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"France is for the French" - Le Pen

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I can't say that I follow French politics (I don't), but this article on CNN.com's front page caught my eye:
<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/04/21/france.election/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/04/21/france.election/index.html</a>

I don't know what exactly is going on here... but CNN calls Le Pen "far right". I mean, left for the French is pretty far left in the United States. So I'm not sure how to judge this one.

I am a Republican here in the US. And I wouldn't say I am moderate-- but certainly not extremist or "far right". When I hear "far right" (especially abroad) I think of racisms and fascisms*. Like I said, I don't know what "far right" is for the France. And I am certainly not calling Le Pen a fascist-- before today, I had never even heard of him! I certainly can't make a judgment.

So here's what I'd like to discuss what this means for:
1. the EU, where France has been a leader in EU ideology.
2. French military. (recalling that the US will not "...trade Washington for Paris".)
3. Relations with the US. (not forgetting environmental and economic)
4. France's official standing on the Middle East.
4.5. Jews living in France

For once France may be further right than Britain. That's a bit of a change.

*it's my view that as you go further right, you start to leave what I would call the Republican party and go into something else...

[ 04-21-2002: Message edited by: Arakageeta ]

[edit: Le Pen isn't the PM - J.]

[ 04-21-2002: Message edited by: Jonathan ]</p>
post #2 of 39
From my (limited) understanding of the French political system, it's pretty astounding just how conservative Le Pen (and the Front National, his party) is. Bordering on nazism in the anti-foreigners/anti-immigrants (mostly targeted towards the large North African population within France).

What's astounding to me is the diversity of candidates in this first round of the Presidential elections. I believe something close to 16 ran, representing something like 10 parties; and most were projected to pull a significant (i.e. 5 or more percent) of the vote. Especially interesting was the presence of 3(?) Trotskyist candidates... and then the evidently rampant popularity of someone so far to the other end of the political spectrum (Le Pen)..... all in one country.

Peut-être les AI Français peuvent nous éclairer un peut?
post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 
[quote](mostly targeted towards the large North African population within France)<hr></blockquote>

North Africans? They're dominatly Muslim, correct? Question: does that make the party anti-Muslim or anti-Muslims-in-France?
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
Oh gees! I'm sorry. I've made a bit of an idoit of myself. I didn't realize that this was only the first round of elections. Sorry all.

post #5 of 39
[quote]Originally posted by Arakageeta:
<strong>Oh gees! I'm sorry. I've made a bit of an idoit of myself. I didn't realize that this was only the first round of elections. Sorry all.

</strong><hr></blockquote>


don't worry... this is still rather significant as only the top 2 go through to next round...

I believe it's more anti-muslim-north africans in france...
post #6 of 39
What?! The French are racist and nationalist!?

This is big news!
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #7 of 39
[quote] North Africans? They're dominantly Muslim, correct? Question: does that make the party anti-Muslim or anti-Muslims-in-France? <hr></blockquote>

He does not like jews, gays, blacks, muslims, other europeans in France. Hmmm, who does that sound like?? (I wonder if he thinks of himself as and ubermensch?)

On the bright side he only got 20% ish of the vote (3/4 of all people voted. low for France) so it does not reflect the general pop.
post #8 of 39
France today is a country facing serious social problems. Not to take anything away from their achievements - they have much to be proud of - but spend six months around Paris and the tensions are unmistakable. It's still great, but there are clear fault lines from one district to the next. The country as a whole is also plagued by a somewhat dysfunctional relationship between state and industry. A lot of what's considered routine in France would shock us here in Canada and the U.S.

These aren't necessarily French problems, however. Neither is the voter apathy which allowed for the skewed result in this first ballot. It's become endemic - and highlights how democracy has become deeply troubled in the industrialized world.


