Finkielkraut At Sciences-Po
My last post alluded to the need to reawaken in students an interest in their country's ancient history. This need is predicated on the assumption that there is desire and readiness to learn. I don't think it applies to the rowdies in this video.
From the gloating left-wing website Indymedia, we learn that writer/philosopher Alain Finkielkraut was hissed, booed and forced to withdraw from his planned lecture at the University of Paris for Political Studies, known as "Sciences-Po". (For the history of this school that has undergone several name-changes, see Wikipedia.):
He had just taken his seat in the amphitheater of this prestigious school when the students began to chant: "We are the new partisans, partisans of the class struggle, the people's camp is our camp..."
Booed, our renegade philosopher from May 68 sheepishly withdrew.
Along with Le Pen, he is the second personality considered as persona non grata in this school. Don't attempt to see that as an unfortunate coincidence.
It must be pointed out that his xenophobic remarks to the Israeli paper Haaretz, "The French team is black black black, and the laughing-stock of Europe", had something to do with it, as did his digressions on a presumed anti-white racism and his fawning to Nicolas Sarkozy as well.
It serves him right when you realize that he came to the aid of a writer who was counting the number of Jews on cultural programs on Radio France-Culture, and questioning their right to discuss French culture.
The comments at Indymedia were replete with insults to Finkielkraut. One person said his only place is in "the sewers of history."
A reminder that Finkielkraut, a former radical of May 68, underwent a transformation as he witnessed the consequences of the student rebellion he once advocated. He is similar therefore, to our David Horowitz, once a left-winger, now a rabid anti-leftist. Like Horowitz, Finkielkraut has chosen to remain a very moderate "conservative", rather than taking a more courageous quantum leap into traditionalism, and he supports, for reasons of his own, Nicolas Sarkozy. He made headlines a few years ago when he discussed openly the racial situation in France, in particular the racial make-up of French soccer teams, and the taboos that were undermining traditional values and freedoms.
A quick Google on "Finky" shows that he is vilified by many websites. Here is just one sample from Le Monde Diplomatique dated August 2007:
The most surprising thing with certain high-profile intellectuals, is that every time they say something outrageous, we think that they have touched the bottom of the barrel. Then they manage to sink even further. After praising the Islamophobic journalist Oriana Fallaci, and rushing to the aid of victims of an "anti-white attack", and denouncing in Haaretz the revolt of the ghettoes, which he called a "pogrom against the Republic," here he is again insulting the young people of the projects, this morning on France-Culture Radio.
What did "Finky" say about the young immigrants in the ghettoes? He denounced:
"(...) their unprecedented hatred toward French culture, (...) a hatred that teachers are absolutely not accustomed to and I wonder if we are right to seek the origins of this hatred in some guilt complex over colonialism. (...) Is it discrimination when somebody applying for a job shows up wearing a hood and speaking no language except ghetto lingo? (...) These derelicts must not be given an entitlement mentality."
For these words and others like them he is considered by the Left as an extremist, an ultra right-winger, a racist and a Fascist. Remember though that for some nationalists Finkielkraut is still a traitor to France for supporting immigration as he did for so long. His seriousness of purpose has also been questioned since he is a ubiquitous media personality and a friend of Sarkozy.
Note: If you decide to view the video linked above, be advised that knowledge of French is not necessary. However it lasts over 4 minutes and is a bit tedious, since not much happens. Towards the end it becomes livelier.
H/T: François Desouche