email.voxypad.com/430.php This colonialist legacy still casts a long shadow over the ways in which France treats and perceives its ethnic minority citizens, especially those originating from the Maghreb.
These minorities are demonised in the French conservative press and by the extreme right, in a way that would be found shocking in Britain. This vilification has been made easier by the typically abstract way French progressives have framed the debate about minority integration. Those who have opposed the ban on the veil in schools have been spuriously accused of communitarianism and Islamism — terms all the more terrifying in that they are never precisely defined. Presenting the issue of civic integration in such terms has proved counterproductive, not least because it has detracted from the real problems confronting these populations: unemployment, racial discrimination and educational underachievement.
This French penchant for abstraction appears in most paradoxical and perverse form in the absence of precise statistical information about their Maghrebi minorities, as it is illegal to collect data about ethnicity and religion in France. Since the late 20th century French thought has lost many of the qualities that made for its universal appeal: its abundant sense of imagination, its buoyant sense of purpose, and above all its capacity even when engaging in the most byzantine of philosophical issues to give everyone tuning in, from Buenos Aires to Beirut, the sense that they were participating in a conversation of transcendental significance.
How is this transformation to be explained? Among the most important factors is a collective recognition that France is no longer a major power.
The complicated condition of the European project, which was decisively shaped in the past by a string of French figures from Jean Monnet to Jacques Delors , bears witness to this decline. This myth was largely intended as a replacement of the equally fabulous ideal of the French mission civilisatrice in the colonies.
This pessimistic sensibility has been exacerbated by a widespread belief that French culture is itself in crisis. The representation of France as an exhausted and alienated country, corrupted by the egalitarian heritage of May 68 , overrun by Muslim immigrants and incapable of standing up for its own core values is a common theme in French conservative writings. A major underlying consideration here is the perception of the decline of French as a global language, and its much-resented replacement by English.
A variety of groups and associations have long been campaigning vigorously against the importation of English words into French. A more profound cause of the current malaise relates to the ways in which French elites are recruited and trained. Their intellectual outlook reflects the strengths of this type of technocratic education, such as a capacity for hard work and for mastering complex briefs. Above all, it shows an overwhelmingly masculine style and ethos.
This ascendency of technocratic values among French progressive elites is itself reflective of a wider intellectual crisis on the left.
French progressive thinkers no longer produce the kind of sweeping grand theories that typified the constructs of the Left Bank in its heyday. Indeed it has been a long time since the very notion of the avant-garde Phone orders min. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Philosophy books. France Europe Victor Hugo features. Reuse this content.
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Most popular. For the past ten years, he has been content with running his small detective agency; investigating cheating husbands, disability and insurance fraud, spin doctors, fathers with delinquent child support payment history, employment background checks, political affiliations and associations, homosexuals and the closet transvestite. As long as he has his teenage daughter Rosalie, his guitar, his blues music and his whiskey, he is satisfied.
His life changes forever, the day Claire Black, a nun in her thirties, visits him and requests his help with an unusual case: locate an old crucifix that was used to invoke The Devil in Ville-Marie in , and was stolen from the convent of the religious community to which Mgr. The investigation, which initially appears simple and without much hope for success, quickly escapes Kelly, finding himself on the trail of Satanists who leave in their wake, young runaway girls; victims of their black mass. All the while, the police are called to various churches in Montreal where they have found bodies, skinned alive.
Before he knows it, Kelly finds himself in the middle of a plot to make him pay dearly for a tragic mistake made many years ago.