Cheers,

Mark.
post #9 of 39
From the BBC:

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1943000/1943007.stm" target="_blank">France stunned by Le Pen success</a>

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1942000/1942612.stm" target="_blank">Shock success for French far right</a>

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1942000/1942898.stm" target="_blank">In pictures: French presidential upset</a>

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1942000/1942910.stm" target="_blank">Analysis: Le Pen's final triumph</a>

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1942000/1942929.stm" target="_blank">European dismay over Le Pen vote</a>

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1943000/1943094.stm" target="_blank">European press review</a>

[ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: MRE ]</p>
post #10 of 39
It shouldn't be surprising that a country that is so left-wing, nationalistic, and xenophobic could easily become right-wing, nationalistic, and xenophobic.

Cultural purity and superiority seems to be mainstream in France. Le Pen is just another expression of that.
post #11 of 39
I have been in Belgium now for almost 7 years and while I came to Europe thinking in a more open way (a la USA, let it be a place for everyone) I have realised that most Europeans do NOT want a copy of the USA in Europe... They tolerate foreigners and some immigration, but many are looking around them and seeing that milennia of rich history and traditions are going down the drain and changing too quickly. Europeans are generally more conservative by nature.

I can tell you one thing though, its not an anti-mulsim feeling, its an anti-North African (Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians, etc etc) feeling. I get harassed by them every damn time I go out whether they are 8 year old kids that hussle you for the hell of it or 20 year old kids that pull a knife on you or hit you down to take your cell phone. To be honest, while everyone I know is open to them and tries to not be racist, its them that have to take the first step towards acceptance. THEY are the racists and Im really not surprised that places like France, Belgium, and parts of Northern Italy and the Netherlands is fed up with them ruining everything they come in contact with.

Anyway, illegal immigration has to be absolutely curbed here. We cant have thousands of desperate people landing on the shores of Italy and Spain every damn day. We can't continue to ignore the grave social issues that are creating a rift through many European societies. If these issues are not addressed, I would hate to see anything violent or even close, i dare say, to what happened in WW2. I have been to North Africa many many times and they are generally nice people... I dont understand why they have to come to Europe and decide to destroy everything in their wake.

The fact that LePen is in the final elections reflects this perfectly. Europeans, French, are scared because they do not feel safe and many European states, in the name of openess, liberty, and political correctness, have left the floodgate open for years... creating pretty damn big messes all over the place.

I'm not even a native European and I feel the tension everytime I go out. Getting eye balled when you go places... having to keep your stare away so they dont have an excuse to start a brawl or whatnot. You have no clue how many times I have decided to just walk away from 'discussions' that were started for no reason except macho-ism and stupidity... I've gotten in my fair share of fights and these people are totally unpredicatble. They'll pull a knife and have 20 other friends on you in a matter of seconds. A friend told off a small group of them because they were trying to steal a bicycle next to his house... he ended up with a slashed face from a broken bottle and has to have platic surgery done. Nice way to life in your OWN country.

despite all this, I am not for confrontation. I much prefer dialog as violence resolves nothing in the long run. Its a short term relief, but usually makes things much worse. I would vote for LePen too if it meant results now and not, God forbid, something tragic later. However, the fact that he is openly 'against everything and everyone not French' is worrying. Thats just sick.
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #12 of 39
Interesting, ZO, we ignorant and brutish Americans have had those same kinds of situations for decades and I don't think David Duke received 20% of our vote.

Thugs who rob you or hustle you? Check
Illegal immigration? Check
Voting for racists? Err... that's France's job

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #13 of 39
heheh ...

Europeans are getting to know their Arab neighbors but not all Arabs are like that Really. I think what Europe needs is to INCREASE the immigration of Arabs into Europe, so that they get to know better the real Arabs. <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />


mika.

[ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: PC^KILLA ]</p>
post #14 of 39
ZO and others above have summed up the general sentiment here in europe. denmark recently has voted in a new PM based on an anti-illegal-immigration issue based election and others are following suit. I am American living here in London and my feeling afer living here is that they don't want a USA in Europe. I also get the feeling that while Americans in the USA of different culture/backgrounds etc are more integrated than they are here. That is not say the US does not have its problems, it does, but for Europe, it appears to be less assimilation. And that is a problem. More for economic migration while rejecting the value system of their newly adopted countries. Also, europe is experiencing big waves of immigration, like US in turning part of 20th century.

