manner in which he asked "Do you even know where the word comes from?" I assumed (and it was only an assumption) that he was referring to the Semitic theory of the word. This would be in line with the rest of his argument that Europe is a mixture.

If he did not mean that, then I don't see the point of his question.


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