Le World Turned Upside Down

When French authorities are abhorred by the radicalism coming out of Joe Biden’s America, we are living in a world of surrealism

I’ve written before that all of history since 1793 can be viewed as a contest between the American Revolution — with our values of individuality and freedom — and the French Revolution, with their birthing of socialism tied to atheism and a terrorist police state.  Well, it seems today that the American Revolution is ascendent in France and it is the heirs of the French Revolution who control power under Biden’s figurehead government.

Indeed, after the circa 1791 French Revolution, nothing good thereafter came out France that wasn’t a cheese, a dessert, or an emigre.  The French are like the Irish, get them out of their home country and they accomplish great things.  They make for great Americans.  In their home country, they are, collectively, a blight upon the world.  Thus, it was France that gave the world socialism and the terrorist police state.  Then, in the second half of the 20th century, it was vile, nihilistic French philosophers, such as Michel Foucault, who provided the intellectual underpinnings for multiculturalism, post-colonialism, critical race theory, and all of the other toxic theories that form the cultural marxist assault on America.

And now the world on its head.  This from Steven Hayward at Powerline, quoting a New York Times article several days ago.  It seems that all of these toxic theories that found a home in the U.S. are now leeching back into France — and many of the French are unhappy:

 [T]he Times reports that the French—the French!—are saying “no thanks” to American wokery, and of course the irony is that a lot of American wokery finds its intellectual roots in some dense French theorist.:

PARIS — The threat is said to be existential. It fuels secessionism. Gnaws at national unity. Abets Islamism. Attacks France’s intellectual and cultural heritage. The threat? “Certain social science theories entirely imported from the United States,’’ said President Emmanuel Macron.

French politicians, high-profile intellectuals and journalists are warning that progressive American ideas — specifically on race, gender, post-colonialism — are undermining their society. “There’s a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix from American universities,’’ warned Mr. Macron’s education minister.

Emboldened by these comments, prominent intellectuals have banded together against what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture. . .

Mr. Macron’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, accused universities, under American influence, of being complicit with terrorists by providing the intellectual justification behind their acts.

A group of 100 prominent scholars wrote an open letter supporting the minister and decrying theories “transferred from North American campuses” in Le Monde.

The irony of all of this is mind-numbing.  Also from Mr. Hayward, this yesterday:

The New York Times has followed up on its first startling account with a report this week on steps the French government is taking to bring the radicals in its own universities to heel:

Subhead: The government announced an investigation into social science research, broadening attacks on what it sees as destabilizing American influences.

PARIS — Stepping up its attacks on social science theories that it says threaten France, the French government announced this week that it would launch an investigation into academic research that it says feeds “Islamo-leftist’’ tendencies that “corrupt society.’’

News of the investigation immediately caused a fierce backlash among university presidents and scholars, deepening fears of a crackdown on academic freedom — especially on studies of race, gender, post-colonial studies and other fields that the French government says have been imported from American universities and contribute to undermining French society.

While President Emmanuel Macron and some of his top ministers have spoken out forcefully against what they see as a destabilizing influence from American campuses in recent months, the announcement marked the first time that the government has moved to take action. . . .

Mr. Hayward goes on to note that “red state governors” should get a clue and similarly try to root this poison out of their state-supported universities.  While I agree, I note that John Sexton at Hot Air does not:

 As much as I like the idea of showing some resistance to the woke ideology taking over universities from within, the idea that this can happen through a government ordered investigation seems destined to fail. Academic freedom is a pretty universal concept in the western world so anything that appears to limit it is not going to gain support from academics. If there’s anything communism has taught us its that there’s not much you can do to stop academics from eagerly adopting bad ideas even when the bad outcomes of those ideas are readily apparent.

I could not disagree more.  Conservatives often point out that the Constitution is not meant to be a suicide pact.  Well, neither is “academic freedom.”  Moreover, it is a travesty to point to “academic freedom” in this country, given that the woke academics are uniformly demanding that freedom be stripped from all others to teach or research things the woke disagree with.  That is fascism.  It has not a thing to do with freedom.

At any rate, now let me utter several words I thought would never pass my lips.  Viva la France.