So, for candidates like LePen, Stioger(?) from Bavaria in Germany, to Rassmussen in Denmark, to Burlesconi in Italy, the tide is turning right. I guess it that out of a 16 candidate first round runoff, no one expected Jospin to be in 3rd and out of it the runoff with Chriac.

Lastly, people probably voted quietly for LePen because Politically Correctness is rife so pollsters couldn't forecast his sucess. The turnout was also low.

In some aspects, its seem earily spooky and reminiscent to the 1930's Europe with something about to erupt here.

Cheers.....
BTW, forgive my bastardization of spelling these leaders names above....
post #15 of 39
While I don't hold Berlusconi in great regards, I must point out that it is his ally, Fini and, especially, Umberto Bossi of the Northern League, who are on the racist/far-right side of things. Berlusconi is just a business man... I dont think he has many of his own original ideas.

exactly eat@me, its more of an economic factor rather than the 'american dream' type thing. They setup their little (or big in many cases) ghettos and just hole up. Then when local police go out and arrest them for crimes they commit, they have the nerve to say that they get arrested because they are a minority. Stuff like that bothers me.

PC^KILLA: The maghreb arabs are quite different from Arabs in the more 'asian' middle-east (Syria, Egypt, Jordan, etc). I have visited those countries often and they are most often some of the nicest people I have ever met.

Whats worrying about the Arab culture that I have found is recurring is that they are very cunning and essentially 'merchant like'. Not always, but they will agree with you to get their way, but actually dont give a damn. Many times though, they are genuinely generous.

Whats going on in Israel has nothing to do with this thread and I dont want to start on that since we have plenty of other threads for that.

Bottom line is: There IS a problem going on here and it must be addressed to soon. Ignoring it will lead to citizens taking up their own actions (read: bigger neo-nazi groups, random vandalization, and other barbaric acts.... we cannot put ourselves on their same primordial level) and the whole situation will just go to hell. This has to be approached in strength, but cautiously and with as much civility as possible in such a difficult situation. We live in a democracy right? Well hell, we want safety and an end or MAJOR curbing to illegal immigration. That is the will of the people... of the majority that is...
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #16 of 39
For me Le Pen is barely a populist : a man who surf upon the problems of the nation but who have no real solutions to solve them. Le Pen have said yesterday : socialy i belong to the left, economicaly to the right , and nationaly i am for France. He said also , i ask all the people of France belonging to all races and religions to rejoin me for the sake of France : Le Pen is racist, but he is more interested by votes than anything else, he is ready to be tolerant for any races at the exclusive condition that they are french. Funny for a man who in the past have said that the Gaz"s chambers was a detail of WW2 history.

Personaly i have voted Chirac , despite many critics i have against him, because when you vote you must have a positive attitude . Many french people where sick of their politics (perhaps french people are waiting too much from the state and their politics) and they decide to show their angryness byÂ*a negative vote : the extremist vote, right winged or left winged. The people from the left wanted to say to Jospin that they where not happy with his politic and they decided to give him an advertissement byÂ*an extremist vote. This people thinked that in the second turn of the vote, they will go back to vote for Jospin. But they where stupid in theÂ*french election the second turn is only between the too biggest candidate. and the second biggest candidate was Le Pen and not Jospin. So now Jospin is out, and the people from the left have no candidate any more, the next time they will think twice before voting for extremist (many workers : 30 % have voted for le Pen).

The second turn will be between Chirac and Le Pen, except the left winged, all the left parties (including the socialist the green the communist) decided to vote for Chirac : they call this a republican vote against a facist vote : le Pen.
So you can be almost sure that Chirac will be the next president. Some institute bet that Chirac will win by 80 % against 20 %.
The legislative vote will be a more different problem, i fear that the left may win again, and that will have an another cohabitation.

[ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: powerdoc ]</p>
post #17 of 39
ZO is right on with his description of immigration problems in Europe. They are much worse off than we are over in the US. Arab youths are for the most part much worse than what we get in the US.

