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French President Emmanuel Macron denounced that American ideas are tearing the European country apart and are actually a threat to the national social fabric. Macron joins a number of intellectuals, academics and politicians in criticizing “certain social science theories imported entirely from the United States” -specifically on the issues of race, gender and post-colonialism- that have given life to the so-called woke culture, according to a New York Times report.
The Times reports that, emboldened by these statements, prominent intellectuals have rallied against what they consider a “contamination by the out-of-control American campus woke leftism and its concomitant cancellation culture.”
Macron’s statements come in the wake of a speech in which he denounced the threat of “Islamist separatism” against the Republic. Macron denounced that this “politico-religious” project theorized and materialized through repeated deviations from the [French] Republic promotes a spirit antagonistic to that of the laws and fosters a “counter-society” that does not agree with France.
President Macron expressed concern about the neglect of cultural debate and the terrible consequences this neglect has generated on the social fabric. “We have left the intellectual debate to others, to those outside the Republic by ideologizing it, sometimes yielding to other academic traditions.”
“I think of Anglo-Saxon traditions based on a different history, which is not ours,” Macron noted. “And when I see certain theories of social sciences totally imported from the United States, with their problems, which I respect and which exist, but which add to ours.”
“We must, very clearly, reinvest,” President Macron invites, “on a massive scale, in the field of social sciences, history, the understanding of civilizations, creating positions, intensifying dialogue, academic and scientific debate, the understanding of Islam as a religion, of the civilization it supports and its contribution to our country and our continent become ideological and exclusively political debates.”
The Times reports in its article that the battle has begun in French universities “with echoes of the American culture wars.” But, the Times explains, the debate is actually taking place most forcefully in the media. Politicians have been increasingly intervening, especially after a turbulent year during which a series of events challenged the principles of French society.
The Macron government and education
In an interview for Le Journal du Dimanche, French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer assured that in the face of the reality of “Islamo-leftism” no one has the right to cowardice. The official warns that they want to divide communities and identities, “at the antipodes of our republican model” which, for its part, postulates equality among human beings, regardless of their characteristics of origin, sex, religion.
“There is a battle to wage against an intellectual matrix of American universities,” the minister pointed out. Islamo-leftism, Blanquer believes, is the breeding ground for a fragmentation of French society and a vision of the world that converges with the interests of Islamists.
He also took the opportunity to denounce the tactics that French communism is using, taking advantage of Islamism to come to power. “Certain political structures are grafted into this matrix by demagogy, by cynicism,” he asserts, “because they seek in Muslims a substitute for their lost voters. Jean-Luc Mélenchon is one day a republican and the next a leftist Islamist!”
“What is needed today, on the contrary to these phenomena”, proposes the Minister of Education, “is the renewal of a republican conscience, at the heart of French society and political life.” It is this energy in the service of liberty, Blanquer sentences, that we must pass on to future generations.
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017