Riots, chaos and Mob Rule in France; an interview with Essayist Jérôme Blanchet-Gravel

This interview was conducted by Simon Leduc with Jérôme Blanchet-Gravel, an author and journalist based in Québec City. Jérôme writes for Sputnik, Causeur and holds a radio column at Qub Radio. He is the author of two well-acclaimed books.

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Q : For some time now, France has been hit hard by domestic violence. What are the causes of these brutal events?

JBG: Obviously, the causes of this unrest are diverse. But if I had to identify two or three main ones, I would say that unrestrained immigration is one of them. It’s not just a cliché that’s repeated in the French media: France’s capacity for integration has been overwhelmed for several years now, and certain immigrant populations cultivate a hatred of their host country that seems unlimited.

The situation is critical. Every week in France, the prospect of civil war is evoked in the media. This is not insignificant: on the contrary, it is symptomatic of the increasingly flagrant tearing apart of the social fabric.

Not only are republican institutions no longer respected by certain groups (the social contract is broken), but the so-called native French are accused of perpetuating colonial practices on their own territory, forcing them to apologize for their daily existence.

In a way, the anti-racist movement helps to justify all this violence and what is politely called “incivilities” by presenting certain aggressors of immigrant origin as victims of the former French colonial system.

You understand this logic which reverses the roles: the culprits would be all “whites” and not the “racialized” criminals, seen as victims of poverty and social exclusion.

It seems to me that a second cause of this violence is more subtle, but just as important: the social anomy that reigns in this country in general, i.e., the loss of reference points (identity, morals, etc.). People no longer always find meaning in their lives.

In his novels, Michel Houellebecq has well depicted this state of mind that characterizes France: it floats a nihilism in the air with pernicious effects. “There is no future in France,” we often hear.

Like several other Western countries, France is struggling with a psychological misery that manifests itself in this violent, barbaric form. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we are moving towards even more atomized, that is, more inhuman societies.

Q: Are multiculturalism and Marxism responsible for the barbaric acts, riots and looting that we are witnessing all over the country?

JBG: As I just said, the failure of integration is the elephant in the room. In France, anti-white racism is an open secret. The decolonial left pretends not to see a phenomenon that it takes pleasure in fuelling.

In my latest book, La Face cachée du multiculturalisme (Éd. du Cerf), I show, among other things, that this ideology has the effect of tribalizing us: it divides us into small groups opposed to each other instead of uniting us around common values.

We constantly talk about living together, but we should rather talk about living apart or living in clans. Multiculturalism in France – which is not official as in Canada, but unofficial – leads to conflicts between communities. A recent example perfectly illustrates the phenomenon.

In mid-August, a group of Chechens organized a “punitive expedition” against a group of North Africans in Lyon: violent clashes between the two rival gangs lasted several days.

The Republic is no longer in a position to enforce its laws and ensure its own influence. As the sociologist Michel Maffesoli aptly expresses it, it is no longer “the law of the Father” that is universal, but “the law of the brothers”, that of the tribes.

Q: What will be the consequences of all this violence for France?

JBG: Obviously, the future of this country is at stake. If the violent acts continue to multiply, it is clear that we will begin to see the effects on the economy. The climate is not conducive to the pursuit of a strong economy, especially since France is increasingly appearing as an open-air museum and not as a country in the vanguard.

France is in danger of doing what Houellebecq predicted in his Elementary Particles in 1998: that it will increasingly become a “middle-poor” country.

Every day, French people think of leaving their country for another: exile is very fashionable.

This extremely unhealthy climate could obviously lead to increasingly violent confrontations. Some observers would like the army to intervene in certain so-called sensitive neighbourhoods, but media pressure is far from conducive to this kind of operation. Accusations of racism come very quickly.

There is nothing more tragic than to see a country like France sink into this chaos. The situation is unworthy of its glorious history and its great institutions.

There is nothing more tragic than to see a country like France sink into this chaos. The situation is unworthy of its glorious history and its great institutions.

Q: Do you think Marine Le Pen has a chance of becoming President of France in May 2022?

JBG: Good question. Quite frankly, I couldn’t say. The Rassemblement National is the only political force currently capable of competing with Emmanuel Macron’s, but it seems to me that the name Marine Le Pen is still too closely associated with her father.

The mainstream media are also fiercely opposed to Ms. Le Pen, which accentuates the crisis of representation and encourages the rise of populism. Since the Yellow Vests, the popular electorate is also increasingly preoccupied with strictly economic issues.

The Rassemblement National would have to come up with a program to address all these new concerns, which is not easy because they are not expressed by such a homogeneous mass.

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