I am half french and have spent a lot of time in Paris. I also consider myself very liberal. But I do see why people are voting for Le Pen. The country is simply being ruined by all of the immigration.

My great aunt lives in Paris and is 86 years old. She has been mugged by arab kids on average 3 times for each of the past 5 years. And she is carefull too! That is ****ing rediculous!!!
SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
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SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
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post #18 of 39
Hey you know I just realized that we have a couple of million of outstanding Arab citizens we could let the Europeans borrow. Id be happy to oblige and send them over.

mika.
post #19 of 39
Powerdoc and others have summed it up as far as the French election (Round 1) is concerned.

The underlying fact is that this is an emerging trend that is not unique to france but all of europe. australia is another issue (think tampa boat crisis).

while there are 30,000 protesters (i cant see why they protest as it was the people who voted and that is democracy in action), there are at least 5 million that voted for L:ePen and recieved 17% of the vote. Does not sound like much but Chirac recieved 20% thereabouts. The fractionous other liks the Trotsky party stole it from Jospin. While I am not French and therefor should have no say in the matter, I was not a fan of Jospin. He seemed like a defeatist.

If you are French, not to worry, it will pass and you a part of a larger trend in europe.

best and this is a good well thought and articulated discussion.
post #20 of 39
I had a hard time understanding why there was so much anti-semitism in Europe but after reading some comments in this thread I understand some things about the mindset there.
post #21 of 39
For one thing, this will certainly increase voter turnout for the second round of the elections-- both people who are opposed to Le Pen being in power and people who support him will be turning out in DROVES to cast their say, for sure...
post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
eat@me, you said two things that really interested me.

First, your comment on Australia. How would you say things are different? I visited Australia on a job for a month. It's a really nice place. Awesome place. As I traveled from Sydney to Melbourne by bus over the month, I amazed the vastness of that continent. Between those two major cities, only small-medium sized town dot the coastthe large cities felt almost outposts in a frontier country. Sydney and Melbourne are not all that close (I think it is about the distance from Los Angeles to Settle, or there abouts). Still, I traveled only about half of the east coast. This place is BIG with hardly anyone there.

Getting to my point, as an American I thought, Wow. They have a lot of space to take advantage here. The ought to open their coasts and let it be populated. HA! Too bad just about every Aussie is against letting immigrants in. I mean, I find that rather sad but I guess thats a road they just dont want to travel. I understand why they wouldnt want all of South-East Asia moving in.

The second thing I found interesting what your claim that things will pass. What did you mean exactly? LePen or the influx of immigrants? If you meant the second, do you really think so? Europe is a concentration of wealth in that hemisphere. Further, westerners have some of the lowest birth rates globally (especially France). The rest of the world is growing at a tremendous rate. They want a good life too. They want in to western countries while their nations are plagued with debt, political struggles, disease, and crime. At some point, violence may be the only way to keep them outwould they use violence to get in? Who knows.

As a Southern Californian, the state of Mexico is important to me. The issue if illegal immigration has been of major debate here. Personally, Im all for some how getting Mexico to stand on its own two feet through explicit effortnot a very Republican view, I know. But if nothing is done, its only going to get worse.

[edit: want to make note that I am not making a joke about Mexico being a United State-- rather, I mean its situational state ]

[ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: Arakageeta ]</p>
post #23 of 39
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>I had a hard time understanding why there was so much anti-semitism in Europe but after reading some comments in this thread I understand some things about the mindset there.</strong><hr></blockquote>

There isnt that much anti-semitism in europe. It IS present, but it would be false to say that it isnt. Its not that Europeans are against Jews or Muslims or Protestants or Catholics, etc... This has nothing to do with religion.

While many people of the Jewish faith tend to be VERY closed and let few insiders in (which only makes people suspicous and paranoid in my opinion), they do not go out in gangs and mug people. I think European society has become sensitive and tolerant enough oover the past 60 years... its the, in this case, north african, people that come here and are basically USING the horrors that happened during WW2 against the Jews (and other minorities) as a SHIELD or EXCUSE to be left alone.

