American intellectuals, politicians and "artists" keep claiming that there's so much we can learn from the French, and lecturing us on how we should listen to and emulate their stances on international diplomacy, cultural affairs, etc.
No, we shouldn't.
France is committing a slow, agonizing suicide, as has been documented at JQWorld and elsewhere. And the centerpiece of their suicide-march is their war against individualism, and on a larger scale, individual rights.
Well, those lofty French intellectuals who set the framework for their culture have come out, en masse, against the distinctly American trait of individualism and self-determination yet again, alleging (brace yourself) that their new president's jogging habit is... a right-wing propaganda campaign.
From this July 4 TimesOnline article (UK; hat tip DrudgeReport):
President Sarkozy has fallen foul of intellectuals and critics who see his passion for jogging as un-French, right-wing and even a ploy to brainwash his citizens.
Attacks on Mr Sarkozy’s pastime, which he has made a symbol of his presidency, began on the internet as soon as he bounded up the steps of the Elysée Palace in shorts when he took office in May. That moment has become the icon of his hyperenergetic administration. The grumbling has now moved to television and the press.
“Is jogging right wing?” wondered Libération, the left-wing newspaper. Alain Finkelkraut, a celebrated philosopher, begged Mr Sarkozy on France 2, the main state television channel, to abandon his “undignified” pursuit. He should take up walking, like Socrates, Arthur Rimbaud, the poet, and other great men, said Mr Finkelkraut.
“Western civilisation, in its best sense, was born with the promenade. Walking is a sensitive, spiritual act. Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation.”
I see. Wow.
Well, as long as we're delving into the meaning (and threat) of individualism and self-determination, let's consider what was said by another collectivist thinker who certainly had the opportunity to implement his visions on what was billed as "an advanced culture."
(1) "It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole...that above all, the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual... we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man."
(2) "Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is socialism -- not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the state, through the party, is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our socialism goes far deeper. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."
Wow, who was that brilliant anti-individualist thinker?
Who brought such an "enlightened" and "community-minded" perspective to cultural affairs?
None other than Adolf Hitler.
Sounds an awful lot like the statements made by our "enlightened" and "community-minded" and "progressive" thinkers, and the policy proposals (education, health care, etc.) they are advancing, doesn't it?
(1) Speaking in Buckeburg on Oct. 7, 1933.
(2) Letter to Hermann Rauschning, 1934 (italics mine).
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