[ExI] What the France!?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Apr 5 09:03:21 UTC 2009

If I write about actions that France could and should
take to survive, I'll definitely leave gaping a class of
people I perhaps should refer to as extreme individualists.
These, or at least the subset of them of immediate concern,
are people who may hold dear any number of high principles
long revered in western civilization; yet who do not and
perhaps cannot identify with the institutions and peoples
who gave rise to those principles---and, see below, cannot
perceive ambient threats to those principles of an
existential nature.

The capacity for patriotism is the most salient example.
To a Roman, it was inconceivable that Rome per se
was not reified or should not be reified. Their patriotism
was instinctive and unquestioned to a degree extremely
hard for a modern westerner to appreciate. Some 19th
century American Indians would do better, especially all
those tribes whose very definition of "human being"
amounted exactly to inclusion in their own tribe.

To an extreme individualist, or even what I'll call
an abstract libertarian, groups such as "Romans", the
"French people" and "France" are pointless and rather
dangerous ideals (or themselves abstractions) and
need to be comprehensively replaced by non-historically
and non-developmentally based transitory groupings,
(i.e. today's "us group") if any groupings at all
are admissible.

The statement "France should expel its Muslim residents"
provokes not merely emotional disgust (and often
uncontrolled vituperation), and not only judgments
that violates enshrined principles of citizens' legal
rights, but harks back to a misunderstood (or rather
never understood or appreciated) tribalism. It even
borders, it seems, on being incomprehensible, when one
focuses on the (false) idea that only individuals really
exist and only what happens to them as individuals
really matters.

So here is an imaginary dialog between a Right hemisphere
and a Left hemisphere wherein the judgmental and form
apparent to the first clash with the iterative and
rational proceedings of the second. If you would like
to personify the exchange, remembering that it is entirely
imaginary, recall R for Rafal and L for Lee, and contrast
the skepticism, repudiation, and revulsion of the right
hemisphere R with the orderly, confabulatory (in the
sense of creation), rigid, progressive, logical step-by-step
relentless proceedings of L, the left hemisphere:

L:   In order to itself to survive, but perhaps equally
      importantly for its western traditions and the
      bulk of its egalitarian and freedom loving traditions
      and institutions to survive, France must expel its
      Muslim inhabitants.

R:   WTF? WTF! Have you entirely driven from your mind
      the social costs inflicted on individuals, the deep
      violations of individual freedoms, and (least of all)
      the sheer cost of such a step?

L:   "What the France?" What the France! Calm down, and
      I'll tell you what the France. When a body is diseased,
      those portions of the body fostering and providing
      shelter for the disease must be excised, regardless
      of the integrity of the body as a whole.

R:   "France", a body? Clearly your logical confabulations
      (in the creative sense) have gone off the deep end.
      The analogy fills me with the greatest disgust and
      brings uppermost to mind the question of what has
      happened to your skeptical powers of good judgment.

L:   Enough of impressions, mine and yours. Let's be logical.
      According to the demographers, in thirty years or so
      France's Muslim infection will have made them a majority
      of the nation's people, and they have never in modern
      history become a majority without doing immense violence
      to nearly all traditions held dear in the west.

      So if you proceed to just stand by and idly watch this
      happen, then in one *great* fell swoop you'll have all
      those liberties you so loudly defend, all those
      freedoms you take for granted, and all those principles
      held dear by France for over two hundred years cast
      into the wind.

R:   That is mere logical extrapolation. We don't know
      that any of that will take place. When we weigh those
      remote (in time, at least) possibilities with what
      happens to real people in the hear and now, then the
      judgment must come down on the side of doing no harm
      (or the lesser harm) in the here and now.

L:   Do you dismiss out of hand the developments of which
      I warn? Do you think that these have zero probability?

R:   It doesn't matter. What is important is a principled
      adherence to our cherished principles at all times,
      regardless of risk. The end never justifies the means,
      and history shows that all of the "actions en masse"
      from the Northern invasion of the seceding and freedom
      loving South, to Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus,
      to the internment of the west coast Japanese, and many
      more in all lands and among all peoples are sooner or
      later regretted.

L:   They are regretted, it is true, but only by those who
      enjoy the luxury of being the products of those actions
      and who would not be here in a lot of the cases were
      not those stark actions taken!

      What you propose is *not* an ESS, and it flies in
      the face of your antecedents who made your policies
      and probably your very existence possible.

      You are a free-loader. You rid free on the hard
      decisions made hundreds of years ago by your cultural
      or literal ancestors, who revolted against a thorough
      tyranny, even though it meant expediently killing
      people and breaking things, who could find within
      themselves a strong unified civic group consciousness,
      who could rise as a until and repel foreign invasion,
      or even the invasions of neighboring tribes, as well
      as, when it was absolutely necessary, engaging in
      vigilante justice.

      You sit quite self-satisfied on top of long standing
      western traditions of tolerance (well, at least up
      to people making heretical suggestions!), personal
      liberty, and operation of institutions such as
      the free market without ever bothering yourself as
      to their provisionality and contingency. You
      act if these can only falter from within, by lack
      of scruple in particular cases, and are never at
      risk from global, environmental, ambient cultural

      By your stance, oblivious to fundamental and creeping
      cultural change, you in effect fail to defend the
      very conditions that make possible these principles
      to which you are (and I am) so wedded.

      Reply to that, if you will, and---if somehow you can---
      please try to keep the dialog focused on the analytic
      and non-emotional, as understandably hard as that may be
      for your right hemisphere in this kind of discussion.


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