Its quite interesting in fact. I just watched CNN a few minutes ago and an interviewee (a French guy) said he voted Le Pen becasue of the sense of insecurity caused by the illegal immigrants and such. The guy even said he was married to a north africain woman... he says that the French have nothing against the immigrants as people... its the immigrants that attack the French. This has been going on for years... and I think people are getting REALLY fed up with it.

PC^KILLA, stop being such an ass. You're putting yourself on the same level as other intolerants. The Jews in Israel aren't going anywhere and neither are your neighbor Arabs. Deal with it. Live with it.
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #24 of 39
On another note, LePen will not win. Thats for sure. He will get, at most, about 20-30% of the vote.

If there is something that worries me is his fervent anti-european unionism. He has made promise to make France leave the Euro, etc etc... which would be impossible and stuff... but still, the guy is a fanatic. I just hope Chirac will be as harsh as Le Pen with illegal immigration.
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #25 of 39
This guy just keeps cracking me up.
<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/04/22/france.election/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/04/22/france.election/index.html</a>
He makes Bush look like a pussy cat.
post #26 of 39
What?!? Dont you want any of our Arabs?!? As ZO had mentioned, they are very generous. Even with their lives! They dont mind taking as many people as they can with them to paradise and Allah.

mika.

[ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: PC^KILLA ]</p>
post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 
[quote]
I think European society has become sensitive and tolerant enough oover the past 60 years... its the, in this case, north african, people that come here and are basically USING the horrors that happened during WW2 against the Jews (and other minorities) as a SHIELD or EXCUSE to be left alone.
<hr></blockquote>

I don't think Jews in Europe is exactly a new thing. They've been there from before the Renaissance and the racism against them has been there from the start*. How long have they been living in Europe and only recently are they starting to gain acceptance? By the time the North Africans are accepted in France, every person on the planet will look alike.

*some scholars source anti-Semitism to the idea that, during the middle ages, Christians were barred from making loans. The Jews had no problem taking up the role of banker. This meant anyone with debt owed money to a Jew. Those dirty Jews. Lets get rid of them (and cancel my debt)! Well, it starts somewhere, right?
post #28 of 39
[quote]Originally posted by Arakageeta:
<strong>

*some scholars source anti-Semitism to the idea that, during the middle ages, Christians were barred from making loans. The Jews had no problem taking up the role of banker. This meant anyone with debt owed money to a Jew. Those dirty Jews. Lets get rid of them (and cancel my debt)! Well, it starts somewhere, right?</strong><hr></blockquote>

well, for that matter Jews were already being persecuted back in ancient egypt. But anyway... we digress.
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 
[quote]
well, for that matter Jews were already being persecuted back in ancient egypt. But anyway... we digress.
<hr></blockquote>
Indeed. But Egypt is not Europe.
post #30 of 39
The problem of immigration is much more a problem of insecurity.

The problem of insecurity is becoming a real problem in France, it was not the case in the past. Even if now according to statistics (if they are not tricked) France is not more dangerous than other country of Europe, Insecurity is much more important than it was in the past. violence is growing everywhere, people tend to be more aggressive. Many crimes are not punish, especialy when commited by youngs people where the law is too protective and not any more appropriate. Law and respect of the state must be restored everywhere especially in the peripheric border of the towns.

Illegal immigration is a problem but not the major one. Saying that all the problems are coming from youth arab is reductive, even if they are the number one population for violence. As a republican ( i mean a man believing in the republic) i will say : that law must be respected and applied to everypeople of any ages, any ethnics, any religions. Saying that we must fire all the immigrants like le Pen is full of sh*t. There is law they must be applied that's all without any distinction of people and religion.

The two candidates who are present in the second turn of the elections where the candidate who speak of insecurity. Jospin and the socialist refuse to speak about this problems saying that was not politically correct and socially dangerous.
The socialist have paid for this, hiding problems for politically correct reasons brings to extremist vote like le Pen.

