FYI France

File 3: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler, kessler@well.com

November 15, 2016 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on November 15, 2016.

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Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: kessler@well.com

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at kessler@well.com

 

--oOo--

 

FYI France: next?... The Front National, new books...

 

F rom "Brexit" to "Trump" to "The Front National"... plus Austria, and now Italy, Holland, and even Mrs. Merkel maybe... Politics being on the minds of all of us, this year and next, I thought a few new additions to my already-extensive list of materials about the Front National might be timely -- you can see the full list at --

http://www.fyifrance.com/fnind.htm

— and the following new entries will be incorporated into that soon --

 

 

—oOo--

 

And now a Note:

We all were surprised... or "shocked, shocked!", as the Frenchman(!) says, in that famous film about another time when France and the US were sharing a common fate...

And now we have entered the phony-war -- as initially we did back then, too, for nearly two years -- when, "those who speak do not know, and those who know do not speak"...

And, as before as well, we are leaving our erstwhile best-friends the British out-in-the-cold, to twist-in-the-wind all alone while they are buffeted by the first winds of the coming-onslaught... Or did you think each of these -- Brexit, the Trump election, the Front National's victories in France -- was a unique and isolated event, unrelated in any way to one another?

One need not be a paranoid, not even a conspiracy theorist or simply a fan of same, to see the relationships: the old postwar dreams breaking down everywhere, the peace & trade & disarmament networks too, replaced by isolationism, nationalism, & a shrillness... in vocabulary, pitch of voice, postures on the tv screens & in the videos... View the films of the 1930s, again, the politicians posturing, the stiffness of same, the relaxation and casual humor of the old elitists of previous generations gone, gone utterly -- Bismarck never would have been as stiff, as insistent, as unsure of himself, on television, as the little Austrian corporal was, at some point Prussian noblesse oblige gave way to edgy & nervous & explosive religious zeal.

Now again, then, things are stiffening -- the strain is showing -- in Britain an apoplectic Neil Farage confronts a red-faced Theresa May, and in the US three evenings show Americans both their candidates under immense strain and only pretending to be casual & calm, and in France Marine is a far more practiced cool-medium player than her tempestuous father ever was, not-so her followers, and still when she speaks you want to duck because her cold and not-at-all-gentle words pierce armor.

What happened back-then -- pace Niall Ferguson in the 1890s not the 1930s -- was a stiffening, a sclerosis, as Yeats put it,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

— the wise foolishness of a Charlie Chaplin or even a Jon Stewart or Gary Trudeau or Robin Williams or The Correspondents' Dinner becomes less and less tolerated, the High Seriousness of all discussion takes its place, the Leaders retreat into their studies and refuse to participate any longer in the increasingly-hand-dirtying "elections" -- think of the Bush Family, the Kennedy Family, the elders and intellectuals of the old and now faltering Republican and Democratic parties in the US, and in the UK both the Tories fearing UKIP and the Labour folks fearing one another, and in France the elderly and clearly-clueless Socialists -- and so out from the smoldering ashes of those elections creep the new Slouching Beasts... unrecognizably-related to their predecessors, Farage and Trump and soon in France possibly even Le Pen.

Yeats... chapter and verse, re-born as he said they'd be in cycles, again and again and again...

Yes, Professor Ferguson, the 1930s may have been just an interlude, the 1890s perhaps were more à propo, it all may have begun in the 1890s... But that just makes it bigger, and far more terrible: if there is one thing worse than a century of repeated disastrous wars, as our Terrible Twentieth used to be defined, it is a century of continuous warfare not-yet-concluded, on which our modern historians' views of The Long European War recently has been insisting. For us today, then, the question may be whether we still are fighting that one, or are about to begin another, that last a terrible thought....

I'm an optimist, I don't believe any of that. To me the re-emergence of Asia, ⅔ of humanity, is a truly wonderful human achievement, long-awaited -- nearly 5 centuries -- and second only in significance to the Liberation of Women, over ½ of humanity, a slavery which has lasted far longer than even Asia's has. We are fortunate, I believe, to be witnesses to both, taking place in our era. So neither Le Pen nor Trump nor even Brexit matter so much to me -- I see all-three as muddling-through eventually.

But the costs will be great -- far greater I believe than if European Unity and Global Government and other Universalist dreams of the old Postwar World actually had been achieved -- also True Equality in the US for all its many minorities and groups, and True Diversity among my favorite foreigners the French, who have wrestled with these questions of nationality and nationhood for centuries.

Anyway, happy reading,

 

Jack, kessler@well.com

em: kessler@well.com
W3: http://www.fyifrance.com

 

--oOo--

 

FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916

 
      *
      |         FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic
      |         journal published since 1992 as a small-scale,
      |         personal experiment, in the creation of large-
      |         scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler.
     / \        Any material written by me which appears in
    -----       FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for
   //   \\      any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me
  ---------     credit and show my email address, and, b) it
 //       \\    isn't going to make them money: if it is going
                to make them money, they must get my permission
in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. 
Use of material written by others requires their permission. 
FYI France archives are in various places on the Internet, i.e. 
at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L), 
or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/, 
or https://list.indiana.edu/sympa/arc/exlibris-l/ (EXLIBRIS-L),
or http://www.fyifrance.com. Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, 
praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at 
kessler@well.com .
 
        Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler,
all rights reserved except as indicated above. 

--hjlm--

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Last update: November 26, 2016