Le pen play with the fear and hate of the population, fear of insecurity , hate of the immigrants who are supposed to stole the work of the french (but there is many french people who are too lazy to work, i would add that some immigrants are as good as the french to take social advantages too), fear of the mondialism that supposed to bring all the economical problems.
HIs answers are stupid : leaving euro and europe will be an earthcake for France, do not belonging to the euro is one thing, but leaving it is an another thing that i can't just imagine. Firing all the immigrants will not bring anything good.

And for the foreign policy, Le pen has ****ed many times : during the golf war, Le pen was against it, and officially support Sadam Hussein, you must remember he is a populist and he act just to be popular in the particular aera of the population where he gets is votes.

As a conclusion , i will say that the problem of insecurity is real, but it has to be solve in a republican way (in the respects of the law of democratia) and not in a fascist way. Solving this problems in a good way, will be the best manner to diminish the influence of Le Pen in France.
post #31 of 39
Thread Starter 
Mmmmmm.... earthcake... is that anything like mud pie?
post #32 of 39
[quote]Originally posted by Arakageeta:
<strong>Mmmmmm.... earthcake... is that anything like mud pie? </strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes earthcake are very bad for the digestion . Mud pie are better for your skin when you recieve one in your face.

Earthquake are perhaps a more better syntax.

Arakageeta i m granting you the french medal of honor, for your courage . you have suceed the ultimate task, read an entire Powerdoc post !
post #33 of 39
This must be a French thing. Our own Q-bec-qwas have been playing a thinly veiled version of this for te last oh 30 years. Powerdoc, anyway we could interest you in a 6-7 million white francophones with funny accents?
IBL!
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IBL!
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post #34 of 39
I haven't commented on any of these issues the past few weeks, as I've been trying to absorb exactly what it is that we're seeing. It's so easy to compartmentalize and oversimplify things when watching these clowns on the national news, when the truth is they provide very little context. Even less understanding.

I try to look at these problems in human terms and not political ones, and I think what we've been seeing with the Palestinians and Israelis, what we saw before with the Serbs and Croats, and now with the French and the N. Africans theyre all just different manifestations of the same problem. To try and reduce their causes to nothing more than political policies or lines on a map or economics is a little shortsighted IMO. Put all these things on a much larger timeline (and on a larger geographic scale) and you'll see what I mean.

I don't claim to be a social anthropologist or grand historian, but it seems to me what we're dealing with are [chaotic (and yet cyclic)] manifestations of human malcontent. For thousands of years different groups have castigated and physically mangled one another. Why? For the color of their skin, their religion, the piece of land they occupy, for the crest on their armor - whatever excuse was handy. But the [operative word is excuse because they] usually have little to do with the real problem. In other words just "solving the immigration problem in France" or "solving the border disputes in Israel" won't end the violence (or more to the point, the malcontent).

When humans are unhappy, they invariably and almost instinctively find a scapegoat (and sometimes an excuse to vent their anger against that scapegoat). If it wasn't Algerian thugs in France, it would be the Tunisians, if not the Tunisians the labor laws ... If it isnt the control of holy sites in Jerusalem, its the annexation of Gaza, if not Gaza, then political representation, and on and on it could go. I think the violence and finger-pointing is actually a misplaced symptom of whatever is truly wrong in these people's lives (something I don't claim to have any clue about because I don't live with them).

In other words, these happenings can be reduced not to macro-level phenomenon, but to individuals.

Dont lose sight of the fact that groups are simply individuals who have made a decision to stand with a particular set of people and take a particular set of actions. Thus its not the groups fault the fault lies with individuals. Even those living under oppressive governments have free will, even those who have little money can act nobly. Theres no law that dictates: if I am put under condition X, I MUST take actions Y and Z because thats what society expects of me. People can choose to follow their own conscience. Both the Israelis and Palestinians are terribly guilty of letting politics and hype and hysteria rule their actions. Can they not say I will not utter a hateful word today, I will not take out my gun and flash it in someones face, I will not let myself be consumed by idiocy?

I feel the real issues aren't being addressed when the explanations are always "those people over there have ruined our neighborhood - they're all bad." and "I'm the victim of discrimination; therefore I am justified in breaking their laws and attacking my oppressors. If someone is rich and I am poor, they must've wronged me somehow. Etc. Etc."

These are personal problems, personal shortcomings, manifesting themselves in group behavior. I have to wonder: if these people (on all sides) valued health more than power, personal happiness more than money, friendships more than status or membership in a group -- would ANY of these problems exist in their current forms? Im inclined to think not. The people partaking in all these hostilities are lying to themselves, telling themselves that if they simply rid their area of a particular group, or if they gain control of certain lands, or if they get their guy elected that all their troubles will go away. But even if they succeed, they will still be unhappy and thus will act out in irrational ways.

Governments will not solve any of these problems, only the participants can. Thats why these battles between ethnic groups rage on not for years but decades or even centuries. It only ceases when the combatants not the politicians decide they will not blame their personal problems on other people.

Just my $.02 worth.

[ 04-23-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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post #35 of 39
quote:
I don't claim to be a social anthropologist or grand historian...

No. But you're probably wiser than most of them put together. Best post I've read here in a long time.

mika.
post #36 of 39
[quote]Originally posted by powerdoc:
<strong>
Arakageeta i m granting you the french medal of honor, for your courage . you have suceed the ultimate task, read an entire Powerdoc post !
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Trés bien! I watched the election returns live last Sunday, and I agree with most of powerdoc's assessment. If the Left of Left (the Trotskyites) hadn't been so busy calling Jospin a bourgeios poodle, and if Jospin had run a more engaged campaign, perhaps this ridiculous run-off would not be taking place.
post #37 of 39
Thread Starter 
Oh the advantages of a two party system.
... sorta-- go Nader!!
post #38 of 39
Furthers info about this election.

The dialectic of Le Pen has change a little (there is some amnesia concerning some declarations about races he made some years ago), he presented himself like the candidate of union. His programm :
- reduce the tax on the work
- fired all illegal immigrants
- priority to the french citizens
- more prisons, more judge but not politised ones to reinforce security;
- leaving the euro and Maastrich after a referendum.

The strange things is that even French young arabs have voting for Le PEN hoping change and more security. So the vote of Le Pen is not only a vote against arabs (Le pen who is not an idiot : that's why he is so dangerous, has change his dialectic he has found that he will become more popular if he does not speak of racism, but rather speak of priority to french citizens vs strangers).

So Le pen tend to leave his past of facist and try to become a populist taking votes from the lower class of the population. According to interview i have ear on TV and radio, the reason number one for their vote was insecurity (or the increase of insecurity : because it's not so bad comparing to other occidental states)

Chirac has refused the traditional TV debate with Le Pen. Even if it's not a great demonstration of courage, i quite understand the decison of Chirac, this debate will be nothing less than terrible and a shame for France ( Le pen will certainly use many personal attacks agains Chirac). There is no good debate without dignity and respect of the other, even if the discussion can be harsh.

The second turn will be a easy victory for Chirac ,but i won't be a great victory. The major election for France politic will be the legislative election of our deputy. The majority of deputy design in France the governement who decide of the politic (at the restriction of foreign politics and the army where the responsabilities are shared) of the nation.It's quite possible to see a majority of left winning the legislative election, or it's possible to see the right winged from LE PEN who will be strong enough to make a blocade minority. That will be bad for France.
post #39 of 39
[quote]Originally posted by PC^KILLA:
<strong>quote:

No. But you're probably wiser than most of them put together. Best post I've read here in a long time.

mika.</strong><hr></blockquote>


Well, I don't know about that but I certainly appreciate the compliment. Hopefully some of our "world leaders" will try and integrate the human perpective as much as the political ones into their analyses and proposed solutions, but don't hold your breath. As I mentioned these kind of things seem to have a nack for repeating themselves over time. Seems we don't learn from history too well after all?

Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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